Marketing Strategy or Writing Distraction
The number of new books published each year has been estimated to be about 4 million (estimate for 2022). In 2010 Google Books calculated that the total number of published books in the world, since the invention of the Gutenberg press, was 129,864,880 books. And that didn’t include self-published books. So, based on the number of new books in 2022, we could safely add another 40 million to our 129,864,880 number.
That’s a lot of books. We’re metaphorically swimming in an ocean of books and authors, and it’s hard to get noticed. So, what do we do to be noticed? How do we keep from drowning in the ocean of obscurity?
The parallel data to the numbers above have to do with the percentage of writers who can support themselves with their writing.
The Guardian estimated that just over 77% of self-published writers make $1000 or less a year.
Another survey revealed that 54% of “traditionally-published” authors (and nearly 80% of self-published authors) earn less than $1,000 a year.
Bottom line – a small minority of us will be able to earn a living publishing books, and will therefore require a partner who is working, retirement funds to survive, or a second job for living expenses.
So, let’s discuss a side hustle for writers – “work performed for income supplementary to one’s primary job.” (Merriam and Webster) And let’s look at ways to address both problems – the need for money, and the need to be discovered.
What are some of the best jobs for writers to get noticed? What side hustle could complement our marketing efforts? And what hobbies and interests could we turn into a profitable part of our writing-business model for marketing and supplemental income?
I recently resurrected a hobby – pen making – as a way to rev up my marketing and supplement income. Over the years I have collected a selection of lumber that is historical – white oak that was growing in 1776, black walnut that dates back to 1815, and white pine that had originally been used in 1870 for the construction of our local county courthouse. I use that lumber to hand craft “legacy pens” as part of my Legacy Words and Wood business model. I get a much better response to newsletter sign-up requests when readers learn that there will be a drawing for one of the pens. The model also allows for customers to provide their own “legacy wood” for a custom-made legacy pen. You can see my pens at – https://stevehooleywriter.com/legacy-pens/ – Enough advertising.
Time for Questions and Discussion:
- What interests/hobbies do you actively engage in that could be called upon to benefit your marketing? Tell us about it.
- What hobbies have you been interested in but not yet had time to pursue? Could they be used as a side hustle? Explain.
- What other ideas for a side hustle can you think of? Help with suggestions for those who haven’t explored this idea.