Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What To Expect in 2013 (Happy New Year)

With the economy still not doing well and with traditional jobs becoming harder to find, just about everyone is feeling the economic pinch. What better time to start jumping on the bandwagon of thousands and thousands of authors worldwide making more money with their writing than "conventional wisdom" ever though possible?

Let us all make a pledge together that 2013 will be the year to really get going with our writing and that this will be the year that we will start to implement the tools of how to make money writing int he 21st century if we haven't already--and if we have already we will do so even MORE so to see results faster and easier.

What you can expect from the Make Money Writing Blog in 2013. (In a simple Q+A Format)

Q: Will you still be posting tips and tricks on the blog?

A: Yes! Although not as frequently as before. Why not? Because I am putting more effort now into a new special exclusive newsletter so I can better serve the readers and authors who are interested in learning how to make money writing in the 21st century.

Q: What is different about the newsletter than the blog?

A: The major difference is that it will be a combination of questions answered and special up-to-date news regarding ways that authors can make more money with their writing done on a more personal level than the blog. The other major difference is it will be emailed right to you and will also include secrets not on the blog.

Q: How Do I Get The Newsletter?

A: Just go to the homepage of
www.makemoneywriting21.com and sign up for it. It's free. It's easy and it's helpful.

Q: What will be happening with the Make Money Writing Site?

A: I will be using it to post all sorts of information for authors including articles, essays, audio-files in a way that a blog by itself couldn't properly do. The main goal here is to help as many authors make more money with their writing as possible and the website will be aiming to do just that.

Q: Are there ever going to be any classes or seminars for the material you are doing?

A: Good question--yes! I am actually in works with Dowling College right now to have a seminar for this material in the spring of 2013. More information will come on that soon!

Q: Will you ever be offering products for people who want to learn about this material more in depth?

A: Yes, believe it or not I have gotten quite a few queries about this. I will be offering a series of audio-books on specific topics in-depth--and will also be putting together a book. More information on that later.


Hope This Was Helpful. Happy New Year To All
And May 2013 Be A Year For Writers!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Website Announcement And Holiday Gift

Greetings and Happy Holidays.

I just wanted to take a little bit to make a few announcements that I'm very excited about. The make money writing in the 21st century blog started a few months ago as a place for me to share tips and tricks of the trade that I learned over the course of my own time as a writer/editor/publisher with those seeking to make more money with their writing because I became tired of seeing so many authors who were discouraged and roadblocked and wanted to see more writers use their talents to make money doing what they loved.

Since this blogs start a few months ago THOUSANDS of readers have visited here and many have sent me emails with additional questions and comments and mostly thank yous from authors who had started to implement the tips and advice they read here in the blog. It became apparent to me just how much of a need there was for this kind of information out there because of the sheer volume of responses and personal messages I received and so I'm proud to announce that I am taking the make money writing brand one step further with the make money writing in the 21st century website.

The blog will still be going of course, but the website will help me post audio answers to questions that authors send in, showcase the best of the blog and offer more content and more information to help as many authors as possible make more money with their writing.

And as a special bonus for the holidays, I put together a 30 minute audio course entitled "The Writer's ReEducation." The course basically works to get rid of the old author mindset that making money with their writing is impossible and goes into exactly how the publishing world has changes in the last 15 years, why right now is actually a GOLDEN age for authors to be writing and making money with their work and how NOW is the time to get started.

Everyone can go to the homepage of the website where they can download the course for free through the holidays as a special gift from me to you.

Of course this gift is also a slight bribe because although I normally update the blog every week, I'm actually going to be taking a slight hiatus for the holiday season so I can spend time with my family and loved ones. So your gift is the free audio course, and my gift is a little time off!

But don't worry, the blog will resume in the new year and still be updated each week with free content. In fact there will be more free content because with the new website comes the additional feature of a new mini-podcast will be happening once a week as well., the purpose of which is to answer some of the emails I get with questions. So keep checking back for exciting things from the make money writing in the 21st century website.

Take care, enjoy your holidays and keep writing when you can!

~James P. Wagner

Friday, November 30, 2012

Readers Want To Know The Author

We've talked in the blog before about how the major difference between those who sell two copies of a book and those who sell two million copies of a book is that the person who sells two million copies has a perceived relationship with more people. Even if that person has never met his or her two million fans, the fans feel like they are familiar with the person and nothing sells more than familiarity.

To read that blog post, go here:


In the 21st century, there are more ways than ever before to let your potential readers get to know a little bit about you. Social networking and website design tools make it very possible to put your own creative spin on a website, blog, or profile. And it also brings an interesting twists to the things people consider when deciding to make purchases.

