• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

building residual income streams  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22367
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you want to get out of the rat race and onto a farm, it helps to have a residual income. Something where you do something now, and then money comes in every month for years to come. Maybe ten or twenty years.

I wrote an article in 2002 about ants and aphids. It has google banners on it. For the last ten years it has paid about $30 per year. And it will probably keep paying out for the next ten years.

I wrote the DE article about three years ago and it now pays my rent.

Some people write a book and get royalties for years to come.

I guess I write the stuff, slap the default banners and links on it that match up, and then some things turn out to have income streams and some things don't. But if you don't do anything, you get zero residual streams.

It provides a level of freedom to do the things you want, instead of having to have a job to pay your bills.

Today, for the rocket mass heater article, I arranged something with ernie and erica so that their stuff pays out a 20% commission. So for their $50 plans, that's ten bucks! Personally, I think that this year we are going to see interest really explode. Especially due to the stuff that will be revealed at the october workshop.

I guess my point is that I would suggest that folks set up an account at scubbly.com, write a bit of something about rocket mass heaters and then link to ernie and erica's stuff.

 
Richard Kutscher
Posts: 51
Location: Sun seeker - on the road
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Some other options for residual income:

Network marketing - Yes, some/most people balk at this, but it is recognized by many people to be a good alternative to slaving away. Just find a good solid company that fits you, there are a few out there. There are also significant tax breaks (mileage, home office space, share of utilities, etc). I am personally involved with this and find it rewarding, but again, depends on who you talk to and their past experiences/beliefs. There will always be some time commitment each month, but how much is up to the individual. I am going to use the proceeds to feed my permaculture lust.

Build a small business and have a trust worthy employee/partner to take it over. Met someone at the PDC course I took that did just this and they were saying that currently don't do much work (am sure always a little) and still gets the check every month. While this could be fraught with challenges, mainly trust issues, it is a good option for the right set of people.
 
Tim Crowhurst
Posts: 45
Location: Bedford, England: zone 8/AHS 2
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
paul wheaton wrote:Some people write a book and get royalties for years to come.



As someone with a little experience of writing...


The amount of royalties you earn will depend on quite a few factors, but the three key ones are genre/topic, how many books you write, and how good your writing is.


Genre/topic is the most important one. Within any given field there is an ideal number of books that can be published each year. If too many books are being published, sales for any particular author will be low unless they either get significant promotion or have an exceptionally good writing style. Ordinarily tastes will change gradually over time, however at the moment publishing is in a state of considerable flux due to the advent of the internet. Amazon's eBook sales overtook hardcopies about eighteen months ago, and a huge number of specialist ePublishers have been set up over the last decade, allowing previously-ignored genres to flourish as new or previously-unrecognised markets are developed. So when deciding what to write, look carefully at the market for your subject. Any genre which is already flooded with titles, or where sales are falling, will be hard to break into; science fiction, fantasy and straight romance are three good examples. Any genre where sales are growing will be easier to break into.


How many books you write is also important, and this varies with genre. Don't publish frequently enough and readers will often simply forget about you, which will hit both long-term royalty income and your ability to sell more books to publishers in the future. For some topics it's possible to get away with writing one book every four or five years - or even less frequently than that. For others one or two books a year might be the minimum, while some genres demand a book a month. Decide the genre/topic of your books based on how much royalties you want, and how much time you have to spend writing. Also, do not expect writing to be highly profitable. Most writers I know - and I know quite a few - rely on it as a supplementary income.


The quality of your writing - readability, style and grammar - is also crucial. A lot of sales will come from word-of-mouth recommendations, and a book that is difficult or jarring to read is less likely to be recommended irrespective of how good the story is or how knowledgable you are about your subject. Fortunately any good publisher will have a team of editors and proofreaders which can help, however there's only so much they can do. As with the number of books you write, the quality of your writing will determine your ability to sell books to publishers.


Self-publishing has advantages and disadvantages, and I personally would only recommend it if you have already got a solid fan-base or if you are willing to spend a huge amount of time promoting the book yourself. That said, for most genres you'll have to do a lot of your own promotion anyway. Most writers I know spend as much time (if not more) promoting their work as they do actually writing. In terms of value-for-money, the three best methods of promoting your work are all online - facebook, email lists and running a blog.
 
Adrien Lapointe
steward
Posts: 3430
Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
206
chicken dog food preservation forest garden fungi tiny house toxin-ectomy trees woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I feel like one of the best ways to create residual income is to stack functions, i.e. build on activities one already does.

For Paul, writing is something he already does, so building income streams out of it is not too far of a stretch. Though, it might not be an option for everybody.

Although, selling food can get a bit more complicated with the maze of regulations, it could also be an option. For instance, I already bake sourdough bread almost every week and always have two extra loafs since I try to fill my oven. I often will freeze them and use them when I don’t have time to bake. I could start selling one or both loaves to create a small residual income without much additional effort.

Another idea could be to harvest some wild herbs when going on walks or hikes. Wild raspberries are very abundant in my area, I could easily harvest a few leaves per plants along my hike, dry them and sell them as herbal tea for very little effort.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22367
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have this thing I say to myself all the time:

Try 100 things. 2 will work out. You will never know in advance which 2.


I write articles, make podcasts and videos, etc. Most of the stuff I do has zero income stream. Some of it costs money to keep it going. And a few things have residual income so that I end up at a net positive. Some things ran in the red for a long time and then I stopped feeding them and left them there. for years they produced zero and later were of some greater value.

On my farm I tried all sorts of things, and it turned out that pork was my big winner. I was never certain if pork would be a stepping stone to something else or if pork was always gonna be the big one.

I think sepp holzer is the same way. At one point he ran his property as a sort of zoo. He kept all sorts of interesting animals there for people to see. And for a while he was a mushroom guy like paul stamets.

I brought this all up because I am trying something new with my rocket mass heater page. At the same time I really think rocket mass heaters will make a big leap forward this year and I very much like the idea that ernie and erica get enough cash flow so that they will put a lot more focus on innovation. So by telling you all about this aspect, I will certainly lose sales/income, but I hope that the overall sales/income will be greater for ernie and erica. And, as a bonus, more people that read my stuff will build their own residual income streams.

As an added bonus: the existance of this thread makes it so that it might be possible for me to learn a few things I don't know yet in this space.

 
Cory Arsenault
Posts: 55
Location: Ottawa, Canada
10
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I hope to build an earthship style home that will become my retirement home which will also function as a bed and breakfast so I could make a bit of income from that and have tax advantages.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22367
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I want to add to this a couple of points:

Ernie and Erica are selling rocket mass heater plans with a 40% affiliate program: Rocket Mass Heater Annex 6" plans Rocket Mass Heater Daybed 6" plans Everything Combo So if you set up an affiliate thing, and a web page talking about this stuff - as the years pass, money dribbles into your accounts.

I have put my podcasts together in big downloads and am offering a 40% affiliate program. You can find all of my stuff in the permies Digital Market

I like the idea that 20 or 30 industrious people will get affiliate programs and direct people to stuff like this. Go here to find out how to become an affiliate.
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
some time ago i took a little class on online game design, and uploaded 5 games i made to a game site, and from then - about 2yrs ago lol - those 5, IMHO terrible games have accumulated about $10 in ad revenue lol
i started a 6th one that i think would make a great revenue raiser - very popular genre, great art
but i forgot how to use the code lol, in fact ive even forgot what that code was called, something with flash and the name of the code had a 2 not a 3 in it... other than that i dont remember enough to continue this
but i havent spent any time or money i nthe past 2 years to earn that 10 dollars, so i like the idea, but dont exactly know how else to get soem other residual streams going - i can deisgn web pages/sites but from my understanding it costs money to keep them online and i could never figure out how to get them onto search engines so have always had to just give friends direct URL's - which works if they're interested in it, but doesnt do you much good income wise because you wont get many people stumbling on it from the net

i can write really well - or so im told - and could write a good deal here and there, but dont know where to go to sell this - could that scubbly site work for short stories or articles? and if so is it just using a word document or do you need other software to write something that can be downloaded and purchased?

all and all i love the idea of residual income streams, you do some work once or twice and leave it alone to work for you - fucking great imo - i just need to find myself a good site to go off of to continue in this regard...
 
Ashley Handy
Posts: 107
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ernie and Erica are selling rocket mass heater plans with a 20% affiliate program. So if you set up an affiliate thing, and a web page talking about this stuff - as the years pass, money dribbles into your accounts.


Paul, how does one do this? Do you mean simply linking the sites or is one meant to create one's own store/site? Because I am very interested in making money off of promoting ideas that I already think are great
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22367
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you go here, it will tell you how to do the affiliate thing with stuff in the Digital Market.

If you make links to ernie and erica's stuff, you get 40% of the sale.

If you make links to my stuff, you get 40% of the sale.

You make lots of links in lots of ways, and then you go goof off for six months and when you come back, your bank account is mysteriously fatter.

 
Kathy Burns-Millyard
Posts: 75
Location: Arizona low desert
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I earned the bulk of my income from affiliate and advertising revenue for about 10 years. Too often established revenue streams disappeared when a company closed, was bought out, or restructured. It took awhile but I evolved into royalty revenue instead.

Since 2006 I've sold stock photography through about 5 agencies, and since 2008 I've been publishing Amazon Kindle materials. Starting to explore Barnes and Noble Nook and google play in recent months as well.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22367
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Kathy Burns-Millyard wrote:I earned the bulk of my income from affiliate and advertising revenue for about 10 years. Too often established revenue streams disappeared when a company closed, was bought out, or restructured. It took awhile but I evolved into royalty revenue instead.

Since 2006 I've sold stock photography through about 5 agencies, and since 2008 I've been publishing Amazon Kindle materials. Starting to explore Barnes and Noble Nook and google play in recent months as well.


I would like to hear a lot more details.

