Every fiction writer earns differently than every other fiction writer, just like any other occupation. Some fiction authors are self-employed artists, while others make a good living as full-time writers. The average fiction writer earns $61,820 per year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of generating a respectable living from fiction writing now that we’ve established that it’s doable. I’ve witnessed personally why most fiction writers fail ever to earn significant revenue from their writing, thanks to my years of experience as an author, publisher, and book marketing consultant. The market for fiction books is vast, and there is a lot of demand for them.
Not only is there a lot of demand for emerging authors’ fiction, but you can genuinely compete with the large publishers. Because most fiction novels are now acquired online, and in eBook format, the playing field for self-publishers and indie authors has been leveled.
Steps on How to Make Money Writing Fiction
If you enjoy writing, the most challenging question is how to make money from short stories. Here are some tried-and-true methods for transitioning from a hobbyist to a paid writer.
As a hobby writer, you probably only write when you’re in the mood. You’ll need to be more dedicated if you want to make money writing fiction online. Most importantly, it would help if you cultivated a business mindset. It is now a job, and you must show up regardless of how you feel.
The chances of your first short tale succeeding are nearly non-existent. I’m not saying this to make you feel bad. I’m only saying that you should experiment with different storylines to determine what your target audience enjoys. Writing every day allows you to write more stories and improve your fiction writing skills
2. Become an Avid Reader
“All best sellers are ardent readers,” I’ve said before, but I’ll repeat it. Reading helps you develop your creativity and teaches you how to plot stories like a pro. Furthermore, reading more assists you in expanding your vocabulary to write fiction.
3. Avoid Editing as You Write
There are many reasons why you should put off editing until you’re finished with your work. One, it will divert you and possibly cause you to lose track of your plot. Second, because you’re the one who authored the story, you’re more inclined to overlook errors.
Consider hiring an editor if you’re serious about making money writing fiction online. Use a premium Grammarly if you’re just beginning to start and don’t have the finances. If you decide to edit your fiction writing, do it at least three days after you finish it. Also, before submitting your book, have a few friends read it to see if there’s anything you missed.
4. Don’t Be Scared to Explore
If you want to make money writing short tales, you’ll probably look through the best-selling pieces and try to write something similar.
It holds for nonfiction writing, but not so much for fiction. Go through your collection, think of a fiction topic you’ve always wanted to write about, and give it a shot. Or there’s that fiction topic you’ve always wanted to read about but can’t seem to find a book about it. Allow yourself to lead your story in that direction.
5. Create Fiction Story Series
Readers enjoy following book series in the same way that they want binge-watching Netflix shows. Because you keep your readers, this is the ideal way to make money writing fiction online.
Breaking a 100,000-page book into 2-50,000-page novels, on the other hand, does not count as a series because readers are more likely to invest in large books.
Above all, your series must flow and leave readers wanting to know more, prompting them to purchase the following installment.
6. Create a Portfolio
An online portfolio is recommended in every article about making money by writing short stories, and for a good reason.
Your new readers will be able to browse your articles by having a portfolio. It also enhances the likelihood that other writers will discover your work, which could lead to beneficial networking.
When you’re pitching your ideas for a writing career online, your portfolio comes in handy as well.
7. Increase Social Media Presence
You must use social media effectively to make money creating fiction online. Create a community on the platform where your readers congregate. Interact with them, ask them questions, and solicit their advice.
That’s how you build a loyal customer.
8. Market Yourself
As a self-published author, there’s a reasonable probability that no one has heard of your work. And that’s perfectly fine. Fortunately, there are a plethora of low-cost options for self-promotion. Make a concerted effort to understand marketing methods, or hire a marketing professional to do it for you.
Remember that no one will buy your narrative unless they know it exists, no matter how good it is.
5 Websites that Pay You to Write Short Stories
We’ve talked about how to turn your passion for fiction writing into a business. But now it’s time to talk about the part that drew you here in the first place. And there you have it: a list of websites that will pay you for writing short tales.
So, let’s get this party started.
Agni is drawn to personal stories told in an engaging manner that entices readers to finish them. It is because they feel that the best stories are those that have never been told before. And they can only be based on one’s personal experiences.
They have a strict deadline policy for submissions. Only stories received between September 1st and May 31st are considered. As a result, if you want to be published in the magazine, make sure you stick to the deadline.
They pay $10 per printed page and $20 per page for poetry. They provide you two copies of your work, four copies for your family, and a complimentary subscription to their website if you’re published.
It is a place for science fiction writers to showcase their work. Each participant is limited to six poem entries and four articles. However, because Analog accepts reality stories, there are a plethora of ways to make money.
The site pays:
- $1 per poem line
- 8-10 cents per word for fiction stories of up to 20k words
- 6 cents per word for fiction stories between 40k and 80k words
- 9 cents per word for fact stories
- $125 per black and white cover art
- $1200 for colored covered art.
Only pieces under 7000 words are published on the platform. Personal stories, poetic, cultural, and political stories are all accepted. They offer a generous reward, paying up to $2000 for every story and $250 per poem.
One Story is a non-profit organization that welcomes entries from writers from all walks of life. They examine applications received between September 3rd and November 14th and between January 5th and May 31st.
You can get your teen’s story published in the teen area if they are interested in having their story published online. One story accepts stories between 3000 words and 8000 words and pays $500 per submission.
This award-winning website specializes in science fiction and fantasy stories. The magazine is looking for English articles that be read on a computer screen. It’s advisable to avoid extended paragraphs and sentences when composing stories for Clarkesworld. Also, make sure your work is compatible with audio.
Short stories should be 10,000–22,000 words long, whereas nonfiction stories should be 2500 words long. The website pays 10 cents per word.
How to Write Better Fiction (Tips)
To make money writing fiction online, you’ll need to be a very decent writer. There are numerous possibilities and places where short stories can be published, but the competition is fierce.
Here are a few tips on how to write better fiction and be above the competition.
1 Start with the story you enjoy the most and stick with it.
As a creative, you’re likely to have several ideas running through your mind at any given time. And the new stories usually appear more intriguing than the ones you’re reading right now.
It would just result in several unfinished projects that will not generate revenue for you. Before moving on to the next project, concentrate on the story you enjoy the most and finish it.
2 Stay away from filler and fluff
Your audience doesn’t need to know about the story’s supporting characters. They only need to see the iceberg’s tip. Remove any unneeded information from your story; else, you risk overwhelming your audience.
3 Write Simple Sentences
I understand you want to brag about your vocabulary. Everything, however, has its time and place. If your audience has to read with a dictionary alongside them to grasp what you’re saying, they won’t enjoy your story. Be concise and use short sentences. If you’re writing for a specific audience who understands certain lingo, by all means, utilize their language.
4 Set Milestones
A short fiction book should be around 80,000 words long, which can be intimidating. Set short deadlines, and you’ll be on your fifth narrative before you know it.
For example, if you write 2000 words every day, a short narrative will take you only 40 days to complete. You won’t get burned out if you write in small chunks.
5 Read More on Character Development
Learn tips on how to develop your characters. They should have a background that motivates their actions and goals. Practice how to reveal their actions and create suspense for your readers.
To summarize, there are a plethora of ways to make money by creating fiction. All you need is the appropriate information on where to start and what steps to take.
Don’t wait for too long to get started.
Write that piece you have in mind. It doesn’t have to be perfect and pitch it to one of the websites discussed in this blog post.