All authors—indie and traditionally published—are being labeled with this new term, authorpreneur.
This is easier to see for the indie author, who must not only write the book, but must also arrange the editing, formatting, cover design, publishing, and marketing. However, the term also applies to traditionally published authors, who write query letters and book proposals, still need to market their books, and have a better chance of getting published if they tailor the book to the needs of an audience.
There is a growing perception that an author must write and function like a businessperson in order to succeed as a writer. Publishers are in the business of writing: They want ideas that will sell. Even the indie author may perceive writing as a business, feeling that’s what it takes to sell books.
Let’s look at the other extreme—the author who writes passionately without regard for sales. In the utter extreme, the author doesn’t write for an audience, but for his or her own reasons. This author is driven by passion, not business. Getting the book right, carrying out the author’s vision… this author cares for this more than sales. Yes, this author would like to share his or her passion. This author won’t give the book away for free because he or she wants the work to be valued, yet this author is driven by the art of writing, not the royalties.
Which Are You?
Most authors probably aren’t extreme authorpreneurs—focused solely on business—or extreme writing artists—completely disregarding the business aspect. You might feel like you fall somewhere in between, and presently you’re trying to gauge which way you lean and how far.
Would you like to write as a businessperson or as a writing artist?
Most authors feel that they must do one of the following:
- Sell out, so to speak, writing for business rather than pleasure.
- Write as an artist and then publish and market as a businessperson, sort of combining the two aspects.
- Write purely for pleasure; don’t worry about the business side at all.
However, there is another important option that most authors don’t consider.
The Art of Success
You don’t have to turn your art into a business. Instead, you can turn the business into an art.
Here’s what I mean: View marketing not as a business strategy, but as a means of sharing your passion with others. Put your imagination into it and carry out your marketing as an artist. Just like you write with passion as an artist, find a way to feel like an artist when you market your work and become passionate about marketing as a way to share your writing with readers.
It’s a matter of perspective. Consider the following definitions.
- business: a product designed to create profit.
- art: ideas fueled by passion and crafted by a wordsmith.
- business: a tool that helps direct traffic to your book’s product page.
- art: a reflection of your work that helps readers find what you so passionately wrote.
- business: reshaping an idea to sell better.
- art: perfecting the art and craftsmanship to get it right.
- business: improving the design of a book to attract more customers.
- art: visually complementing the beauty of the writing.
- business: strategies for delivering the product to the target audience.
- art: motivating yourself to share your passionate creation with others.
As a reader, would you rather read a book that was written for an audience and designed to sell or would you rather read a book that was fueled by passion and shared passionately?
Of course, the question is never put like this. However, as a reader you do buy books. When you buy books that were written and published under a business model, you support the perception that writing should be a business. When you buy books that were written by artists and craftsmen, you support the perception that writing should be an art or craft.
The choice is yours. Each purchase counts as a vote.
I started this blog to provide free help with writing, publishing, and marketing. You can find many free articles on publishing and marketing by clicking one of the following links:
Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers