Year’s End

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Another year is coming to an end. I realize this is my only post of 2014. This year has been challenging but I’m glad to report that I survived and live to tell the tale. This year also marks ten years since I started Azreal Publishing Company on a hope and a prayer. I’ve learned a few valuable lessons that I’d like to share with you. It is my hope that something I say here will inspire you and give you the insight you need to go forward with boldness and confidence in 2015.

1. Authors Are Entrepreneurs
Even if you have a book deal with a major publishing company you are still self-employed. If you want to be a successful author, stop thinking like an employee and start thinking like an entrepreneur. In 2015, think about the type of brand you want to be and work on growing that brand.

2. Grow Readers Not Receipts
I used to be really concerned that I wasn’t selling enough books. I have a surplus of books and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to sell more. But a better question is, how do I get more people to read my books? Because once they read it, sales tend to follow. In 2015, focus on doing what you can to get as many people as you can to read your book. Build relationships with those readers and the books will sell themselves.

3. Writers Must Write
When you are self-published you wear a lot of hats. In the beginning I enjoyed being a one woman show. But over the past ten years I’ve learned my strengths and weaknesses. I know that writing is the thing I do best. Speaking is something I do pretty well too. However, there are a lot of other things that have to happen to get the opportunity to release a new book. In 2015 build a team of people who can help you do the things you are not so great at. This will free you to do the things you do best.

Please take a moment to check out my new website and leave a comment on this post if it has been helpful.
www.azrealbooks.com

I wish you joy and peace in the New Year. May you write much and publish what you’ve written. May your voice be heard in 2015.

Until Next Time,

Nicole D. P. McLaughlin

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Resources for Freelance Writers

I began seriously trying to make a living as a freelance writer around this time last year.  It took a few months, but I now have a pretty good system for getting regular work from a few trusted sources. If you are still struggling to find work I’m sharing my list of resources in the hopes that next year, you’ll get more work.

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  1.  Elancehttp://www.elance.com is my number one go to for writing assignments. I’ve been successful in landing long term relationships with vendors who come to me time and again to ghostwrite books for them. I’ve gotten the occasional editing jobs as well as daily writing assignments. Eighty percent of my writing jobs come through  Elance.
  2. Odeskhttp://www.odesk.com is a secondary place where I’ve found work. I’ve done everything from editing books to writing promotional video scripts. The work is varied and I’ve had some very exciting projects on Odesk.
  3. Freedom With Writing – www.freedomwithwriting.com is a website that post all of the various places you can find writing jobs online.  I signed up for the e-newsletter and every week I get a list of new places to look for work. One of those places is the next place on my list to look for work.
  4. Guruhttp://www.guru.com – is another site similar to Elance and Odesk. The main difference is that anyone can post jobs on there for free. As a result the jobs don’t pay much. I must admit that I don’t use Guru much because there are just so many people out there on the free version that it’s hard to get work without paying. I don’t think I should have to pay to get hired for work.
  5. I also recently, began offering my services to friends and local business owners that I know. Writing newsletters, reports, and marketing materials can be a big help to small business owners who are trying to do everything on their own. If you can take one thing of their plate, they will happily pay your for it.

Using these resources to find writing jobs has kept me plenty busy and provided extra income. I don’t do it full-time, but I believe that with the right focus, you could make a decent living as a freelance writer. I wish you the best in the New Year. You have three more weeks to create your game plan to get more work doing what you love next year.

Until Next Time,

Nicole D. P. McLaughlin