Thursday, February 1, 2018

January 2018 Income Report: Proofreading, Blogging, Articles, Books

Below is my homeschooling work-at-home mom income for January 2018 in the areas I focus on: proofreading, blogging, parenting magazine articles and books on Amazon.com.

Things are still a bit slow from moving at the end of last year, but they are picking up! I show only what I was PAID, not what I was earned. I'm having a bit of trouble getting paid by a few regional parenting magazines at the moment, so hopefully they will send checks and February's numbers will reflect that! Happy writing, and please ask me anything in the comments section!


You can sign up for an email subscription to this site and get a free sample of the book, including FIVE markets that pay $50 plus for reprints! Please also consider joining my Facebook group called Parenting Magazine Writers ... it's FREE and full of tips and tricks and markets and like-minded writer friends!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

An Icy Day to Work on "Make Money to Write About Your Kids" 7th Edition

Today in Peculiar, MO it's in the 20s and icy and windy. Schools are cancelling and the huge trash company called it quits for the day. My eye doctor's office closed for the day, so my son and I will reschedule. I wasn't going to go anyway ... my huge van doesn't do so well on icy roads. My husband works a good half hour from home, and I wonder how long it will take him to drive home in this weather.

The last update of the book came out in March of 2015, and I always planned to do an update every year, but it didn't work out that way. Now I am sitting on close to 100 updates, and that is frustrating to those who want to purchase the latest edition without having to sleuth out all the changes. I do post all updates on this site to each edition, but it's still a lot of work for someone to go through them all and write in changes in their print book.

So I finally stopped procrastinating. I stopped telling myself I had to get every piece of paper in my home organized before I could start on this project. I stopped telling myself I needed special pens and notebooks to complete the project. I found two blank spiral notebooks to log every single market, pass or fail, and here we go. I have about 339 markets to check with the hope of hitting 300 PAYING markets for inclusion in the book.

Yes, we are still homeschooling today. My oldest son, who is 16, will get a fire going and we'll make cookies and have hot chocolate after lunch. I'll read books to the kids in front of the fire, help them with math, and then put on a movie (we never do that on regular homeschool days). During the movie I plan to research markets.


I hope you have an amazing and productive writing day!

Please follow me on Instagram for updates!

You can sign up for an email subscription to this site and get a free sample of the book, including FIVE markets that pay $50 plus for reprints! Please also consider joining my Facebook group called Parenting Magazine Writers ... it's FREE and full of tips and tricks and markets and like-minded writer friends!

Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 Income and 2018 Goals #Proofreading #Writing #Blogging

I don't know about you, but I love to know how much money other people are making, especially when they are working doing the same things I am doing. I am also a sucker for goals. I love to read the goals of others and find out how they did.

I'm not going to tease you ... here was my 2017 income and below that you can find my 2018 goals. You can check out THIS POST for my 2016 income.



DID I MEET MY 2017 GOALS, WHICH WERE...?


Proofreading: $11,000
Articles: $5,000
Blogging: $3,000
Books: $1,000
TOTAL $20,000

Not quite. In 2017 I was teaching a teen to drive and at the same time schlepping him and his siblings around town more than ever. Also, we moved. I underestimated how much time it would take to get our previous home ready and how often I would be kicked out of that house for it to be shown to prospective buyers. Then we went on vacation, packed within a week and moved to the country. Lots of paperwork involved, and then the 4 acres next to us became available (bidding war) and that was more paperwork and communication and stress that drove me to bed with Netflix instead of to my laptop.

WHAT ARE MY 2018 GOALS?

I am going big this year. My income goal for 2018 is $36,000. Or an average of $3,000 per month.

Proofreading: $12,000
Articles: $6,000
Blogging: $12,000
Books: $6,000

How am I going to do it?

  • Keep myself available and ready to work at all times as far as proofreading and blogging. 
  • Another key is I plan to lose some weight and cut some sugar, as well as drink more water, giving me more energy at night, when the kids are having their screen time and I am normally wanting to just be a brainless slug.
  • I plan to write an original article per month, keep my reprint list in circulation using my Google calendar, and branch out to the nationals by sending one query per month.
  • I also plan to finish the 7th edition of my book and move on to another book I've been dying to finish.

It's a tall order while I'm also homeschooling, teaching another teen to drive, and have a husband heading overseas, but you have to have goals! And I like to make them large!

