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Two Offbeat Sites for Writers to Consider

Sales — A fairly new site for selling just about anything may be worth trying out. Gumroad charges sellers (brace yourself) 5% plus $.25 for each item sold. If you’re a writer, this is the highest royalty you’ll find anywhere. You do have to accumulate $10.00 before you can be paid, but every other site that I know of has a minimum payout, so that isn’t a drawback. I recently bought a book from one of my favorite authors, and the process was very easy.

There are drawbacks, but considering that the site is so new, it may still be evolving. There is no way to search for sellers by name. So you need to have an author’s Gumroad link in order to buy their books. If you list your own books there, you must do your own promotion; Gumroad isn’t going to do it for you.

I’ll be trying it out after the first of the year, and will be reporting back.

Promotion (and sales) –  Squidoo has been around for quite a while now. I signed up early on, created a couple of lenses (Squidoo’s take on a page, got sidetracked to other projects and forgot about it. But another writer, Geoff Wakeling reminded me of it a few days ago with a blog post about his venture into promoting his books there.

If you have the time to create some pages (very easy to do), you can not only promote your books, you can sell them. Squidoo is somewhat of an oddity because it functions as a sales site, a social network, and a promotional platform. Its traffic is huge and it’s easy for a “lensmaster” to get lost in the crowd. But interesting and original lenses that are properly titled and tagged can draw a lot of traffic.

There are a number of ways to earn money, besides pointing to your books’ Amazon links. You can provide links to other authors, and I see that as a very good way to promote indie authors you want to support. If any book sells via your link, you get a small payment. There are other sales modules besides Amazon, so the opportunity to earn real money is there to take advantage of.

The more lenses (pages) you have, the more traffic you’re likely to draw, so once you get the bug, the temptation to create lenses about anything that interests you is very strong, and can be very profitable.

Just in the few days that I’ve been getting reacquainted with Squidoo, I’ve made a list of over two dozen possible lenses that I might create. I consider this a part-time endeavor, something to fit in when I have a few moments free, with nothing better to do. After all, writing the stories always comes first. I’m working on a lens right now, pretty much the way I do my writing. Make notes first, organize the material, and when it’s all lined up, create the lens.

Have I mentioned that Squidoo can be addictive? It is.

I may not publish my first lens until next year, but will report back, as usual.

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7 Comments

  1. Thanks for this post Catania. Very interesting. I plan to check out Gumroad. Just slipped over briefly but fascinating. As for Squidoo, I’ve known of it for years. Signed up, like you, way back, but got confused and too busy with Blogger blogs etc and figured it’d all be duplication. Besides, there’s only so many sites you can look after at once. But have often wondered if Squidoo wouldn’t have been a better choice than Blogger. Might have to look at it again. Just don’t want to find myself saying the same things on all the sites and there’s only so much time in a day to come up with other stuff. Must put my thinking cap on! Great post. Thanks for tips and ideas.

    • If you have several blogs and they have good traffic, then Squidoo may very well be redundant. On the other hand, it can be a good way to bring attention to those blogs — and to earn money, if that’s something you’re interested in. And from what I know of the site, and of Google Adsense, if you’re using that, is that Squidoo is reliable and, as far as I know, there’s no easy way for anyone to try clickfraud and mess you up. Also, what I’ve been seeing, in my browsing through Squidoo, is that there are so many ways to use it.

  2. Catana, I have tagged you in a game of blog tag for writers. Joining in is optional, of course, but I thought you might enjoy answering the questions about your novel in progress. I certainly had fun. Visit my blog to see the set up.

  3. Very interesting new site, Catana. I’ll be sharing it with my writer friends!

  4. Wanted to let you know I nominated you for the Look Challenge Award. http://yawattahosby.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/the-look-challenge-award

    Keep smiling,
    Yawatta

    P.S. With the start of your new blog, does that mean you’re not posting on this one anymore? Or just that you’ll be working on both?

    • Thanks for the nod, but I don’t do those award thingies. Yeah, I know it’s stupid to turn down a chance for promotion, but that’s me.

      This is my primary blog and always will be. The new one just fills in a gap in what I’d like to be doing besides writing fiction. And you know, I just don’t have enough to keep me busy. :-)

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