Amber Ramsey

Are You Doing What it Takes to Make Your Writing Business Healthy and Successful?

Write On Press helps independent authors find their way from concept to published project to profitable distribution. We’re here to help you get your vision through production, pricing, distribution, promotion and the other business-centric aspects of the literary world that go far beyond being an excellent writer. Reach out to us today to find out more! authorservice@writeonpress.com

Are You Doing What It Takes to Keep Make Sure Your Writing Business Stays Healthy and Growing?

By Amber Ramsey

As a literary entrepreneur, you constantly strive to make your business as productive and financially healthy as possible. You work hard to keep up with the ever-changing business world and stay ahead of new trends in marketing. You want to keep your support staff, vendors and contractors happy and your readers and publisher satisfied. This is a lot to oversee at once. If you’ve been wondering if you are doing everything you can to keep your business successful, here is a general checklist for you to evaluate the efficacy of your literary business practices.

Follow the sound business basics to get a great start on ensuring that you are doing what it takes to make sure your writing business stays healthy and growing

Write On Press is committed to helping independent writers be in control of their literary careers. Get a quote today!

Are you communicating effectively with support staff, vendors, contractors and clients?

Clear communication is an essential component of good business management. Your support assets need to have a clear understanding of your business goals and strategies and of their place in the overall structure. Your readers and publisher should trust you to give accurate information or to admit when you are uncertain. You should not have a pattern of over-promising on projects. Are you available to your support assets and publisher(s) when needed? Do you actively listen to them? Have you utilized the latest technologies to facilitate better communication?

Are you organized?

It’s difficult for a disorganized business to thrive, and sometimes, lack of organization can lead to business failure. You and your support team should have a clear conception of the structure of your business and how its systems function. Your workspace, even if it’s virtual, should be well organized with everything in its place and easy to access. Use planning apps to make sure your schedule is well organized and everyone stays on the same page. Your records should all be properly maintained and clearly labeled, whether in physical files or digital format.

Are you staying on top of your accounting and payroll?

Many writers begin their journey as a “one-person operation.” This doesn’t mean that you don’t need to follow good accounting practices. Whether you are writing articles for a e-zine, blog or content mill, or writing a novel without an advance, it’s a good idea to track business expenses and how much you are paying yourself.

As your literary business grows, you may need to track advances, payouts to support team members like publishing agents, and expenses related to researching that sci-fi novel. Trying to get your financial processes organized at this point can be overwhelming. It’s best to have your accounting structure set before you get to this level of success, here’s why…

Organization is especially important when it comes to your business’s accounting. Disorganization in the books can lead to costly errors. It helps to have an accounting professional manage your books to free up your bandwidth to run your business. Plus, having a professional accountant is likely to save you money in the long run.

DIY Bookkeeping?

Some business owners prefer to handle their own books, but if you are taking this route, you may need to learn some accounting basics first. Fortunately, with the proliferation of online learning programs, you can easily earn an accounting degree online while still running your business. Of course, there are free and paid software and apps that can help you manage the cashflows as well. A quick Google search for Excel accounting spreadsheets can get you downloadable and ready-to-fill-in forms to get you started.

It’s also crucial that you stay on top of payroll. This is easier if you have an automated payroll system to make it easier to track time and invoices, as well as calculate wages, deductions, and tax obligations — especially useful when calculations are not in your wheelhouse. It’s also easier to stay organized this way, as well as ensure that you’re maintaining accuracy in your recordkeeping.

It may seem like a bit much for a independent writer or author, but even if you are just managing payments to yourself, take the time to gain this skill. Eventually, you will need to pay consultants, cover artists, copy editors and many other support staff as your business grows.

Are you in compliance with regulations affecting your business?

If you are registered as an LLC, you should have a registered agent and an Employee Identification Number. Be sure you are aware of all tax laws governing your type of business. Maintaining organized records, as discussed above, will aid you in staying compliant. In addition to staying out of trouble, having an appropriate business registration may entitle you to tax benefits or grants. Do your research, it could really be worth the time.

Are you continuing to train and learn?

The literary market is constantly changing, and a professional writer needs to be flexible and creative to keep up with it. You and your support team will find yourselves having to learn new skills and techniques, especially as your business grows over time. Take advantage of coaching and training services to stay ahead of the game. After all, if you don’t continuously improve your intellectual ability, you will have a hard time making sure your business stays healthy and continues to grow.

Are you networking effectively?

