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Can you make money writing fiction?

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Many people grow up wishing they could make money writing fiction books. Is it possible? Here’s what you need to know.

We see a lot of authors making money writing their fiction books. Some are far more well-known than others. We can look at the success the likes of Stephen King, Diana Gabaldon, and Delia Owens have gained. There are new authors finding success with fiction writing, such as Kate Quinn and Lucy Foley.

Of course, you want to know if you can do the same. You have all these stories in your head, and you want to put them to paper. But you also want to see some sort of reward for your hard work.

It is possible to make money writing fiction. This isn’t something that happens overnight, but there are steps you can take to succeed.

Make money writing fiction by building a brand

Let’s start by the fact that you can’t just write one book and see it take off. This is something that you need to work hard at. You’ll need to build a brand around your fiction writing to help boost your sales.

If you go through a traditional publisher, you’ll find that it’s a little easier to get your first book to sell. Publishers will work with marketing teams to help with the sales. When you self-publish, which is possibly what you’re currently looking at doing, it’s much harder to gain success with just one book.

You’ll need to add more books to your library for people to buy. You could work with a book series, but you could also do this with individual books. Try to stick to one genre to write in. Those who read your first book are more likely to be interested in the genre and they’ll look at other books in the same genre that you’ve written.

As you build a brand, you’ll find people share your name more. This helps to gain more readers, so you end up making more money.

Don’t worry too much about the niche

While you want to pick a genre to write in, don’t spend time looking at the genres (niche) that sell the best. It is possible to make money writing fiction in any genre.

Erotica once sold the best, but that’s not really the case any more. This is an over-saturated market now, and these types of books aren’t easy to market due to search engines and social media cracking down on a few topics. Even then, you still need to put effort into the marketing. You can’t just publish a book and wait for people to buy.

You should enjoy what you’re writing. If you only write for the money, you’ll lose your muse and the willing to write. It will be harder to get another book out, and then you run into the problem of writing enough to make money.

Want to switch genre? It’s worth creating another penname. This is something Nora Roberts and J.K. Rowling have done. Even Stephen King has written under a penname before.

Be willing to market and network

Remember that it’s all about creating a brand. If you want to make money writing fiction, you need to market and network. Work with other small authors, find readers to review your books, and work with companies that are willing to push out your book in their circles.

You can’t take a step back from marketing until you’ve become a household name. This is where it takes a lot of time and effort. If you’re not willing to put that effort in, you’re not going to make money with this form of writing.

Have a website for your books

I do highly recommend setting up a website for your fiction books. You’ll want a space where people can learn more about who you are and the other books you have. It’s also a good idea to have a bit about upcoming projects.

Blogs are also good to have. You could set up something where you share more about the characters in your books, or discuss the themes that you cover. This is also a great place to share how you pronounce names or places if you have something confusing, and where you answer the most common questions.

This is part of marketing. It’s going to take time to keep all this updated, but it’s worth it when you make money.

MORE: Can you make money writing fanfiction?

What type of writing are you interested in? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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