Royalty revenue?

Kindle materials?

If I try to play in the stock photography game, what might i expect? How does it work? What are the income streams like?



 
Kathy Burns-Millyard
Posts: 75
Location: Arizona low desert
2
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Paul,
I'm on mobile so it's difficult to be too detailed but I'll see what I can do

An intro to stock photography:
http://www.electronicperceptions.com/articles-index/photography-articles/how-to-make-money-with-photography/

With affiliate income, you earn money in the firm of sales commissions. Much like any other commissioned sales person does. If the company you're promoting closes, or the specific product is discontinued, you cannot continue earning money from it. Instead you have to find a new product/company and hope that you kept good records if your promotions so that you can go change all the links.

With royalty revenue, you own all rights and maintain all control because someone else is licensing and or promoting your material - products, assets, intellectual property, etc.

I have thousands of photos that are licensed by hundreds of companies each month for example. In some cases I earn a mere quarter and in some cases I earn $30 or more.

Kindle materials are just electronic publications. These range from small guides of about 5000 words to technical or instructional books 10 times that size. Size doesn't matter too much. I dont write fiction but many people make a nice part time income publishing short stories or children's books.

When you write and publish your own material, you control price, availability, retail outlets etc. indefinitely. My best selling book was originally released 5 or 6 years ago, yet still trickles in +/- $10k a year.

Hope this all makes sense and I'll do what I can to answer more questions if you have them
Kathy
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22367
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
Kathy Burns-Millyard
Posts: 75
Location: Arizona low desert
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sure My main site has a large chunk of them: http://www.electronicperceptions.com/

The photo pages have links to a few of my agency portfolios.

The easiest for books is the amazon profile: http://www.amazon.com/Kathy-Burns-Millyard/e/B004NAM55Q/
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22367
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
23 books .... I suppose that if you had a trickle income of $3000 per year per book, that would be $69,000 per year. Quite respectable.

How difficult is it to get a kindle book set up?

I now have quite a mass of pictures. I suppose I could spend a few hours digging through them and ... supposing that a micro outfit accepted me ... I could post a hundred pics. What might my annual residual income look like from that?

Add in to that: I get people contacting me and saying that they would like to use some of my images for their articles and the like. So now maybe I can direct those folks to the microstock stuff.

BTW: Kathy, take a look at this thread: http://www.permies.com/t/1892

 
Kathy Burns-Millyard
Posts: 75
Location: Arizona low desert
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If all of the books were steady sellers then yes, that's a very reasonable estimate. Some topics are more seasonal, like gardening, and some have stiff competition. Some just dont seem to have enough of a market and some don't capture their attention.

Half of what I currently have on amazon were early experiments that haven't done so well. My natural health briefs for example are just collections of web articles I'd written over the years. My SEO and Wordpress books are several years old and likely considered "out of date" to the intended audience.

Publishing on Kindle is easy. Just write your book in Word - or in something like open office that creates doc files. Then upload it through the kdp publisher dashboard. You dont technically even have to make a book cover image but it does make a big difference with sales.

Photography is a little more tricky. Each agency has their own levels of perfection, styles and subject matter preferences. Most no longer accept nature our scenic photos because they have too many. The best sellers tend to be highly commercial in some way- I.e. teams of business people in meetings and such.i specialized in food photography after I got the feel of things.


With perfect pictures, a photographer can average $1/mo per photo. I personally don't come anywhere near that. I haven't added new photos to any of my agencies in about 4 years and I think combined I get somewhere around $5k/yr gross from them.

On signatures: I didn't think my main site was relevant enough to the board and my personal site is rarely updated.
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
this may not be the best place in the world to ask it, but is there any way to get a scubbly store that doesnt require participaton in plastic (paypal) "currencies" and instead allows payment via money order?
It does seem to be a good spot to sell podcasts though
also when one is al signed up, where do you start posting affilliate links? is there a place on scubbly or do you share the links on forums/facebook and such??
 
Adrien Lapointe
steward
Posts: 3430
Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
206
chicken dog food preservation forest garden fungi tiny house toxin-ectomy trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Devon,

you can post the affiliate links wherever you want. Someone clicks on it, buys the item and you get a kickback, it is that simple.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22367
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Excellent info Kathy. Thanks!

I might take a stab at kindle!

Devon, I talked to the scubbly people about alternatives like dwolla. They are looking into it. As for stuff like money orders: is there a lot of call for something like that?

 
Shawn Harper
Posts: 360
Location: Portlandia, Oregon
7
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I want to thank everyone who has posted in this topic, it has given me many ideas of ways to break this wage slave chains. Once again permies is an endless source of knowledge.
 
Shimon Pearson
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've been thinking how to earn residual income, I've written several articles but my Google Adsense account got banned. Do you have any other suggestions on how can I earn from what I have written? I'm also planning to take affiliate marketing seriously so that I can earn additional money from it.
 
Sherry Jansen
Posts: 59
Location: Southern MN
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have bought several of your books, maybe twice bought the rocket mass heater online book.

