If you can sell Goldendoodle and Puggle puppies for $1000+ in a recession, you can sell anything!
At least, that’s my theory after working eight years in retail. Out of all the crappy jobs I’ve been paid to do (Literally. I’ve worked in two kennels and a stable.) none can compare to the time I spent at an independently owned pet store. The owner was nuts, the customers were crazy, and the ridiculous return policy scarred me for life. I almost lost a finger to an African Grey! Fitting harnesses constantly put me in danger of bites and scratches. No body wash in the world seemed to wash away the smell of cat liter and bleach. But I survived and the experience taught me more about business than any college course or seminar.
Keeping a small business going for 20+ years takes guts, balls, and yeah, a lot of crazy.
Being a writer is great. Writing allows you to expel your inner demons, live out your fantasies, and make a wonderful story come alive on the page. It’s a beautiful art and writers are artists. They need to craft words like they need air and caffeine.
Yeah, that fluffy crap is all well and good, but here’s the other side of the coin. Writing is a business. If you want your words to reach an audience and get paid for it, then writing is your business.
From the first query letter to the hard road of post-publication marketing, you’re selling yourself. “This is who I am, this is my brand, and this is my book.” Your words are a product and it’s your job to sell product. If you don’t sell product, you won’t move forward in your career. No one else is going to care as much about your business and your writing than you. Own it. Go hardcore or go home!
For writers fueled by the need to see their name in print and nothing more, the business side of publishing may seem daunting. But I believe if you had enough strength to finish that book and sell it, you have will power to tackle getting copies out there and pushing your career where you want it to go.
You’re not even in danger of losing a finger. Wink!
Earlier this week, E. Michels talked about branding. Everyone should go read her post! Branding is a key element to this business and every business. What I love about my fellow BadGirlz is they get it and they face the challenges of the business with excited determination. E. Michel’s post inspired me to write this one, but I was also in part prompted by my own love of this subject.
In the spring, I intend to go back to school with a focus on entrepreneurship and marketing. Not only do I want to help expand my knowledge base for my own publishing career, but I see myself sharing information in more blog posts and workshops. The business of writing is my passion. Fingers crossed to dissuade disaster preventing my plans. But if I don’t make it back to school, I’ll follow the path of experience. When it comes to selling, by now I believe I’ve gotten pretty good at turning “life” into streamlined knowledge.