I’m all about simplicity. To me writing should be fun and all of the talk about business this and business that can be overwhelming and also suck the fun out of your writing life. So today I thought it’d be fun to discuss some not so technical things that you can do easily and go from Author to Authorprenuer.
From the EC Mental Dictionary
“An Authorpreneur (play on Entrepreneur) is a Self-Published author who has turned their work as a writer into a full blown business.
Authorpreneur is a term that is being used more and more everyday. With the explosion of the Self-Publishing Industry, authors are claiming the title to represent their work as serious business people. Below are 8 ways you can join them:
Legalize Your Name
OK, I know that sounds weird, your name is already legal! Right, but here I’m speaking of your business name. Decide on a name for your business. If you write under a pen name, register it as a business. You can file the paperwork easily through Legal-zoom under an LLC, Sole Proprietorship, or S-Corporation (please Google these terms for further understanding on what they are). Or, you can just get a DBA. A DBA is a doing business as name that gives you the opportunity to legally write and conduct business under your
pen author name. You’ll be able to set up a bank account to separate your author royalties from your regular income, use a debit card under this name, and even set up a PO Box.
Register Your ISBNS
This means you have to first invest in purchasing a block of your own ISBN numbers. You can get them from Bowker or Publisher Services for your books and register your ISBN with your company name as publisher. This will look more professional as your business name and ISBNS are now connected and will show up on Amazon or whichever platform you use, as publisher instead of Createspace.
Obviously, you probably don’t have a brick and mortar unless you’re a bookstore owner already, but you can set up a PO Box in your new business name. This will make it easier (and safer) to send and receive packages without having to give away your home address. It also looks more professional on your business cards.
Go to Vistaprint or a professional print company and print some business cards. On them, use your new business name and PO Box.
Set up a company email address. Gmail is the best email service provider but you can surely use others. If you have a website, your provider probably offers you a unique business email. firstname.lastname@example.org.
I keep saying this and maybe its just because I’m weird but in my opinion a blog is not the same thing as an author website. A blog is a blog. I mean sure, most of your readers are here but its my personal opinion that having both just looks more professional. Your website is the yourdomainname.com type of place without the constant stream of posts. It’s a place that showcases your work on a grand level without any other distractions as a place people can go to purchase your books. It may be wise to incorporate your blog into your site. Setting up a website means you’ll have to register a domain name. The most common sense thing is to register a domain name matching your business name.
Set Up An Inventory System
Using a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, keep track of your inventory of books. This can also work as a basic accounting system. You can use it as a very simple way to track and record your business finances and products. After you finish writing your story (after since a good story is most important), calculate the cost to publish this book. How much will it cost to purchase an ISBN number for it, book cover design, editing, marketing, and print. It sounds like a lot but its not. You may find someone to do most of the work free or very low cost.
Last but not least, set up a newsletter where you can add the contacts of those who are interested in the business of you. Most people recommend sending emails once a month. I do not think you have to follow this advice. Times have changed and sending an email newsletter once a month is old school. It still works, but in today’s techno world people are sending emails whenever they have something important to share. It’s OK to send emails every two-three weeks as long as you’re providing quality. Send your emails whenever you have something important to say but monitor them to see if your strategy works.
Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the YA, Historical Fiction author of The Stella Trilogy. She is currently working on her next book series “The Nora White Story” about a young black woman writer who dreams of taking part in The Harlem Renaissance movement and her parents struggle to accept their traumatic past in the Jim Crow south. “Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)” is due for release July 15-16, 2017. For updates on this project, be sure to follow this blog and to subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list HERE.