Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Business Writer

If most writers are like Writer Abroad, then they spend a lot of time alternating between writing and dreaming about writing, but they don't spend a lot of time being business people.

But shockingly, nothing is much more business-y than publishing a book.

Writer Abroad should know. She’s going through the process now. And after seven years of writing and editing her book, she was all ready to upload it to her printer (yippee!) only to discover she must enter things like bank accounts, tax numbers, and metadata first. 

Her surprise at this realization surprised her. After all, Writer Abroad has spent over a decade writing copy for advertising brands, articles for magazines, and essays for anthologies. But somehow her book felt different. It felt especially creative, like it was all hers, and so it came as quite a shock to realize, oh yeah, her book is a business thingy too.

It's a product people will be able to buy that she has spent over seven years and $2,000 to produce. But the investment didn’t seem like much to her since it was a labor of love. And that’s when Writer Abroad realized something: She could spend her life working on labors of love—and actually sell them. Ok, maybe she’ll only sell them to two people—like her mom and dad. Or sell them to the two people that are on that mailing list she just got around to realizing she should have. But you know what? Two sales or two hundred thousand, it seems like a pretty good life. One that she is glad she has decided to live.

Do you think of your writing as a business?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Becoming a publisher

Writer Abroad has taken a new step in her writing career: becoming a publisher.

Naturally, doing anything for the first time is a bit scary, but Writer Abroad learned from her experience as an expat that doing scary things usually result in rewarding outcomes.

Life in Switzerland.
The not-made-for-TV version.
So she’s publishing a book of previously published and new essays. It’s called SWISS LIFE: 30 THINGS I WISH I’D KNOWN.  And it’s all about life in Switzerland—the not-made-for-TV version. The book will be coming out at the end of May. Just in time for a reading at The English Bookshop in Zurich at 7 p.m. on May 23.

Thus, Writer Abroad apologies in advance (Americans always say they are sorry, so sorry, this apology is part of her culture) for any obnoxious self-promotion that may or may not occur on this blog. She takes full responsibility for it.

As Writer Abroad prepares for the next month of intense publishing activities—buying ISBNs, submitting various formats of texts and covers to printers and websites, and beginning the marketing campaign—she’s also excited.

She’s learning that she likes publishing. As a perfectionist, she likes having control over her work. She likes picking her designers and editors. She likes using her ten years of experience in advertising and marketing to come up with ideas to sell her own product instead of someone else’s. And she likes seeing how the last seven years of networking and blogging is beginning to pay off. But most of all, she likes making her own luck.

Because that’s what being your own publisher is all about. When you publish something yourself, you make your own luck. No one is telling you what to do. You are using your talents and your connections to put something into the world that you believe in. Your success is entirely up to you. It’s an exciting time to be a writer—whether abroad or at home.


Related Posts with Thumbnails