Writing as a Business

Is your writing a hobby or a business? If your writing is a hobby it’s something you want to share, maybe post it and earn some money from it. But earning money isn’t your goal, it’s a byproduct. If your writing is a business, you’re out to create the best product you can and make money off your writing. Money is the goal.

How do I treat my writing as a business?

You need to create a quality product that you market and sale to readers. This means you need to figure out what you want to write, who you are writing for, how to create a superior product that stands out from the crowd, and where to market your book.

~Read and read and read. You should read books you love, not just to study the writing craft, but also read for enjoyment.

~You should start by learning to write. Write in a way that draws people in and makes them forget they’re reading a story and not watching a movie. Create characters that people remember. Use dialogue that doesn’t jar the reader from the story. And have an ending that makes the reader want to come back for more.

~You should emulate authors whose writing you love and enjoy, but not plagiarize or pirate their work. In this case, Imation is not flattery. Gain a writing voice that is uniquely yours and not a knock off of Stephen King or Julie Garwood.

~You should learn the rules of good grammar and writing. You’ll get fewer complaints of poor editing and your sentences will flow in a way that carries the readers away. You’ll also be able to break those rules with style.

~After you write the best book you can, read over it, then read over it again. Get other people who aren’t friends and family to look over it and give you an honest opinion.

~Create a book cover that shouts “Buy Me!” Format your book so that it doesn’t turn people away. If you can do this by yourself and make it look professional, all the more power to you. If not, pay or barter for the services you need. There are many cover artists and book formatters out there that can give your book a professional look for cheap.

What’s coming soon on SPAL?

After much discussion we’ve decided to concentrate our efforts to teaching people how we treat our writing like a business. Which means that we have a series of posts coming up that will talk about:

The Writing Basics
Ideas
Creating Characters
Giving Life to your Setting
Genres
Importance of Research
Planning, Scheming, and Plots
Schedules and Routines
Rough Drafts
Beating Writer’s Block
Stopping Writer Burn-out
Different kinds of Writing Partnerships
Writing a Series
Our Writing Methods

Book Setup
Book covers
Book formatting
Book Pricing
The Back Blurb
Author Bio for Books

Publishing Basics
Traditional Publishing
Self-Publishing
Digital / ePublishing
Print-on-Demand
Creating your own Publishing Company
Copyright
Asking for Endorsements
Contacting Book Reviewers

Author Platform
Pen Names
Branding
Blogs and Website creation and design
Blogging for Readers
Social Networking
Author Bio and Picture
Book Reviews
Spamming
Newsletters
Targeting your Audience
Press Releases and Press Kit
Promoting Your Book

Business of Writing
Book keeping
Taxes

16 Comments

  1. Juli Hoffman says:

    Love the new format! Looking forward to new stuff to come!!!!

    1. Thank you. We’re actually looking forward to writing them. 😀

  2. M T McGuire says:

    Very interesting… I think, personally, I regard my writing as a business and my books as a product right down to the moment when I look at the balance sheet. If I was looking at it as a business at that point I would cease to do it so that’s the point where I conveniently regard it as a hobby! 😉

    Cheers

    MTM

  3. LediaR says:

    Reblogged this on Writing Tips and commented:
    PLEASE MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE ORIGINAL BLOGGER’S POSTS. They were kind enough to let me share this wonderful article with you.

  4. Should be very interesting, I look forward to reading all of your articles. I think for me lack of routine causes difficulty with my writing. I’ve never been very good with schedules on my own so I really look forward to that article.

    1. Some people are very schedule oriented, others not so much. Have you thought about finding a writing accountability partner. Someone else who writes that you help stay motivated and they help you. Sometimes if you are accountable to someone for your time/writing, it helps.

      Or you could try ROW 80 that we talked about in https://selfpubauthors.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/a-nanowrimo-like-challenge%E2%80%A6but-not-so-life-consuming/ They have a great program and can be found at http://aroundofwordsin80days.wordpress.com/

  5. Hi, it’s an ambitious program you’re setting out, but I like it, and I look forward to each post. Thanks for taking the time away from writing your books to share what you’ve learned with other writers.

    1. You’re welcome. 😀 The whole point of SPAL was for us to share what we’ve learned with others. It started when there was very little helpful information about DIY Self-publishing. Most the information I was able to find in the beginning of my journey revolved around vanity and subsidiary publishing. Not the way I wanted to go. Good thing I ran into my friend Ruth.

      This year we decided to focus our efforts on specific topics that other writers have been asking us about. The linear posting schedule was born for us to follow and we thought we’d share it so everybody knows that we were listening. It also means that we don’t “beat the dead horse.”

  6. My writing is definitely a business to me. If I wasn’t making money with it, I would probably do something else. Yes, I love writing, but I do it because I’m making money with something I love. See, that’s a total win. I have sales spreadsheets, and I keep up with all my expenses. I really like the business end, too, not just the creative side.

    I think those topics you mentioned are great! They will especially be very helpful for writers just starting out, but they will also be good refreshers for those of us who have been doing this awhile.

    1. I’m with you. I love to write and I’d still be writing even if I didn’t make money. But I probably wouldn’t put so much time and effort to finishing a book. It would get done when it got done. And the whole uncomfortable marketing and promoting problem I have wouldn’t be a problem anymore. 😀 That I’m making money of my writing, at least enough right now to support itself, makes it even better.

  7. All sounds great Steph, always appreciate all you guys advice and support. Write On!

    1. Thanks and you’re welcome, Dave. Hope to see ya around. 😀

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