How I became a New York Times Bestseller author!

If you really want to be depressed, do a little research into making that creative career switch.  As my imaginary stalker Cyndi and you both know, I have a dream of writing that next New York Times Bestselling novel that will make me rich!  Oh yeah! I’ll be jet setting around the country in first class (sweet!) and wearing a tweed jacket, reading passages from my latest work to adoring fans, sipping an Americano and chuckling at my good fortune.

I got into this research mode with a stop this afternoon at the local grocery store. I noticed they had some brand new books for sale on a display table near the checkout stand.  As I flipped through a few pages of the novels, I wondered how much money the author would receive from this hardcover book.  Since it wasn’t a genre I had any interest in, I made a mental note to look up the author when I got home (which I since have forgotten the author’s name and the book’s title).  Oh well.  I decided to see what an author might expect to sell their first novel for (in terms of advances) and how many copies the first book might actually sell.  Was it ten thousand books?  Twenty thousand copies?

Yikes!  What a wake up call.  It might be as low as 500 books!  I know that everyone wants to write a novel and become a published author.  I didn’t know the pay was so bad.  I looked around at a few blogs and some people commented that they wrote because they love to write.  Bravo for them!  That is fine as a hobby but not as a career.  Some comments even alluded to the fact they would make more money flipping burgers at the local fast food restaurant than as an author writing for a whole year.

I have nothing against writing as a hobby.  However, if it is something I’m really passionate about and I want to make a living at it, then I do want to get paid more than the average burger flipper.  Call me greedy for chasing the dollar but my family does like to live in a nice house and have food on their dinner plates.

Sure, I could say “Follow my heart and the money will follow”.  A better piece of advice would be to write that novel in my spare time, try to sell it, and don’t quit your day job.  We all know that no one has spare time; it would be an evening and weekend endeavor.  I don’t mind doing that as a hobby but it sure would be nice to get paid if I am doing a part time job on the side.

Writing isn’t easy.  Characters and plots take time.  You have to develop a story, write a rough draft, and edit it.

Am I whining too much?  Sure.  I’m entitled to do a little whining.  Like everyone else, I want it to be easy.  I know it won’t be easy but it might be enjoyable.

I just hoped that by investing that amount of time into a project, it would at least spin off some additional income I could invest with.  Maybe build up my retirement that much faster.  Being 40 and having a stock market crash and real estate crash knock me down a bit, it would like nice to have an extra income stream to rely on.  A business that I only had to work on a few hours a week yet would spin off some nice cash flow.  Maybe a blog about fairy tales?  Because this is what this blog entry seems to be about!

As always, your comments, concerns, and suggestions are always welcome!

Washington State Unemployment 9%…how to cut costs if it happens to you?

Man, oh man, are we for some rough times in this country of ours.  The Seattle economy is probably doing better than most areas of the United States, however, it is still pretty bad.  According to the United States Department of Labor, Washington State has a 9.0 percent unemployment rate in October, 2010.  The national average is 9.6%.

http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=usunemployment&met=unemployment_rate&tdim=true&dl=en&hl=en&q=unemployment

 How does a 9% unemployment rate translate into everyday life?  Everyone knows someone that is out of work, struggling to make ends meet.  You just need to look at the recent data on the economy and it is enough to make you jump back into bed, pull the covers over your head, and call it a day.  I was getting depressed reading about this stuff.  I’ve put in a few links that I pulled data from several websites about unemployment and the economy.

 Now, being self-employed for close to 18 years, I really don’t know about being unemployed.  Back in the early 1990’s, I did get laid off from AMR (the parent company of American Airlines).  That was the last time I had a “real job”.  I haven’t worked a 9-to-5 job in a very long time (since the AMR job).

Do I miss having a 9-to-5 job?  Yes and No.  Yes, I miss having a company pay my health insurance.  No, I don’t miss the ability to choose my own hours and my vacation time.  Yes, I miss having the chance to leave work and leave my work at the office.  Being self-employed, you always think about work.  You think about stuff you should be doing and thing you ought to do.  You are always thinking about your business.

 However, I’d love to have a business where I don’t have to get dressed up and go to work to make money.  I want the freedom to sit in my office in my pajamas and make money.  Yes, I’m back to my rant about making money online with a killer blog and enhanced website that practically prints money while I sleep.  Hey, who wouldn’t want that?

 How am I weathering this recent economic depression?  I have cut spending in both my personal and business life.  I have looked at all my expenses and cut everything I can. I trimmed my cell phone plan costs down by using a cheaper plan and by cutting off text messaging.  I’ve paid more attention to where we have the thermostat adjusted to as well.  Another simple change we have done is to switch out old light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (and I got those FREE from a friend!).

 While cost cutting is good, other expenses have risen.  Case in point, my health insurance rose $154 a month!  Now, I just received a new notice that my plan is being phased out.  I now have the choice of paying more for a lesser coverage plan.  Lucky me!

 http://www.esd.wa.gov/

http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.wa.htm

http://www.workforceexplorer.com/cgi/databrowsing/localAreaProfileQSMoreResult.asp?viewAll=yes&viewAllUS=&currentPage=&currentPageUS=&sortUp=&sortDown=&criteria=Unemployment+Rate&categoryType=employment&geogArea=5301000000&timeseries=&more=More+Areas&menuChoice=localAreaPro&printerFriendly=&BackHistory=-1&goTOPageText=&ID=45531

http://www.workforceexplorer.com/cgi/dataanalysis/?PAGEID=148

Making Money on the Internet?

Truth be told…I’d prefer to be not talk to anyone during the whole day of work.  I’d like to sit in my comfortable little office, surf the internet, do some work, and not see anyone.  You can safely say I am an introvert in an extrovert’s career.  All of my “jobs” have me taking control and interacting with people to create a livable income.

The deal is…every job I do is that way.  My school photography business is me interacting with a vast amount of people everyday.  Look at my real estate business, again, I must interact with people and sell myself.

Jeez, I much rather sit at home and not have to see anyone.  Email is such a good alterative to seeing people face to face and having to deal with them.

Yet, I enjoy people!  I enjoy my friends and family (to a point).  I like to create a nice family portrait or make a preschool student laugh.  I love to show my real estate clients new properties and tour houses with them.

 What a conflicted individual I am!

So what does this have to do with making money on the internet?

 Well, considering I’d like to be a home body and do projects around the house.  I was wondering if I could have an internet business that produces some income where I make money without having to leave my home.

At this moment, I’m open to suggestions (serious and humorous suggestions are welcome) about possible internet businesses.  I don’t know anyone that makes a decent living or part time living as an internet marketer or entrepreneur so this is a new challenge for me. 

Ideally, I’d like to have an internet business that I can be making money wherever I am located.  If I’m on vacation to Kauai, I want to make some money.  Perhaps I’m in Florida visiting some UW college friends; I want to be making some money off my internet business during my visit.  Let’s face it; I want an auto-pilot business where I don’t have to be there to make the money.

If you know of a real internet business that fits these business goals of mine, please let me know!