Tuesday, September 21, 2010
CHAPTER NINE: The Business of Writing
I talk to writers all the time and one thing I notice is that most of us are full of desire and inspiration and passion. Art in all its forms is from the soul and like standing naked on a busy street. Our heart and soul is out there for all to see and it is scary.
Because of this most artists are not business men/women. We tend to be a bit introverted and care more ab out hiding away with a book or a paint brush in hand instead of in front of lots of people.
This fact is not a good mix to sell books. It is a bad thing if you want to make a living at this writing bizz. Now we cannot change who we are but do not be shocked if selling is hard and the book never goes anywhere.
Writing is a business. It must be looked at as a selling marketing product moving business if we are going to live off the written word. If you doubt this, take a look at thousands of authors that have a book in print and after selling to family they are now the owner of a lot of garage fodder and Christmas and white elephant gifts to last a lifetime.
If you had invented a great soap you would need to do things to market your soap and move product. Why do we look at books different? Is it not a business? Is it going to just get into people's hands by the sheer fact that we wrote it? Did the greats and bestsellers just sit back never doing anything?
Take a large and needed step back and get outside of your own emotions. This is a business, you are selling yourself and a product. If people like you they will buy your product. If you treat your writing like this you will sell books and thereby make a living doing what you love.
If you want to write for a living this is a must. Forget winning the lottery, forget the magic eight ball and all the schemes like book reviews and awards and a standing in the literary community. I will never be a part of the snobbery of this crowd because I lack the skill to hob nob with these great minds and my writing in their minds is hack and sub-par. Do I care?
Most this crowd will sit on a high hill and never go anywhere and never sell many books. I am interested in selling books, reaching people and doing what I love. Are you?
The praise of fans and the writing groupies will not sell more books. Yes the pat on the back may feel good but how will that pay for a box of diapers? Can I give the power co a book reviewed by NY Times or some hot shot reviewer?
Market your brains out, go to anything you can to get you and your work out there and work it like it is a real job, if you do one day it will be your real job.