You did an awesome job on it, and since then I have seen several Rocket Cookers on eBay, and from our own website, several people have questioned us about the JetStove, which is essentially a Rocket Mass Heat design but made from hot water heaters.

One of the things I wanted to do was write up several designs of what all these heating systems can be integrated to. Besides hot water coils, and heating and cooking, specifically, I would like to build a barn dairy around the wood heater with a pot hole system built that does -

-pasteurize milk and ready it for cheese, yogurt, kefir
-same pot could be heated for chicken feather removal
-same pot could be a cooker for making soups before canner
-same pot for boiling down maple syrup
-same pot for deep frying French fries before freezing (also looking at making sweet Tater fries and chips) as I have a hard time storing both any other way.

-different pressure cooker for canning
-and more....

And, my list can go on.

My point is- do what you do, just more of it.
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
paul wheaton wrote:Excellent info Kathy. Thanks!

I might take a stab at kindle!

Devon, I talked to the scubbly people about alternatives like dwolla. They are looking into it. As for stuff like money orders: is there a lot of call for something like that?



im not sure if there is a huge calling for money orders or not but i know that most people ive dealt with seem more comfortable dealing with money orders than sending cash or check in the mail for fear of post office employees stealing the money, though ive never had problems with post office thievery, but i certainly prefer to work as close to real money as possible, and for now the closest with most people is to work with federal reserve notes (i.e. cash)
and thank you for checkin in with it, i should head back over to scubbly and see if there is anything else i can push on my family on facebook that may be of interest to them, the double chamber cob oven got responses but not so sure people wanted to spend the money on the plans, perhaps just general interest, which i suppose could be considered a planted seed
 
Logan Simmering
Posts: 66
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Another good option is cafepress (or spreadshirt, which has better terms for both buyers and slellers) I've been earning a couple bucks a month of t-shirts and bumperstickers for the better part od a decade now. For the CAD inclined theres a similar service for 3D printing, but I'm blanking on the name at the moment. Also, PayPal, Google Wallet, and Amazons payment service can all be linked to a bank account via Automated Clearing House, for the plastic shy amongst us.
 
Ben Mosley
Posts: 51
Location: Upstate,SC Zone 7a
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We are all probably familiar with Etsy.If not,check it out.I turned a friend of mine onto the site a few months back,and she has replaced her disability income with just etsy income.She has type 1 diabetes and cancer keeps spring up in different parts of her.She has also lost a leg due to diabetes.All she can do is do crafts to occupy her time.She is cleaning up from what she tells me.I have seen a noticeable change in her since find success on etsy.I just can't sit around and do crafts.I am disabled too, but I get bored with things to easily.
 
Bill Bianchi
Posts: 227
2
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For those who write, why not write a book detailing something you know well with enough information and pictures to allow others to do it themselves?

This site alone has enough information for literally dozens and dozens of books.

Why not just come here instead of buying a book? Because a book will hone down to just the necessary information without the pessimistic replies and off topic musings. Also, a book would be more informative. I can read about earth bag construction here, but there is not quite enough information for me to reliably build a structure myself the first time without overlooking something or making a mistake. A book can go farther into detail about, well, the details.

Self publishing on Kindle is an inexpensive and fast way to get a book, or detailed report, up for sale after its been written. 4 key points to get sales from browsing Amazon customers are a good title, best cover you can manage, a good description, and well-written, informative content.

That book can be for sale for the rest of your life, earning residual income month after month. As evidenced by the number of members and visitors here, people want to know about permaculture. Yet, for all the members and visitors here, there are literally millions of Kindle users who have no clue this site exists, or don't generally surf the net looking for this type of information. They read books, though. Some of them might be interested enough to buy your book. It wouldn't take a very large percentage of them choosing to purchase your book to benefit you.

Lets say you write up a report on, say, container gardening. It's not a novel, so it shouldn't take more than a month to write a detailed report with good how-to info in your spare time. You invest the time and energy, set it up with a self explanatory title, nice looking cover, and describe the content well in the description. Now, you're done writing it. If someone buys it, you don't need to write it again.

The price you charge is up to you, but I'd keep it low. A lower priced ebook usually out-sells a higher priced one by many times. I wouldn't sell for $.99 unless its an extremely short report, but I wouldn't go above $4.00, either. I prefer the $2.99 price point, myself. Anyone charging $6.00 has to write a book twice as good as mine, to my way of thinking. I want to ensure the customer gets MORE than $2.99 worth of reading when he/she buys my book.

Lets say that you put it for sale for $2.99. Your share from Amazon will be $2.09 per download. (35% royalty on works below $2.99. 70% royalty at $2.99 and above). Now, just from Amazon customers browsing and coming across it, you make 10 sales per month.

That is $20.90 per month, $250.80 per year, $1,254.00 every 5 years.

If you write 9 more that average 10 sales per month, you should pull $209.00 per month, $2508.00 per year, $12,040 every 5 years.

