Are You Open For Business

Once you have a book for sale – you have a business.  But are you open?  It’s easy to know. Is your product getting to its intended customer?

Yes, like it or not, your book is a product and readers are your customers.

We understand – calling your book a product seems harsh / boring / uninteresting / cruel to many writers.  Writers aren’t running a business, but published authors are. Sometimes it helps to translate business terms into the phrases we use for writing.

In its purest form, a business is a process used to create something and sell it to people who want what has been created. We write and create books for people to buy for money. When an item is sold for more money than it took to create and sell the item, a profit is made.  Successful businesses make a profit.  Unsuccessful businesses don’t.

There three stages of a business. Successful authors do them all, but we call these business terms something different. Officially, these are

  • production,
  • operations,
  • marketing also called sales.

In business terms, creating something is called Production. Writers call it – writing. Businesses have products.  Writers have manuscripts.  Your work-in-progress is a product “in production”.

Operations are all the activities needed to get your product to the market. Writers call it “finding a home for our book” and “sending out the manuscript to an editor or publisher”.  It also includes tracking submissions, signing a contract (woo hoo!), guest blogging, and rounds of edits. For a writer, Operations is getting your manuscript to a publisher in the form they want.

Marketing or Sales is the process of getting your book in the hands of readers.  So? How are your sales?

Strong and consistent? Or weak and sporadic?

Like any new or struggling busines, you can change this. And no, writing better isn’t necessarily going to help.  Of course, we always want to be improving the product we offer (writing better books), but the most exciting products and the best written books need to be found and heard about in order to be sold.

At the WBS, we hear from writer friends all the time that:

  • “Blogs don’t work.”
  • “There is too much time between releases to keep readers interested and/or connected.”
  • “Paid ads are better for reaching new readers.”
  • “No one is interested in getting a newsletter from a lesser known author.”
  • “There is no time for this.”
  • “I have no time.”
  • “No one has enough time.”

Yes, that last one comes up a lot.

We know it can be really tough to balance writing and business, but ask any of the selling authors who first rose to be top sellers in the last ten years will tell you – they had to work at it. Once the “big six” publishing companies began to downsize and dropped their midlist authors, it became up to the authors to do the work to sell their books.

And it can be done quite successfully.

Bella Andre, J.A. Konrath, Amanda Hocking, H. M. Ward and other “names” in self and independent publishing all have information on their blogs and websites on how they grew to be best-selling authors.  None of them discuss taking more writing classes. They talk about the different ways they engage readers: blogs and websites, of course, sometimes newsletters and always some form of social media including Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter. They choose the social media outlets they like the best, they post regularly on a wide-reaching central topic/theme/interest (at the Writers Business School that’s what we call Platform) and they do what they can to consistently stay connected to and engaged with readers.

The relationship between time and money.Conceptual image.

All the time.

No excuses.

No matter if they’re releasing a new book next week or next year.

Best-selling author E. J. Stevens told us that as she built her business, more than 50% of her time went to business. Business over writing.  Now she reaps the benefits of this with a business that, usually, runs smoothly (follow her on Facebook and you’ll read about the glitches known as life which she shares with humor and empathy, part of her brand).

The amount of time you spend on your business is in direct correlation to the amount of money you will have in your royalty checks. If you want that check to cover some or all of your bills, you need to learn some simple business skills.

Learning how to find, connect and engage your ideal reader is a skill you can learn, and a repeatable process you can use to improve your book sales.

Of course, we think it’s also really fun.

You take the steps, you see the results, you make changes as necessary and then you get more results!  Remember, if you’re looking for help with your business check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/writersbusinessschool for information on our classes (free and extended) or our website www.writersbusinessschool.com where we have a self-assessment quiz and questionnaires to help you understand the five skill sets which will increase your book sales and make certain your business stays open!

Posted in Book Launch, General Business

Why You Need A Reader Stewardship Program

We’ve gotten a lot of comments and questions recently about how “social media doesn’t work” to sell books.  And the answer is of course not! Social media is not intended for selling. It is for making an initial connection with your audience.  Think of it as looking for places/groups/chats where you ideal readers are naturally hanging out.  People make 80% of their purchase base on how they FEEL about the product or company.  Your book is the same.  People will buy based on how they feel about you. So… give them an opportunity to feel something.

