In this wide-ranging interview, James Scott Bell and I discuss aspects of making a living with your writing, including discipline and writing tips, plus mindset and how art and commerce can play happily together!
In the intro, I mention the demise of Oyster's subscription service but why I'm excited that there might be something happening at Google. Plus the latest longitudinal Author Earnings report that shows that if an author debuted in the last 5 years, they are making more money as an indie than through traditional publishing. This doesn't surprise me at all, but it's fascinating to see it in the data.
Thank you also to everyone supporting the show on Patreon!
We have reached the first big milestone which means I'll be doing private Patreon-supporter only monthly Q&A shows. Patrons will be able to ask questions and these extra audios will go out ONLY on the Patreon feed, so if you'd like to join in, you can support the show here.
The corporate sponsorship for this show pays for hosting and transcription. This podcast episode is sponsored by 99 Designs, where you can get all kinds of designs for your author business including book covers, merchandising, branding and business cards, illustrations and artwork and much more. You can get a Powerpack upgrade which gives your project more chance of getting noticed by going to: 99Designs.com/joanna
James Scott Bell is is the best-selling and award-winning author of thriller novels, zombie legals, historical romance, and lots and lots of excellent books on the craft of writing. He’s a professional speaker, teaching novel-writing and other skills for writers.
Today we're talking about his book, How to make a living as a writer.
- The audience of writers that James writes for and the influence of freelance writers on today's indie authors.
- What James is interested in currently including boxed sets for his writing craft books and investing in the future by paying for exposure in alert newsletters.
- The goals behind joining a box set, including discoverability and exposure to a wider audience. You can find the Writing Success boxset here on Amazon.
- Writing quotas and production plans and why this structure actually encourages creativity, as well as how to figure out what your production goal should be.
- Combining study of the markets with what you love to write and merging those with a production schedule.
- The strategies James uses to hold himself to his production schedule, including the ‘nifty 350'.
- Why writing prolifically isn't enough to earn a living writing. Why studying the craft of storytelling matters and where raw talent falls into this mix.
- The importance of the marriage between art and commerce for those writers who want to earn a living from their writing.
- On the sense of joy readers experience when a writer is having fun.
- The challenges of shifting from writing non-fiction to fiction and how non-fiction authors can use their strengths and apply those to writing fiction.
- James' beginnings as a writer and letting go of the belief that unless you're born with the talent to write you can't do it.
- The challenging feelings all writers face including whether they'll be able to do it again.
- On the advantages for indie authors of not being locked into a contract and being able to test the market with new ideas and a variety of book lengths.
- Why writers need to grow ‘rhino skin'.
- On the options available for hybrid writers and when to leave emotions out of publishing choices.
- Why writers should operate like a movie studio.