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Is Self-Publishing a Good Side Gig?

self-publishing a book
Today, everyone is looking for a way to make extra money. The cost of food and housing is soaring, and consumers will fall behind if they don’t find a way to keep up. Some of the old reliable side hustles such as driving a rideshare or delivering food are drying up due to the high cost of gas prices. Those who enjoy writing may be wondering — is self-publishing a good side gig? The team at Izzard Ink has some words of wisdom for you for generating extra income as an author.

Self-Publishing Is an Investment

Even with a bare-bones deal like simple printing services requires a monetary investment on the part of the author. Many aspiring authors add on other services, such as editing, illustrating, marketing and more. How much money you need will depend partially on which services you choose. But it will also depend on how large your book is, how many pages it is, whether it’s hardcover or softcover, whether it contains illustrations or photos, how heavy the paper you choose is, and how many books you want to order. Some authors view this investment as the price they expect to pay to launch their careers, while others just want a quality memory. It all depends on your goals and expectations.

Making Money at Self-Publishing

There are some amazing success stories in self-publishing — authors who were rejected time and time again by major traditional publishing houses who only gained fame and recognition after they turned to self-publishing. However, it’s much more common for self-published authors to achieve more modest success. Many are aware of how the industry works and are able to manage their expectations appropriately. If you approach self-publishing from the perspective of someone trying to make a quick buck, you may look at it differently.

A Blueprint for Making Money with Self-Publishing

Many authors have a solid idea or at least a genre in mind when they start thinking about self-publishing. They may already even have their book written. Oftentimes, this type of author likes to write fiction. Other types of authors we work with include photographers who want to self-publish a photo book, writers interested in self-publishing a children’s book and poets who are writing a book of poetry. While these all have the potential for turning into blockbuster successes, the truth is that these ideas came from the authors’ hearts, not a Google search for what sells best. If you are not a professional writer and are looking to turn self-publishing into a side gig, you may want to consider writing short, easy-to-understand paperbacks. This type of book actually sells well, since many people today spend more time watching videos than reading, and when they grab a book, they want a quick read. With that being said, we have compiled a short list of book genres that have a better chance of selling than some others.

1. Self-help books

You can go from absolutely no one to a revered guest on Oprah by writing the right self-help book. We won’t lie — it’s easier if you have some professional background, such as if you are an LICSW, clergyperson or psychiatrist. But it isn’t strictly necessary. Today, many self-proclaimed “life coaches” have made a living giving advice on Instagram and TikTok, all without any particular qualifications outside of a desire to make money. Think of something you may be qualified to give advice about: study habits, child rearing, making easy meals, etc. Pull together a short book, set up some social media profiles and start marketing your idea.

2. Romance novels

Romance novels are always in high demand, and not just by lonely housewives. Tales of romance are escapism, which is more popular than ever today, with war and shootings and diseases running rampant. Create a complete fantasy world where everyone is happy, no one gets laid off and junk food is good for you. Erotica sells well too, especially now that readers can order it discreetly online. There is a demand for titillating but tasteful erotica, which is a far cry from what many people are viewing online today.

3. Personal stories of growth and transformation

People LOVE reading success stories. You may think it’s the opposite — that they will become discouraged reading about what others have achieved while they were lying on the couch reading, but a story of a personal journey of success can inspire people and make them believe that if you can do it, they can too. Maybe you could write about leaving an abusive relationship, overcoming infertility, finding God, losing weight or earning a degree even though you have ADHD. We recommend, however, that if you venture into territory that can be construed as advice-giving, that you enlist the help of a legal advisor for issues relating to such issues as dieting and exercise.

4. Sports

Sports is a huge pastime. Not unlike romance novels, it allows people to not think about their problems for an afternoon or evening as they watch their favorite team play. You will likely be prevented from writing about major league team franchises due to their lock on any profits made from the team, but you may be able to write about your local team, or your school’s team.

5. Horror

People love horror books and movies — they can’t get enough of them. Cranking out some short, self-published horror stories may earn you the money you’re hoping to get from self-publishing. Write a short horror story and if it sells, turn it into a series. Horror fans are not sticklers about grammar and punctuation either, so you can just focus on the story line and forming detailed descriptions of the gore. Maybe you’ll even get a movie deal!

Best Self-Publishing Company

We urge you to do more of your own research so you can best match your skills to how to make self-publishing pay for you. If it works — even modestly — self-publishing as a side gig has amazing benefits. You can do it from home, on your own time. You need no special equipment — just a laptop. You may gain some level of fame and you’ll have a great addition to your resume. For more information about self-publishing a book, contact Izzard Ink today.

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