Social media is your introduction to your audience and ideal reader. The next step is to build value into your readers’ lives through a systematic plan which is workable for you and beneficial to them.  This process is called Reader Stewardship. The email addresses you collect are a big part of it, but those emails are only one part – and only the start – of reader stewardship.  What you do with those emails, the information you share, and the fun experiences you create with your readers are all part of this important process. It’s so important, it’s one of the five skill sets we built the Writers Business School on.

Here is the process for selling books.

  1. Figure out who your ideal reader is.
  2. Find where this person spends they time
  3. Make connections in those locations including social media groups (Facebook, Google+, etc.), community organizations, and professional organizations.
  4. Share information with these groups authentically and add value to their interactions with you.
  5. Invite interested people to join your mailing list for more interesting information like the kind you have been sharing.
  6. Teach your reader list how much fun it is for them to do what you ask.
    1. Games, questions, kudos each month.
    2. Invite to off line events (readings, volunteer things, community nights)
  7. Let them know the book is coming out. And there will be tons more fun.
  8. Place your book for sale in locations your ideal reader can find them (online and in person)
  9. Ask them buy the book when you want them to and offer extra prizes if they do.
  10. Send out sample reviews they can fill in and leave on line. And ask them to share the review they left with you on social media.
  11. After launch is over thank your email list with a special freebie.
  12. Go back to sharing info on the topic which connects all of you and plan more fun off line things.

Did you notice – asking them to buy the book (which is not selling, it’s asking) doesn’t happen until step 9.  There are EIGHT things you should do first.

Social media is step 3 of 12 in selling your book.  It’s near the top of the list, but it is not the first thing you need to do.  It is the third thing after figure out your ideal reader and where they spend their free time.  Then you can make a connection with them through sharing the platform topic you enjoy talking about.

After this introduction has been made, and people have started interacting with you, then you can invite them onto the email list.  Collecting the emails is not enough.  You need to continue to provide the relevant experiences you readers want.  People gave you their email addressed, because they want to know more.  Share more.

Once a month, send out a quick recap of the fun things you gathered or learned about your favorite topic that month. Ask the recipients an open ended question to see how they respond.

Then check (your numbers, your likes and comments, results) to see how it is going. Are people opening your emails?  Are people responding?  How long did it take to pull the information together before sending it out? How long did it take for you to send the info out?  How can you make the process easier on your end for next month? What additional fun thing do you want to try with your email list in the future? (Does running a contest make them respond faster? How much warning do they need before they take action? )

Your email list is a training ground for you to try out all the fun contests you want to run for your launch, figure out how long it takes your readers to do stuff, and figure out the best calls to action to use on your audience to pull out your readers.

Your reader stewardship program sells books to your motivated fan base.  Not with a million Buy MY Book pleas, but with a simple sentence at the bottom of your email.  “(author)’s latest book (title) is available from (place with link).”

Looking back at the list of twelve – where do you think you’re doing well?  Where do you think you need more skills? And how can we at the Writers Business School help?  Comment below or send us an email at writersbusinessschool@gmail.com

Posted in Five Skill Sets, Reader Stewardship Tagged with: , ,

Creating a Successful Book Launch – Start Now

START WHERE YOU ARE

It doesn’t matter where you are in your book launch process, whether it is a month away or a year away, you can be working on making your next release a success.  There are three things you should be doing on an ongoing basis:

  • Stay in touch with current readers,
  • Put out fun content for your readers to enjoy, and
  • Outreach to connect with new readers.

When you do this, the week your book launches will be easier, smoother, and you can look forward to strong pre-sales numbers.

Before you get going, remember, the Writers Business School suggests you balance your time writing with time for building your business in approximately a 4:1 ratio. So if you plan five hours for writing, plan for one hour to focus on your business.  You can also write for 50 minutes, then do 10 minutes on business (post on your favorite social media to connect with readers, jot down ideas for blog posts or giveaways, find a new group on Google+ or Facebook that connect with your platform).

