I’ve read it everywhere. Being an author is different now than it was ten to twenty years ago. I don’t mean that there are technological advancements like the smart phone and that interweb thingy. What I mean is, you don’t write a novel, send it in, and then wait for the royalties. Writing is a job, a venture for the serious, hard worker. If you are immersed in the writing world, you already know this. But, if you are trying to grow from a budding pre-published author to a hardened professional, how do you get there?
I work in the world of business. Some might think it greasy, but there are things I really enjoy about it. The company I work for is an ESOP company, an employee owned company. We are also in the industry of wage reporting which is changing from paper to electronic reporting and remaining relevant is of vital importance if we all want to keep our jobs and retirement accounts. What is nice about this sort of business environment is that there is a lot of input and exploring of methods and trends coupled with a yearning to always be advancing forward. Each employee depends on the other to pull their weight, because the money earned each day does not go into an owners’ coffer but an employees’. There is a spirit of entrepreneurship, which transcends all we do.
As an author, I think it is wise if we maintain the same spirit. We must understand how people are purchasing books.
- What are the emerging writing markets/publishers/genres right now?
- Is self-publishing a wise decision at this time or is the traditional route a better fit?
- If we are to self-published we must certainly investing in professional editing and cover layout, but where do you go to get that information?
- And how much should we spend on it?
- How about hybrid publishing, doing a small press print contract and then taking on some self publishing gigs?
- How do readers hear about new books in your genre, is it goodreads? Promotional Tweeting companies?
These are all valid questions that we should be seeking answers to. They might seem more relevant to a self-pubishing writer, after all the publishing house will take care of all of these things right? Wrong. You need to market your book just as much as they are. What if you reach out to the wrong publishing house or miss a cultural shift in the general public’s reading taste buds, will you ever sell the book you are writing?
There are a lot of mistakes to be made and a lot of avenues to consider when you want to make writing a career. Social media is certainly a huge part of it, but also keeping up with these trends as well. It would be awful to discover the content of your novel was popular a decade ago or that a lot of new books are discovered on a social media platform other than the one you are using.
I do my best to dig into these things myself. I want to be an educated writer so when the time comes I can make the best decision for my work. You are writing a book, but you are also launching a small business.
How about you? Have you discovered great websites or magazines or classes to help you in your writing? Let the readers know in the comments below.