Digital Nomad Jobs: Write an e-book, sell it.
Digital Nomad Jobs – Become an e-book author.
There are a few key attributes needed in order to become an e-book author but obviously the most pertinent is an idea for a book! If you have one of those already fantastic, if not, now might be a good time to think of one. I’ll wait… Still struggling? Try wizards. Wizards and vampires. Wizards, vampires and magic rings. Wizards, vampires, magic rings and annual adolescent death matches. Let’s face it, everybody rips everybody else off these days*, you can’t tell me that a horcrux isn’t exactly the same as the one ring? Anyway.
*Obviously don’t steal anyone else’s book or ideas, it’s not big or clever.
Once you have decided what it is you want to write it’s always a good idea to note down a bit of a plan. Personally, I enjoy basing my plan making sessions in a local bar or pub, my ideas always seem better somehow. However, as you can probably tell, my writing style doesn’t really lend itself to book writing, I tend to go off on a tangent, so I can’t vouch for the suitability of planning a book in a bar. Although I suppose if the bar has WiFi you can ‘research’ the book whilst having a cool beer? The more I think about the better planning a book sounds. Alas, back to the main point, the plan. Once you have the basic principle you will need to expand on it – you can do this in a number of ways but a tried and tested method is to create a mind map stemming from the original idea. Mind maps are a great way to get all of the information out of your brain and onto paper without having to worry too much about structure and are generally, let’s face it, just a bit fun to do. If you prefer a more formal way of plotting out your masterpiece it might be a better idea to write a brief paragraph or line for each chapter. This can be a great way to come up with the structure of your book and give you a sound base to refer to should you become lost.
Once you have the ideas in place and have done any necessary research, whether that be a sound understanding of particle physics or the correct spelling of Hœnir, the Norse god of silence (a useful character if you run out of dialogue I guess), it’s time to write the book. Writing a book will probably take you a fair bit of time, It’s unlikely to be a task you’ll finish in a day, unless it’s a really, really short book. Perseverance is key in writing an e-book, you may find yourself going back and re-writing chapters or skipping chapters completely and coming back to them at the very end, there really is no right or wrong way to do it. You can pick and choose as you go, it’s your book after all. Try and set aside a dedicated amount of time each day to write and stick to it, if you don’t like time constraints maybe set yourself a word count that you can realistically meet. Hopefully, you won’t be under any extreme pressure to meet a deadline and you can actually enjoy the process.
Once you have finished your tour de force of literature have a holiday, take a break from the writing for a few days and let the dust (jacket?) settle. The next part of the process might be the worst, you have to critique yourself. Come back to the book with a whole new perspective on it, imagine, if you can that you are reading it for the first time, does it make sense? Is it properly ordered or do parts need to be switched around? Check for continuity, spelling and grammatical errors. Again, like writing, editing will take you time and might seem a bit soul-destroying if you are constantly finding errors and deleting/re-writing words, sentences, paragraphs and even chapters. Keep your chin up and crack on, the better you make the book now the more you can sell the movie rights for in a year or so.
All books need a cover and e-books are no different, once you have finished your book and decided on a title you will be in a better position to decide how you would like the cover to look. You can design a cover yourself or consider hiring a freelance designer – help another digital nomad out – to help make your product standout from a fairly large crowd, if you do design the cover solo be wary of the copyright rules on any images you find online. Try and have a few alternative titles just in case someone else has already baggsed your first choice and taken Jonas and the Cloth Monkies of Red Galogh.
You might want to take a bit of time here to send the book out to a few friends to get their reactions or you might want to just crack on and sell it, either way is fine and I guess is dependent on how much time you have on your side. I think that I’d probably just get going and try to sell some copies but maybe I just couldn’t handle the crushing criticisms my friends might give me?
There are plenty of reputable places online to sell e-books and they range from basic free packages to paid for, more advanced packages, I’ll leave it up to you to decide which one will best suit your needs. A few of the useful e-book publishing sites are FlickRocket, Payhip, Lulu, CreateSpace and of course, the monster that is Amazon Kindle. The publishers will obviously vary in areas such as your royalties, copyright protection and size of audience so do your research and pick a site that works for you.
Promotion of your book is essential to drive sales and maximise your exposure. You can do this in many ways, and one of the best and easiest forms is social media – facebook, twitter and even youtube are great ways of getting your product out there. You might want to send out sample copies to bloggers or other people in exchange for honest reviews. You should also consider setting up a simple website to showcase your e-book.
What do I need skill wise?
Probably nothing formal, as long as you have an idea and a basic knowledge of how to type you have a chance at becoming a successful e-book author. Obviously, a great advantage to you will be a good understanding of the language you intend to write in and good knowledge of grammar and punctuation. You might want to consider taking an online creative writing course if you are writing a fiction book and are interested in learning more about the process. Many of these are free, many of these are not free. I’m not going to recommend any as I have no idea if they are any good, value for money or even legitimate. If you are really keen and wish to learn more have a quick google and trust your gut.
What do I need hardware wise?
A laptop with a word program and a decent internet connection is basically all you need, maybe a dictionary?
As well as the publishers listed above you can also self-publish at, Smashwords, Kobo, nookpress, and iBooks Author (Mac only). These are a small example of platforms available to self-publishers, and each varies in its royalty costs – so have a good look around before committing.
How much can I earn?
Obviously, that depends on how much you want to charge, how many books you plan to write, how many you manage to sell and where you sell them. With the arrival of the Kindle and other e-book readers, the sales of e-books have never been higher and appear to be growing, provided your book sells there really is no limit to the amount you can earn – although you’ll maybe need some other means of supporting yourself initially while you pen your masterpiece!
How well does it suit the digital nomad lifestyle?
Pretty well to be fair. Armed with your ideas and a laptop you can travel the globe looking for inspiration and inspiring places to write it all down.
If your book is successful, aside from your promotional activities, e-book authoring can be a great way to build residual income letting you live the digital nomad lifestyle of your dreams.