Darlings, this isn't to browbeat you. It's not meant to make you feel bad. It's not intended to spur you to greatness, either. You have yourself and the sweet Lord to do that.
This is meant to encourage you (those who really want this gig, and I mean R-E-A-L-L-Y) to step back and look at your work as the small business it needs to be to become successful.
You're like "Right. I'm a writer. Not a business owner. Whatever, Ruthy!"
To which I will respond "Um. Einstein. What are you smokin'? Because the simple fact is that if you hope to get paid for what you do, that makes you a business, engaged in the sale of goods (books) and/or services.
Aye Caramba, darlings, let's get with the reality program here.
I'm giving away two books today... TWO BOOKS.... but here's what I want from you:
WHAT PARTS OF THE WRITING BUSINESS CONFUSE YOU?
Because if you're standing on the wannabe side of the fence, and you're reading uber-articles about how all this goes down, about points-of-view, advertising, media presence, social media platforms, press kits, blogging, not blogging, book-signing... okay, what do you want to know about? What worries you? What bothers you? Where do you feel like you fall short?
This is your day to frankly talk with a writer. Post your questions. Share your concerns, or simply ask us "Hey! What works?"
Because these answers are important, these answers help you to form a business plan. We've got several Seekers on board today to offer advice, and it's good advice. The important thing we want to share is that while writing is balanced with individual choices (style, timing, scheduling) the business side of it is pretty solid, depending on the level you're at.
As a newbie aspiring author, what should you be doing?
Writing. Writing. Writing. Finish projects, rewrite, revise, re-submit. And... to show that marketing does not scare you (darlings, it frightens all of us, we are The Great Pretenders!) begin to establish an online presence to show growth. Now I don't for one minute think that a big social media presence sells books, but it does offer a line of friendship and rapport with readers and writers... and writers are reading. So it's not a bad thing, darling, to jump aboard the train.
You don't have to have your own blog... blogs are hard to keep up independently. But ask to guest-post on other blogs and offer wisdom and tips and ideas and thoughts of what inspired you. Then keep track of where you've been and what you've done!
If you're an indie writer, your first order of business is to write the best possible books you can. If you're afraid to invest the money for an editor, you risk alienating readers by putting out less-than-your-best. Now that's up to you but I know that if I put out my original stuff, I wouldn't be the author I am today. Fortunately that WAS NOT an option because I was pretty sure I was the cat's pajamas, people.
If you're an established author, mid-list or low-list, then your job is to market with confidence, keep up that website and facebook page, change your banners to reflect the seasons or what you're working on and keep writing... but now that you're making money, you also need to keep records of what you've spent, earned, etc. so that you can take care of taxes. And as a self-employed author, your tax rate is approximately 35% of what you bring home/get paid, and that's a wake up call every April so making quarterly payments to the IRS makes that easier. Not less painless, but easier. The reason for the up-tick is the Social Security tax. An employee pays 50% of their Social Security tax to the government. Self-employed people pay both halves of the tax, so that pushes the tax rate up.
If you're Nora Roberts or Stephen King then you need no advice from me, so why are you here????
A lot to think about, but I want to know WHAT WORRIES YOU? What are you afraid to ask?
Ask it today.
No one here thinks these questions are foolish. We began this blog to help pull back the "curtain" surrounding publication and with hundreds of books to our credit, we've got a pretty good take on the ins, the outs, the good, the bad and the ugly.
Now it's your turn. Fire out the questions, friends, and I've got two copies of my current Maggie finalist "At Home in Wishing Bridge" for two lucky commenters.
Offer a comment or question to get into the drawing for Thea's story and see for yourself why so many folks email and message Ruthy to find out how they can get to Wishing Bridge... A town where prayers are built on wishes and dreams.
Multi-published, award-winning, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne is busy getting sweaty on her Western New York pumpkin farm this time of year, which makes that cute pic kind of propaganda, but no one needs to see Ruthy a mess, right? Friend her on facebook, check out her website ruthloganherne.com and/or follow her on Twitter where her more conservative views are not always met with LOVE! Silly Twitterverse! Or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org