That is for 10 reports, done in your spare time, over the course of one year. I've seen posts here that would serve as a great foundation for a report or book, so those posters would have a huge head start. What would happen if you kept writing like that year after year? What would happen if you became known by readers and they recommended your books? What if each customer who bought one of your books went back to buy another? What if you already had a blog or a web site about the subject content of your reports and had a decent membership and lots of visitors who became your books for sale at better than reasonable prices offered DIY information or explained the subjects more fully?

For someone like Paul, this could work very, very well. He's already recognized as a leader in permaculture, so he had credibility. Folks here would probably part with $3.00 to see what his reports or books contain.

Why are these numbers not really accurate? Because advertising would be done, this site shows people into permaculture communicate with one another and may recommend your report or book at other sites when the topic comes up, and the more books you have for sale, the more sales you get for each of the other books due to the same customers buying your other books. Assuming you wrote them well and customers found them informative over & above what they find for free online, you will probably sell more copies than outlined above, especially if you keep writing more quality reports.

Kindle looks to be an extremely good source of residual income. You could even pay a ghost writer to do the actual writing from the research you do if you're afraid to write it yourself. After a few times, you would probably be able to write them yourself, anyway, and drop the ghost writer. You could even team up with other authorities on different aspects of permaculture, which would leverage whatever advertising venues they already have in place, along with yours. Editing can also be contracted out these days, so there's no good reason to sell a work riddled with misspellings and bad grammar.

Amazon is very friendly to the self publishing author. They make it fairly simple to publish your work and they do a lot to get your work in front of perspective buyers, though you should advertise on your own as well. They also pay a higher royalty than traditional publishers. To date, several ebook writers have turned down publisher's offers, including one who offered over 200K for all rights to the book. Why? Because he knew he would do better keeping the rights and selling them himself through Amazon.

It's not a get rich quick scheme as it will take years to build up enough sales to live on. You will have to actually research and write, so it's not something for nothing, either. But, you should get out of it what you put into it and I'd expect that with time and experience, you would get better at it. Given 10 years of diligent, consistent writing, I think the residual income would be worth the effort. If you have the time, why not give it a try?

I write fiction and this is the approach I'm taking with my work. I've been researching non-fiction as well and what you see above is a part of my plan, though not specifically with permaculture. I write anyway, so it's not something I have to make more time to do. Anything my writing brings in is more than I'm making on it right now. Only a tiny percentage of writers will ever write a best seller and nail down millions of dollars from it. With ebooks, a writer can still earn extra money, or even make a respectable living, without writing a best seller, given time.

Amazon really opened up opportunities for authors unheard of a decade ago, but they're not the only game in town. Smashwords, B&N, and I-Books for iTunes are other outlets you can sell those same books on, if you like. The Kindle is not the only device ebooks can be read on, either. Smart phones and tablets also display ebooks just fine. Ebooks aren't going to go out of style anytime soon, already outselling traditional paper books in many instances.

You won't know unless you try. You know a lot about something. You might be surprised at how many readers out there want information you present well. We can come up with a thousand excuses why this can't possibly work. Not good excuses that are true, just excuses. That others are successfully doing this blows all those excuses out of the water. If they can, so can you, if you want.

Anyway, that's what I'm working toward. I'm just about finished editing my novella. Will put that and a few short stories up for sale on Amazon shortly. I'm compiling info for an upcoming non-fic on preparedness, as well. Time will tell how well this works for me. Experience will ensure it eventually works well.
 
Bill Bianchi
Posts: 227
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Paul, or any other members who have extensive knowledge about different aspects of permaculture and/or self sufficiency:

I'm writing a dual series of novellas set in a post apocalyptic world, told in first person from the POV of a young boy in one, and a young girl in the other. The novellas will be intensely character driven. In these characters' wanderings across a devastated America, they'll be coming across communities and individuals who are surviving using a number of different off-grid energy sources, food growing techniques, and building methods. These characters are going to be showing YA readers these methods we talk about on these forums.

The way I figure it, exposing young adults to the possibilities of a change in the way this world operates would be a good thing because these kids will be adults soon, ready to make their mark. They won't learn about this in public schools, that's for sure. If they know about sustainable energy production, sustainable food production, and alternatives to the way we do things now, some of them just might go on to lead the way toward change in years to come.

The post apocalyptic setting should be perfect to show these methods. Monsanto is no longer a corporation, though the effects of their GMO crap, I mean crops, in the aftermath will be severely felt by many of the characters. Corporations no longer exist. Money is history. Barter is the main currency. Oil and coal, while still around, will no longer be an option for many. In this series, I'll get to show the way things could be if we had the chance to start over and do it right this time. Yes, there will be action and romance and drama galore. That's just good storytelling. But, these technologies and methods will play heavily in the identity of these towns and individuals surviving without the system we now have in place.

Writing for young adults does not mean young adults are the only readers. Twilight and The Hunger Games, two popular YA novels, have a massive following of adults. The kids' parents frequently read YA books to see what their kids are reading. Sometimes they get hooked, too. Adults reading YA titles is a growing trend.