This week we’re going to review:

STAYING IN TOUCH WITH CURRENT READERS

You have an e-mail list, a blog, a Facebook group, Twitter/Instagram followers. Use these methods to talk to and start a conversation with your readers.  If you don’t have at least an email list of readers and one social media account on any of the options, this post will show you why these tools are so important to authors.

The goal is to stay engaged a group of people who either a) like what you write already, or b) like what you have to say about stuff and read in your genre.  These are the readers who are already connected to you through your books and your platform.   They are the ones who are most likely to buy your next book and/or tell their friends about it.

Have fun – be creative.  You’re already good at that.

How?

First: Share updates, fun facts, or create a poll.  Ask for advice, suggestions, or ideas on your platform topic (Example:  Where is your favorite place to find information on _____?).

Second: Blog about something you’ve recently learned or discovered.

Third: Put a post on Facebook with a link to your blog, with a photo related to this on Instagram and/or a commentary tweet.

Fourth:  Later in the week, post a question related to your blog, post a link to an article that supports your position, or someone who holds the exact opposite opinion and restate your view of the issue.

You can do these things in one week or stretch them across an entire month.

Social media is to be social, make connections and share ideas.  Share regularly, and people will start to look forward to your posts, and in time, when your book is out, these readers will be inclined to help you celebrate your book birthday by buying a copy for themselves.  We all enjoy helping out friends.

NEXT BLOG: Putting out fun content for your current readers to attract new readers.

AND if you want to learn three ways to connect with new readers, join us for our FREE WEDNESDAY WEBINAR on this topic MARCH 15: : http://tiny.cc/wbsblmarch

Special Note: if you think you’d like to learn all the pieces necessary for a successful book launch, send us an email at writersbusinessschool@gmail.com  and tell us you want to hear about our 8-week BOOK LAUNCH BOOT CAMP

 

Posted in Book Launch, Five Skill Sets Tagged with: ,

Never Sell Again – The Power of Platform

swiss-army-knifeWhat if there were one tool that could help you improve your book sales, name recognition, and reader attention? Would you want it?

What if using that tool meant you never had to feel like you were “selling” your book again. Would you use it?

That tool is platform.

Have you seen the animated film Rise of the Guardians? One of the most important aspects of the film is Jack Frost finding out what is at his core, what his greatest strength it.  To learn about your platform, you need to go through the process of opening up the nesting dolls of your interests, passions, and knowledge to find what is at your center, because that center can not only guide you – it can naturally help you build your business.

Build your business on a strong platform

At the Writers Business School, we describe platform as the core of you as a person and a writer.  It is not something new, but it may be something you need to uncover. It is the focus of all your clearest decisions, commitments and deeply held beliefs – whether you are aware of it or not.  In fact, it has been guiding your writing, your dreams, your professional career, even perhaps your wardrobe, for years.

When you know your platform you can learn and become very clear about your:

  • Core Audience
  • Brand
  • Tagline and Logo
  • Social Media Plan
  • Blog Topics

And although there is a lot of information out there, we when discuss platform, we are talking about an idea or interest.  Don’t get fooled into thinking your platform is:

  • Your social media and internet presence
  • Your brand
  • Advertising
  • Logo

It’s not. Your platform informs all of these and can give you the clarity to determine what these aspects of your business are or should be.  It allows you to create more engaging social media posts, decide where you want to advertise and guide you to years of blog topics.

Platform is related to purpose – what you stand for, care most about, and/or the change you want to see in the world.

Sounds a little beauty pageant contestant?

world-peaceWell, they do know their platform.  So yes, world peace can be part of your platform, but your platform is more personal than that to you.  From world peace, you need to take a step deeper and discover and decided the specifics of how you most believe you can contribute to and help achieve world peace.

For example – what do you think would lead to world peace?

  • Love?
  • Fun?
  • Communication?
  • Kindness?
  • Education?
  • Taking risks?

