It’s hard to make a living as a writer. Sure, there are the Stephen Kings and J K Rowlings out there making a mint, but they’re so far around the bell curve, we can’t see them from here. For most of us it’s a daily struggle and almost every writer I know has a day job too. It’s good in some ways, because a job gets us out from behind the keyboard once in a while, which is only good and healthy. But financial stability is not common in a writer’s life.

One way to deal with that, other than the obvious retaining of the day job, is to diversify our income streams. I write as much as I can and always primarily aim for more readers. That’s always the real goal. So please do tell your friends and colleagues about my books, talk them up on social media, review them at Amazon and Goodreads, lend them out, buy them as gifts, order them at your local library. All that stuff really helps so much. The more readers I get, the more books I sell, the more sustainable my career. But I have to look out for myself too, so I work hard at other things. I love short fiction, and try to sell stories, then sell reprints. I write some non-fiction and articles, I do workshops and presentations, I self-publish some stuff as well as working with a variety of publishers. It’s all important stuff. But it’s still hard. I’m not complaining, this is the best job in the world. But I’ve also often thought about other ways of making a bit more money at it. After all, making money from our art is not something we should ever be ashamed of. Sure, we get to make art for our job, which is awesome and bizarre, but we need to eat too. I’ve seen some people do well with Patreon and sites like that. It’s a cool idea, but the only people really killing it there are folks with an established and big following. That makes the extra work worthwhile for them. For most of us, it would be a lot of extra work for very little return. And I want all my work to be available to everyone, all the time.

So I’ll keep writing, keep getting published with any luck, and hopefully build a sustainable career. You can help with that as mentioned above, all those things work wonders and they’re a necessary part of a creative career. Without readers, we’re nothing. And you know a good way to help authors for about the price of a coffee, or even less? You can gift people ebooks. Kindle via Amazon allows you to send someone a book as a gift. That makes you a great friend, and it’s a sale for the author, plus you might end up getting that author a new reader. Almost endless benefit!

But if you would also like to buy me a virtual coffee (all my books are basically coffee and whisky distilled into words, after all) there is a way to do that. There’s this site called Ko-fi where you can show your appreciation for a creator with a once-off payment just like treating them to a coffee, as a kind of thank you for what they do. I really like the idea, as it doesn’t require any special treatment or restricted content, it’s just a friendly treat and nothing more. So if you like what I do and you want to buy me a coffee, I can’t thank you enough. You can do that by clicking here.

Meanwhile, please share the good word about my books in whatever way suits you, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that either. Cheers! I’d better get on with writing this next book. I might just make a coffee first…

Alan’s Ko-fi page.