For a long time people expected a certain level of pure professionalism--no goofing around, no sense of creative self, just a product and a proposal and a price. And then the customer or potential buyer made their decision. It was simple, it was direct, it was business as usual...and it was boring. It became so boring that in recent years the average customer/buyer/reader has been trained to ignore all sorts of advertisements that companies pay thousands and millions of dollars for. While maintaining professional standards is more important than ever--the customers, the readers, the people want more. They want to know the who behind the people who are doing things. They want to know what drives a person, what motivates them and how they can relate to them. This is why DVDs are often loaded with behind the scenes specials and extras. This is why since Game Of Thrones became big on HBO interviews of George R.R. Martin have been surfacing everywhere. And this is a great opportunity for authors writing in the 21st century.

Author Commentary: Sometimes what an author has to say about his or her own work can be just as interesting to a potential reader as the work itself. Sharing a little bit about what motivated the author to write the material and what the author was trying to do can be the insight readers need to want to find out more about the work.

Personal Q and A's: I would stress this as being different from interviews because the questions would come from the readers rather than a commentator, magazine or host. Readers love these because they feel very connected to the author--after all, the author is taking time out of their day to answer questions from the readers and if you happen to answer a question from a particular reader odds are that reader will be a fan for life.

Interviews: A more rigid questions and answers where the person doing the questioning is a host, another author, a publisher or even the author themselves who put forth questions that they chose to answer.

And in the 21st century, there are more means than ever at our disposal to show that personal touch and get our readers to know us:

YouTube: Youtube and other video websites allow us to post our own videos without permission from anyone. Why not take advantage of this to the fullest extent possible? Video interviews go over quite well.


Audio Files: Some authors aren't comfortable on video. That's fine, because podcasts, radio segments and audio interviews with the author's voice answering questions and talking to the reader can be almost if not quite as powerful. They take less time than videos and can still show readers how much you care about them.

Pictures: This works particularly well if you have live events for your work. Potential readers online love to see pictures of author readings/book signings, and even the author hard at work. Text on a wall is boring, pictures say thousands of works.

Of course the benefit to all these methods is that they help the author greatly in handling the job of connecting to their audience while leaving the author with time to do their writing. After all, if an author has to spend 24/7 connecting with people it becomes exhausting and they will never have time to actually be an author and give the fans the material they love. The great thing about utilizing all these means in the 21st century is that you do the work once, and they do the work for you indefinitely.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

How Giving Things Away For FREE Can Make You MONEY

It might seem counter-productive to give things away for free if you are looking to make any kind of money--but business can be a lot like a game of chess, you have to look a few moves ahead. As writers, our skills and productivity vary greatly, but for the sake of this scenario let us assume that a person has the GREATEST possible CONTENT imaginable. That would be wonderful, right? Yes...but how do people get ahold of it? We have to remember that so often writing is an art form that isn't judged until after the reader possesses it. So the question becomes how do you get the reader to possess it?

Sure one can advertise it both through free and paid methods (although most authors starting out want to avoid paying a lot of money for advertising, especially since most don't have a good deal of cash to burn.) If you have been reading this blog up until now you probably already see the value of putting up blog posts, content on a website, audio files on places like podcast alley or itunes, or videos up on YouTube as a way to draw people in by giving them some content for free. There is nothing like giving a little bit of free content to getting people enticed enough to want to see more of what you have. However, sometimes going one step further can be a great benefit.

Companies often run contests or giveaway sweepstakes to acquire new customers. Authors in the 21st century using tools like social networking, YouTube and other popular websites have had similar success with this type of strategy. This goes beyond posting free poems or short stories or essays because the idea of these giveaways is to give away a product for free that the winners otherwise would have had to PAY for. Something like a book, a CD, or other such media that would normally cost a few dollars or more.

Take Betty as an example, a fiction writer I have seen who promotes her work predominantly by herself through the use of her website. She writes romance stories which obviously have a big appeal. She is a short story writer for the most part who puts new stories on her website/blog every week and two or three times a year comes out with a new short story collection containing some of the stories that the readers have seen as well as some material exclusive to the books. The catch is that many of the characters that the audience has become familiar with through the free media are featured in these books and so a good number of her readers buy the books either in print form or digital form to read more about the characters they love.

