Frugal Side Hustle: Self Publishing with M.K. Williams – EP 338

Listen on Your Favorite Podcast Player

Self-publishing is a game-changer— empowering aspiring authors and writers to fully take control of their literary dreams and passions. The best part of it is that you can still embark on this side hustle with frugality! Dive into this new side hustle and explore all things self-publishing with M.K. Williams, a full-time self-published author and creator of “Author Your Ambition.”

Focus on what you need to do for your book because there’s books for everybody out there to read and write. Each is going to be strategically a little different.


  • I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T. Do you know what that means? It could mean you have your own house, your own car, two jobs, and working hard. OR it could mean you’re not heavily influenced or controlled by others but able to think freely and confident in yourself… and speaking of community… 

    Our Listener Special is coming up on October 31st! Yes! Halloween! And we want you to share your spooky/ strange/ bizarre money stories with us. Did you find money in a weird place? Did you have to pay a fee with a weird name? What’s the weirdest pumpkin spice thing you’ve ever seen for sale? Has anything having to do with money ever happened to you that you now look back on and laugh? That’s really what we’re looking for. Make us laugh and the listener with the best spooky season money story will win one of our new Frugal Friends T-Shirts! Use our BOTW line today, Sept 19 through Sept 28th, to leave your spooky story and we can’t wait to hear them.

M.K. Williams had one simple goal: she needed more time to write her own books. After self-publishing two novels, she found herself spending more and more time answering questions from aspiring authors than working on her next manuscript. Out of necessity, Author Your Ambition was born and through a series of videos, books, and courses, M.K. now helps more authors than she could have imagined (and she even has some time to write her own books as well.)

Is Self Publishing For You?

Self-publishing is for someone who is willing to bear all the responsibilities of publishing their book. When you’re self-publishing, you’re doing all the work. You can outsource some help, but you are still going to act as the project manager. It is worth nothing if you want to consider this a side hustle wherein you expect to start earning money now or next month, M.K. and the Frugal Friends think maybe this isn’t for you. It will take time to write, revise, and edit. Some may already have leverage; if the author has a content business such as podcasts and blogs, they’re going to have an easier time getting the book across the finish line and start to see revenue faster. It’s important to have different expectations based on where you are right now in your self-publishing journey.

The Beginning Of Your Self Publishing Journey

Write the book. It may sound like a joke, but M.K. firmly advises that you have to have the book. It’s the first 24 miles of the marathon of self-publishing. Do your “book homework research,” wherein you identify and understand the goals you have for your book. Create a plan that makes sense for you and not for others. If you think you may need additional help, you can easily go to authors and writers groups to meet up and become critique partners. In this way, you are not just helping each other with grammatical errors but also the overall structure of the book—it’s a great way to cut costs in publishing your book.

Investing On Your Self Published Book

Self-publishing is an affordable side hustle that anyone can do for free. But if you want to immediately make money, it will behoove you to spend money. M.K. She made a mistake in one of her early books by doing her own book cover, which she found to look like an obvious “DIY”. Contrary to what we most think, people do judge a book by its cover; hence, investing in it would be an excellent choice. M.K. wants her books to be as widely distributed as possible, so she invested in their ISPNs so they could be catered to multiple places. ISPN, cover art, copyediting, proofreading, and developmental editing are great choices for investments in self-publishing as they are crucial, but these are still dependent on your goals.

Making Money In Your Self Published Book

Regardless of whether you have a dedicated audience for your newly released book, you will not get paid for the first 60 days on Amazon. Some platforms take 90 days. If you expect this side hustle to give you money immediately, this isn’t for you. This is years of investment of time and dedication. There was a belief going around on social media that when you write 20 books, you can generally get up to $50,000. But let’s be honest: 20 books? That’s a lot, yet it grows exponentially and slowly. Consider monitoring the ratings and reviews of your book as well, as it is a make-or-break factor when it comes to selling it to some of your potential readers.

What’s a topic or genre you’ve never written on but would like to?

  • MK: M.K just wants to read and write a cute little rom-com. 
  • Jen: Values-based spending has a lot of correlations with a faith-based life and Jen feels like she can write a Christian nonfiction that talks about both of these passions of hers.
  • Jill: Jill swears she has it in her to write children’s books as she finds them adorable, endearing, and great at simplifying complicated concepts.

Bill of The Week

Thank you for sharing your bill M.K. about Bill Nye, the science guy!

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening. We love love love reading your kind reviews and we especially loved this one:

A different voice in finance

I listen to this podcast when I need motivation to stay committed to my budget and financial planning! They have some fun tips and conversation. Jen and Jill encourage people to decide on their own. I respect that. I can listen to a variety of financial advice and take what applies to my situation. It’s not a competition.

There’s room for several voices in the finance world. And Jen and Jill are good ones that work quite well for me.

Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed this show, please take a minute to leave a rating and review, it helps potential new listeners know what our show is all about!

And don’t forget to share your favorite quote from the episode by using the hashtag #FrugalFriendsNote. 😉

More To Explore

Places Kids Eat Free

Good morning, friends!  A little over a year ago, I (Kim) became a first-time auntie! I love spending time with my niece, and recently decided

Read More »