Building a creative business: Multiple streams of income (part one)

Last week (or was it the week before?) I wrote a post around a brooch that I’d won titled New Growth. At the end of said post, I said I’d write more about my writing / art lifestyle plans later. There are a few things that are covered in the word ‘lifestyle’ so I’m writing a series of four posts instead of cramming it all higgeldy-piggeldy into one.

As I opened up my website to write this post, I realised that the ‘new’ plan isn’t actually that new. It’s been brewing in the background for a while – it’s just ready to take off the stove now.

I’ve been published now for eight months. I’ve done well, all things considered, but I know I can be more strategic and make a bigger dent in the book world. My main goal is to reach a position where I have creative freedom and an income I can live on from my creative work. As Joanna Penn has drilled into me, this relies on having multiple streams of income. Here are my multiple streams:

11402252_10153408426135987_3066324455910073646_o (1)Print Sales – Book Events

I’ve done book launch events and school visits. All of them have been successful in their own way. At events where I am a guest speaker / visitor, the hosts have been happy to make by books available for sale (and they have sold!). Events are also a great marketing tool – I’ll be blogging more about this on Inger Kenobi’s website.

Mt Eden

Print Sales – Markets & Fairs

Just last month, I began attending local markets and fairs to peddle my wares. I’m not sure if this is seen as being ‘below’ the author status, but I don’t really care. Crafters and wonderful people to be around and their energy is contagious. I’ve made some new friends and sold a reasonable number of books (considering that I’m a complete unknown and it’s WINTER).

eBook Sales

This is the hardest one to get into. As an indie author with print books at a fair, I have far less competition than on Amazon (apparently there are 3.4 million books in the Kindle store* – good luck, right??). With those kind of numbers, this has got to be a long-term game, because it’s going to take me more than eight months to get any sort of visibility on there!

20150613_164808Merchandise

I’ve had pens, bookmarks and postcards made with illustrations and quotes from my work. I also have limited editions of my chapter books. The pens have gone down a treat, and are a good seller at craft markets (you can buy one here, or at an event near you). The bookmarks and postcards have worked better as giveaways. I’m working towards audiobooks for my two chapter books, The Caretaker of Imagination and Lucy’s Story: The End of the World. I am also looking at making some colouring pages inspired by the characters and places in my books – watch this space!

Teaching (children)

Currently, I teach school students part-time at Kip McGrath. I enjoy my work and I love the people I work with – both students and staff. I do have a degree in teaching, and I am working towards running writing workshops for children either in schools or in libraries as another source of income over the next few years.

Teaching (writers)

I’ve met with several writers to share my experience in publishing, to help them in the wonderful world of social marketing, or to create visually appealing graphics. A few of these people have said I should charge for consultation, but I’ve received so much help from others free of charge that I don’t really want to charge a fee. Instead, I’m intending on writing a book about what I’ve done that’s worked, and perhaps holding some marketing workshops for writers. This is one that I’m only going to do when I can say (with pride), “I am a full-time author. If I can do it – so can you.”

What streams of income do you have, or are planning to create? Better yet – do you have any ideas for me? 

Part two of this series will be published around the same time tomorrow, and look at ways to get your name out in the world – offline and online.

 

*As at July 17, 2015. Source: http://ebookfriendly.com/kindle-unlimited-ebook-subscription/

6 Responses to “Building a creative business: Multiple streams of income (part one)

  • Hey Zee!

    I’m a multi-passionate entrepreneur. Though I’ve been writing for twelve years, I actually started profiting from my skills and interests as a self-employed individual back in 2013, with the Draebox Services (web hosting, web design and help with online-related stuff). My books have become part of that brand, and the author site is kept on a sub-domain on it’s own section of the Draebox Servers.

    If you’re looking for additional ways to gain income, definitely look at all the things you enjoy doing, or that can help people. For example, creating a course on Udemy 🙂 I recommend creating courses there as the courses you provide go through a review process, and there is already thousands of members on the site, increasing the chance someone will give your course a go.

    One of the things I really love doing IS helping people, so I’ve been working on courses and some pre-made web designs to start adding into my passive income. I’m also planning some writer events, which I’d happily invite you to speak at.

    • Oh! And apply to be an Amazon affiliate at this site, so you can link to products you’ve used and recommend (such as another author’s ebook). 😉

    • Z.R. Southcombe
      2 years ago

      Really good advice, Drae. Thank you for sharing so generously (as you always do, of course). It’s interesting that you say your books have become a part of your web-services brand. It’s heartening to note you can bring two seemingly disparate brands under one umbrella.

      I was advised to think about what I enjoy doing just before I approached writing as a career, and I don’t think there is much better advice out there! Think of what you love doing, and find a way to monetise that. Simple, right? 😛

      • No problem. I’m glad you found my comment of use. Definitely lol! It’s not work if you love what you do 😀

  • I found this post and Drae’s comments very helpful. I need to do more about monetizing my hobbies, and you’ve given me some great ideas. Thanks.

    • Z.R. Southcombe
      2 years ago

      There are a wealth of opportunities out there. I think it’s about finding out which forms of monetisation work for you, your books, and even for your personality. Looking forward to hearing more about what you do with monetising your hobbies, Christine 🙂

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