The role of Writer/Entrepreneur is mentioned in nearly every writing blog I see these days. It’s the new name which the industry seems to have given to anyone who self-publishes successfully. Notice the word: successfully.
You’re just a writer these days if all you do is write the odd book and put them out there. The entrepreneurial side is all of the malarky that fits around the writing. So, what are you?
In the beginning there were writers. They would write stories and then a publisher would take their creation and spread their words around the world, while the writer sat back and thought up another story. Now, I don’t think this even happens to traditionally published authors. (maybe a few who we’ve all heard of)
These days we have to push ourselves. We have to stand out from the crowd and we have to make and sell our product. This is no mean feat and the illusion of a writer being a part-time vocation is definitely in the past.
If you’re traditionally published then you’ll have a team working with you, helping you to sell your books and sharing the burden. However, if you’re self-publishing either solely, or in a hybrid model, then you’ll have to be a business person at the same time.
You need to think of books as product. Without products you have nothing to sell and without anything to sell your business will go pop. You have to consider product launches, product pipelines, product delivery schedules.
You have to have a plan. “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” This involves pricing, as well as product info, and there has to be targets and deliverables along the way. You have to keep abreast of the industry, the direct market that you’re selling to and current trends.
This is one of the most important facets that will make you into a successful self-published writer. There are terrible books that have been marketed excellently and it can often make the difference. You need to know your demographic, how to reach out to them, how to engage with them, and basically, to let them know that you’re there.
It’s a business
Now that we have the opportunity to create and publish our own product we also have to take on the responsibilities of a publishing business as well. Half of the new job is being an entrepreneur and those that succeed, realise this and thrive.
I think as the industry model begins to settle and hybrid authors become the norm, there will be more supporting services available for authors to delegate some of this responsibility to. At the moment however, people are still finding their way and it’s a case of rolling up your sleeves and doing it yourself.
Until next time…