What does that have to do with you all? Well, I'm going to write non-fiction books featuring these technologies and methods shown in the novellas. I want any series readers interested in knowing how to use these methods they saw in the series to have access to how-to books clearly explaining them well enough for the reader to use them if they want.
I'd be more than happy to have co-authors for the non-fiction books and split the profits from those non-fiction books. 50/50.
I'll write it from detailed research notes you send me if you don't want to do the actual book writing part, though I'd rather you at least tried so I have a skeleton to build upon. I'll need people with extensive knowledge about the methods and tech shown in the novellas. This isn't a free ride. You'll have to know your subject backwards and forward and be able to answer my questions about it competently. If you can't take someone with zero knowledge to a place where they could actually accomplish the subject of the book at home, you don't have enough knowledge for this.

I already have a few members in mind to tap for info, and possibly to co-author a book or two if they're interested. But, I've got a ton of subjects to tackle and many of you know more than I do about specific aspects of permaculture and self sufficiency.

Some subjects I will try to work into these novellas are:

Medicinal plants as alternatives to modern medicines. Need the real deal, here. I'm not knowledgable about this.

Alternative energy, big time. Gasifiers, steam engines, solar, wind, hydro, biomass, fuel alcohol, ect...

Rocket stoves and heaters. Heck, Paul can even be the character who teaches one of the kids to build one, if he wants. In the non-fic on rocket stoves, we can lead readers right to his rocket mass heater videos, if he would like. The non-fic on RMS might help drive sales for the project he's working on now.

Food production, big time. Container gardening, growing crops in fields, growing food at the home level, growing sprouts as supplemental fresh food when crops aren't available, gathering wild edibles, raising small and large livestock, ect... And yeah, I'll be dealing with raising bugs for food at some point. It's too gross to pass up, from a fiction writer's POV. Never underestimate the power of the gross out. The kids will love it.

Transportation. Bicycle, vehicles & farming equipment running on biofuels and waste oil, steam engine vehicles/electric vehicles, animal drawn wagons, ultralights, sailboats...whatever gets them from point A to point B without oil or coal or grid-fed electricity.

Water purification and irrigation. Desalination, wells, rain catchment, dehumidifiers condensing water from air,..you get the picture. Water is # 2 on the survival list, right behind air. It has to play a major part in the survivors' lives.

Alternative construction of buildings. COB, earth bag, log cabins, RV's, houseboats, underground structures...they'll be traveling through different climates coast to coast, so different construction methods will be called for in different locations.

Survival methods & tech. Too many to list. I'm fairly well versed in this, myself.

Day to day tasks. Washing clothes, cooking, cleaning, ect... All without oil/coal power. Either by hand or using alternative energy listed above.

Government setups. Some of these towns will have different types of "government.". From socialism to dictatorships, the kids will probably come across it. If you think you have something better than we have now, this would be your chance to express that, if you like. If we have an expert in the house, I'd like to talk with you.



I'm familiar with most of these subjects to one degree or another, but no expert on all of them. Co-authoring would allow me to focus more on writing & less on researching all the finer details. Non-fic books will push the novellas and the novellas will push the non-fic books. This is where most of the sales will come from, if this series works well. Each novella should feature at least 3 non-fiction book's worth of subject matter.

As you can see, my plan is ambitious and this will take years. If I can write the series well, the non-fic books should also sell well. If I suck, nothing will sell well. Readers will make that call. I am a published author, though that was years ago, before Amazon Kindle ebooks became so popular. It's no guarantee the series will sell well, but it is evidence I might not suck, should you want to take a chance and co-author a manual or two with me. .
BTW, a short story of mine is for sale on Amazon in an anthology titled 'Women Behaving Badly.' Mine is on page 88 and my character behaves pretty badly. I don't make a dime if any of you buy it, but it would show a sample of my published writing. My flash-fiction story in that paperback anthology is titled, 'A Perfect Family Dinner.' It kicks ass and stands out from all the other stories in its own way. One of the reviewers mentioned mine specifically in the anthology's review, which was pretty darn cool. The anthology has several outstanding short stories by some incredibly talented authors and is worth the money, in my opinion.

The non-fic books will go up immediately after each novella. This won't happen tomorrow or next week, but I should be able to add a new novella in the series once every 6 weeks. (Will be done in 4 weeks, leaving me 2 weeks to organize the info & write the non-fics. I intend to use a fairly standard format to structure the Non-fic books. These novellas will be 50,000-70,000 words, not full novels, and sell at $2.99. I frequently hit 7,000 to 10,000 words per day in my writing and I work from a detailed outline. I can maintain that publication schedule. If I have all the necessary info for the non-fic mostly organized, I can finish them within days. The non-fics will be long enough to get the info to the reader & sell for whatever price seems fair. Price for non-fics should be related to length. The non-fics will not be dry and boring. My voice will be apparent. I am extremely enthusiastic about writing this and that will come through.

