Name: Leslie Truex
Business name: Moxie Vie Media, LLC
Book Titles: Digital Writer Success: How to Make a Living Blogging, Freelance Writing, and Publishing Online, Jobs Online: How to Find and Get Hired to a Work-At-Home Job, The Work-At-Home Success Bible (currently out of print for updating).
Social Media Links:
FB: Digital Writer Success https://www.facebook.com/digitalwritersuccess/
FB: Work At Home Success https://www.facebook.com/workathomesuccessfans/
How did you come to do what you’re doing today?
Writing books was a natural extension of the work I was doing online. I’d been a mom wanting to work at home in the 1990s, and eventually found a variety of ways to do that. I started sharing what I learned on a website I created, WorkAtHomeSuccess.com, in 1998 (before Google started even!). Over the next few years I found many people were wanting work-at-home jobs, but there weren’t any current books about telecommuting, particularly about online jobs. That’s when I pitched a telecommuting book that eventually became the Work-At-Home Success Bible.
That writing also led to more freelance writing work, so now my writing career consists of blogging, freelance writing, and book authorship. Plus, in the mid-2000’s I discovered an interest in fiction writing, and I have 5 self-published and 3 traditionally published books using a pen name.
What’s a good way for writers to begin a career writing online?
The fastest and easiest is to start blogging. A blog can act as a portfolio and store content that can later be expanded upon into a book. Plus, with monetization options, you can make money. Selling freelance writing online isn’t as easy as it used to be, but it is still open to new and unpublished writers. The key is to read the media outlet for types and tone of articles, and follow the submission guidelines.
In terms of publishing, self-publishing is a great way to get your work out into the world. You can earn more per book and get paid more frequently, if you’re able to sell your book, which means having great content, professional editing and cover design, and a marketing plan. However, many like the idea of a traditional deal, which is still an option, although advances are small, if given at all. Many publishers now have digital-only imprints, which allows for variety of work not offered in print (i.e., cross-genre or shorter books). But you still need a great pitch and quality submission to get a book deal. Plus, you still need to have a marketing plan.
Can you describe a typical day in your life?
I set my alarm for 6:30 because I get a lot done when I get up early, but in reality, most days I don’t roll out of bed until 7 or 8. I work on my books first thing in the morning, striving to write at least 1,000 words. If it’s summer and hot, I exercise and then work later. If it’s winter and cold, I work first and exercise later. Generally, I work on my blogs and freelance content, then marketing (blogs, articles, and books), and then deal with email. I try to pitch one media outlet either an article or an interview (podcast) once a week. I’m usually done around 2 in the afternoon or so, at which time I work on projects, such as information products. Or maybe, I take a nap.
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
The best part of my career is doing what I want, when I want, how I want. While I do have to conform to my client guidelines in freelance writing or to publishers when writing a book, for the most part my work is flexible.
Are there any people and/or books that have inspired you along your journey?
I really liked, and still recommend if you can find it, Finding Your Perfect Work, by Paul and Sarah Edwards. Writing related books I found particularly helpful are oldies but goodies: How to Write Irresistible Query Letters by Lisa Collier Cool, Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer by Jenna Glatzer, Write the Perfect Book Proposal by Jeff Herman (I liked that it had samples), and How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen. I’d recommend people get books on book marketing and/or platform building as well, as this has become increasing more crucial to authorship success.
What is your latest book about?
Digital Writer Success: How to Make a Living Blogging, Freelance Writing, and Publishing Online is all about how to turn your words into income on the Internet. While each option can be done alone, I also talk about how they can work together. For example, how blogging can lead to freelance writing work or a book deal. It’s basically how I make my living. I spend a good deal of time on marketing as well, including platform building, because without it, it’s difficult to sell your writing.
What inspired you to write your book?
While there are plenty of books on blogging or publishing, there weren’t any that really covered all types of writing online and how to combine them into a well-rounded writing career. Many people try to make it on one type of writing, which is fine, but can be limited. Further, each type of writing can become a spoke in a writer’s platform for cross marketing. For example, freelance writing can promote a blog or a book.
Can you describe your writing process?
In non-fiction, I’m very organized. I make a list of broad topics I want to cover (e.g., blogging, freelance writing, publishing), and then under each, list the information I want to cover. Then I start writing. I’ve learned to write in my voice, which is very conversational (my publisher calls it “folksy”).
For fiction, I’m a panster, but wish I was a better plotter.
Can you share something that people may be surprised to learn about you?
I didn’t set out to be a writer and if someone told me in high school I’d be making a living writing, I’d have cried. I now refer to myself as an accidental writer.
What’s next for you?
Currently I’m updating The Work-At-Home Success Bible, am finishing up a cozy mystery, and am doing NaNoWriMo, writing book six in a different mystery series. In terms of non-fiction writing, I’m working to put together a beginner guide to book marketing that is thorough and yet not overwhelming.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you to Stephanie for all her great books over the years. I used her infoproduct and platform books back when I was still trying to figure this whole book writing thing out.