Every time Betty is about to come out with a new book she takes the opportunity to advertise a giveaway of a few signed print copies that she mails to the winners. She posts the news of the giveaway on her blog, to her email list and in social networking groups, on Goodreads and other places with traffic including YouTube. The prospective entries give their email in exchange for a shot at the prize. At the end of the contest she does a random drawing using a free online randomizer and picks the winners. An email is sent to everyone who entered whether they won or lost listing the winners and thanking them for entering.

There are two major benefits to this email she sends out after the contest,

One: people who lost are given a link to where they can buy the book if they are interested. Two: She gives the entrants a chance to join her regular email list. Most of them want to.

A typical contest of this type yields Betty 100-200 new emails for her list each time she does it. It generates hype for her new book by making it seem desirable, it grows her list and it gets other people talking about it. Sure she takes a small bite of a few dollars for each book she is giving away--but the back end of these types of free giveaways yields gains of several times the loss on a bad day. For the 5 copies she normally gives away she generates an additional 40-50 sales she wouldn't have gotten before. Now you might wonder if an additional 40 or 50 sales is worth the effort of the giveaway (which isn't really that much effort at all) but look at the long term math.

Say Betty comes out with 3 books a year--she does a giveaway each time and generates roughly 150 new emails and 40 new sales each giveaway. In a year that is 450 new emails and 120 sales. However, lets say that of those 120, half of them really like what they bought and want to stay on as customers. If you figure 20 of the new customers from the first giveaway buy the next two books that year and 20 of the 40 new sales from the second give away buy the third book that's another 60 sales on top of the 120. So 180 new sales generated in just the first year. This isn't including the 450 new email sign-ups that she can advertise her new books to. If only 1 in 4 or so wants to buy any of her books, that would still be another 113 people on top of the 180. That's 293 new sales generated this year by the giveaways--just three of them. Sound worth it yet?

If not, remember that this is all just in the FIRST YEAR. Those customers that got hooked will keep coming back, year after year after year to get her new material. And this is just from ONE PROMOTIONAL EFFORT. This could be why Betty has been in business since 2007 and sold somewhere in the neighborhood of 19,000 copies of her romance fiction series last I heard, possibly more. (This is her full time living now, and she just started the website in her free time while in college.)

When properly positioned, a few dollars loss for giveaway copies is like an investment--it yields much better results later on. In addition, it has another wonderful side-effect.

Betty gives personalized notes to all the winners and when the winners receive her books, they feel a personal connection to this author. It makes them far more likely to keep checking back with her and take interest in her past books and any books she has coming out in the future.

Giveaways; they cost you once, but can benefit you for a lifetime.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mixing Genres and Mediums To Make More Money (Partnerships)

What do you think of when you think of comic books? Do you think of it as good writing, or good artwork? The truth of the matter is that (depending on the comic of course!) it's both. On rare occasions a comic creator is both the artist and the writer but in most cases you have different people doing the writing and the artwork--they are pooling their talents together to make something better than either one could make on their own. Some people have called this the 1 plus 1 equals 3 concept--I call it good teamwork, smart business and an overall good idea.

It's true that the creative process and the business process are very different things, but I never understood why people can't be creative when it comes to business--so long as it proves fruitful and delivers something of value. Some people appreciate writing, others appreciate art. Others appreciate poetry, others music. I've worked with a lot of poets in my line of work and one in particular comes to mind. I'll call him Mike. Sally was a musician who never wrote lyrics. She was very instrumental and could make some very catchy tunes. What happens when you mix poetry with instrumentals? You get songs. And that's what these two did. They put up a website that both of their already established fan bases could go to and the partnership did very well as both sides of the coin gained momentum from a fan base that they otherwise wouldn't have had exposure to.

Of course this isn't the only example that comes to mind. I knew a young lady who wrote science fiction stories who had a brother who was a very good science fiction artist. They toyed with the idea of creating a graphic novel series but found that they couldn't work together properly on a joint creative effort--but they did find a great middle ground--her brother started to illustrate her short stories. A few science fiction pictures inside the text can make a world of difference for the more visually inclined--and how many times do you hear that people would like to know the story behind a piece of art? The combination did very well.

In marketing it is very important to be specific in what you are offering--like we've talked about previously--if your market is everyone, your market is no one. You have to have what you are doing very clearly defined. But it is also a very good strategy to mix fan bases of different kinds by creating a product that several different groups could appreciate.

There is always something to be gained with a good partnership. People are finding out now perhaps more than ever that we can all go much farther forward together than separately. And good team work means that everyone brings something valuable to the table. When trying to add value to the lives of your readers by putting out a good product--exploring different means of giving them content is very important. And mixing genres of delivery has the potential to yield rewards that might be impossible to achieve through a single medium.

