May 22, 2017

Writing as Business

When I decided that I was serious about getting published, part of that was upgrading my writing from mere hobby to business. I knew from the start that I would be investing a lot of time (and probably money as well) into getting my novel in print, and I'd have to continue to work hard if I wanted to be successful.

This post was inspired by a discussion (okay, argument) I had with a fellow writer. We didn't see eye-to-eye on some of the necessary steps before publishing a book. He made some excellent points, but there were a few items that I just wasn't swayed enough to change my mind. So, I thought I'd talk about some of the things that I believe are necessary to become a successful self-published author and some things that may just be extra work.

Necessary 

Know where to draw the line between you the person and you the professional.

I don't mean adopting multiple personalities or keeping your writing and personal life completely separate (unless that's what you want). One of the scariest things for me as an author was putting myself out there for everyone to see. I want them to see the genuine me, but I also want to protect myself. That means using a PO Box for everything writing related and not sharing my home address. I made a separate page on Facebook for my writing, and am careful about the privacy setting for everything I post on my personal account. I try my best not to be an asshole on social media because I'm not anonymous; I'm in the public eye.

Where that line is drawn is going to be different for everyone, but I do recommend taking a few precautions to protect yourself.

Not Really Necessary

Setting up a publishing company as a separate brand.

As an indie author, my name is my brand. The last thing I want is to confuse readers with a publishing imprint and LLC behind all of my books. I'm proud of the fact that I did all of the work to get my novel to market. I want readers to know that I did most of the editing and design work myself. There is still a bit of stigma behind self-published books, but most readers just want a good story.

I decided to set everything up as a sole-proprietor which basically means that I am my business. I haven't created a separate tax ID or company name for my writing efforts. I don't have a title for my business other than just my name.

If I do become successful enough to get my books into physical bookstores, then I'll look into purchasing my own ISBNs which means I'll need a name for my publishing imprint. And I already know what that name would be: Beth Martin Books.

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