The Business of Writing

Why cant I just write?

Oh Crap, tell me this isn’t a blog about business…please??

It’s true; we are writers, we want to write.  It is tough enough to conjugate words and have them make sense.  Writing is equivalent to weaving a ten thousand piece puzzle together when half of the pieces are blank.   The dog might have eaten some of the pieces, but yet we press on.

Do you want to make money with what you write?

If the answer is yes, then you must accept that writing is a business.  If it is, you need a business plan.

It is not enough to have ideas for stories.

From marketing to paying for your parts of the process you are not strong in, you must be willing to make sacrifices.

I am asked how much time should I spend marketing, and when should I start?

Do you know the answers?

In this very blog, I started a story about the Three Hundred.  Few of you took the time to read it, so guess what, it is a failure.  If I cannot entice someone to read a story for free, what hope do I have of getting someone to pay for it?

That is the first lesson; failure is part of the business plan.  Failure is a good thing as it gives us feedback.

I would tell you to keep tossing shit at the wall and see what sticks but, shit is probably not the best adjective I could find.

Cast your pearls out into the winds and see what seeds land on fertile ground and take root.

Either way, the lesson is, don’t stop.

If you have a passion for writing, write.  As for advice from me to you, write what you love or are passionate about.  If the Three Hundred stirs your juices (speaking to myself), write the damned story.

If this were to be a novel, when do you suppose I should begin to market it?

“The Three Hundred, a story of the last few humans to survive before mankind destroys the planet.”

Ok, I need to get this on social media and wet appetites.  Yes, when the title and the concept are in your mind, blog about it, tweet about it, and invite your readers to peek behind the scenes as the story develops.

With this action, you build a base of followers, who when the story hits the book stores will be the first to buy it.  They might also be the first to leave you reviews.  Reviews are a good thing.

Keep all your receipts because this is a business.  Trust me on this; when you make over $600 from Amazon, the government will be looking for their share.  They will know about it as you will be issued  a 1099.  Just claim it and move on. The federal prison on tax evasion is no place to write your next novel.

When the story takes form in the way of the first few pages, begin exciting your followers on Social media.

Dedicate time each day to marketing.

From Social media to web site design and content, it is all necessary.

One problem with social media is your eggs are in a basket that you don’t control.  The @twscott823 twitter account was suspended for no apparent reason.  I went to tweet about something, and it did not work.  I have many followers who were not easy to come by, and Twitter just suspended it because God only knows why.

Yes, I have appealed to the robot in charge.

Knowing that social media can be fickle and unpredictable, what can you do?

First, you must put your eggs into a basket that you control.  Web sites are a good one.

I am looking at paying for advertising on Amazon, which kills me.  I pay them to market my books that they keep a good chunk of—cost per click.  You could spend upwards of a $1 a click for a three dollar book that there is no guarantee that the “clicker” will purchase.

In business, we call this a loss.

I am currently exploring all the angles. What is the least expensive way to get my novels in the hands of those who would read them?  As I learn more, I will share it with you here.

#amwriting is not just a hashtag; it is who I am.

Much Love -TW