Thanks for stopping by and please sign up for an email subscription! If you don't already have it, it comes with a couple of sample chapters of my book and 6 markets that pay over $50 per reprint.

You can sign up for an email subscription to this site and get a free sample of the book, including FIVE markets that pay $50 plus for reprints! Please also consider joining my Facebook group called Parenting Magazine Writers ... it's FREE and full of tips and tricks and markets and like-minded writer friends!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Book Review: The Art and Business of Writing by Chris Jones

Loved this book. So much helpful advice. Perfect size ... not too long and not too short. It even went beyond where I am in my career right now and took it to business cards (I do have a mommy card with all my businesses on it) and web hosting (I just use free Blogger and have for about 10 years) advice.



Here are some takeaways for me personally, and I have been writing for publication since about 2006 and ebooks since 2009:


  • Check out the Pomodoro timer in your phone's app store. Interesting to see how much work I was actually getting done versus how much time I THOUGHT I was spending working. It was much less, actually. Here's my post about discovering this helpful app!
  • This book made me realize that it would be doable for me to write 500 words per day if I made room in my life for that and did it first, BEFORE sitting down to my proofreading jobs. It's all about priorities.
  • The book is about the Art + Business of writing. To me that's like being good at English + Math, you know? You can't be all about the art of it ... because you also have to worry about record keeping, collections, getting clients, marketing and so much more!
  • Who is my reader? What do I hope they will learn and how will I help them? Like with my cookbooks, that's easy. And same for my book about making money to write for magazines. But my parenting Christmas and Halloweens? Kinda general and might need to be reworked into a more general Holidays book that's more focused on solutions.
  • Am I writing for them or for me? You have to somewhat write for yourself. Like most of my parenting articles were for me and same for the tater tot cookbook and even the magazine one was to compile all my markets but then I wrote all the tips in the beginning for the reader! I put all the tater tot recipes in one place so I would have them. Then I spiced them up and created more and added desserts! This gets me so excited to work on my other 8 projects I want to do, like this one!

What are some helpful things that work for you in your life as a writer?



**There were typos that were distracting to me as a proofreader. If there were only a couple I would not even mention it, but there were many and they were easy-to-catch things like commas for pauses and "your" instead of "you" ... and others. I have to admit I do proofread my own work because I'm a proofreader, but I probably should not be doing that. I recently read something decent with few typos and knew the author did not use a proofreader and she said she used Grammarly. I'm just saying Word and Grammarly are not humans, so spend the money to hire a proofreader for your baby (your book) or someone like me is going to mention it so you fix it. We don't do it to be mean, we do it so you'll make it right and do better on your next book! I promise I am not even trolling for new clients when I point these things out; I am so busy on Fiverr already! I loved this book so much that I am choosing to ignore the typos and give it five stars on Amazon!

You can sign up for an email subscription to this site and get a free sample of the book, including FIVE markets that pay $50 plus for reprints! Please also consider joining my Facebook group called Parenting Magazine Writers ... it's FREE and full of tips and tricks and markets and like-minded writer friends!

The Pomodoro Technique: Focus for ADHD Writers

I'm reading The Art and Business of Writing by Chris Jones on my Kindle and it's full of helpful advice. I'll review it in a later post. For now, please take this gem I got in there (then, interestingly enough, I also found the same gem the next day in a speed-reading ebook I was proofreading on Fiverr, which tells me the Universe wants me to try it).



Basically in the mornings, I put my butt in my seat after getting my coffee and something to eat. Focusing after that is hard. I want to check email, Facebook, my ebook sales, Fiverr, blog stats, do some blog social media, and more. Back and forth and then I've wasted an hour! That is no way to make your dreams come true of moving to the country, traveling the world with your family and writing a bunch more books! 


So you start by hitting the app store with your smartphone (or you can just do it yourself with a timer, I suppose, but I am trying out this free app to see if it keeps track of stats and stuff ... there are also paid versions).
Then you handle your settings. I left mine on the default. So I proofread for 25 minutes and then take a break. I plan to also use this for writing so I can get articles and ebooks actually WORKED ON! After every 4 sets, you get a longer break. I'll have to use this to switch out the laundry, do some dishes, throw dinner in the slow cooker, brush my teeth, get dressed, etc. I am only doing this in the mornings so far when the kids are sleeping and I am not distracted or interrupted. Once the kids are up, all bets are off and it's homeschool and family time until I can get more work done at night, usually about another hour until my brain is too tired to think.


