Ever-Increasing Returns

Publishing a book is an adventure. Part of that adventure is engaging with the people you meet along the journey. Some of those people will serve in a capacity of enlightenment and support. They provide assistance for you at different turns. It could be marketing assistance, subject matter expertise, best practices, or networking to find the sensei you seek. Lest we forget, the best adventures usually require planning behind the scenes. The book writing adventure entails hours of constant editing and agonizing over the right words.  There is nothing glamorous about this part of the journey – it’s the grunt work that makes everything else possible.

Adventures are often taken solely for adventure’s sake.  Sometimes you return with treasure, but not always. Upon attending my first literary workshop, I found it a bit daunting to learn that only 5% of writers actually make a living from their writing. Anyone who has ever penned a book knows how challenging it can be. If there is no monetary value in the experiment of publishing a book, why should the author continue up the mountain? The author goes on because it’s a labor of love. There are other ways to get compensated from writing a book. The total compensation package is comprised of much more than money. Opportunities to help others appear continuously and if you find such experiences rewarding, your pockets will be continuously lined with gold.

One of my favorite movies is Rex Pickett’s Sideways. Through Twitter marketing I stumbled upon Rex’s profile and discovered Sideways has been adapted for the stage. I saw Sideways the Play in Santa Monica and was able to meet Rex, who has been an inspiration ever since. Tweeting has been valuable in other ways, too. By building relationships with authors, readers and bloggers, writers gain a greater scope of influence and increased credibility. Nothing is more valuable than that.

There are countless ways to spread the wealth of knowledge acquired on the writing journey. By researching the process of formatting a novel into an audiobook, I became acquainted with www.acx.com. This fluid website is a hub for authors to connect with actors that do voice-over work. Authors can connect with actors in a number of ways. One is to upload some material so that any interested actor can audition for the ‘role’ of narrating the content. One actress auditioned to be my book narrator within twenty-four hours of uploading sample pages. Hearing her try out for the voice of my protagonist was an incredible experience. Authors can also take the more active approach of searching for a specific kind of voice. If there is a need for a young woman with a French accent, you can search your ideal parameters to find actors and make them offers. You have options of payment, one being a 50/50 royalty share. Going through this exercise made me think of a friend who is always looking for voice-over work. I was able to inform him of ACX, and he is probably getting his account set up with them as we speak. Some of the actors are listed to make $200.00-$400.00 per completed hour of work. For those with golden pipes, it appears to be a very good opportunity. My friend’s enthusiasm and delight over engaging with ACX was better than selling fifty books. My ability to help him was a direct result of being on the journey.

Many opportunities in the form of people will appear on the path during your publishing adventure. The lifetime value of these helpers, guardians, luminaries, and assistants will not always be evident at first. Some may help you indirectly with constructive feedback you don’t want to hear but know you need. In turn, you will be able to help others as well. You will encourage them to believe that they can do what you have done. Some will even thank you for your contribution to the written word. For those who are able to take a creative mindset in terms of total compensation, there will always be a deep blue ocean of  ever- increasing rewards.

In what non-monetary ways have you found the writing journey rewarding?

8 Replies to “Ever-Increasing Returns”

  1. Good post, Kimberly. I’ve been looking at ACX for a novel I reissued into Kindle and paperback. Early in September, Amazon made this available to authors that have self published in their KDP program. A few questions. Does the author and the actor sign a contract between the two of them? What if the author decides to remove their book from KDP?
    This was in the KDP Newsletter I received last week.
    Exciting New Kindle and Audible Features Whispersync for Voice and Immersion Reading
    You can use ACX to produce a digital audiobook version of your book, and to make your book eligible for the new Whispersync for Voice functionality which allows customers to switch seamlessly between reading a Kindle book and listening to the corresponding, professionally narrated audiobook across devices without losing their place. Audiobooks will also be eligible for the new Immersion Reading feature, which allows customers with the new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD devices to listen to a professionally narrated audiobook from Audible as the text of the corresponding Kindle book is highlighted on the screen. When customers buy your Kindle book, they will be able to purchase your Whispersync for Voice-ready Audible audiobook at a special limited time discounted price.

    You can earn royalties of up to 90% on your audiobook when it’s created and distributed using ACX. ACX was developed by Audible, an Amazon company, to help authors and publishers get their books into audio and gain access to the growing audience of audiobook listeners. ACX provides access to thousands of talented audiobook producers, actors and studios, available for hire for a fee or for a no-cost, royalty-sharing partnership. ACX also provides great distribution options across all of the leading audiobook retail channels. It’s free to try ACX. Click here for more information about ACX and these new features.

  2. Kimberly, you are right on target when you talk about the non-monetary rewards of writing. For me, they have ranged from meeting fascinating people I would otherwise never have met, to fulfilling a life-long dream of becoming a published author, to hearing a sincere ‘thank-you’ from a roomful of assisted-living community residents after giving a book talk, to having readers say they can’t wait for the next book in my series! I love the photo on Wikipedia – today was one of those author days I felt like I was hauling a boat over a frozen wasteland – overwhelmed, lost, and brain-dead. (Let’s be honest here – if the adventure picture depicted someone lolling in a hammock drinking a pina colada on a tropical beach, I doubt it would resonate with as many writers! We wish it were so easy!) Thanks for reminding me why the adventure is so worth it.

  3. Kimberly, I always learn something new when I read your articles. Keep up the enlightening work!

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