Charles French had a post on Arrowhead Publishing a few weeks ago. Its subject was creating business plans for books. I’d come to a similar conclusion to his ideas on my own a few years ago as part of my quest for greater organization, but his ideas had greater depth than mine. It’s always good to find something like that and learn more.
But after reading his post, I continued along thinking I’d begun weeks ago about the need for larger involvement in the business side of my self-publishing efforts. And after reading French’s post, I realized that I’d conceived many of the needs and ideas required but had failed to execute.
I had the dream. I had an action plan. I wasn’t acting.
After considering that realization with irritation and annoyance with myself that ended with a stern lecture, I answered myself, with some plaintiveness, as the business persona of my being, I’m not given much time or energy for taking care of business. The writer gets the most attention and indulgence. That’s followed by the husband, friend and son. Then the human gets attention (for things like time off, socializing, partying and exercising beyond the daily ritual of decompressing), and the editor, leaving crumbs to the business person.
I agree, I answered. Part of this is because I don’t to do the business side. But accept it: it must be done.
Okay. What can we do about it?
Well, like writing in the beginning and everything else, it’s about allocating time. I’d planned to give these matters attention – that’s why I was annoyed – but permitted my resources to be diverted into other things, important things like killing time by playing computer games, reading books, or playing with cats. Just as I do for everything else, I need to structure recurring time in my life for the business side of publishing.
And it is a recurring need. Publishing and selling books is as dynamic as any marketplace. As an unknown with no name recognition trying to learn the business, I need to work harder, as hard as an athlete trying to make a team, or a writer writing a book. As I wrote in a post when I began thinking about this, I Will Do Better, my efforts are meager and weak. It’s shocking to realize that I wrote that in the middle of January.
Once again, I remind myself, intentions aren’t sufficient. Just as writing in the first place, exercising, or acquiring and degrees, focus and application are needed. I can’t accept that, oh, I did this, and now I’m done. No, this is very much trail and error. It should all be considered as a first draft. Sometimes the blurb written and used isn’t working. New venues for publishing, distributing, advertising and selling are always springing up. If I want to expand my sales, I need to expand my efforts.
Okay, but I already knew all of this. I wasn’t acting on them. This was a case of out of sight, out of mind. Just as I need structure to pursue writing my fiction, I need structure for selling it. Moving the business guy up in the order of priorities isn’t necessarily needed, either. Rather, I realized that I needed to remind myself that the business side needs to be attended.
So I jumped into my Google calendar and set up reminders. Do this, do that. Check this, check that. And I set aside time via reminders to research and read about the business aspect of publishing and selling my own work.
Writing, publishing and selling isn’t a destination. Just like life and living, it’s a journey to be embraced and taken every day. Recognize what must be done but recognize it doesn’t need to all be done at once.
But recognize, it must be done and keep going.