The timer goes quietly for 25 minutes and then buzzes or can go off with an alarm with noise and then switches to 4 minutes of break (yes, you can pause it if you need to). Sometimes I might grab my 5-pound weights I keep by my desk (a 1950s Formica table in the corner of the kitchen, my "office") or do some planks or squats. Or check email. But the point is when that time is up I have to get back to work. No more languishing in Facebook land for me!



I'd love to hear about your tips, tricks and tools for getting things done! And be sure to come back to read my review of Chris Jones' book! You'll love it!

You can sign up for an email subscription to this site and get a free sample of the book, including FIVE markets that pay $50 plus for reprints! Please also consider joining my Facebook group called Parenting Magazine Writers ... it's FREE and full of tips and tricks and markets and like-minded writer friends!

Why Put Your Books on Kindle Unlimited for Free?

I love logging in to my Amazon Kindle KDP Select account and seeing a surprise! 408 pages read in my ebooks on Kindle Unlimited in one day after days of zero pages read. There's something about Sundays ... I always see my numbers spike then. I love offering that option for those who don’t want to buy it and who pay $10 a month like I do to download 10 at a time for free for rent! We can do all kinds of research for books and articles for only $10 a month! We can download all the fiction we want, all the DIY we want.

Read one, return it, get another. Always have 10 at a time!



There's something like a $12 million fund and the more KU pages read of my books, the bigger my monthly bonus. It’s like icing and another way to make money and I love it. Someone might not want to buy my book or clutter their Kindle with it forever but they want to borrow it and so I make that available.

I also love supporting other writers, knowing they are getting a bonus for me downloading and flipping through or devouring their books. I always try to leave a review before I return the book, unless it was too horrific then I try to not leave one of those 1-star reviews. I might instead track the author down personally and offer some suggestions for improving the book, especially if it's nonfiction, since that's the genre I write in.

AUTHORS, here's how it works for you, in case you are interested. And the fund lately is always above $10 million, by the way. They send you an email every month letting you know that:

Here are some examples of how it would work if the fund was $10M and 100,000,000 total pages were read in the month:
  • The author of a 100 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
  • The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $2,000 ($10 million multiplied by 20,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
  • The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed 100 times but only read halfway through on average would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).

If you want to check out my current book offerings on Amazon, just follow this link!

You can sign up for an email subscription to this site and get a free sample of the book, including FIVE markets that pay $50 plus for reprints! Please also consider joining my Facebook group called Parenting Magazine Writers ... it's FREE and full of tips and tricks and markets and like-minded writer friends!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Can You Write 500 Words a Day?



Sounds easy, right?

And then you could easily convert those words into a print book on Amazon’s CreateSpace platform as well. I have to tell you I sell more of my Tater Tot Casserole Cookbook in print version these days than I do on Kindle and the price difference is significant.  We’re talking $.99 on Kindle versus $6.49 in print. (Note: not a huge royalty difference since print is so expensive for them to process but still … my print books are floating around in people’s kitchens!)




The Tater Tot Casserole Cookbook has 13,531 words. It contains 35 recipes, 13 dessert recipes, and a large chapter on meal planning.



My point is that you have still come to the right place because quite often you can rework your parenting magazine articles and turn them into some sort of compilation. You could work with another author/writer to make a book of parenting essays that is humorous or honest or even sad.

Common sense says: don't take your article word for word and plop it into an e-book. Also, make sure that you are still giving quality to the reader. You definitely want to do at least 10,000 words to make it an e-book on Kindle and a little more to be in print to have it a decent size to have a spine.

P.S. This post is just over 500 words and I dictated it while walking to a convenience store! If I can dictate 500 words in minutes while multitasking (not a huge fan of multitasking anymore but walking and writing I can get on board with), you can do it while commuting to work each day, while breastfeeding your child, maybe even while making dinner. Did you know on the iPhone headphones the microphone is very close to your face so you don’t have to hold the phone up to your mouth? Hands-free dictation rocks.

You can sign up for an email subscription to this site and get a free sample of the book, including FIVE markets that pay $50 plus for reprints! Please also consider joining my Facebook group called Parenting Magazine Writers ... it's FREE and full of tips and tricks and markets and like-minded writer friends!