I have fans. I don’t have a lot of them, but there are at least a few of them out there.
I am unbelievably grateful to each and every one of them.
There are not enough of them to pay my bills, however, and despite curating a large backlist (which I highly recommend) I don’t attract enough casual readers to really do it either.
Enter Fiverr. As freelance sites go, it has a terribly sketchy reputation (deserved). I see ridiculous things advertised and requested all the time (at least one of which I reported to Amazon, because really???).
It’s also been a decent source of legitimate copy writing and editing jobs for me, along with allowing me to advertise a couple of small sidelines (simple, copyright safe, cheap kindle covers, and checking accuracy in historical fiction, particularly). I am actually shocked by how good a couple of the jobs I’ve gotten off of it have been.
Still, shady. The site, not my jobs, because it’s quite possible to work off of it and adhere to ethical standards.
I’ve dabbled with sites with better reputations. I’m not impressed. I’m still competing with off-shore writers who are willing to work for pennies on the dollar, still giving a sizable chunk to the site for brokering the exchange, and still being offered academic papers and other ethically questionable assignments. The main difference is that I’m going through a lot more hoops, and getting a hard sell on paying for an upgraded account. I don’t know if it’s a better experience for buyers, but as a seller, it’s not the greatest.
So it’s back to fiverr and the small regular clientele base I’m trying to grow. I have accounts elsewhere, but I’m not devoting a whole lot of effort.
So Wattpad. It’s an amateur site, it’s friendly, and all the content is free. I don’t upload a lot to it, but it’s delightfully devoid of stress. By its nature it’s not an income source, and I haven’t had a lot of luck using it for promo (I don’t post first chapters, because that seems mean). It is a great place to throw up a drabble, though.
They’re always a great way to stretch the literary muscles, and since wattpad stories need covers, it’s a good way to practice my layout skills a little too.
If there’s a moral here, and there probably is, I’m not sure what it is. Maybe something about books and covers. Or not.