Back in October the Authors Guild released survey results on author income. No survey is perfect, the numbers will always be skewed one way or another, but the main take away I got from this article was that successful authors seem to be tapping into incomes other than only writing books.
A SFF Seven alumnus, Charissa Weaks, has a lovely Etsy store filled with her bookish merchandise. She does well with these sales and it’s a non-writing creative outlet for her. It’s book adjacent, but it’s not writing income.
Jeffe shared her various income streams on Sunday. Check out her post. It’s informative. She’s at a place I aspire to be: hybrid with outside writing opportunities. Jeffe has a wonderful podcast you can watch on YouTube, First Cup of Coffee. She shares the realities of being an author and what it really looks like beyond the bonbons. I appreciate her candor as she shares the ups and downs, because as writers we all have the ups and downs, but no body quite gets it like another writer does. And as she has enough subscribers to warrant adding it to her non-writing income list!
And one thing that both Charissa and Jeffe have: Patreon. If you go back in history, say the middle ages, artists were paid a living wage by the nobles, kings, or the church. Patreon uses this idea and provides a platform for creators to run a subscription service to their subscribers. Think in terms of the cost of a cup of coffee per month. If you have enough patrons chipping in on Patreon in exchange for excerpts, bonus material, newsletters etc. you have another revenue stream. A brilliant option if you have a fan base.
Etsy, YouTube, and Patreon. Three income options that aren’t book writing and don’t require you to do any public speaking. If standing before a crowd doesn’t make your knees shake then you can add a fourth option to your list.
For me, I’m keeping tabs on the options and paying attention to what successful authors enjoy and say works. I'm not driving blindly into the dark, there's light at the horizon. Once I have a fan base I’ll try my hand at some writing-adjacent income streams. Do you have plans for future side gigs?