Author Topic: What makes a 100k author?  (Read 47061 times)  

Online Usedtoposthere

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #50 on: June 09, 2017, 07:55:18 PM »
I basically farm out or just don't do everything I hate. :)
I also don't go to conferences. I just hide and write.

Offline Shelley K

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #51 on: June 09, 2017, 08:03:08 PM »
My VA is HootSuite. 😂

It'd be nice to have an assistant eventually, but I can't justify the expense yet.

I tried to hire a VA three times over a period of six months and finally gave up. And that was after a personal referral to someone who'd done tons of stuff for other authors. I paid, he didn't do the flipping work. So technically, I'm 0 for 4. In the time I wasted explaining and correcting and getting frustrated, I could have done the things myself for free.

I outsource covers to pros, I pay for promotion, and sometimes I pay for proofreading, but I've never had a fraction of the frustration doing those things than with trying to hire a VA. When I'm on the verge of collapse if I don't hire help, I'll try again with a local high school student, or maybe a local aspiring writer who wants a look behind the scenes to learn on the job for their own career.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2017, 08:12:54 PM by Shelley K »

Offline Morgan Worth

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #52 on: June 09, 2017, 08:09:50 PM »

I won't even try this nonsense again until I reach a point where I simply cannot do certain things myself or risk collapse. And then I'll probably try to hire someone I know already or someone local whom I can meet in person and train hands-on. A high school student would be better than some of the "professionals" I tried, even with tons of hours of completed jobs on Upwork. I'd pay my daughter to do it, but she gets most of my money already anyway.

At least the money you pay her when she works for you would be tax deductible. :)
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Offline Shelley K

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #53 on: June 09, 2017, 08:13:41 PM »
At least the money you pay her when she works for you would be tax deductible. :)

True. :)

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #54 on: June 09, 2017, 08:24:50 PM »
At least the money you pay her when she works for you would be tax deductible. :)

Plus, by doing the work for you, she helps you make more money you can give her... win/win, really.


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Offline Shelley K

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #55 on: June 09, 2017, 08:51:20 PM »
Plus, by doing the work for you, she helps you make more money you can give her... win/win, really.

There's the matter of her being willing to actually do it, too. :) She has a summer job already, alas!

To speak to the findings themselves in the link, I really think the data's like any other data. People will read what they want to into it. People who write 5 hours a week will see that some people can hit it with one book, and that even if not they'll eventually have several books out, which ups their odds. People who write several hours a week will see that the more you write, the better your odds. And maybe I'll write that one book that takes off. It can also be viewed in the negative if someone wants--I can't write 33 hours a week, so I'm probably never going to make it, etc. I can't afford to pay for pro editing or a cover, so I might as well forget ever selling much. It can parsed any way someone wants, because eye of the beholder. And every parsing is correct for somebody. It's Schrodinger's success. It's all in there at the same time.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2017, 08:57:04 PM by Shelley K »

Offline D-C

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #56 on: June 09, 2017, 11:16:27 PM »
I actually make less than 100K and have hired a PA for some things. I have heard from a lot of 100Kers that their income growth has stalled even though they have more books out. I think it's because there is just so many hours in a day, and they have tons of books, but not the time to market them.

I have six series leads ins that I can advertise ... but I just can't get to ALL of them every month. By end of year I should have nine series lead-ins, plus a standalone that will be my responsibility to promote. I'm definitely not going to be able to manage them all. My plan is to to do all the higher level strategy, the AMS ads, and the FB, BookBub CPMs, plus the BookBub feature deal submissions, but I'll have her book the regular ads in the future based on a schedule I provide. This will cut down on ROI for those titles, but I think raise profits overall.

That's my plan anyway!

Lately, I've been using her to help manage acquisitions for box sets--tracking down authors for their stories, blurbs, and such. It has saved me hours of work, and the price is worth it.

