Sunday, March 16, 2014

Alternative Sources of Income

I've done editing the book and am now working on formatting. I made four editing runs to try and catch errors and improve some passages. I hope I did a good enough job.

Formatting is easier but still time consuming. Smashwords needs to have the book in a strict format so they can convert it into the different file types suitable for ebook readers. They provided the Smashwords Style Guide that gives easy-to-follow instructions to do this. In fact, I've been thinking of offering my own services to other authors to do their formatting for them.

I haven't been working on the book 100% of the time, unfortunately. I still have to work and other things also need to be done. Can I make a living out of being an author? According to numerous articles I've read around the web, probably not. Out of tens of thousands of authors (maybe more), only a few actually earn enough from their books to do nothing else except write.

I'm sure, however, that there are people out there who would say, "don't give up," and cite several famous authors who went through countless rejections before they became successful. To them I will say:

I'm not giving up. I'm just making sure my family and I can survive while I'm working on it.

I've already filed notice of retirement from my employer and I said I would be leaving the company in June next year. I cannot hope to support my family if we just live off my retirement pay so we need to have an alternative source of income.

My wife's a good cook so one of the options is a restaurant or catering service. I couldn't contribute to that since my cooking skill is limited to boiling water for the thermos. Besides, every piece of business advice I read says to have more than one income stream. So what, other than writing, can I do.

I have been in instrumentation and control since 1986, that's 28 years of experience. I can put that to good use by consulting and/or training. With regards to training, however, I don't intend to limit myself to my profession. I've been a Toastmaster for 11 years. I can train people on public speaking and offer my services as a speech coach. So, if I add formatting services for Smashwords authors, I'd have my alternative sources of income.

Can I do it?

'Course I can. (",)