In the early 1900's the ice cream man and the waffle man at a fair mixed their products together to create the ice cream cone--think of how working together benefited all of us in that situation.

In the world of the 21st century, the equilibrium is much easier to attain. With the right combination everyone benefits--the audience, and the creators. And when done properly, there is no downside at all.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Writer's Reputation: More Valuable Than Money

Unless you have lived under a rock, you probably have known some people who have said some things that they were intending to do that they didn't do. Some people might have promised things they never delivered, and some might have made committments that they never upheld. I'm sure that if you knew those people over a long period of time, after awhile, you stopped listening to what they said they were going to do and eventually their words or promises became meaningless.

At the same time, there are probably people in your life that who say they are going to do things...and then actually do them. People who keep their promises, people whose words are often or always backed up with actions to go with them. Odds are, these are the people in your life that you depend on, rely on, keep going back to and trust.

The simple word for both of these concepts is reputation. Reputation is probably the single most important thing when it comes to someone making their way through the world--and a writer's reputation is VERY essential to his or her success and it is a point that is far too often overlooked.

There is an old beleif that creative types and business don't coexist very well. There is a reason for that--a large number of creative types have proven to hold erratic schedules, show up late for appointments and back out of things last minute. Couple this in a world of the instant gratification culture and it becomes epidemic. I'm sure all of you have seen writers who were talking about a book they were going to write for 5 years that never got written. Writers who started blogs they only posted on once, websites they never updated, went to only one open-mic reading and never went back, started untold numbers of projects that never got finished...but then wondered why it was so hard to "make" it as a writer.


In the fast paced world it makes a great deal of sense that people do not want to spend a lot of time on what they consider to be a project that is dead in the water. Afterall, most people have very busy schedules with the average work-week being well over 40 hours plus family committments, and more. But an unfortunate side effect of starting things that are given up on quickly is that the writer does the exact opposite of what they should be doing while cultivating a reputation. Instead of making a reputatoin for being consistent and reliable with their writing--they inadvertantly give themselves a reptuation for being flakey, inconsistent and all talk with no walk. This can be DEVESTATING to a potential writer's career.

Rule number 1 that all writers should follow: (truthfully everyone should follow this) never announce or say you are going to do something you don't actually do. Actions should always back up your words. It's that simple--words are our greatest resource--our greatest tool. And those tools become rusty when we don't take care with them.

Rule number 2 that all writers should follow: be patient. Nothing yeilds results immediatly (or almost nothing does) and anything worth having is worth fighting for. If things came easy we wouldn't celebrate the hard earned success.

Rule number 3 that all writers should follow: be consistent. Write a lot about your topic, write a lot of poetry, write a lot of essays or stories. Whatever it is you do, do it consitently, and let your audience get used to seeing and expecting a lot from you. (That is what keeps them coming back.

Thousands and thousands of new publicatins, magazines, anthologies open up for submissions ever year. Close to 90% of the announced projects never see publication. So it's no wonder that it takes people a little bit of time to start to trust new blogs, websites, authors to be reliable and as something worth their time to keep coming back to. But once you have broken through the trust barrier and proven to be something they can keep coming back to--then you have build up a good reputation in the eyes of your readers. And once the reputation is established, selling products, books, eBooks, CD's and more becomes much, much easier. People will book you for interviews, performances, readings and more if they know they can depend on you. No one wants to shell out money to what they can't depend on--but they will give money for something they can trust.

A reputation is more valuable than money--because a good reputation can LEAD to money. Sometimes, a great deal of it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Brendon Burchard: $10,000,000 Case Study in Writing

I am very pleased to say that I am posting this blog post with special permission from Brendon Burchard himself, author of "The Millionaire Messenger" "Life's Golden Ticket" and "The Charge."

I have been drawn to Brendon's work for a number of years now and was exceedingly pleased when I saw him write a case study specifically related to author's making money. Considering the fact that this guy has not only made #1 on the best-seller lists multiple times, but is in fact a multi-millionaire...he knows what he is talking about.


I messaged Brendon and told him of my blog and all you wonderful followers asking him if it would be ok to share his content here--and he graciously replied in the positive. So here is his case study:


Although his principles deal more with the how-to industry and writing than the fiction or poetry fields and writing I can tell you from experience (having used some of his business strategies from his books and read the same thing from authors such as Tim Ferriss and Chris Guillebeau) that many of the tactics he uses for product creation and sale are transferable

Be sure to take a look!