I don't know if this will work well or not. I've never seen an author tie his/her non- fic books so closely with a series. I think Tom Clancy wrote a non-fic on submarines after he wrote, 'The Hunt For Red October.' Don't know how well that one sold.

This is an opportunity for residual sales. Both the series & non-fic manuals can be advertised at permaculture, preparedness/survivalist, gardening, and book review sites. YouTube videos will also be made to push the books, so the advertising will be automated and working as the years pass to hopefully continue driving sales.
There is no reason you can't go ahead and write other non-fic manuals or books of your own, as well. We'll mention your other books in the book you co-author with me, along with my series, of course. Set up your own author page and we'll invite readers to visit you. If you have a product to sell, put it on your page.

No, I'm not sure exactly how to get half the profits to automatically deposit into your bank account. But, many books are co-authored, so there has to be a way. Amazon can be set to automatically deposit into a bank account each week or when a certain amount of $ has accumulated. We'll just have to figure out how to get half into each account.

I will handle putting it up for sale on Amazon.

I see folks here bitch about society not understanding the importance of sustainability and careening toward big problems from using oil & coal, depending on foreign crops delivered to grocery stores, GMO crops, mono crop farming, ect. I am one of them at times. If you want to actually do something about it, here's your chance to educate people.

Anyone interested?

 
Logan Simmering
Posts: 66
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bill Bianchi wrote:Paul, or any other members who have extensive knowledge about different aspects of permaculture and/or self sufficiency:

I'm writing a dual series of novellas set in a post apocalyptic world, told in first person from the POV of a young boy in one, and a young girl in the other. The novellas will be intensely character driven. In these characters' wanderings across a devastated America, they'll be coming across communities and individuals who are surviving using a number of different off-grid energy sources, food growing techniques, and building methods. These characters are going to be showing YA readers these methods we talk about on these forums.



Out of curiosity, whats your disaster, and how long the Apocalypse does it take place?
 
Bob Anders
Posts: 45
Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA
1
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have 12 books in print. I have 1 book at the printer and will print on Monday. Next year I plan on putting out 3 informational books, a cook book, and am updating the second book I published.

The book at the printer is 180 pages, soft cover, perfect bind, 5,000 copies for right under $21,200 shipped. It will cost about $4.24 a book to print and will sell them for $12.99 a book + flat rate box shipping. I have 982 preordered right now. Once I ship the preorders I will start email all my costumers about the new book. With in the next few weeks I will order a second run of 15,000 books.

After all the cost for printing, bar-codes, editing, copyrighting, website, and the other junk I will have to sell about 2,400 books before it will make me any money from the first printing.

I would rather self publish than sell it to a publisher. I do end up putting up a lot of money and risk of not selling, but I also make more from each book I sell.

The first few book I wrote I sold around 4,000 in the first year. The last 2 books that have been out for a year have sold over 18,000 copies each. For me after the first 2 years I don't as many copies, but there still selling. I did put 6 of my older books on amazon last year and got a lot of sales from it.
 
Ryan Barrett
gardener
Posts: 151
23
bike solar tiny house transportation woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Use and Value diversity...



Greetings from the Amazon Associates Program.

We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to notify you that your Associates account will be closed and your Amazon Services LLC Associates Program Operating Agreement will be terminated effective August 27, 2013. This is a direct result of the unconstitutional Missouri state tax collection legislation passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Nixon on July 5, 2013, with an effective date of August 28, 2013. As a result, we will no longer pay any advertising fees for customers referred to an Amazon Site after August 27 nor will we accept new applications for the Associates Program from Missouri residents.

Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to August 28, 2013 will be processed and paid in full in accordance with your regular advertising fee schedule. Based on your account closure date of August 27, 2013, any final payments will be paid by October 31, 2013.

While we oppose this unconstitutional state legislation, we strongly support the federal Marketplace Fairness Act now pending before Congress. Congressional legislation is the only way to create a simplified, constitutional framework to resolve interstate sales tax issues and it would allow us to re-open our Associates program to Missouri residents.

We thank you for being part of the Amazon Associates Program, and look forward to re-opening our program when Congress passes the Marketplace Fairness Act.


Sincerely,

The Amazon Associates Team


This kinda sucks. It was a nice income stream for me. Oh well.
 
Bill Bianchi
Posts: 227
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Logan, I'm leaning toward a chain reaction begun with a large scale famine caused by GMO crop failure. Wars result from economically powerful countries purchasing the limited supply of food. A world wide pandemic starts as a result of "terrorist" viral attack in retaliation for using the military to enforce the purchases at the expense of the citizens in smaller countries still able to produce food. Civil unrest results from governments increasingly using military power to quell the protests. Ultimately, a limited nuclear exchange happens toward the end of the spiral, putting the last nail in the coffin.

This happens before the main characters are born, so it's only spoken about, or speculated about, among characters old enough to remember it all going down. I'm sure different characters will have different takes on exactly how it happened, but the general facts will remain the same.

