Making a Pandemic Pivot on a Shoestring Budget

As businesses shuttered while many of us were sheltering in place, I erased the plans for 2020 that I had enthusiastically written on my whiteboard earlier in the year. I didn’t want these words staring at me when the environment I had written them in was so different.

It was kind of like keeping operating instructions for equipment I’d discarded. Just not helpful. Turns out, plans for Earth 1 do not work on Earth 2.

My workload for copywriting and content marketing flipped as one client pulled back, another pushed ahead. The work I was doing changed. However, the whole world of contact-free, Amazon-delivery living opened up another opportunity to pursue in the meantime. I published a novella and launched a podcast, and I did both on a shoestring budget.

I used Amazon KDP for the novella, uploading files and making them available for my market. Amazon runs the business part of sales and shipping.

As I told a friend, “I don’t want to be in fulfillment. Do you know what fulfillment is?”

“No,” she said, “but it sounds awful.”

“It’s where you have to buy envelopes, put the books in the envelopes and go to the post office and stand in line to get them mailed. I don’t want to do that.”

Amazon was happy to take care of that detail via “print on demand” while I earn royalties at a level that is comfortable for my investment and effort.

My costs on the novella were editing and bar code. My writing was fairly clean, but I did pay someone to look over my shoulder and catch my blind spots. If I wanted to release a novella to generate visibility and credibility – and share a message of creative purpose – I did not want to embarrass myself with errors and/or unintended offense.

Fortunately, another friend offered to design the cover and interior pages. That was a big savings and also part of making a respectable presentation. I wanted the book to be physically pleasing when someone pulled it out of the Amazon box and held it in his/her hands.

Then I moved on to the podcast to promote the novella and the concepts of creative purpose that are within the story. I had a microphone. I used the free software Audacity to record and edit on my laptop. has free music files I could plug into the intro and outro. I signed up for a $5 month plan at Libsyn for distribution, and I used Canva to create my podcast image for free.

If I can help you through your pivot, let me know. I’d be happy to discuss your ideas.

Minnie Lamberth is a copywriter, content writer, author, and now a podcaster of creative inspiration.