How do you make money as an author in 2022? | Author Income Streams | How to be a full-time author

As we go into 2022 I am closing in on three years as a full-time author and seven years since I started publishing books. 

WOW! What a ride it has been. 

As a full-time author, this is my job. And believe it or not, books are not the only source of my income. I mean think about it, my eBooks are $4.99 or $5.99. I would have to sell A LOT of books every day to get that to be my only source of income. Some authors can do this if they have a viral book or they do a rapid release strategy where they are ALWAYS producing. This strategy doesn’t work for every genre and certainly not every author. 

So, books can’t be my only income and chances are that if you want to be a full-time author you’re going to need other streams of income in order to go full-time. I’ve talked before about financial independence and getting my finances in order and I may do a video later about the decision to go full-time. (If you want that video let me know in the comments below). But today we are just going to focus on the different income streams you can create as an author. 

With these different income streams you want to think about a few things:

What actually appeals to you? If you have no interest in being on camera or learning how to create and edit videos, maybe don’t do YouTube.

How much time are you willing to divert from writing and editing your next book to building up these income streams? They won’t be cash flow positive in a meaningful way right away. It takes time and effort to build these income streams. 

Passive v. Active income? I did a whole video on this, but do you want to be a 70+ hours a week hustlin entrepreneur who is raking it in, or a 20 hour a week passive income person with less money (or maybe the same) but still making a decent living? 

Books, duh. We’re here to talk about all the other ways you can make money as an author today.

Patronage – this CAN be the least work intensive option or it can be a very high touch element to your business. The amount of money you generate from this line of business is correlated to the amount of work you put in. But with Patreon, Buy Me A Coffee, Kofi, and other similar services people can support your creative work. That’s it. Money! Some people will offer exclusive content to those who support them in this method as a thank you and a reason to contribute. 

Author Services – helping other authors learn what to do, formatting, design, editing, etc.

YouTube – it took me over 3 years to get monetized on YouTube so this isn’t a set it and forget it type thing, but you can make money from YouTube ads. You can also leverage your channel as content marketing from your books. There is probably an entire series of videos I can, will, and have made on this topic.

Podcasts – same thing with podcasts. I don’t have one, but it can be just as rewarding and challenging to create and produce a regular podcast. But ad money could be an option once your audience is large enough. Many people I know who run podcasts monetize it through selling and promoting their own books on it and affiliates and sponsorships. 

Affiliates and sponsorships – this is where you have an audience and are recommending products or services to them. And you get a commission from the sale of those items (affiliate) or you are compensated in advance for the nice things you’ll say about that brand. I recommend only signing on to do these if you genuinely like and support that product, company, or service and would already be recommending them. It can feel ethically icky to pimp a product you’ve never used or wouldn’t use. 

Courses (not just for non-fiction authors)– These courses can complement your non-fiction books as another way to leverage that IP. OR if you write fiction and you’re really good at something like worldbuilding, dialog, romance tropes, etc. you could make a course to help other authors. 

Merchandise – this is not a money-maker for me, but some authors do well with this. Up until now the items I’ve mentioned could be the only other line of business you need as an author. With this one, unless your books generate enough income to live off of, then you probably won’t make enough off of merch to live on either. 

Public Speaking – this goes along with the merchandise, if you are a big enough name in any field to command a decent speaker fee at a conference your book sales are probably halfway decent, but this can be a way to continue to spread your message and platform if that is your aim. 

Memberships – this is similar to a course and a patronage, but you can cultivate a membership of people who can learn from what you have to offer but everyone can connect with each other as well. There are lots of different things you can focus on or offer and you have to decide what you can commit to providing to your members. 

SPEAKING OF WHICH – I now have a channel membership for this channel. I want to be able to connect better with you all and I have been thinking of doing a membership for a while, but I wasn’t sure how much I could do or if anyone would want it so I figured I would start with the YouTube channel membership since this is my most engaged audience and see if it can grow beyond that. 

As we go into 2022 I am closing in on three years as a full-time author and seven years since I started publishing books.

WOW! What a ride it has been.

As a full-time author, this is my job. And believe it or not, books are not the only source of my income. I mean think about it, my eBooks are $4.99 or $5.99. I would have to sell A LOT of books every day to get that to be my only source of income. Some authors can do this if they have a viral book or they do a rapid release strategy where they are ALWAYS producing. This strategy doesn’t work for every genre and certainly not every author.

So, books can’t be my only income and chances are that if you want to be a full-time author you’re going to need other streams of income in order to go full-time. I’ve talked before about financial independence and getting my finances in order and I may do a video later about the decision to go full-time. (If you want that video let me know in the comments below). But today we are just going to focus on the different income streams you can create as an author.

With these different income streams you want to think about a few things:

What actually appeals to you? If you have no interest in being on camera or learning how to create and edit videos, maybe don’t do YouTube.

How much time are you willing to divert from writing and editing your next book to building up these income streams? They won’t be cash flow positive in a meaningful way right away. It takes time and effort to build these income streams.

Passive v. Active income? I did a whole video on this, but do you want to be a 70+ hours a week hustlin entrepreneur who is raking it in, or a 20 hour a week passive income person with less money (or maybe the same) but still making a decent living?

Books, duh. We’re here to talk about all the other ways you can make money as an author today.

Patronage – this CAN be the least work intensive option or it can be a very high touch element to your business. The amount of money you generate from this line of business is correlated to the amount of work you put in. But with Patreon, Buy Me A Coffee, Kofi, and other similar services people can support your creative work. That’s it. Money! Some people will offer exclusive content to those who support them in this method as a thank you and a reason to contribute.

Author Services – helping other authors learn what to do, formatting, design, editing, etc.