Keep your business from stagnating by expanding your network in your community. Network among potential support staff, and with other entrepreneurs both in and outside of the literary industry. Social media is a valuable networking tool for connecting with others in the world of authorship. It’s a good idea to attend conferences and stay abreast of innovations in the market, and take advantage of training and educational resources. Joining your local chamber of commerce will allow you to network locally, and offer your company greater visibility, as well.

Don’t be afraid to get out and meet people. Search out all of the independently owned bookstores in your area and get to know the owners and managers. Visit the local libraries and introduce yourself to the head librarian. Visit the large corporate bookstores and build a relationship with the managers. These connections can be invaluable when understanding market trends and what themes are most in demand.

Having a clear sense of principles to follow in business management will help you make sure your literary business stays healthy. If you find you are lagging in any of these areas, set goals for improvement. By sticking to and following through with your goals, you can help grow your literary business and lay the groundwork for its future success.

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Malik Sharrieff

Make time for writing!

To say that the world we live in is hectic has got to be the understatement of the century!

If you’re like most of us, with already busy schedules you’re probably saying, “How can I make time to write?”

With all of the responsibilities we have as adults it does seem impossible to make time to write in an already busy day. Once we get beyond our already packed schedules lie all of the distractions of family and convenient entertainment. Sometimes, we’re just plain tired!

However, the truth is that if you make the choice to pursue a goal that you really want, you will make the time to go for it!

Part of the reason we struggle with making time is because we know that it’s a huge undertaking. Writing a manuscript isn’t like writing a letter to a friend.

Completing your manuscript requires dedication, research, creativity, and last but not least time (and a lot of it). So when time is an issue, how do we conquer it?

Break it down into smaller segments!

Attack your writing project as if you were eating an elephant… one bite at a time!

Chop the project into more manageable portions and schedule their completion. Then, stick to the schedule!

Use whatever small window of opportunity you can grab until you can get your manuscript finished. If you have thirty minutes while your baby is down for a nap, take it!

An hour while your son is at soccer, take it! A lunch break at work, take it! Take your computer with you and write on the train on your way to work. If you’ve only got a couple hours every Saturday, then reserve them for writing. Even better, record your prose on your phone and then use those few hours you have to transcribe what you dictated earlier.

You’ll be surprised at how much you can get accomplished if you are creative, dedicated and efficient with your minutes.

Remove from your mind that you need huge blocks of time in order to write. A book is not written chapter by chapter; books are written one word at a time! If you change the way you look at the project, you can change the way you schedule your production.

Think about it like this… even if you write for thirty minutes you’ve advanced your story. Do that enough and you’ll see progress!

As long as you keep moving forward, eventually you will get to…

~ THE END ~

Feel free to comment or ask questions below, or discuss how you were able to use your time more efficiently to complete your latest project.

Until next time, keep writing!

~Malik

P.S.:

If you have any questions, shoot us a note at the contact us page.

Malik Sharrieff

Why Does It Take So Long To Write A Book?

I’m sure you’ve heard the stories of people who’ve written a book in 30 days. You may have even wondered why it’s taking you so long to write a book.

Can I let you in on a secret…?

Being able to churn out a book in 30 days is a rare talent. It’s even more rear to be able to produce anything that a publisher or a reader would consider quality in 30 days or less.

For the majority of first time authors it takes longer because there are fundamental aspects of writing you must learn first. Then, once these fundamentals are learned, it takes more time to master them. It’s only with this mastery that a writer is able to produce quality, faster.

As a publisher, I can tell you that writing your book(s) faster MUST NOT be your goal!

Instead focus on these production basics:
  • Strengthen your imagination: build your capacity to create so you can do so at will. You can produce much quicker if you aren’t waiting for inspiration to come,
  • Develop your writing skill: practice with short stories and flash fiction or articles (for non-fiction writers). Be ready and able to craft characters, conflict, climax and closing (or resolution). This saves loads of time with rewrites and revisions,
  • Take control of the schedule: You determine how you will spend your 24 hours each day just like everyone else, allocate specific times for writing and work that schedule like a job. Once you master the point above, you will be much more productive during writing periods and you will be able to plot your book’s ETA,
  • Develop a support team: writing a book isn’t all about the manuscript, get reviewers and copy editors in place before you start your next project. Make sure you have a publishing plan and that you have your production budget set aside or planned for before you start you next project. These concerns are major distractions and can easily derail a project.

 

It doesn’t have to take forever to write a book if you know the steps to take.

This is your dream and it’s worth the effort!

Feel free to comment or ask questions below, or discuss how you were able to increase your production speed.

Until next time, keep writing!

~Malik

P.S.:

If you have any questions, shoot us a note at the contact us page.

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