Saturday, May 18, 2019

Making Money from Writing #amwriting

Handout for Earning a Living as a Writer, with Chris Eboch

Trade Book Advances: $2000-$30,000 and up. May take several years to receive all payments. Difficult to control or predict sales. Some small publishers do not pay advances.
Royalties: Passive income that can last for years. Requires a royalty agreement that earns out. May take years after the book sale. Difficult to control or predict sales.
Work-for-Hire Books: Flat fee (usually), quick turnaround time, assigned topics. Pays from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Good for building a resume. Can be steady income.
Self-Publishing: Upfront costs, especially with images. Potential income for years. A way to make use of unsold manuscripts. Very tough market, especially for middle grade and younger. Create something unique and in demand.  Know how you’ll reach readers. Invest in ads.
Magazine Articles: 5 cents - $2 per word. Target niche mags. You can build a resume and show expertise. Make use of your research from other projects.
Educational Test Passages/Assessment: Can be good pay for small jobs ($60-$400 for less than 1000 words; $10+ for each question). Requires ability to write a variety of genres, topics, and targeted grade levels. Mainly seasonal work. Good for those with teaching experience.
Teaching: Community colleges, senior centers, summer programs, etc. Online: correspondence schools, webinars. One-on-one mentoring. Often low pay but builds resume/authority.
Critiques: Requires experience as an editor/teacher as well as a writer. Reputation counts. Pay can be $25-$50 an hour or more.
Copyediting/Proofreading: Requires specific expertise and training. Can be excellent money.
School Visits: Pay varies greatly ($100-$3000 per day). Helps market your books. If you’re not a well-known author, focus on what you’ll teach kids – help them do better on tests, foster love of reading, tie in to science or social studies curriculum.

General Info on Making Money from Writing

Making a Living from Writing? – Chris on sources of income
How to Be a Healthy, Happy Freelancer/Writer – Marlo Garnsworthy shares practical advice on running your own business: time management, organizations, clerical work, accountability.
Laura Purdie Salas shares her 2014 income and sources.
For children’s book writers, the SCBWI discussion boards have sections on work for hire, self-publishing, magazines, contracts, taxes, and more
Upod: “a place for freelancers to support, inspire, amuse, inform, advise, celebrate and hire each other.” (I have not tried it.)
From Self-Publishing to Blogging: 7 Solid Ways to Make Money Writing, by Blake Atwood (editing, teaching, freelance articles):
Freedom With Writing newsletter: writing jobs and articles to help you be a freelance writer:
Kelly James-Enger “Dollars and Deadlines” blog on ghostwriting, articles, etc.
The Well Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman
Secrets of a Freelance Writer by Bob Bly

Make Money from Trade Publishing

Editorial Anonymous’ Publishing Dictionary posts – definitions of royalties, advances, earning out and more:

Make Money from Self-Publishing

Indie publishing worksheet – are you ready/what you need:
What Defines “Traditional” Publishing? Anne R. Allen:  
Jane Friedman details different paths to publishing:  
Go regional or tie to curriculum (such as NextGen Science Standards). Go for awards. List w/educational distributors. Resources & distributors:
Darcy Pattison on indie publishing nonfiction for kids:

Writing Work for Hire/Test Passages

Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career, by Nancy Sanders
Writing Children’s Nonfiction Books for the Educational Market, by Laura Purdie Salas
Evelyn Christensen’s list of Educational Markets
PARCC Samples of test passages: under the Assessments tab, see "practice tests" and "released items"
Get Curriculum Development Jobs: job postings in curriculum development
Education Writers Association has job listings, mainly full-time in-person
Linked In has a freelance job search site now. 
Kirsten Larson has posts on work for hire, writing for children's magazines, and writing routines:
Education Writers Association has jobs, mainly full-time in-person:

Checking Grade Levels: ATOS or Lexile

Lexile highlighting the more difficult words:
Typical Lexile Reader Measures by Grade:

Writing Magazine Articles

Get magazine samples at your library, school, or house of worship; requests sample copies from the publisher; visit publishers’ web sites – many have online samples.
Writer’s Digest books on freelance writing and magazines:
Writers Market site from Writer’s Digest:
Market directory from All Freelance Writing:
Markets from FundsforWriters:
List of Magazines for Children with links to websites from the Monroe County Public Library

School Visits

School Visit Experts – advice on programs and biz tips:

Time management:

Programs such as Slimtimer track your hours per project (I have not tried it.)

Chris Eboch writes fiction and nonfiction for all ages, with over 60 traditionally published books for children and six novels for adults. Advanced Plotting helps writers fine-tune their plots. To explore writing for children, try You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers, and Advanced Plotting. Learn more at or her Amazon page. See her writing blog at

Chris also writes for adults under the name Kris Bock. Kris Bock writes action-packed romantic suspense involving outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Her work has been called “smart romance with an Indiana Jones feel” and “like Nancy drew for grown-ups.”

Sign up for a manuscript critique with Chris! Get detailed editorial comments to help you improve your story. See her website’s “for writers” page for details.

No comments:

Post a Comment