Read The Billfold’s First Book, Frugal and the Beast and Other Financial Fairy Tales

The Billfold’s first book, Frugal and the Beast and Other Financial Fairy Tales, is OFFICIALLY RELEASED! 🎉🎉🎉

Here’s what people are saying about Frugal and the Beast:

“The Billfold turns personal finance advice on its head, so it’s no wonder it would do such clever things with fairy tales. These stories reveal so much about who we are and how we live today.” — Mike Dang, co-founder of The Billfold and editor-in-chief of Longreads

“I never knew I need Rumpelstiltskin to involve Bitcoin or a parable about instant pots, but I’m so much happier now that I’ve read both. These stories will both delight and get you thinking about money.” — Lillian Karabaic, author of Get Your Money Together and host of Oh My Dollar!

The Kindle edition is $5.99 and the paperback edition is $10.99, but The Billfold earns roughly the same royalty either way so choose whichever one you prefer. Frugal and the Beast is also available for Kindle Unlimited, if that’s your thing! There are so many good ways to read this book, including reading the six fairy tales published for free on The Billfold (if you just want the free ones; if you want the full collection, you’ll need the whole book).

I am so excited to get Frugal and the Beast out to readers, and I hope you enjoy it. ❤️

Anthologies and Fairy Tales

This post was originally sent to my TinyLetter subscribers.

Two quick announcements!

I am FINALLY ABLE TO TELL YOU that a chapter from The Biographies of Ordinary People Vol. 1 has been included in the Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas’ What to Read in the Rain 2018 anthology! When I lived in Seattle, I was a volunteer tutor with the Bureau of Fearless Ideas — and this anthology, which includes writing from BFI students as well as authors such as Tara Atkinson, Frances McCue, and Shin Yu Pai, helps fund BFI tutoring sessions and workshops. Plus it’s a great read.

If you’d like another great read, get ready for The Billfold’s FIRST-EVER BOOK: Frugal and the Beast and other Financial Fairy Tales. I wrote thirteen personal-finance fairy tales, some of which you can read on The Billfold and some of which you can ONLY READ BY BUYING THE BOOK.

The pre-order will launch soon. I’ll let you know. ❤️

Self-Publishing Update: Another Bargain Booksy Promo

Sales/Expenses Since August 9

Books sold: 29 ebooks, 0 paperbacks

Money earned: $56.83

Money spent: $35

Total

Books sold: 539 ebooks, 229 paperbacks

Money earned (book sales): $2,337.19

Money earned (Patreon): $6,909

Money spent: $10,547.51


Just a very quick update today — I spent $35 on a Bargain Booksy promotion at the end of August (promoting Volume 1 in the hopes that it would also drive interest in/sales of Volume 2), and that promotion correlated with 11 sales of Volume 1 and 5 sales of Volume 2. At roughly $2 in royalties per sale, that comes out to $32 total… which means I didn’t quite break even on this promotion.

But hey, I sold sixteen more copies of my book and gained (assumedly) eleven new readers! That’s not nothing. ❤️

Registration is now open for How to Get Started as a Freelancer!

This post was originally sent to my TinyLetter subscribers.

I told you I’d remind you when registration opened for my new online course, How to Get Started as a Freelancer… and TODAY IS THE DAY. Register now, or any time before September 3, and you’ll get $20 off the price; register later and you’ll pay the full $235.

Here’s a quick reminder of what you can expect from this course:

  • Four weeks (September 29 through October 27)
  • Self-directed
  • Approximately two hours of work per week (to be completed at your own pace)
  • A step-by-step guide to help you build a freelance career, to include:
    • How to identify your beat
    • How to identify potential clients
    • How to pitch those clients
    • How to write an article
    • How to write more quickly
    • How to conduct interviews
    • How to build an online presence
    • How to network
    • How to schedule your time
    • How to predict and grow your earnings
    • How to identify and pitch higher-paying clients so you can keep growing your earnings
  • Access to a discussion group where you can chat with other writers and ask me questions
  • Spreadsheets, templates, podcast episodes, AND MORE

Here’s that registration link again, just in case you need it. Hope to see you in class! ❤️

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash.

New Writing Classes, Both In Person and Online!

This post was originally sent to my TinyLetter subscribers.

