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Treating Your Writing as a Business
Are you self-publishing a series in a particular genre, say erotica, young adult, romance, sci-fi, crime, etc? With such an objective, the thought of profiting from your work has crossed your mind. Why not? Why shouldn’t you earn a few bucks for something that you love doing?
Passion is an excellent driving force, but writers nowadays must make sure that it puts food on the table. This may sound cynical, but following your passion alone is no longer a viable or even a realistic approach to building a stable career. You don’t wait for the royalties to pour in after you’ve written and published. You have to go the extra mile through a little marketing.
Artists prefer to immerse themselves in making art and let their agents and publicists do the selling and talking. Unfortunately, with so many people churning out books and self-publishing, not all of us are given the equal opportunity to have agents and publicists. This is how Do-It-Yourself becomes a virtue. Creating art, whether visual, performing or writing, is a form of business that requires marketing upkeep to sustain you as an artist. Even if you have written the greatest American novel and money follows, you could encounter problems if you don’t treat your writing with a business-like attitude.
Consider these things when you are self-publishing:
1. Most writers are not good with numbers, but bookkeeping will be an important part of your career, especially when doing your tax returns. Get help from a professional accountant to help walk you through exemptions and deductions.
2. If publishing an ebook, you are likely reaching a global audience. If you are a self-published author outside the United States, the website of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides information on what type of form you need to fill out and submit. Most likely, you will be required to fill out a Form W-8. If you are selling your books on Amazon, they provide information regarding the percentage of withholding tax.
3. Build a professional website. You can sign up for free or you can subscribe to a premium account. The problem with a free account, however, is that you have very limited options in customizing your site. Take time to choose the website provider that appeals to you and best suits your needs.
4. Use your social media accounts wisely. Do not use Twitter by just asking people to follow you. You need to engage with people. Follow them and they will ultimately follow you. All your tweets should be related to your writing. Remember that you need to drive them to your website.
5. Continue to communicate with your readers and other writers. Consider Amanda Hocking’s success. If you check her website, you get a feel for the genre that she has established herself in. Her books have professional layouts and she actively responds to her readers as much as she can. Think of it as quality customer service.
Remember that as an independent author, you are a one-man show. Your products are your self-published stories and you must create an awareness for people to buy and read it.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Vincent Dublado