Building an author business is a new blog series.
It will be a series of posts with lessons that I learn while building and running my author business. I’m not sure on the how often or what topics specifically will be here because the lessons will come as I learn and apply them. They will, however, be straight from the hip, paint a vivid picture of what doing them looks like, and end on an encouraging note.
It is my hope that they are eye opening and helpful to other authors that are building their author business.
Building and running an author business sucks!!!
Writing is the easy part. Publishing is the fun and, dare I say it, addicting part. It is why so many people wish they could do it. It doesn’t end there, though, and many of them know it. As writers, most of us ignore it. “It’s a great story and everyone that I tell about it is going to love it. The rest will work itself out.”
There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that an author is completely unaware of until we hit publish, wait a few weeks, and watch little to nothing happen. That sucks! That is also about the time we realize that our dream of simply tapping away on the keyboard will lead to us living the life of our dreams, suffers a horrific death.
Embrace the suck
Authors go one of two ways when the dream dies.
- They plug away at it trying several things but eventually let it break them and give up, or
- They embrace the suck and do what needs doing to make the dream real no matter what.
It’s what happens when human beings are faced with a challenge. There are those that embrace the challenge and figure out how to over come it and there are those that give up and try something else.
It really isn’t until you embrace the suck and get determined to do it anyway that things start happening. This doesn’t mean saying that you “get it” and “are determined to keep going.” You are doing it.
What running an author business actually looks like
I’ve read a lot of “how to” articles over the years intended to help authors break out, the best way to market, and the quickest ways to do this or that. There are plenty of you need to’s and mental pictures of pots and pots of coffee and a lot of clackity-clack on keyboards, to get the words out. They don’t break things down into what it looks like when put into practice though. I want you to know and be aware of what it actually looks like.
If, when someone asks you what you do for a living, you can throw out author immediately, you are not running an author business. You write and publish books, sure, but running an author business is so much more than that. Writing and publishing books all by itself is awesome, don’t get it twisted, but it only scratches the surface when you do it as a business.
When you run an author business, you really have to stop and think about it when you are asked that question. You are doing so many other things that are not writing that it actually seems like you are everything but an author. You spend more time building a brand, learning the market, promoting books, tracking and analyzing sales and costs, and a ton of other things. Being an author becomes less and less of what you actually do.
It looks like “I know I owe you a blurb or a short story, but I really can’t talk right now, I’m elbow deep in website work because I screwed something up months ago and didn’t catch it until yesterday.” It’s doing everything but writing books for days and weeks at a time, but still writing and publishing new books on time. It’s not getting enough sleep and forgetting to eat because you are learning and applying marketing techniques, and those things are working.
You are a badass!
You are not someone that just writes books. You are also a marketer, a publisher, an accountant, an editor, a cover designer, a promoter, and a sales person. You also find or create other ways to make money because you need it to make things happen in your author business. All the while, very little of your time is actually spent writing books and even less of your income is derived from selling books, in comparison. Still, they get done.
Everyone of those titles become your daily routine when you run an author business. They each come with their own roadblocks, obstacles, and things that have to be worked out or around. You do it all and you do it because it needs to be done if you want to have an author business. That is the point where you can truly look at yourself and say “I’m a badass!”
Be a better badass than you were yesterday!