Scott D. Parker
I am a day job writer. You know what I mean: fiction writing is not how I pay my bills. The day job as a technical writer does that. Fiction writing is the thing I do on the side. But recent events have me very aware that the revenue I derive from fiction writing could, one day, become a lifeline.
In the past couple of weeks, my day job suddenly became shaky. Yes, I’m still employed, but the project on which I worked was cancelled for the remainder of the year. I have a fallback project that I’ll begin on Monday, but the news of the cancellation was a shock to the system. It broke apart the great team with whom I’ve worked since last October. It also put my personal finances into peril.
It was then, surprisingly, that I realized my fiction writing must act as a bulwark against the ever-changing nature of the day job. In many, many places—podcasts, blog articles, and interviews—independent authors talk about the necessity of multiple streams of income. Typically, this talk circles around the choice between going exclusive to Amazon or making our books available widely in as many different bookstores as possible. Amazon exclusivity has its place, especially for short-term discoverability. But long term? Going wide is the optimal way to ensure any disruptions can be weathered.
Imagine you are exclusive to Amazon and they decide to change a feature without notice. What might you do if you find yourself the victim of Amazon’s crackdown like these folks? You have little to no recourse. Unless you have other sources of income. The concept is so strikingly obvious in the fiction world. Why had I never truly considered it for my day job?
But as I plan my publishing and writing schedule for the rest of 2018 and into 2019, I have an achievable goal: amp up the success of the fiction writing so it can act as a second source of income in the event my day job falters. It only makes economic sense.
How many sources of income do you have?
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