Maybe you write horror because you believe in the power of facing and going through your fears.  Or you think knowledge makes you stronger. These are the beginnings of your platform.

For those of you familiar with the Divergent series of books – the factions are platforms.  This is why in our free download [CLICK HERE] the first question we ask you is “What do you think the worlds needs more of?”

The good news about platform is that it comes from you and can be about anything.  Your platform can be action movies and fast food if those are the things that really mean something to you.  How many people like those two things?  Millions, right?  Of those millions – how many do you think would read the books you write?  A smaller number, but still a very big one. When you know what your platform is, you can reach these people who are always looking for more information on action movies and fast food.  They’ll get to know you, there will be a connection and from that connection – sales, readers, and name recognition will naturally follow.social-media-tools

The dictionary definition of platform is a raised, level surface on which people or things can stand.  Platform is the strong level surface on which you can build your writing career.

Platform is used when you:

  • Develop your brand, create a marketing strategy and initiate a social media plan
  • Determine where to spend your time when selecting conferences, blog tour sites, and building your business
  • Connect with your core audience and reach out to new readers
  • Create your print products – business cards, swag, and more
  • Work on the pieces of your book launch

Want to know more?  We have a free class on platform coming up on Wednesday, December 7th at 7 pm EST. Sign up HERE to attend or receive the recording after.  And if you have any questions, email us at writersbusinessschool@gmail.com.  We’re here to help.

Posted in Five Skill Sets, Platform

What Kind of Business Skills Do Writers Need?

Congratulations – you wrote a book AND it’s published. Have you seen the sales you want? Is your blog getting the comments you hoped for? Are your social media posts generating a response?  If not, you need to improve your business skills (HINT: not your writing!)

Writers Business School has broken the large topic of business skills into the 5 Skill Sets needed to reach the best-sellers list and stay there. We call them:

Platform,

Reader Stewardship,

Publisher Relations,

Distribution, and

Book Launch.

Every writer has already used some of these skill sets with varying degrees of success or failure each time they try to implement them. We’re here to show you all the steps, fill in the gaps of your information, and show you exactly how to customize and repeat this simple process to increase your book sales and enjoy the business side of writing that book.

The 5 Skill Sets


1-PLbPlatform

Is your marketing working?  Do you feel that you’re spending too much time on social media with nothing to show for it? What you need is a clear platform. Platform is the unifying idea/subject that is a part of all you do, write, and want more of in the world. It has worked its way into all areas of your life, even if you don’t realize it yet. You use your platform to continually connect with your ideal readers. Knowing it helps you effectively focus your marketing and promotion efforts.

Reader Stewardship2-RSb

How do you stay in touch with your readers between launches? What would your readers like to know about you? How are the sales of your backlist? Reader Stewardship is the process you use to continually connect with and engage your current and new readers. These are your fans and proper stewardship will not only have them ready to buy your books now and in the future, but also tell others about your work, public appearances, blog posts and more. It is vital to engage with your readers no matter where you are in the book launch process. When this part of your business is working, there is a continual buzz about you and your books.


3-PRbPublisher Relations

What if you had a thriving, highly profitable partnership with your publisher? Publisher Relations is the important ­ and hopefully long term – relationship you, the author, will have with your publisher. When managed properly the author and publisher have a partnership benefiting both parties. You have the ability to become a favorite author for your house with simple business skills. This makes a publishing house more willing to invest in your career. Your sales success is connected to how well your publisher – large or independent – knows how to sell and distribute books.

4-DSbDistribution

Do you know your sales figure during your book’s pre-sale period?  Do you know how many books you are likely to sell at each event you attend? Distribution is getting your book into the hands of readers. It determines best­-selling status. Understanding distribution helps you predict the number of books you will sell through various outlets and events so you know where to put your time and effort to improve your sales. This is the most ignored yet most vital and reliably repeatable aspect of the book business. This skill set contains all the business logistics needed to turn your work into a long term success – and even increase the sales of your backlist.

5-BLbBook Launch

When do you start the work to launch your book?  How long does it continue after your release date? A book launch is a three phase process with specific steps for before, during and after your release date, used to get your books out into the world to the largest number of people in your ideal audience. The launch hinges on the release day – which is the midpoint of the process. The process can be repeated more and more successfully each time growing your readership, your reputation, and your sales.

Over the coming weeks we will be posting more on each of these topics to help you understand the skills that will increase your sales, your name recognition, and your audience reach.  We also have a series of FREE WEDNESDAY WEBINARS and if you click here you can see the course list and register.

And as always, we’re here to help so send us questions and we’ll be happy to answer there.

 

Posted in Book Launch, Distribution, Five Skill Sets, General Business, Platform, Publisher Relations, Reader Stewardship

The Missing Piece of Publishing Success

missing-pieceWhen you started writing, you had a dream of being a published author.  And through countless hours of dedicated work, you have a book and have made that dream a reality – sort of.

Those hours and days you spent away from your friends, family, and the exciting moments of life were worth it.  You have a book.  The first part of the dream is done, but the second part, you thought would follow easily, isn’t working.

Going from “want to be published” to “published author” is a big step.  An even bigger step is the step from “published author” to “bestselling author”.  Being a published author does not guarantee a bestselling author.  Many writers have walked this same path before, and offer the mythical advice:

If you write better, you will sell better.false

We’re all heard it, even from our creative idols.  But there is a problem with that statement… simply, there is no correlation between writing better and selling better.  Look at the book shelves.  Yes, you do have just as much talent and honed writing skill as others on that shelf, probably significantly more than many of those authors who’s books are magically selling at lightning speeds.

Why?  Because they have found the missing piece you are still struggling to name and then use.

Saying writing better makes you sell better is like trying to make the color purple without blue. Sure you’ve seen the color, it exists, but if you only have red, no matter how much you tweak the red, you will never make a shade of purple. Writing better will never made you sell better, because selling is completely different skill than writing.  Selling is a business skill.

Authors who constantly and consistently get to the best sellers list understand the business side of  publishing and their sales results are in direct proportion to this knowledge.

Here are some things simple business skills will fix for you:

  • Anemic books sales of current book and your backlist.
  • No one visiting your table at events.
  • Spending more prompting your books than how much you earned from it.
  • Only family and friends reading your book (and not all of them bought it.)
  • Not being able to get reviews of your book.
  • No publisher wanting to work with you.
  • Your book launch being disjointed and miserable.
  • Feeling like a smarmy sales person each time you have a new release

good-newsYou learned how to write a book.  You can learn the business skills you need to make certain your work gets to the readers who are going to appreciate it.  And here’s some good news (finally!).  The skills are not only learnable, they’re repeatable, quantifiable, improvable and allow you to be creative.

Which of the above problems are worrying you?  What do you want more information about?  Download our free skill assessment questionnaire at http://tinyurl.com/wbsskilldownload and discover your strengths and where you need to learn more.

Posted in Five Skill Sets, General Business Tagged with: ,

The Cost of Procrastination – Part Two

procrastinationTo change the habit of procrastinating, you need to train your brain to believe the path you want is the safe route.  How do you convince your brain what you want to do is the safe path?

Make a plan – your brain loves plans, and it will help demonstrate it will work.  This is why there are plans everywhere.  What do you want? How do you want to get it?  Who else has succeeded? How long will it take? What will success look like?

Have a ready answer for the thoughts that will pop up offering you excuses to turn back.  Choose something simple.  Three words or less.  And have a couple.

Excuse Answer
Oh no! We’re going die! Thanks for sharing. (acknowledge – and dismisses the excuse)
Taking a new class?  We’ll be miserable just like in elementary school! I can handle this.
I really need to get up and vacuum under my couch before I submit that short story. I’m doing fine.
Oh no!  Dinner with friends on a weeknight! I got this.
Ahhhhhhh!  My book got accepted and now I need to set up a book signing and no one will come! I’m completely safe.
I like writing alone.  I don’t need to let people know I’ve a writer.  They will laugh at me. I’m Okay.

Come up with your simple answer to the things your survival brain comes up with.  Some people suggest taking time to write down all the silly things, fears and excuses your brain invents to make yourself aware of this incessant presence.  Then answer these fears.i have a plan

In addition to the ones above, here are some ready to use answers that help others.  And if you listen carefully enough at conventions, book signings or anywhere else large groups of people gather, you will hear these and many more short little helpers muttered under the breath of countless successful people.

“Thanks”

“Thanks a lot.”

“I’m fine.”

“I’m good.”

“Everything’s good/fine/okay.”

“This is great.”

“This is working.”

“This is okay.”

“I can do this.”

 

Here is what you’ll hear from self-saboteurs, before they bolt.

 

“This is not working.”

“This is all wrong.”

“It’s not going to work.”

“I can’t do this.”

“WTF am I doing here?”

results-or-excuses-not-bothPutting things off costs you.  But while you are in the beginning stages of recovery from procrastination, for whatever reason you find yourself there, we offer the following table of business related items to help your writing career.  NOTE: nothing listed takes longer than 10 minutes.  These are items professional writers do and the basic time frame needed to accomplish them.

Two pieces of advice to those just starting the path or procrastination recovery:

  • Use a timer. On your smart phone, on your stove or microwave, or get an old fashion kitchen timer.  No matter what kind you use, just use one.  And reward yourself by stopping the task when the timer goes off.
  • Pick from the column you most need help with. We have all said we don’t have time for marketing or business needs, we have to write. Pick something from marketing and operations to get you going on your path to business growth.

 

If you have   Marketing   Operations   Production
1 min Post 1 Tweet Toss 1 broken item Scribble 1 story idea
2 min Reply to 3 Comments on TW Make list of current deadlines Find a notebook to carry when out.
3 min Reply to 2 Comments on FB Sort ½ inch of a stack of papers Write 2 sentences – no editing.
4 min Write, Address & Stamp 1 Real Thank You Card Search for 1 new market Edit 2 pages
5 min Search for detail on 1 upcoming convention to attend File 1 inch of paper Read – ex. An article ot blog on writing
6 min Post 1 FB Item with photo Buy computer back up services and automate back up Write
7 min Add something useful to a conversation on line Track expenses for last week Edit
8 min Plan your wardrobe for the week Update your website/blog Read
9 min Make a phone call you put off. Prepare shipments and put where you will grab it before heading out the door. Write
10 min Record a YouTube Video Watch 1 Flash Class Submit one piece of work

 

BIG difference.  You can choose answers that will help you reach your overall goals, or you can choose answers that will agree with your survival brain and keep you right where you are.

That choice is a huge responsibility.

The choice is up to you.

 

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

The Cost of Procrastination – PART ONE

nowThere are many things we procrastinate over, and there are double that many excuses people give for procrastinating.  Yes.  Excuses.  You can either have excuses or results.  Not both.  And the pain of excuses is, unfortunately, perceived as easier to deal with than the results of getting something done.

You’re reading this article and you may have two reactions… “Why would someone do something so counter-intuitive?”  Or “Oh Drat, what the Jell-O did I get myself into.  How did they know?”  Both reactions are setting you up for procrastination.  Yes.  Both.  Because everyone procrastinates to some extent.

Your brain has one job… keep you safe and alive.  This is a basic drive, and you cannot avoid it.  If you have kids, your brain has double duty.  It needs to keep you and your offspring safe alive long enough for grandchildren.  Parents, this is why your brain seems less useful after each subsequent kid and why you can’t seem to quiet your mind.the brain

Your brain keeping you safe against your better judgment is where procrastination comes into our lives.  Unbeknownst to many of us, when we are faced with a NEW opportunity, our brain panics. Your brain hasn’t experienced this NEW thing before, and any NEW thing has the potential to kill you (okay, you know it doesn’t – but your brain, on a basic level doesn’t).  And your brain will do three simple things in succession to handle this NEW thing.

  1. Come up with some reason to not do the new thing. Creative people like Writers seem to be exceptionally proficient at coming up with lots of good excuses not to do it and disguise them as perfectly “logical reasons”.
  2. When outvoted by free-will, the brain will try to categorize the imminent threat and figure out how to proceed. This will put like things together and help choose the safest path if something similar has ever happened before.  NOTE:  This is where irrational fears come in.  Ever had a bad experience?  It is now part of the “it almost happen and it could kill you next time” brigade in your brain file.
  3. After choosing the safest option available, your brain adapts to the new thing. This is learning.  Learning takes more effort for your brain than avoiding.  Learning also expands the possibilities your ridiculous survival brain can choose from when picking the safest route.

you decideChoice is the secret.  When someone is in the habit of the habit of letting their survival brain win, they need more support  to make a new choice.  Put another way, the habit of procrastinating needs more tools than a daily planner to fix the problem.

Habits are hard to change and impossible to remove.  Habits keep you safe.  Your brain LOVES habits, and love is one of those happy things you want in your life…you can’t give up something you love.  See, the brain has so many ways of keeping you right where you are.  So how can you do things differently?

Habits can be replaced – by new habits.  There are hundreds of sneaky habits conducting your day for you.  It leaves the brain open to watch out for dangers.  Skipping a habit somewhere in the day, “throwing off your schedule”, puts the brain in new territory again, and it is trying to “correct” and “get you back on track” using all of those seemingly logical excuses to get you back in line.  Everyone feels a bit thrown off their game when we miss part of our daily routine.  How we deal with the hiccup in our day is in direct proportion to how loud our survival brain is demanding we get back on track and the strength of our better judgment to choose what we want to do.

So it’s time to make a swap.  A bad habit for a good one.  Think of procrastinating as a bad habit allowing your survival brain to win the debates about what you are going to do.  Your survival brain is very sneaky.  It knows better what motivates and scares you faster than your better judgment can think.  So making a habit that ignores your survival brain WILL NOT WORK!  You must use your brain to help you.Excuses or results

Your brain will ALWAYS lobby for the safest route.  Your brain will steer you back to this safe route at the earliest possibility, and it will maintain this safe route even if the entire planet is screaming for you to change course.

To change the habit of procrastinating, you need to train your brain to believe the path you want is the safe route.  How do you convince your brain what you want to do is the safe path?

ANSWER COMING NEXT WEEK!

Posted in Uncategorized

Top Three Business Mistakes Writers Make

“Writers” “Business” “Mistakes”.  Many writers have never considered their scribbling or frantic typing at the wee hours to be anything other than a passionate dream for the far off future.  The first mistake could be not recognizing your passion is the seed of a business in a worldwide industry. And all other mistakes stem from that omission of fact.

People are practicing.  Whatever we do, whatever level we do it at, everyone, everywhere is in some state of practice.  So with that understanding, let’s examine the three biggest mistakes writers make in regards to growing their writing careers aka their business.

If I’m a better writer, more people will buy my stuff.

So many writers make this logic error and thus squander their efforts remaining in obscurity forever.  They wonderful skill invisible to the world as a whole.  Concluding that writing better equals more sales, is the same as saying an athlete working on the basics of their sport will commute to the game faster.  Writing and Sales are unique events with the same tenuous cause and effect relationship as Cardiovascular Improvements and Traffic Patterns.

If you want to look hard enough to find a relationships, a tenuous one can be found.  Maybe the athlete having practiced for hours is anxious to display their skills to an audience, so they rearranged their day to get to the venue a bit earlier to warm up before the game and chat with fans.  Practicing didn’t cause the distance between home and the venue to shorten, or traffic on those roads to disappear.  The athlete had to learn how to traverse the distance and learned how long it would take in different conditions.  One might conclude practicing got the athlete to the venue faster, but looking at the actual actives, one did not cause the other.

Just as a writer having picked up a new technique at a class, may write a new short story using this new method.  Then excited by the results, had the courage to submit it to an anthology and was accepted.  Then they were so excited about the story, they told everyone, make sure the book store had copies, the amazon page was stable, and thus managed to have their best sales yet.