So much this. I think we spoke about this before. There are only so many hours and only one author to manage it all. I've definitely reached a point where a PA makes sense but I'm also a control freak and having a PA just seems like paying for a service I can do myself. But I can't do it and write more. So I'm struck in a spiral of needing help but not wanting to pay for it 😝

Offline Mark E. Cooper

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #57 on: June 09, 2017, 11:44:39 PM »
I basically farm out or just don't do everything I hate. :)
I also don't go to conferences. I just hide and write.

Yes THIS. Except for the writing part.

Offline Evenstar

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #58 on: June 10, 2017, 03:31:36 AM »

Simply writing 30 books will not guarantee you will make 100k. Paying for a pro edit and pro cover will not ensure you earn 100k. You can write 30 crappy books and make no money. You can spend a fortune on covers and editing and still flop. That old saying that you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig is true.


Gordon Ramsey put it well, he said "You can't polish a turd."

I always think of that when I'm spending money on a cover re-vamp or on another re-write. I ask myself, am I trying to polish a turd?

Online GeneDoucette

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #59 on: June 10, 2017, 05:05:16 AM »
All these discussions of personal assistants and virtual assistants... I have an adult daughter who is free and would probably be willing to assist for pay, but to be honest, I don't even know what I'd tell her to do.

Online kemobullock

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #60 on: June 10, 2017, 05:23:56 AM »
Me too, Gene. That and I like being in control of everything regarding my work. Except for audiobook reviews. I would happily let me son review those but he's got a heavy workload this semester. :(

Offline Jana DeLeon

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #61 on: June 10, 2017, 06:13:53 AM »
Honestly, I know more authors who have fired VAs than have a good one and I don't personally know anyone with a VA doing their marketing. No one knows the product like the author or the market (unless they are also an author). Add to that they need to know how to design graphics, all the rules associated with the advertisers, how to do FB ads and make them effective, how to write add copy, and so on. It's a really hard niche for a person to fill. That's why most of the authors I know still do their own ads. They might farm out graphics, but that's usually it.

My husband quit his job a couple years ago to assist me full time and he does do business items, including graphics. But the bigger value is in all the personal stuff he takes care of. Basically, anything except writing ad copy, writing books, uploading, and accounting is him. That means food, laundry, housekeeping, vehicle repair, dogs to vet, managing contractors/repairs, scheduling all my appts. doctors, hair, nails, etc. The amount of time/stress he eliminates from me by taking care of all that daily stuff is invaluable. I always suggest that when people have a limited budget for help, they start with hiring domestic help rather than a VA.

I have two VAs. One does Twitter. The other creates my story Bibles. What little advertising I do, I write myself and set up. My husband does the graphics.
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Offline Lydniz

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #62 on: June 10, 2017, 06:16:49 AM »
I'm keeping a sharp eye on my seven-year-old. As soon as she shows signs of being able to design a website I'm putting her to work.

Offline Kristen Painter

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #63 on: June 10, 2017, 06:24:14 AM »
Having a PA/VA has been invaluable. I know I make more money because of her because she frees up time for me, and time is the most important thing. My husband (who was able to quit his corporate job in Dec '15 because of my writing) does all my financial stuff and that's super helpful as well.

When you get to a certain income level, it seems the only way to get above that is to be more than one person. Having help becomes a necessity, but like Jana said, there are certain things you just have to do yourself.
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Online A J Sika

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #64 on: June 10, 2017, 07:30:30 AM »
I'm keeping a sharp eye on my seven-year-old. As soon as she shows signs of being able to design a website I'm putting her to work.

 ;D  ;D

Would I love to have a VA? Definitely - but I know myself. I'd probably end up micro-managing them.
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Offline RBC

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #65 on: June 10, 2017, 09:43:03 AM »
Loved the read... was surprised that average number of books was 30! I thought it would be less. But it's good to see that hard work pays off!

