As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve decided to jump into this being-a-full-time writer thing.
Without a parachute.
DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNN!
Yeah. It’s all very dramatic. Truth be told, though, it’s not really all that glamorous. I’ve explained my thinking in my IWSG post, but the TL;DR version goes something like this…
Lots going on with my “day-job” businesses, but no money has come in.
Writing, while bringing in a tiny income, is in fact bringing me an income.
Ergo, it makes sense for me to put in more time to create content and writing which can bring me more income.
Am I being stupid about this?
Gosh, no! At least I hope not. Basically my “day-job” business has reached a hurry-up-and-wait phase. As in, I’ve contacted people. They want to work with me. They ordered samples. They’ve received samples, and now they’re waiting for some meeting or the other to try said samples and decide whether or not they buy.
In the meantime, I’m sitting here
twiddling my thumbs looking for other ways to make money.
Since writing is my passion, I want to put more time into making it work as a viable business, just like I’m doing with my other businesses.
The problem with this is…
You might have guessed it. Money. Right now, money is my biggest issue. See, if I’m going to make it as a writer, I need to keep producing books. Which will bring me in some money.
Okay. But I need to get the word out, which means marketing. Marketing like… sharing stuff on all my social networks all the time. (Which I’m doing now, but man it takes a chunk out of my time.) Marketing like creating more content that has value to my readers (like more books). And so on.
Problem is that I have to pay for most of this in some way, whether it’s with money or time. Because more often than not, money payments aren’t an option, it’s time. Which means that right now, everything I do is a trade-off of some kind.
I can spend more time on social networs, but that means I don’t write as much.
Or I can buy a way to schedule things to all my social networks, but that costs money, of which I have a very limited budget and no clue as to the Return on Investment.
Yes. Me taking this thing into full-time territory has me thinking about return on investment a lot.
And thinking about that, brings me to the timing of those returns. In other words… No matter what I do, there tends to be at least a month delay between my spending my money and me getting it back, if I even get it back.
Let’s say I want to publish a new book.
If I pay outsource:
Cheapest Nice-ish Cover for ebooks and paperback: $150 if I’m really lucky.
Formatting: Between $100 and $500
This means a minimum of $250 for one book.
If I do it all myself, I can bring the cost down to $80 by paying for sofware I use to make my own covers etc., but the downfall is that this is $80 per month. Which means two things:
1) To keep the cost at $80, I need to create a book every month. Which is something I had been working towards, but that got steamrolled by my life. So let’s say we’re actually closer to $200 per book, unless I use the same software for other income streams. (Which would be the plan.)
2) In order to keep the software, and assuming that books are the only way with which to pay this money, it means I have to sell at least 40 books every single month just to break even.
And even if I was there (and I’m not), that money will only come in at least one month (but as much as three months) after the end of the month in which I incurred the expense.
To say the least, it’s a freaking headache.
If I was to publish through a publishing house, it does save me the expense, but at the cost of not making any income off the time-commitment to write until at least nine months after I sold the book. Never mind the time it takes just to find a publisher who wants to sign the book.
So now I have to find other ways to generate money with which to pay for these products, such as Patreon, Fiverr and monetizing YouTube videos. Which is great, but I still a) need the those same $80 products to help generate content, b) need to spend time in order to market my activities on those sites c) need to wait at least a month before I receive the money back.
And to make the money back as quickly as possible, I have to use Payoneer in order to have a US Bank account, and if I do that, I have to wait until I have $200 to pay out just to get the money loose.
So, in short… I’m feeling very much stuck.