peeps: Kelly James-Enger
Kelly James-Enger has been a full-time freelancer, ghostwriter and author for over 15 years. Her books include the just-released Writer for Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success (Writer’s Digest, 2012) and Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: Make Money Ghostwriting Books, Articles, Blogs, and More. She blogs about making more money in less time as a freelancer at Dollars and Deadlines, and lives outside Chicago with her husband, son, daughter and golden retriever.
How Kelly Got Started Self-Publishing
Kelly started with print-on-demand (POD) for her Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks. She wasn’t able to sell it to a traditional publisher, but she knew that not only weren’t there any good books on ghostwriting available, her book would likely sell well. The book helped position her as a ghostwriting expert — ghosting and co-authoring are the majority of her book-writing business now — and it continues to develop her platform as a freelancing expert as well.
Earlier this year, she launched a series of highly-informative yet low-cost ebooks for freelance writers who want to make more money in less time. With over 4,000 hits per month to her Dollars and Deadlines blog, Kelly wanted to turn that traffic into an income stream. For the series so far, she has published:
- Dollars and Deadlines’ Guide to Selling your First Article
- Dollars and Deadlines’ 10 Most Popular, Proven Ways to Make Money as a Freelance Writer
- Dollars and Deadlines’ 10 Essential Freelance Templates
- Dollars and Deadlines’ 10 Truths Every Writer Who Wants to Get Published Should Know
She reports that currently, she only makes about $80/month from the series, but she also doesn’t have to do anything “extra” to market them. She also thinks that the series helps drive the sales of her traditional books.
Tips and Observations
Kelly notes that the continued explosion of self-publishing books and ebooks is, “good news for authors, but means that it’s more important than ever before to be able to identify your readers and market and sell your books to them.”
Although she writes fiction — she has published two novels as ebooks, one that went out of print years ago, and one that she finished this year — she is focusing on her work in the freelance writing niche. “I have a platform there,” she says, “and it’s relatively easy for me to sell my self-published books. Before you self-publish a book, even an ebook, I suggest you make sure you know who your audience is and that you have some kind of marketing plan to reach that audience. Otherwise you may wind up with a fantastic book that no one buys.”
For more information on Kelly, visit her website, BodyWise.