Authors Building Business
Authors learn about building their business at conferences, where we’re told that same thing. No one cares as much about our book business as we do. We have to follow through on the details, from the editing to the marketing. Conferences talk about the business end; it’s important, they say.
They tell us to read the contract. But no one takes a contract apart and explains what it is we should be looking for. Authors ask about sales tax and the answers are vague, varied, and hearsay, depending on personal opinion. We are told our business can’t survive without social media. But no shows us how to actually use the different social media accounts we set up. The email loops from writers are filled with unanswered questions: Do I have to charge sales tax at book events? Which blogger, which program, which this or that is the best? How do I do this on my computer? What about copyright? Is it beneficial to become an LLC? Should the business be tied to your home accounts? What’s the best way to record expense records? How much that goes on in the industry do I need to know? How does the Nielson Book Scan affect me? Does anyone really understand the Amazon reports sent weekly? How important is it? What’s “a lot” of visits?
Writers know the building blocks to a story or article. Authors know how to build characters, build plot lines, and build the action to a satisfactory closure. But not many know the steps to building a business. We’d rather leave those details to our editor, publisher, tax consultant, spouse, and take advice from other authors, who may or may not have accurate information.
But, bottom line, if it’s important to us, we need to hang on to those details. Get a handle on it. Ask experts. Learn. No one cares as much about our businesses as we do. And if we care, we must learn the business end.