Managing Your Book as a Business


The Business of WritingStrategically Designed Business Models

Authors Create Strategically Designed Business Models

It takes courage to put yourself out there as an author!   Your inspiration is fantastic; the follow-through frightening.  One way to get beyond that initial fear is to start with something small – a little pocket book or information booklet, many of which can be written on a long weekend. Now, that seems easy enough… you come up with an idea for something small, create it and publish it  –  without all the confusion of other tasks you normally associate with publishing a major manuscript of any nature.

Once you are comfortable with a process, it is natural to think beyond the first endeavor and writing another (and another) feels like an undertaking that no longer overwhelms you.  Once you have achieved a certain sense of confidence in your writing, it is important to look at your efforts from a business perspective and create a strategic design of what what that business would look like. If you do not, you will overlook a number of things which will prohibit you from growing as an author, and from generating profitable revenues.

Strategic Design

Writing the first small pocket book or booklet allowed you to retain a narrow focus; it was a relatively small task and you managed it well.  However, when you decide to offer additional publications, no matter the size, or even other “spin off” products, your writing tends to take on a life of its own. In meeting the requests of your growing base of loyal customers, your creative energies will surge and the tasks of managing creation, production, distribution and marketing and sales will all take on a new perspective.   The question then begs the answer, “Do I have a job or a business?”

To prevent your growing “book business” becoming just another job, you have the opportunity – from the beginning – to structure your actions so that you…

Remain in control of your life, retaining the freedom to choose how you spend your time and how much money you make.

Creating a strategic design of the model you desire for your business requires your thinking of it not as something you “do” during your waking hours, but as a viable business which you “manage.”  Your mental and emotional approach to your work  will make a significant difference in the actions you take, and the results you achieve.  Imagine a corporation as you would perceive it; you get to choose whether you want it to be a one man show – but do you really think you can go on indefinitely being the janitor, accountant, marketing director, CEO… and writer?

The Art of Delegation

Granted, you may have to start your business as a one-legged chair, but it is far better to decide that you are willing to let go and watch your business grow – even if on a small scale.  Success stories of businesses that started in someone’s kitchen or living room and grew into a large scale success are abundant.  The one common factor in each of these stories is of the owner starting out small, and with passion and strategic direction, grew a business that ultimately employed others to manage the day to day functions of the company.

If writing as a profession is important to you, and you are serious about doing more than that first little pocket book or booklet, you will have to keep an open mind about when it may be time to employ others to manage some of your workload – so that you might spend your time on what you do best – writing!  If you are as successful as you desire, there will come a day when you realize you are doing yourself a disfavor in having a lack of willingness to delegate certain tasks. The willingness to delegate to others doesn’t mean you have an enormous bricks and mortar business with hundreds of employees – the wonderful power of technology allows for virtual assistants to serve your needs, be under your advisement, and not require additional employee related costs.  I know of one author who resides in Australia who manages a staff of 18 Virtual Assistants around the world – all from a 256 square foot home office!

Your challenge in choosing writing as a profession is to manage the daily aspects of your book writing business
NOT work at them.
You will have more time to do the things you enjoy
– both in your business and in your life!

I hope you have enjoyed this focus on writing, and your book being perceived as a viable business.  It was inspired by a wonderful conversation with book editor Carol Hess. Please stop back from time to time and check into this category – I hope to shake up your thinking in such a way that you gain more freedom to write, and the profits that will support that talent!  Decide – is NOW the time to get your legacy message to an awaiting world; is it time to get your Voice(s) in Print?

Anna Weber
Voices in Print

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now”

~ Alan Lakein

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