People like to look for differences in order to recreate events they liked.  “I many sold more copies this time. What was different?”  The easiest conclusion is to venture back to the very beginning and say, “I took that class.  I must be a better writer now!  That’s what did it!” But really, that wasn’t the only difference.  You thought you wrote better, so you took different actions this time.  This perception of better writing inspired you to tell more people about it.  You marketed the book more, and iron out the distribution hiccups, and they planned to attend events, chatting about their book – infusing others with their excitement, excitement others wanted to re-experience and thus bought the book to read their story.

Still the myth of writing better equals sells better persists.  Best Selling and Best Written are not synonymous.  The two take different skill sets, and the skills for the best-selling title are easier and quicker to come by than the best written title.

Making money doing what I love, is selling out.  I’m not a sellout.

Everyone has something special, some unique talent the world has been waiting for to move the world along.  It’s called passion.  Baker uses flour to create pastries to express their passion.  A teacher uses classrooms to express their passion.  A welder uses metals to express their passion.  Each of these people were drawn to their profession as a mean to express their passion.  And if any of these people were to get paid for their skills, not one would shame them as “selling out”.

Writers have passion too, and for some inexplicable reason have chosen to write their passions across screens and pages around the world.  Words are the medium we use to express our passions. But writers shame themselves and others for utilizing their skills to fill a need people are willing to pay for.

It is socially acceptable and socially responsible to get paid for expressing your passion for words.  That passion has motivated to you learn a difficult skill, and given you an ability others need to enjoy and inspire their lives.  To get paid for your writing, you need to hire yourself out as a writer to a large company, or create your own company and learn the skills to get your work in front of readers.  Just as teachers had to learn child development to become more effective teachers.  Bakers have to learn the science behind the food to make more complete tastes, and welders have to learn structural requirements for public installations, writers need to learn the skills to get their work to readers.

Selling your work can make you a sellout.  But only if you foist your work on people who don’t want it.  Just as a teacher can’t teach someone who does not want to learn, a baker can’t force feed someone to make them enjoy the concoction, and a welder can’t install a structure in the middle of the road and demand people appreciate the work. Writers can’t spam the web with self-absorbed promotions expecting the world to be inspired to read anymore their work.

Making money from doing what you love take a skill – called business skill, and any quick look around the web displays all the well-meaning writers who have yet to master the skills needed for the writing business.

My book comes out next month!  Time to start the next one.

This one hurts.  All too many writers come through the arduous task of writing the novel, getting it accepted by a publisher or editor, and then think their part in the process is done.  Having a launch date or a drop date for your book is the time when many writers throw themselves a part then hunker down to write the next book.  Thinking this is the “getting back to work” they need.  WRONG!!!!!!

Having more products to sell to your adoring fans is important, but not at the cost of limiting the number of adoring fans you sell to.

That old adage is true: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.  You have one novel ready for readers to enjoy with two, three six more in your head.  Those novels in the ether of your brain will not have the opportunity to reach those adoring readers, if your current book fails to sell through its entire run. Your publisher will not take another risk on you if you cost them more money than you made them, and your friends and family won’t loan you money to print and ship books to readers yourself if there are still stacks of your current book cluttering up the living space.

Instead of hiding behind your keyboard when you get a drop date, you need to get out there and start inspiring the world to read your book.  A book launch is a series of events before, during and after your drop date which excite readers and inspire them to buy your book.  Think of it as a dance starting with the “happy dance” when you get accepted to print and ending when your book has been on book shelves for about three months.  This long process is called a book launch, and like any learnable skill, the more you do it the better you get… aka you sell more and have more opportunity to sell the next book.

Throw your friends and family a party after the whirl wind of the launch is over… if you did it right, they deserve it.

You might not have considered you scribbling or frantic typing at the wee hours to be the start of a fulfilling career.  The most effective way to make a career of writing at whatever level of success you imagine is to increase your business skills.  Writing the book is only the beginning.  Your book will live much longer in the world than it took to write it.  The better you plan for that long life, the better you will be compensated for all those quite, lonely hours of creating it.

If you would like more information on this topic, please visit us our website at www.WritersBusinessSchool.com.  And check out our courses list for classes that cover the specific business topics writers need to become successful authors.

 

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