Planning For The Future

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So today is the final day of the pre-release showcase for my upcoming second fantasy novel, The Apprentice In The Master’s Shadow, which is released next Monday. While I am excited by the prospect of my readers finally getting their hands on the book, my thoughts have already turned to what the future holds for my writing career. This is a quick post to share my short-term aspirations for securing my long-term future as a full-time independent author.

As I mentioned in my post yesterday I have been on this indie author journey for three years. Though it’s not entirely unexpected, I am somewhat disappointed that the earnings from my writing are not yet a level that I can live on. If not for the current coronavirus pandemic I would almost certainly have rejoined the workforce this year, and relegated my writing career to something I do in my spare time. This scenario is not my preference so I’m not displeased that Covid-19 scuppered my plans. Nonetheless, I have been forced to take stock of the fact that if I want to write full-time I probably need to do more than just increase my book sales. Realistically, I will also need to find ways to increase my revenue streams beyond just book royalties.

The first avenue I have been thinking about is providing opportunities for those who want to support my work to help finance it. Historically, artists relied upon wealthy patrons to allow them to pursue their creative pursuits, and the revival of this practice is becoming increasingly popular today among independent creatives. As someone who hates asking for money, the advent of funding and donation platforms such as Patreon and Ko-Fi would allow me to open up an alternative revenue stream by earning income directly from my readership.

Of the two aforementioned models, the tip-jar option provided by Ko-Fi and other similar platforms would be the easiest way for me to to solicit donations from people. However, they have the drawback of providing no incentive for anyone to send money my way, meaning I’d have to rely on potential patrons liking me enough to want to finance my writing. Alternatively, the subscription model offered by Patreon would allow me to incentivise my readers to back me financially, by offering them exclusive content in exchange. Before the year is out I intend to start my own Patreon account, as well as setup one or more tip-jar options.

The second option that I am contemplating is merchandising. By providing supplementary merchandise based on my writing I can capitalise on my readership’s attachment to my books. This option is not something I am likely to pursue this year as I’m simply not popular enough to make it viable. That being said, I can lay the ground work to eventually pursue merchandising by increasing the number of readers on my newsletter mailing list. I am already taking steps that will let me entice new subscribers by offering an exclusive, free novel download to everyone who subscribes. The novella in question is still in the first draft stage, but it shouldn’t be too long before it is finished.

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So that wraps up the overview of my thoughts about securing my long-term future as a full-time writer. Wish me luck, and don’t forget that my next release, The Apprentice In The Master’s Shadow is scheduled to be published on Monday 4th May in ebook and paperback editions, with the ebook presently available to pre-order from various online digital outlets, including Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

 

Thanks for reading,
Ian

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