From the time I was a young girl, I’ve been a creative soul. Whether I had an instrument in my hand, a microphone at my mouth, stage lights on my face, or fingers gripping a pen, I was never without a way to express my creativity. And while my father was very supportive of me, he’d often wink and tell me, “Don’t quit your day job.”

I would groan and roll my eyes, but I’m thankful my father instilled in me a healthy dose of reality.

Flash forward several years (okay, decades!) and my passion for writing romance novels is more than just a hobby. My romance novels are an expression of my soul and feed my passion, purpose-filled life. But despite the fact that writing is what I love, it can be discouraging when the cost of writing and editing far outweighs any royalty earnings or sales! 

Even if you go the traditional publishing route, you still need to pay for costly editing services. And, once your book is published, the onus of marketing your novel generally falls to the writer. Multiply those costs by three if you go the self-publishing route as you will not only have initial editing costs, but you will likely need to pay for cover art, a photo shoot, ISBN and a host of other unexpected expenses.Dark Awakening and Dark Gathering by Karlene Cameron

So what’s a writer to do? How can you go from starving artist to potentially turning your passion for writing into replacement income?

The answer will likely be different for every person, but one thing’s for certain…before you can get to that fork-in-the-road, life-altering royalty check, you will need to find some extra cash to not only edit your book, but also fund the marketing.

While everyone’s journey will be different, below I’ve provided four proven methods of earning extra money to fund your writing passion.

Consider teaching

Many online and community colleges are looking for teachers who are seasoned professionals in their fields. Teaching part time allows you to stay current in your field (or writing!) while giving you exposure to new ideas and new industries. And, if you’re lucky to teach writing, this can be a good way to establish thought leadership, an online presence and built-in feedback and reviews for your novel.

Invest your extra cash

If you’re a Midas with your money and you have a good understanding of the markets, trading may be the way to generate the extra cash you need to fund your writing hobby. There are plenty of investors making money in the crypto markets.Crypto Hippo Profiteers by Schyler Edwards

If trading cryptocurrency sparks your interest — and where you’re hoping to start your cash cow — you may want to set aside some of those earnings to fund the marketing of your next romance novel. Lots of ordinary folks are making revenue gains through day trading and crypto currency. A small investment now can yield larger returns over time, which can then be used to fund the marketing of your novel.

To that end, one of my favorite crypto information sites is New Wave Traders. Schyler Edwards, owner of the trading community, puts out a daily video that highlights the highs and lows of the market and where he sees the cryptocurrency market moving. Imagine making enough in trades to fund what you really love? Sound too good to be true? It might be more feasible than you think.

Freelance work

If you have a special talent or are particularly good at your day job, consider becoming a freelance for hire…(Guru, Moonlighting, Fiverr, etc.) You can earn good money writing blogs, marketing copy, case studies and research papers for established firms. As you create a name for yourself you could even take on more work and eventually replace your day earnings with something that is more inline with your passion for writing.Freelance work with Karlene Swalley and Ryker Edwards

Direct Sales Opportunities

I can see the eye rolls and hear the groans. But DS opportunities (also known as MLMs) have their place and do serve a need. While I have never met anyone who’s been able to replace not only a full-time career salary but the benefits that come with that, I have known several people who have made some decent side cash from direct selling. The trick is to really assess your personality, the people in your network and the amount of extra time you have against the product you are trying to sell. It also helps if you have a healthy sense of reality and can determine the saturation level of the organization you are trying to join.

How have you funded the editing and marketing of your romance novel? What tricks and tips can you share? Drop me a line in the comments below. I’d love to hear your ideas.