Welcome to another chapter in As the Book Turns, aka the monthly shout out about our fears, frets, concerns, and general writerly commentary into the vast void. A world known as the Insecure Writers Support Group!
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Today is the one-week birthday of the outting, er publication, of my first book, The Glass Gargoyle. Which means that I am studiously ignoring sales and reviews (for sanity purposes), furiously working on the second book in the series (The Obsidian Chimera- out June 2015!), and reflecting on the business end of things.
Say it with me folks, writing is a BUSINESS. You, as the writer, are the owner of your business, and your books are your very creative widgets. Us as readers, are the consumers of those widgets.
I know, we creative types usually try to ignore the crass business side of things, and way in the past it may have been possible for a writer to simply WRITE (and edit, and re-write, etc). But it's not that way anymore, and not just for us Indie authors. Yes, the traditionally published do have more support than us Indies, but they still have to be the one who is responsible for really marketing their book, getting people to want to read it, and making sure the next one comes out. NY doesn't really do much in terms of that anymore unless you're one of their 1% ers--aka people who really don't need it.
So writers (if they are writing with the goal of other folks actually buying and reading their work) need to be able to switch into business mode. And look at the first cold, hard, fact--like all businesses--you are going to lose money in the beginning.
A great cover artist, costs money, an amazing editor or two or three costs money, formatting = money, promotion = money. Everywhere you turn money is going out. And as a new, unknown author, not a heck of a lot will be coming in. At first.
That's why there needs to be a plan. And an understanding that as freaking horrifying it is to see that tide of money flowing out, you're building a career which will hopefully turn that tide around down the line. And there need to be MORE BOOKS. An author can't just write one book, sit back and wait for money to come flowing in.
I doubt it was ever true for most authors and it REALLY isn't true now. You have to have another book on the horizon. Then another and another. If you are serious about this writing as a business, you have to treat it like a business. You can't sell just one widget forever.
So for today go out and buy someones' book-widget- doesn't have to be mine (but yeah, that would be cool) and go out and write a great review on a book you loved- help that author build their widget factory (and good reviews are the lifeblood of that! ;)) Support other writers in this business.