Being a business owner versus a publishing author

Are you a business owner, or an author?

Start off as a writer but transform into a business person

This is the standard process authors take to publish a book:

  • Write book
  • Get cover
  • Prep book for printing
  • Upload on Kindle
  • Tell people you published book
  • Wait for royalties to roll in…

How closely do you follow this list? If you want to create an income from your self-published work, you’re doing it wrong. In fact, you’re doing it backwards.

Derek Hains from Just Publishing Advice succinctly puts it:

The current self-publishing model is doomed to failure because it defies all business sense.

You offer a product: your book. But your book does not need to be finished before you begin to market it. Make the announcement that your book is coming, months before it arrives. Marketing gets your name out and creates demand for what you offer.

Being a business person vs a published author

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You need to wear both business and writer hats to get the most successful outcome

Writing makes you a writer. Publishing makes you a publisher, a small business.

being a business owner and author

Not everyone believes they’re the right fit for running a business, they just don’t have the ‘business mind’, they don’t have the skills or the know-how to do it.

Everything is available to you in the age of the internet. You didn’t become a writer overnight, did you? Sure talent has a bit to do with it, but look back and remember how bad your earlier works are. I cringe at any of my work older than a couple of years!

Running a business is all about learning. You learn one thing, then another, and another until you become competent and then skilled. You don’t have to tackle everything at once. You can’t, that’s not possible. You can only ever do one thing at a time, so take it easy on yourself. Pick one thing in planning your business and focus on getting really good at that.

Writing makes you a writer. Publishing makes you a publisher, a small business.
If you want the biggest income you have to put on the business hat every week, you have to do something that will help the sales of your book. You need to wear both the hat of business owner and writer to get the greatest outcome and get your book on to the best seller list.


Without a plan publishing success probably won’t happen

How do publishers know what they’re doing? How do they know what will work? They have a plan. For each book they publish they follow a process. One that has been tried and tested over time, one that works for them. They know exactly how to reach new readers for that specific genre.

Without a plan, your chances of success are next to nil. How can you know where to go and what to do without a map? You are the character in your own book, you’re in a new adventure, a map is always handy!

When you release your book, people will not flock to buy it. Releasing it doesn’t make it an immediate magnet.

It is like dropping a pebble in a pond- but the size of the splash is how much momentum you have behind that pebble!

I recommend picking up Joanna Penn’s great book Business for Authors: How to be an Author Entrepreneur for more insights into making your business work for you (and not the other way around!).

 The important characteristics to being a business owner:

  • Goals– Without them, everything will fail
  • Planning– Know a general way how you want to reach your goals
  • Patience– It’s a long game, it’s important to wait to see if the results you want will come about or if you need to pivot your plan
  • Commitment– A little every day will make a huge difference.
  • Clarity– Understanding where the next step is in your path, and why you’re taking it.

How many of these do you tick off already? How many are you ready to learn?

Be brave as an author

Be brave! No business owner goes into already knowing how to run a business. So much of publishing is trial and error, testing and failing. We all started somewhere. Where will you start?

Do you already have what it takes to be a great book publisher? Download our FREE worksheet and find out!

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