I’ve got three classes coming up in the next few months, including my first-ever online course, so here’s what you need to know:

First, I’m teaching two courses at the Iowa Writers’ House. If you are in-or-around Iowa City, I’d love to see you at one — or both! Here are the deets and the sign-up links:

The Path to Publishing

There’s no single path towards publication — you can query an agent and get picked up by a traditional publisher, you can work with a small press, or you can take on both the writing and publishing responsibilities and build your career as a self-published author. This course will outline all of the available paths to publication for both fiction and nonfiction writers, offer the pros and cons of each, and give you actionable next steps for whichever path you choose.

The Path to Freelancing

How do you get started as a freelance writer? Is it possible to turn freelancing into a full-time job? Nicole Dieker is in her seventh year of full-time freelancing, and she’ll teach you everything she knows about how freelancers make money: how to pitch (even when you don’t have clips); how to build a freelancer schedule that combines writing, pitching, networking, and administrative work; and how to grow your earnings over time.

I’m also teaching my first-ever online course: How to Get Started as a Freelancer, a four-week online course offered through Seattle’s Hugo House. This self-directed course runs from September 29 to October 27. You’ll get a weekly set of lessons and homework assignments to be completed at your own pace; you’ll also get access to a classroom discussion board where you can get to know other writers.

If you’re a Hugo House member, you can register for this course on Tuesday, August 21; if you’re a non-member, you’ll have to wait until Tuesday, August 28. YES, I WILL REMIND YOU. The course costs $211.50 for members and $235 for non-members, but you get a $20 discount if you register before September 3.

How to Get Started as a Freelancer will be a lot like The Path to Freelancing — in fact, they have the exact same course description. I’ve taught this class several times, and it is popular for a reason. My lesson plan gets results, and students do in fact build freelance careers.

That kinda sounds like I’m bragging on myself, but really I’m bragging on my students. I’ve given them the pitch template; they’ve been the ones to develop and send the pitches (and complete the articles, and build the relationships with editors, and so on). If you’ve been thinking about starting your own freelancing or publishing career, I hope you consider taking one of my courses — whether you’re in Iowa City for the in-person version, or signing in to the discussion board for the online one. ❤️

Photo by Trent Erwin on Unsplash.

Self-Publishing Update: Exactly What Life Is

Sales/Expenses Since June 25

Books sold: 29 ebooks, 3 paperbacks

Money earned: $93.81

Money spent: $0

Total

Books sold: 510 ebooks, 229 paperbacks

Money earned (book sales): $2,280.36

Money earned (Patreon): $6,909

Money spent: $10,512.51


I haven’t done an update in forever, but that’s because I haven’t had much news to share. Since getting back from my mini-book-tour I’ve been focusing on editing/managing The Billfold LLC (which recently transitioned from a partner LLC to a single-member LLC with me as the sole owner) and prepping my fall teaching schedule.

I’ll be able to announce a few more classes SOON, but I can announce one class RIGHT NOW: How to Get Started as a Freelancer, a four-week online course offered through Seattle’s Hugo House. The course runs from September 29 to October 27,  and you’ll get a new lesson (and series of assignments) each week that you can complete at your own pace. You’ll also get access to a discussion space where you can chat with other students (and me). I’m very excited; this is my first online course, and I’d love to do more in the future.

Unfortunately, you can’t register for How to Get Started as a Freelancer until August 20 — so I’ll send you another reminder in, like, two weeks.


The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 2 just got its IndieReader Review, which I’m sharing because it illustrates that this book does exactly what I was hoping it would do even when the reviewer doesn’t like it:

Meredith begins the book with a clear goal: she wants to write and put on her own musical. That plan is quickly thwarted, and there is nothing to replace it—she just survives. There is nothing for us to root for or care about.

“That plan is quickly thwarted, and there is nothing to replace it — she just survives” is kind of exactly what life is. (Can you tell I grew up loving Chekhov and Tolstoy?)

Arguably, Meredith does replace her original (naive) plan to stage her own musical: first she tries to get a job with a professional theater, then she works for her hometown community theater, then she goes to grad school, then she… well, I won’t spoil everything. But, and more importantly, she fails at a lot of stuff — and every time, she has to figure out how to survive and start over. As a Goodreads reviewer put it:

Helplessly creative and full of determination, it is Meredith’s story that struck me as the most interesting, and nuanced, and, well, real. And although she has her own, personal moments of happiness, to see a main character in a story genuinely grapple with how she can somehow make her creative pursuits a career was so refreshing. Nothing gets handed to her on a plate, and there are plenty of doors that get slammed in her face along the way.

So… yeah. The same story, interpreted in different ways.

Which is also (metaphorically) exactly what life is. ❤️

Photo by Jad Limcaco on Unsplash.