Sep 15, 2016 • 1HR 2M

45. Author Career: The Business of Being an Author

 
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A publishing podcast about reading, writings, books, and occasionally booze.
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This week JJ and Kelly tackle the BUSINESS of being an Author, how being an Author (business person) differs from being a Writer (the artist). Creatives notoriously don't like to talk about money, but we're gonna to talk about money. Prepare thyselves!

Show Notes

  • Being an author is essentially being a small business owner.

  • Rachel Aaron/Bach's Writing Wednesday series

  • YA Writers subreddit (moderated by previous guest Beth Revis)

  • Once you become published, whether traditionally or indie, time must necessarily be spent on business decisions: from cover copy to promotion, to design to conferences. As much as we may want to spend time just writing, that won't be possible once your work becomes available for public consumption.

  • When making business decisions regarding your career, you must weigh the costs (both time and money) and benefits. The return on investment (ROI) must be greater than the time or money spent, or else it is a sunk cost.

  • Worthwhile investments:

    • Conventions or conferences (particularly free festivals like Decatur Book Festival, Bookmarks Festival, YALLFest, or YALLWest)—networking is crucial.

    • Joining writer organizations like SCBWI, RWA, SFWA, or MWA

    • Not all swag is created equal, but bookmarks are great because they pull double duty as a handy tool and your author business card. They are also cheap to mail!

    • Writing classes can be useful, but consider what you're looking to get out of it. If you're looking to get a book deal, then it's not a good return on your investment. But if you're looking for critique partners or new skills, then it might be worth looking into.

    • Publishing business-related classes are also useful: how to read contracts, how to audit your royalty statements, etc. Remember, you are managing your business, so learning the logistics and how to manage your business is important.

  • Resource management is important, but the bottom line should not dictate what you produce. Financial success and creative success should not be mutually exclusive.

What We're (JJ's) Reading

What You're Saying

A must for your subscription list ★★★★★ Cheshirekaiju JJ and Kelly do a fantastic job with this podcast. I greatly enjoy learning about how the publishing industry works as well as their writing advice. I look forward to the recommendations at the end of each episode as I always end up with new books, podcasts, etc. to add to my to-do-list. Plus, I'll forever be grateful to the introduction to Hamilton.

Well, sorry we're not particularly forthcoming with our recommendations lately, but if our legacy is introducing people to Hamilton, then we can rest easy.

Off Menu Recommendations

That's all for this week! Next week we'll be getting into the higher levels of publishing with the start of a Publishing 301 series! Starting with LICENSING AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. As always, please leave us questions and comments, and we may answer them in our next podcast episode!