3 Steps to More Profitable Literary Fiction Writing

It is a typical Wednesday on Twitter. Writers discussing their craft, some bemoaning the challenges of finding literary – let alone financial literary – success, and others offering writers lifts or advice.

This was the tweet that caught my attention:

My response, of course, comes from a place of recognizing that this isn’t the truth. Or…it doesn’t have to be. It’s just that most authors don’t know how to position themselves to make their writing profitable.

The financial challenges of literary fiction writers aren’t due to the genre as much as it is to misunderstandings about how to properly leverage the work you’ve written.

– @WriterBrandy on Twitter

I sparked some thought for him, so I decided to sit down and prepare this blog post to help other authors in the same boat. I want to give you an idea of what is possible for your work.

1. Give Your Readers More

You’ve invested your blood, sweat, and tears – and time – into creating something beautiful. Something designed to touch the soul and elevate the mind. But that’s only the beginning of your work.

Your book is like a fabulous, meticulously planned date with someone you love. But when the book ends and the date is over, where does that leave them? Are you giving them a way to follow up with you? To get more of what you offer?

If not, you’re being a tease. It’s cruel, in a sense, to help them form this deep soul connection with you and then walk away. You – and they – deserve better.

Make sure that you’re giving them a mailing list to join and keep them up-to-date about your next work-in-progress. Invite them to give you feedback on what they loved and want to see more of from you.

2. Let Them Play In Your Playground

You worked hard to build a world and create characters that live on the page. You invited the readers to explore a small portion of that world with you. You made it real for them. Now, give them permission to play in that world with you – under your supervision. You can monetize all that backstory work you did by putting it into a paid membership and letting them access it all for a modest monthly fee.

You can create a license for those whose work meets your standards and allow them to publish works that add to your world for a percentage of their royalties. You can charge to host classes on those characters and that world so that those who want to write in it must pay you for expertise only you can deliver.

Not only will you expand your fan base by doing this and reach more readers, you’re going to end up making more profits from your work at the same time. Not everyone who reads your work will be interested, but for those who are, it can be beneficial for both of you.

3. Tie Your Book Into Something Bigger

Find the underlying theme that drives your book and then look for ways that you can tie that theme into something corporations, organizations, educational institutions, and nonprofits can use to help their employees or clients.

These are places that have the deeper pockets you need to make some serious money with little effort by serving a lot of people at the same time. You may also be able to get them to purchase bulk copies in order to give out to their clients or to libraries in a marketing effort.

The more relevant the theme for modern times, the better it is for you, and the easier it will be to get a “yes” from people who otherwise might say “no.”

There Are More Possibilities Than These…

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