My love of romance novels began with Harlequins. I would buy used books from my favorite thrift stores, tattered and worn with bent pages where previous readers had paused while reading the book.
There was something about the characters’ stories, the conflict between them and how they made it back to each other. I absolutely loved the simplicity of reading romances. There was almost always a happily ever after and the conflict between the characters was so interesting to read about.
Fast forward many years later, and that love continues. I still purchase used novels whenever I go on vacation, and now I download books onto my kindle.
A lot has changed since I first began reading these books.
Self-publishing books: My favorite side-hustle
Recently I decided to try my hand at publishing my own romance novel, and I am so glad that I did. Self-publishing romance novels (and books in general) has become my favorite side-hustle. And if you’ve been on the fence about writing your own books, I hope this post will encourage you to give it a try.
This summer I published my first fiction and non-fiction ebooks. I decided to publish electronic books because it was environmentally friendly and easier to do. These books were self-published, and the experience has been extremely validating to me on a personal and professional level.
And, I made money. In fact, the first month I made $540 with my first book, and it felt amazing earning money on a project that took me less than 25 hours to complete.
In my view, self-publishing is a fantastic side-hustle for people who have stories that they would love to tell and get paid for sharing them.
Currently, I am publishing romance novels, and I’ve also published a guide to moving to the state that I now live in. Both are selling, but in all honesty, the romances sell better!
There are some positives and negatives when it comes to self-publishing and here are some of the lessons that I’ve learned so far.
Sometimes self-publishing can be a bit of a guessing game concerning whether or not your book will sell and be seen by readers.
- Not every genre that you publish in will be lucrative. Authors should spend some time figuring out where their readers hang out and how to get in front of them when marketing their new books.
- Self-publishing may seem a bit overwhelming technically if you don’t understand the behind the scenes aspects of the process. Spend time finding a course or resource that helps cut through the confusion.
- Imposter Syndrome – I’ll admit that I was nervous to write my first book because I didn’t have an English degree. Then, I realized that I’ve been blogging for years, reading since I was two years old and I have two degrees. One of which is a Masters! I was more than qualified to give writing books a try. Then, I realized that I’d read numerous fiction and non-fiction books written by people who have no degrees at all but they have amazing ideas and the discipline to share their creativity with the world.
There are a number of positive outcomes from self-publishing that authors should consider.
- If you are disciplined enough and write enough books, it’s likely that you will begin making some passive income self-publishing.
- You don’t have to pitch for work when writing your own books. You can write as often as you would like and as many books as you would like as long as you have story ideas. There are no limits to how much you decide to work and how often you decide to publish.
- There are a number of different platforms that you can use to self-publish. Currently, I use Amazon because it’s the most recognizable online platform for product sales right now and is like the Target of the internet world. You log in and end up purchasing a ton of unexpected items-similar to what happens when a Target lover walks into Target without a plan.
So, are you ready to start self-publishing your first book? Spend some time working on your book outline and get to writing. If you hate typing, there are also a ton of resources that you can use to dictate and record your book. Worried about grammar? There are even online tools to check your grammar before publishing.
Stop waiting for that writing contract and begin working now. Who knows, your online books may end up getting you in front of a traditional publishing house in the future.