I don't have it detailed yet. I need to do more research to determine if GMO crops can actually fail on a massive scale. Specifically, if GMO crops can wipe out honeybee populations, which might cause massive crop failures worldwide. I can imagine that widespread famine may lead to war and civil unrest on a massive scale.

In this post apocalyptic world, the population is very much reduced, many cities are destroyed, some technology is still available in some places, corporations and governments have fallen, and life is difficult for individuals.

I intend to have these characters struggling to survive as they grow up, learning from what different communities are doing along their journey, then struggle to change things for the better as adults who have come through the darkest period of the apocalypse and learned from these different communities. I'm going to attempt to show a world headed toward sustainability in energy and food production in the later part of the series. In short, the things we discuss here implemented on a large scale. Sounds utopian and peaceful, but there would be major obstacles standing the way. Human nature is what it is. Power and control are still very much desired by those who would be king of this emerging society.

Plenty of obstacles to overcome along the way. For all this, the series will be character driven, not events driven. I've chosen to put the techniques and technologies in companion non-fiction manuals so those details won't slow the story and so readers who don't even know what, for example, gasification is, can learn more about it, if they wish. (I'm thinking young adults might not be taught about sustainable energy and food production in our public schools)
Focus in the series is intensely on these two characters as they grow up and how this apocalyptic environment affects and changes them.
Focus with the non-fic companion manuals is to take someone who knows little or nothing about the technologies featured in the series to a level of understanding sufficient to apply the technology in their own lives, if they wish.
I can't see any way to do both within the series without either the story or the information being reduced/harmed.

If the series catches on, then great. If not, at least I tried to show what this world could become if enough of the population wanted it.

Got any suggestions for what led to the apocalypse?
 
Bill Bianchi
Posts: 227
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bob, looks to me like you're kicking butt with your books.
How long did it take to build up enough customers to sustain those sales? How did you do it?
 
Bill Bianchi
Posts: 227
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ryan, sorry you live in a state that acts like that. Wouldn't it be nice if the ass-hats would get out of the way and let people live their lives without trying to bleed everyone dry? Most of them could better serve their constituents as biomass in a gasifier.

Does Missouri clamp down on authors publishing on Kindle, as well?
 
Ryan Barrett
gardener
Posts: 151
23
bike solar tiny house transportation woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nope, This is strictly affiliate.
My guess is that they are trying to get people to freak out and call their congresspeople.
I'm honestly not sure how my state has anything to do with someone buying something from amazon. I wouldn't be the one paying a sales tax anyway and I already have to send in my info when I do my taxes.

I'll just change my affiliate links to rs12-20 for the time being.

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22367
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
Ryan Mitchell
Posts: 38
Location: Charlotte, NC
1
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I never expected to end up living off my residual incomes, but this year I left my day job because I was earning more off the residual than my day job. Starting out I had no special skills, advantages or knowledge of any of this, but I researched a lot. I started out saying, "all I want to do is cover the cost of my web hosting" The next thing I know, I was earning 10 times that, the dollars were real, so I decided to work at it a bit more.

I live a simple life, but its a good one by any modern standards and I do more and enjoy it more than many. Paul is right, you really just have to get out there and do it, if you don't try you never achieve anything. You start out small, a few dollars a month and it builds. Things seem to slowly snowball when you do what you love. This applies to web traffic, readers, income and happiness, always snowballing.

I use a mix of Google adsense, ebooks, published books, events, affiliate sales, and teaching permaculture mini-workshops. I try to avoid physical products or things that can't scale easily; I prefer to automate things as much as I can. Once you start to earn a little, you can work a little less, which you take that time and work to come up with another way to add a few dollars. Stacking functions is the perfect concept for how you build this. As you do, you not only add to what is coming in, but it seems to increase in magnitude (that snowball effect).

A first it was a few cents, then it was a few dollars from adsense, then since I had built a following, I could charge $15 an ebook. The ebook established me as an expert, so people started seeking me out, so I am rolling out a conference now that is $300 a ticket. We got some things in the works that will bring it to another level.

The level of freedom that you get from this is small to start, but it builds, so you do what you want and stop being a wage slave. It has a profound impact in your life and in your business. The best part is that I do what I love with people that I have an amazing connection with. The difference between this and my day job really struck me one day when a talented coworker of mine got laid off because it was a spreadsheet decision and no one in the office cared. Compare that to my business now, I know these people, we care about each other and we work together because we like each other, not because we got hired into the team.
 
Ryan Mitchell
Posts: 38
Location: Charlotte, NC
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ryan Barrett wrote:

This kinda sucks. It was a nice income stream for me. Oh well.


They did that to me in NC as well, if you were making a good bit of money, say at least $500 a year, you could incorporate an LLC in another state and have a PO Box there that forwards to you.
 
Whatever. Here's a tiny ad:
Video of all the PDC and ATC (~177 hours) - HD instant view
https://permies.com/wiki/65386/paul-wheaton/digital-market/Video-PDC-ATC-hours-HD
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!