Offline SidK

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #66 on: June 10, 2017, 10:42:52 AM »
A LOT of romance authors who make day-job money have 50, 80, 100 books out there.

WOW!  :o Mind Boggles.

Offline SevenDays

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #67 on: June 10, 2017, 11:52:44 AM »
I'm keeping a sharp eye on my seven-year-old. As soon as she shows signs of being able to design a website I'm putting her to work.

I'm already teaching my four-year-old to use Photoshop and Pixelmator.

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Offline David VanDyke

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #68 on: June 10, 2017, 03:35:35 PM »
So much this. I think we spoke about this before. There are only so many hours and only one author to manage it all. I've definitely reached a point where a PA makes sense but I'm also a control freak and having a PA just seems like paying for a service I can do myself. But I can't do it and write more. So I'm struck in a spiral of needing help but not wanting to pay for it 😝

You can't scale up without paying for things, even things you can do yourself. There's only one of you. It takes money to make money. You pay for proofreaders (you should, if you're doing well) even though you probably proofread just fine. It leverages your time.

You need to divide your income from books into, say, a 2000-hour work year, and see how much per hour you are making. Then ask yourself if paying someone a fair wage will free you to make more of that rate with your own time, probably by producing content.


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Offline C. Gockel

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #69 on: June 10, 2017, 04:49:11 PM »
Quote
When you get to a certain income level, it seems the only way to get above that is to be more than one person. Having help becomes a necessity, but like Jana said, there are certain things you just have to do yourself.

I like to do anthologies, and find them to be about the most helpful thing for my career. However, there is a lot of administration that goes into them; a VA is perfect for that sort of thing.

Also, although I'd never use help for FB ads or BookBub CPM, if you have a set blurb at 50 words, another at 250 characters, a VA can take over the submission process.

I may also send her all my UPS receipts for the year. I hate scanning those damn things in for our tax records.


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Offline Rinelle Grey

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #70 on: June 10, 2017, 06:17:58 PM »
Gordon Ramsey put it well, he said "You can't polish a turd."

Interestingly, mythbusters proved that you could!

Of course, it takes a lot of work, and if you're going to go to all that effort, might as well start with a a good product so you end up with an even better one!

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Offline Annie B

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #71 on: June 10, 2017, 08:16:40 PM »
I make six figures. I don't have a VA. I spent less than 1600 last year on advertising. 95% of the money I make comes from 8 books.

Offline Chris Fox

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #72 on: June 10, 2017, 08:53:16 PM »
I'm keeping a sharp eye on my seven-year-old. As soon as she shows signs of being able to design a website I'm putting her to work.

Why wait? That kid is 7! Just give them a laptop and put them to work. ;)

Offline David VanDyke

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #73 on: June 10, 2017, 09:52:04 PM »
I make six figures. I don't have a VA. I spent less than 1600 last year on advertising. 95% of the money I make comes from 8 books.

You are an outlier. Consider yourself fortunate, rather than an example of the norm. Most indie authors spend a much higher percentage of their income on marketing and other business costs.

I do know one author that has simply "caught on," and he wonders why I work so hard. There is an element of luck in this business. If you have it, be grateful.


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Offline Annie B

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Re: What makes a 100k author?
« Reply #74 on: June 10, 2017, 10:03:04 PM »
You are an outlier. Consider yourself fortunate, rather than an example of the norm. Most indie authors spend a much higher percentage of their income on marketing and other business costs.

I do know one author that has simply "caught on," and he wonders why I work so hard. There is an element of luck in this business. If you have it, be grateful.

I don't think I'm an outlier. I focus on what works for me. Advertising doesn't work well for me (other than Bookbub). Writing good books works (though due to illness etc I'm fairly slow compared to some with my releases), paying attention to passive marketing like covers etc works for me. So I do those things. I'm not an outlier anymore than someone who does something differently and gets good results is, imo. I think a lot of the time people spend a lot of effort on things that don't return nearly the results they think they do.