Do you treat your authoring as a profession or a hobby? There’s actually not a wrong answer to that question, by the way. Some folks write for the love of writing and some folks love to write but are also committed to making it a profitable business. You should know where you land in answer to that question. If you want to run a successful business with your books, this article is for you.
That goal can be challenging in this world of a billion-plus books self-published books on Amazon. Here are some quick tips to help you turn your writing into a successful business.
- Treat it as you would a “real” job. Schedule time to write, and then do it. Just like if you’d had to go into the office. As work-from-home professionals, it’s easy to put off our work and do another load of laundry or indulge in a bit of Netflix. Just don’t do it! If you know that you can write for 3 hours before your brain turns to mush, schedule that time out and stick to it. You’ll be surprised to see how much your productivity increases.
- Set goals. Successful businesses don’t operate by the seat of their pants. They have goals and they are usually quite specific. Think about the number of novels that you want/need to write in a year and then reverse engineer that. Break your yearly goal into monthly, weekly, and finally daily goals. You’ll need a certain word count in your drafting phase each month to reach your goal. That number breaks down further into weeks and days. Same with editing. Allow time for that, because as you learned in my last post if you didn’t already know, editing takes time and it can be tedious. If you set crazy writing goals but leave no time for editing, you’ll be behind before you’ve even begun.
- Don’t forget about marketing. As you probably know by now, writing the book is the easy part. Maybe not exactly easy, but you certainly aren’t done when you finish your last edits and slap on that shiny new cover. Remember those billion books over at Amazon? The world will not be aware that your masterpiece exists if you don’t tell them. Having an author platform, an active presence on social media, a healthy-sized newsletter list, and plenty of willingness to experiment will take you far post-publication.
- Educate yourself. That means you should be constantly learning how to improve your craft. If you’ve got plotting down, then focus on improving your dialogue or your characterization. The world of fiction is so complex and there is always something to be learning. You should also learn about the business side of your writing. The super awesome boss ladies over at Being Boss have some amazing tools for creative entrepreneurs, including a cool goal-setting system they call the Chalkboard Method and a weekly podcast with all sorts of great tips for your small (or not so small) business.
I don’t know who first coined the term authorpreneur, but it’s definitely a thing. We aren’t just writers. We are editors, marketers, accountants, social media experts. We wear so many hats and it’s not the worst idea to have a plan for accomplishing all of the things we strive for!
If you want some tips on marketing, want to learn how to use Scrivener, or need help deciding how to approach social media as an author, check out Bibliocrunch’s education arm over at LearnSelfPublishingFast.com. You’ll find hours and hours of instructional video courses that will rock your author world!