New business models are continually developing in electronic publishing.
The opportunity to build your own small publishing house based on online publishing is available to every writer.
The thought of digital publishing immediately brings ebooks to mind.
It is quick and easy to use Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Apple iBooks Author or aggregators to publish a digital book, but the competition is fierce.
Ebook and book publishing on Kindle by independent authors is exploding. On average, a new title is published every minute or two.
For traditional publishers, and the publishing industry in general, this disruption to the market has caused a lot of headaches.
But for self-publishers who have a little experience, the publishing process is not now only about ebooks, Kindle, Apple iBooks and Google Play.
You can make some money selling ebook files and printed books on highly competitive retailers like Amazon.
But smart writers are diversifying their online business and income sources by taking advantage of new ways to exploit their digital content.
Writing in any form now is all about e-publishing, digital marketing and making money online.
Forget all about the writer of the romantic past
How often do you come across an author or writer website using an old typewriter as the header image?
It might be romantic or wishful thinking about days gone by, but it is certainly not indicative of a writer today.
Writers are using laptops and mobile devices, and are more than likely writing while propped up on a sofa in their pyjamas.
Every word is saved on Dropbox, iCloud or a thumb drive, without a sheet of carbon paper in sight.
An online grammar checker does the work that a cigar-smoking copy editor used to do.
The battered copy of a Webster’s or Oxford Concise dictionary sitting on a writers desk has been replaced by a laptop’s inbuilt dictionary, thesaurus and Wikipedia lookup.
The desk is now a coffee table, a kitchen table, or a lap.
Writers don’t receive telegrams anymore. Only messages and email on smartphones.
Technology has improved, but it is certainly not quite as glamorous or appealing as in days gone by. But for some, it is still pleasant to pretend.
Successful writers today are always opportunists
An author still burns the midnight oil pumping out a new chapter for their next book.
But when morning breaks its time to hit social media with a few promotional posts or start on a new YouTube video book trailer.
It might be time to do some research about finding a narrator for an audiobook version of a title or pitching an article to a popular blog.
There is always a new blog post in draft, so it needs to be finished and published.
After that, hunting for a new affiliate marketing opportunity to bring in a bit more passive income from the blog.
Check the overnight Kindle sales, but look for new publishing programs that are popping up every day.
Read a few blog posts to get fresh ideas, and if one is worthwhile, see if you can use it.
Go out for a walk, and maybe stop for a coffee. But take some photos to use in the new blog post.
Get back home and quickly read some articles on a few digital magazines or watch videos to get new blog ideas.
Sales are poor on both book formats for one title, so it is time to research some new Amazon keyword and category ideas.
It is a busy life for an author or writer working from home today.
Spreading the word
Every word you write is data.
It can be converted very quickly into any number of electronic versions that you can then use in a variety of applications.
A Word document can be converted to epub or mobi for reading devices or copied to use in WordPress or Blogger.
It can be loaded up to Grammarly for editing and checking and then downloaded without losing any formatting.
With digitization, edit and insertion are easy for such things as advertising, a video or updated content.
All of these possibilities allow a writer to maximise the potential of any text, new or old, from a short blog post to a book.
In today’s world of e-publishing, or e-pubs, the opportunities are endless when you are serious about earning money online.
7 Ways to maximise your writing potential and income
If you are relying solely on Kindle sales, it’s tough to get to the top, especially if you are exclusively publishing with KDP Select.
Here are some ideas you might want to think about to boost your part-time, or even full time, writing income.
1. Blog more
Making money from a blog is not that difficult. If you want to start a blog, you can earn income from affiliate marketing, advertising or selling a service.
Peer-reviewed products or even books are very popular, particularly in the United States.
You could think about writing blog post reviews, or buyers guides which are perfect for adding links for affiliate programs.
If you can build a popular blog, many businesses will now pay for sponsored content placement on high ranking sites instead of spending money on social media advertising.
If you are a freelance writer, you can make a lot of money from your blog.
2. Open publish your ebooks
If you are exclusive with Amazon, you are relinquishing all other opportunities to maximise your ebook’s potential.
But if you publish with the standard KDP, you are free to publish on Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and many others.
More importantly, you can offer your ebook on your website or blog.
You can even offer a free download in Kindle format and epub for Kindles, phones, tablet computers and associated reading apps.
You can convert your ebook to any open standard you like, or even make it public domain.
For the version you offer on your site, you can add any content you like. You can even add your affiliate links!
You can include bonus content (which is very restricted on KDP Select) or add teasers to your other titles. This approach is ideal for series starters.
Selling ebooks on Amazon is now extremely competitive. Diversifying your distribution might be a good way to make some extra cash from your ebooks.
3. Write for other blogs
Getting an article published on a popular blog can do wonders for your online presence. You can usually add links in your bio to your books and your blog.
It is also a highly effective means of getting a solid SEO backlink to your blog.
If you are freelance writing, it is a great way to improve your blog’s search engine ranking.
4. Get paid to write
There are many opportunities to get paid for writing. Especially long-form articles.
You don’t need to do much research to find possibilities. A Google search gave me this link to a site that gives a listing of sites that pay writers.
5. Advertising pays well
If you are approved to have Adsense on your blog, it is an easy way to make some extra money.
The biggest advantage is that it is set and forget. Once you have added the code to your blog, you don’t need to do anything else.
One valid click on an Adsense ad can earn you from $0.50 up to $1.50.
One sale of a $2.99 ebook will earn you around $1.95.
Food for thought?
You can also earn Adsense income on YouTube.
6. Affiliate marketing works long-term
One well-crafted article on your blog, written around an affiliate link will work for you for years to come.
You can start by using Amazon Associates, which is very easy to set up.
But if you can find products or services that are directly related to your blog, it is better to deal directly with these companies and use their affiliate platforms.
You can expect to earn somewhere between $20.00 and $100.00 per sale, depending on the product.
7. Sell your skills
There are new authors all the time who desperately need editors, proofreaders or beta readers.
If you have very good writing and grammar skills, perhaps you can help.
Find a balance between the price they can afford and what you are willing to accept, and it could be a win-win.
Convert some of your leisure reading time into paid reading time.
There are countless ways to use Internet technology to increase the monetary return on your writing and writing skills.
Sometimes it is only a matter of looking around to see what is available.
If your business is writing, or you want to make it so, forget the typewriter nostalgia and think about leveraging e-publishing technology and data to your advantage.
There is a very big world out there, full of people who are screen reading–and buying online.
I started my working life as a lithographer and spent over 30 years in the printing and publishing business.
Originally from Australia, I moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. My days are spent teaching English, writing and wrestling with technology while enjoying my glorious view of Lake Geneva and the Alps.
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