Let me repeat: It’s a Business

Writing is a business word cloud

Writing is a business not just art. Success hinges on more than your well-written words. Unless we view it as a business and dig in to learn how to run it, then our words will always be a hobby and few people will see them. That was the theme of many of the classes and workshops I attended at a recent writer’s conference.

Don’t stuff your ears

It’s been the trumpet call for years and yet writers resist the call. We stuff cotton in our ears and say I just want to write. My words have value. Let’s not sully them with marketing and social media forays.

I’ve been struggling to do what I can to build a platform. Every time platform was mention groans of frustrated echoed in the room.

man in blue and brown plaid dress shirt touching his hair

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

Groan worthy moment

I just discovered the reason I couldn’t post on Instagram on my laptop. Instagram is a mobile app only. That means I can read and follow on my PC, but it limits posting to my cell phone. (Sigh!!!) I’ve still got a lot to learn.

 

Cross-pollination

The key tidbit I took away from the conference was cross-pollination. Writers need to add speaking, coaching and teaching to their toolbox. I’ve been writing for years and speaking on occasion. Expanding my speaking platform makes sense. I’ve made a list of how I need to go about making that happen.

animal bee bloom blooming

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Another part of cross-pollination is writing articles from the content of your books. Write on the same theme in a variety of venues. My heart is to help others. This blog and articles I publish are how-to and helping pieces about writing, and a few other topics near to my heart. My novels have characters who need help to find healing and open their hearts to love.

person holding black pen

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Dreaded paperwork

Another piece of the business of writing is having a tax advisor who knows what you need to sell books at venues in your state. Some authors feel awkward charging customers sales tax. You are selling a product. If you don’t charge it, then it comes out of your pocket. The IRS will not be happy if you don’t pay taxes. You must understand what paperwork they require for your income tax at years end too. What can you claim as a deduction and where to send your sales tax?

Hire help

You can hire accountants, tax advisors or marketing gurus to do these things. My marketing gal does most of my social media, creates memes and tracks results. I choose to do some of it myself too. Numbers and I have never been friends. My tax guy is outstanding, and my hubby keeps the books for free.

Ask others

I wasn’t shy about asking other authors what resources they used to run a successful business. I’ve a lot of work still ahead as I navigate building my writing career. Longing for the days when publishers built careers won’t sell books or grow my income. It’s up to me to make it happen. And that is a tough steak to chew. But chew it I will.

How do you run your writing business? What new things have you taken on to make it a success? Comment below so we can encourage one another.

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to Jubilee Writer is you want to receive more writerly insights, and author reviews in your email when they become available.

 

 

 

 

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Six Tips for Choosing Conference classes

Tomorrow begins the first day of the Write to Publish Conference. I’m looking forward to seeing friends and networking.  As I peruse the class and workshop offering, I recall my first ever conference back in 2005.

I had no idea what to do, so many new things to learn. If not for the help of the veteran attendees I would have remained lost.

In the spirit of paying it forward and keeping the theme of Jubilee Writer here are some tips for choosing the classes and workshops.

  1. Where you are on your writing journey?

As a newbie there may be a faculty member your dying to meet whose teaching an advanced fiction class.  Don’t take the class. You’ll be overwhelmed and frustrated trying to keep up. Instead sit at his table during a meal. Faculty is encouraged to have meals with the attendees. Pick classes that will help you improve your craft. Be sure the titles that spark your interest aren’t miles ahead of where you are on your career path. Published authors should consider classes on marketing and any new trends. Writing is more than an art form it’s a business so stay informed.

  1. Newbies should always choose introduction classes and workshops that cover the basics.

Most beginner writers gain the most benefit from those classes. We are all a bit nieve at our first conference.  You may have many books written that aren’t published. That makes you a newbie. My first draft wasn’t as stellar as I thought after taking  the introduction classes for fiction my eyes were open. The same advice goes for non-fiction and articles  writing, too. New trends can change how you approach a book.

  1. Repeat a class or workshops

This isn’t your first year and the classes may appear duplicates of the year before. But, there is always something new to learn. I took the fiction track five years in a row. Each year it was a different teacher. I gleaned better understanding every time I sat through the class. Even after my first novel was completed I found help for my weak areas by revisiting the class. I’ve repeated marketing classes simply because it is constantly changing.

 

  1. Published authors should never stop learning

I don’t recall where I hear “When you stop learning you die,” but there is so much truth in that statement. We need to keep up with the changing trends or publishing house may not give us the time of day.  I keep hearing educational materials are selling well. STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) topics are the big trend. If I’m serious about writing as a career I need to find out more about that trend and decide if that is something I need to add to my writing resume. The money I’d earn from those projects could help fund the marketing of projects I love. Don’t dismiss a speaker or class covering the newest trends your career may depend on it.

  1. Choose a class out of your wheelhouse

If you write non-fiction, it would be a good idea to attend a class on writing effective dialog. When recreating a scenario in your non-fiction book dialogue can captures the essence in a way narrative cannot. If you write poetry perhaps a workshop on writing children’s books might help you find a niche for your creativity.

  1. It’s okay to change classes

If after the first fifteen minutes you discover the class is not what you expected then walk out and attend a different one. You’re not being rude. Most conferences encourage you to do it.

 

Lastly, there’s no need to fret over the classes you missed. They are recorded and MP3 are available to purchase.

Id love to hear your conference experiences in the comments.

 And if youre just checking out my blog and want to learn more helpful tips on the writing world or read author interviews subscribe. New posts will come to your email as they are posted.