YouTube – it took me over 3 years to get monetized on YouTube so this isn’t a set it and forget it type thing, but you can make money from YouTube ads. You can also leverage your channel as content marketing from your books. There is probably an entire series of videos I can, will, and have made on this topic.

Podcasts – same thing with podcasts. I don’t have one, but it can be just as rewarding and challenging to create and produce a regular podcast. But ad money could be an option once your audience is large enough. Many people I know who run podcasts monetize it through selling and promoting their own books on it and affiliates and sponsorships.

Affiliates and sponsorships – this is where you have an audience and are recommending products or services to them. And you get a commission from the sale of those items (affiliate) or you are compensated in advance for the nice things you’ll say about that brand. I recommend only signing on to do these if you genuinely like and support that product, company, or service and would already be recommending them. It can feel ethically icky to pimp a product you’ve never used or wouldn’t use.

Courses (not just for non-fiction authors)– These courses can complement your non-fiction books as another way to leverage that IP. OR if you write fiction and you’re really good at something like worldbuilding, dialog, romance tropes, etc. you could make a course to help other authors.

Merchandise – this is not a money-maker for me, but some authors do well with this. Up until now the items I’ve mentioned could be the only other line of business you need as an author. With this one, unless your books generate enough income to live off of, then you probably won’t make enough off of merch to live on either.

Public Speaking – this goes along with the merchandise, if you are a big enough name in any field to command a decent speaker fee at a conference your book sales are probably halfway decent, but this can be a way to continue to spread your message and platform if that is your aim.

Memberships – this is similar to a course and a patronage, but you can cultivate a membership of people who can learn from what you have to offer but everyone can connect with each other as well. There are lots of different things you can focus on or offer and you have to decide what you can commit to providing to your members.

SPEAKING OF WHICH – I now have a channel membership for this channel. I want to be able to connect better with you all and I have been thinking of doing a membership for a while, but I wasn’t sure how much I could do or if anyone would want it so I figured I would start with the YouTube channel membership since this is my most engaged audience and see if it can grow beyond that.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjvBO4kjuBSYe6Bi3RYQAQA/join

Okay so as you can see from this video there are a LOT of ways you can make money as an author. I’ve discussed some of these on the channel before so lots of links will be below. Did I miss any? Is there something you are doing to make money as an author that I didn’t cover? Are there any of these that you are trying or thinking about? Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments section below. 

Watch Next:

Financial Independence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks3tCK9uh2c

Passive Income as an Author: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8cC2odBTpA

Buy Me A Coffee Dashboard Tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDiU3SFeqNc

What You Need To Know Before Offering Author Services: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoIdt2wiLpc

Get monetized with an #authortube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usxpQHvze0Y

Can a book help you get more speaking gigs? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwqzJwTgoNM

Join this channel to get access to perks:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjvBO4kjuBSYe6Bi3RYQAQA/join

Music from: https://www.bensound.com/​ E.R.F.

How You Can Support This Channel and My Work:
👍Like, Subscribe, and Comment on this video!
✉️Subscribe to my monthly newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/52c7cd246b5b/authoryourambition
➕Follow me on my other channels: FB | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads
https://www.facebook.com/1mkwilliams/

https://www.instagram.com/1mkwilliams/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14420756.M_K_Williams
☕️Buy Me A Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/1mkwilliams
📚Check out my books and purchase them or request them at your library: https://1mkwilliams.com or https://payhip.com/MKWilliamsPublishingLLC

Author Your Ambition Merch on Etsy:
📖https://www.etsy.com/shop/AuthorYourAmbition

Need help with your book?
📞You can actually do 1-on-1 coaching with me, learn more about the services available here: https://calendly.com/1mkwilliamsauthor/author-coach-consultation

Need help with your author business?
📈 You can book time with me to go over your author business and overcome your current roadblocks: https://calendly.com/1mkwilliamsauthor/author-biz

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you, but it can help me continue to create and put out more content. Thank you for supporting my channel so I can continue to provide you with free content each week!

Okay so as you can see from this video there are a LOT of ways you can make money as an author. I’ve discussed some of these on the channel before so lots of links will be below. Did I miss any? Is there something you are doing to make money as an author that I didn’t cover? Are there any of these that you are trying or thinking about? Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments section below. 

Watch Next:

Financial Independence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks3tCK9uh2c 

Passive Income as an Author: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8cC2odBTpA 

Buy Me A Coffee Dashboard Tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDiU3SFeqNc

What You Need To Know Before Offering Author Services: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoIdt2wiLpc 

Get monetized with an #authortube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usxpQHvze0Y 

Can a book help you get more speaking gigs? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwqzJwTgoNM 

Join this channel to get access to perks:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjvBO4kjuBSYe6Bi3RYQAQA/join

Music from: https://www.bensound.com/​ E.R.F.

How You Can Support This Channel and My Work:
👍Like, Subscribe, and Comment on this video!
✉️Subscribe to my monthly newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/52c7cd246b5b/authoryourambition
➕Follow me on my other channels: FB | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads
https://www.facebook.com/1mkwilliams/

https://www.instagram.com/1mkwilliams/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14420756.M_K_Williams
☕️Buy Me A Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/1mkwilliams
📚Check out my books and purchase them or request them at your library: https://1mkwilliams.com or https://payhip.com/MKWilliamsPublishingLLC

Author Your Ambition Merch on Etsy:
📖https://www.etsy.com/shop/AuthorYourAmbition

Need help with your book?
📞You can actually do 1-on-1 coaching with me, learn more about the services available here: https://calendly.com/1mkwilliamsauthor/author-coach-consultation

Need help with your author business?
📈 You can book time with me to go over your author business and overcome your current roadblocks: https://calendly.com/1mkwilliamsauthor/author-biz

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you, but it can help me continue to create and put out more content. Thank you for supporting my channel so I can continue to provide you with free content each week!

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