The Business Side of Writing
The most successful writers I know understand that writing isn’t just an art. It can be a business, and treating it like one helps you make money.
That means keeping track of expenses, and spending money wisely to improve our writing and grow our base of readers. It’s not hard, but it takes planning as well as basic accounting and marketing skills.
We all want to write about what interests us, but we also have to think about what readers want, and how to best maximize our output. I’ve been serious about writing short articles and essays for awhile now, and it’s been working for me. However, I also want to return to fiction writing.
Writing novels is my passion. Since I was young, I would write fiction every spare moment I could find. Even when I wasn’t actively writing, my stories were on my mind. I used to think about my characters on my drive home from school or work, and even dream about them.
Then one day, I stopped. I couldn’t figure out how to make money doing it, so I hit the pause button.
I’m ready to start up again. I know a lot more now, and know that simply being a good writer isn’t enough if I want to make money.
I want to self-publish, so I have complete creative control with my novels. To do that, once each book is finished, I’ll need to pay for an editor, proofreader, and cover designer. (Some writers can design covers themselves, but I have no talent in that area.) I’ll also need to pay for advertising.
But that’s a little ways off. There are other money concerns I have at the moment. First, I’ll need to start a mailing list. It will cost me about $10 a month for a PO box, and more if I use mailing list software.
It’s not a big expense, but I’ve been putting off starting a mailing list for a lot of reasons. First of all, I’ve never had one before, and it’s a bit daunting. However, everything I’ve read indicates that a mailing list is one of a writer’s most valuable tools. And now that I know that writing is a viable business, it’s time to take the plunge.
I should also probably start putting my earnings and expenses into a spreadsheet. This is starting to get complicated, but if I keep on top of it, it shouldn’t be too bad. I already have a dedicated bank account just for my writing, and that makes accounting easier.
It’s exciting to spread my wings again as a writer. Thinking about expenses and spreadsheets isn’t always fun, but it’s necessary if I want to maximize my earnings and make sure I’m reaching my readers. There will be ups and downs, but I can carefully plan to make sure I get the best possible outcome.