Publishing 101: Step One The Business of Writing

The Business of Writing

Publishing 101 logoIf you are really serious about publishing your work, which I’m willing to bet you are, then you probably have a list of books or stories that you want to publish. And since that is probably the case (and even if it isn’t), it is important to first consider your writing as a business.

Making your writing a business elevates it from being a hobby. A hobby is something you do in your spare time. A business is something that can bring you money.

And no, it doesn’t take the fun out of it…considering your writing as a business is smart.

When you think of your writing as a business, amazing things happen:

  • Everyone Takes it More Seriously You start treating your writing differently, and as a result, so do the people around you.
  • It Becomes a Priority When you add it the possibility of getting paid for your writing (which is what happens when people buy your published book), suddenly spending so much time on Facebook following rabbit trails seems like a waste of time. You begin to see that making the time to write and work on your book promotion every day could really make a difference, so you make sure to work it into each day.
  • It Helps You be More Organized When you start taking your writing seriously, and it becomes a priority for you, you begin to have a more organized approach. You clear a workspace, create files and set goals.

Take Your First Step: Treat it Like a Business 

Treating your writing and publishing like a business means you will have to set aside time each week for the activities of the business. It’s not always fun, but if you are deliberate about the business side of your writing, you will benefit in the long run.

The good news is the Action Steps I give you each week will walk you through each thing you need to consider and do on the business side. In the coming weeks we will cover:

Making it Official-filing the paperwork with The Powers That Be

Income and Expenses-understanding business terms

Keeping Records-good records are the foundation of a great business

Hiring Help-who you need by your side and how to find them

Managing your Time-a hard concept for a creative mind, but it can be done

In these blogs over the coming weeks I will walk you through these steps to help you build a strong foundation for your publishing endeavors.

So we might as well get started, don’t you think?!

Here are your first action steps:

 Establish Your Business

1. Name your business

If you are going to be a business, you need a business name. And yes, using your own name for your business is easy–and sometimes even appropriate. But you are more creative than that! You need to choose a business name that not only represents the book you are writing, but also all the books you plan on writing.

I’ve had some authors start their business with their names and then decide that a different name better represented what they do. It is a pain to change your business name, so consider this step carefully.

Will your name work? Will your name followed by Books work better? Is it available as a business name or a website? Is there a different word or a compound word that better describes what you want to accomplish with your business?

This is your time to be creative! Use the internet, use a bubble map, write crazy things on a piece of paper. Do whatever you need to do to create a business name that will longevity and accurately represent what you want it to. Take some time today to brainstorm some potential business names.

2. Set your business hours

If you are going to be in business, you need to set some business hours. If I know you, and I think I do, you are probably already juggling a job, a family, church and so many other things. You might think, “I’m too busy to set writing business hours.” But that is exactly why you should set hours for your writing business. If you set your hours, you will be more likely to work on your writing business during those hours instead of letting other things take over your time.

To set your business hours, decide how many hours a week you can devote to your writing and publishing. Then decide which days you will be able to conduct those hours. Finally, take a piece of paper (or your phone or tablet) and title a new page “Business Hours.” Then write down your business hours and post it on your desk or wherever else you will regularly see it.

If you need some extra motivation to work on your writing and publishing during those hours, set a reminder on your phone to alert you when it’s time to pay attention to your business!

That’s enough for this week.

Next week we will talk about making your business official and the advantages of doing so.

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