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 Authorpreneur.
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 Independent 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
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 of 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 Independent Publisher.
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 hire 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. yoursuper awesomebusinessname at gmail dot com. If possible, use a business email connected to your website such as yoursuperawesomebusinessname at yoursuperawesomewebsite dot com.
I keep saying this and maybe it’s because I’m weird but in my humble but also professional opinion, a blog is not the same thing as an author website. A blog is a blog. Your website is the yourdomainname.com place without the constant stream of posts. It’s a place that showcases your work 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. When you are ready to publish your books, calculate the cost of publishing said book and record this data to go back to. How much is editing? Cover design? Formatting? Print and distribution? Landing page or website? You can use this to save the money you will need to cover everything. Publishing doesn’t have to be expensive but it’s also not free. You will have to invest some money to get this book published even if it’s just a small amount.
Last but not least, set up an email list 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 once a month doesn’t work for everyone. It’s okay to send emails every two-three weeks if that’s what works for you. It also helps to build a relationship with your readers when you are in touch with them on a more consistent basis. A lot happens in a month. Send your emails whenever you have something important to say but monitor them to see if your strategy works.
Yecheilyah is an Independent Author, Blogger, and Poet. She writes Black Historical Fiction, poetry, and books that inspire. Learn more at www.yecheilyahysrayl.com.