Passion. Obsession. Dream. Delusion. All are words that have been used when speaking about me and my writing. I’ve received my share of eye rolls and my share of pats on the back. Contest wins and losses. Rejections. Classes and conferences and speaking engagements. Even publication. Through it all, I’ve tried to “sell” both myself and my books with varying degrees of success but I never approached it like a business until 2014. And then my life sort of imploded and my business along with it.
So I’m starting over a little, regrouping and starting the journey back along the business plan I sketched together a few years ago. I think this is where writers fail the biggest, not as writers but as business owners. Read that word again: OWNERS. Whether we self-publish or go a more traditional route or do a hybrid journey to the printed word, we own our words, lock, stock and barrel. It’s up to us to build the store front, keep the inventory stocked and push the merchandise.
There were three facets to my business plan I’ll share with you.
The first was my brand (my storefront). A Writer’s House. I didn’t want to tie my brand to a single pseudonym because I write under several, and had several more planned. I thought about this long and hard, knowing how difficult it is to push ONE name to easy recognition. Using A Writer’s House gave me what I needed and I began to build my family of writer names. With the website, came Twitter and Facebook, then there’s all the other social media, and it’s a lot of upkeep to maintain a presence. Someone much wiser than me said to pick three (which is my lucky number) and then focus on those.
Next came the inventory. I was writing and publishing but I needed to add another element and thus developed Cypress Press, my editing service. Also captured under the umbrella of A Writer’s House, it is more than just for the published writer. I have beta reading, proofreading, story development and coaching. I don’t pretend to be an expert but I think I’ve garnered enough experience to assist the novice and advanced beginner craft a better story. At least I hope my clients think so!
The last leg of my journey is about education. I actually did more of this before I was published which I find a bit ironic. Now my focus in 2016 is to get back out there with the classes I’ve developed over the years and present at chapter workshops and conferences, possibly even online.
Regardless of which I’m working on, they feed back into the #1 goal for my business: build the brand. No matter which writing persona I’m wearing, I want to lead people back to the entire world I’ve created with multiple pseudonyms and business offerings for the writer. I’d like to think I’ll be big enough one day to only focus on writing but until I get there, the electric company and student loans demand monthly sacrifices from my pocketbook.