Now That I Have to Be An “Author Entrepreneur”, Should I Self-Publish My Memoir?
“If you want to work on your art, work on your life.” Chekkov
My head is still spinning from the 2012 Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC.While I left feeling very inspired to keep writing, I also realize that once I publish my book, I will need to transition from being a writer to being an “author entrepreneur.” Writing my book is just the beginning. At some point I will have to figure out a way to get my book out there so the readers I have been writing for can get their hands on it.
The main buzz at the conference was the non-negotiable fact that if I want to write and sell a book, I have to think of myself as a business. It’s a whole new mindset. Writers are artists so this concept feels strange and uncomfortable at first.
I am now required to be an “author entrepreneur.”
In case you’re wondering what that means, here’s a great article on the key characteristics of being an entrepreneur: “having that gut feeling to know when something is right or not.”
But the choices are mind-boggling for a new writer: e-publish? hardcover? paperback?traditional? Once again, I turn to the experts for direction and have found the following links to be very useful:
Dan Blank of WeGrowMedia offers a course Build Your Author Platform to help you become an author entrepreneur and build your platform. Trust me, it is well-worth the investment. Thinking of yourself as a business is non-negotiable in this current publishing environment.We need to learn it and do it.
In this interview with Jonathan Field,author of Uncertainty:Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance on her blog Write Nonfiction NOW!,Nina Amir,author of How To Blog A Book explores Best Book Marketing Practices with Jonathan: “ You need to treat a career as an author as a business,creating what you love while observing what people like to consume.”
The website:Publishing a Book is an Adventure addresses e-publishing options available to writers. Here’s an interesting article on why publishers are less optimistic about eBooks’ future now than last year. Even so “people always appreciate getting carried away by a story that takes many hours to get through,and storytelling will always find a way to seep in new technologies.”
For all things publishing, Jane Friedman features a weekly column,Writing on the Ether by former CNN columnist Porter Anderson on her blog, Being Human at Electric Speed.It’s the most current information on publishing that you’ll find in one place, presented in an entertaining and engaging way.
Literary agent,Rachelle Gardner gives her thoughts on deciding about using an Indie E-book Publisher,citing that “you need to ask a lot of questions and stay the course. If acceptance by a traditional publisher is important to you,then keep trying.”
NY Times Best-Selling multi-published author,Bob Mayer, has strong feelings about the publishing industry today in this Write It Forward blog post:”Authors produce the product.Readers consume the product. Everyone else:Lead,Follow or Get the Hell Out of the Way.” He also talks about “defeating the forces of darkness” as it relates to publishing today.
Joanna Penn offers an excellent free e-book, Author 2.0 Blueprint which walks you through the publishing process. You can download it from her blog,The Creative Penn. Let’s face it, we all need a map to find our way through the current publishing maze.
In case you are feeling a bit discouraged, I leave you with this upbeat post by Christina Katz (the writermama), author of Build Your Author Platform:A Self-study Workbook(latest among others) and writing coach “There has never been a better time to be a writer because of the increased choices for how to publish which requires discipline,focus and clarity.”
There’s a lot to sort out here so I decided to call on two successful self-published authors (“indie-authors”) to describe their self-publishing successes.
Boyd Lemon, is the author of Digging Deep: A Writer Uncovers His Marriages and Eat,Walk and Write :An American Senior’s Year of Adventure in Paris and Tuscany. Here is my review of Digging Deep on Amazon.
Rebecca Bricker, is the author of Tales from Tavanti:An American Woman’s Mid-Life Adventure in Italy Here is my review on Amazon.
For the next few weeks, Boyd and Rebecca will be featured on Memoir Writer’s Journey. I encourage you to post any questions or concerns you may have in the comments below so Boyd and Rebecca can address them.I’m looking forward to your questions and the discussion so we can all learn from one another.
My first question is did you seek legal assistance in the self-publishing process? Also,one of the biggest concerns about self-publishing either a paperback or e-book or both is how do we insure the quality of the product ? what advice do you have about the editorial process?
Bonus: There will be random drawings for book give-aways for all three books: Digging Deep;Eat,Walk and Write and Tales from Tavanti. If your name is chosen from the comment section, you will be contacted via e-mail for your physical address so the book can be mailed to you. These are all great reads!
How about you?
Have you given any thought to how you plan to publish your book once it is written?
For those who have self-published, do you have any advice to offer from your experience?
How do you feel about thinking of yourself as a business?
For readers, what is your favorite way of reading~hardcover, paperback,e-reader?
Let’s talk about writing and reading in this digital age~