Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Business of Writing: Part 1

Apparently, the majority of new businesses fail in the first year – something like 85%.  This can be a trifle discouraging if you have an entrepreneurial tendency.  
If, like so many writers,  you are going to self-publish, you are creating a commercial enterprise and you have to become a retail sales specialist and take all the steps needed to make it work.  For example:
·         product quality control
·         packaging
·         distribution
·         marketing
·         sales
·         customer support

You have to write a good book (product), make sure it has a great cover (packaging) and then make it visible so people know how to buy it. (marketing and promotion).
This all sounds surprisingly simple.  Which it is. But simple isn’t the same as easy.  Which it isn’t.
It helps if you enjoy every aspect of the process, because it is a lot of hard work.  But it can be fun and you will learn loads on the way.  I did.  And I’m still learning.

Six months ago I brought out my first backlist title: Matty and the Moonlight Horse.  I was so stunned that I had actually achieved this, I then became terrified to promote it in case everyone hated it.  Very silly indeed.  I didn’t tell anyone it was on Amazon for the first week, and therefore it never sold a single copy.  Then I started promoting actively, and gradually, over the next few months, sales began to build and continue to be steady.  Important, since I donate the royalties to Redwings Horse Sanctuary. 

By contrast, I recently brought out my 5th backlist title for the kindle.  It’s called Beware of the Horse.  Within a few hours of it being on Amazon, I already sold one copy, which astonished me.  This was before I had even told my partner it was there, let alone anyone else!  So I feel I have made some progress and that the continued work is paying off. 

Note to self when motivation is flagging: was founded in 1994 but did not show a profit (a tiny one) until late in 2001.

There are lots of brilliant blogs out there that provide invaluable information for anyone considering taking the indie route. I have listed a few below and will explore this topic further in a future post.

Related posts to check out:

Blog Taking Stock reposted on Carnival of the Indies


  1. I've just released my first book on Amazon too, and I know exactly how you feel! I'm nervous about promoting it in case people don't like it!

    1. Hi Rinelle - it's always a scary moment - you just have to grit your teeth and go for it!