Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Get Your Head in the Game

Do you have a mind for business?

Well, if you're a writer, I hope your answer is either "yes," or "argh, I'm learning as fast as I can!"

Sometimes when we're neck-deep in story ideas, it's easy to forget there is a second, all-important skillset we need to honing:  our business savvy.  If you never reach your readers, how are you going to make it?  How can you reach them, entice them to pick up your book, and convince them to come back? 

Figuring that out is almost as important as the writing itself.

I'm constantly working on this, because being a small business owner is definitely new to me. When I first started on this journey, I had exactly zero clue, so I started reading about book marketing. I have a few books stacked up at home on the subject, but here's the kicker. They're almost entirely obsolete now because of the market shifting toward e-books!

So, I'm learning as I go.

One thing I recently picked up is that the Fall and Winter are huge for e-books (and books in general.)  People are home from summer vacation and they are giving their family and friends e-readers for back-to-school and Christmas. 

The savvy marketer at this point thinks, what can I do to make sure I'm positioned well for this great sales quarter? How can I make sure I benefit from this season?

A few things I'm doing to prepare:

  • I'm looking for new cover art for Legacy of the Empress to bring it more in line with professional TOR-esque covers so it will stand out in time for Christmas
  • I'm bringing Legacy of the Empress out in paperback to reach those who don't have e-readers yet.
  • I'm going to be a part of a local author event at a Beaverton library in October talking to teens about writing and selling paperbacks.
  • I'm writing more stuff! (The most important part.)  I hope to have two more Veronica Grim stories as well as (hopefully) a great start on the sequel to Legacy if not the whole thing, ready to go.
What are you doing in the coming months with your writing?  Even if you're not ready to be published yet, are you preparing a business plan for the next month, quarter, or year? 

It's something to think about :).

What do you think?  Do you have a mind for business?


Steph said...

Honestly? I have a terrible mind for business. (I think). As proven while out to dinner with the hubs and 15 of his co-workers last month. When asked what I do, I replied, "nothing, I just stay home with the kids." My husband tried to tell them about my book and they were all excited asking how to get it and I tried to shut him up, annoyed with the attention. I suffer from major marketing failure, BUT I'm working on it now that I realize my problem!! ;)

Erica Conroy said...

I'm focusing on writing at the moment. I also worked out that Xmas onwards will hopefully see a flurry of sales. So I'm working on a short novel (third and final in a trilogy, second to go online shortly), and two novelettes that will go in the bundled edition of the trilogy for the end of year (hopefully). I'm thinking of offering one novelette separately (for free) as well, as it's the start of a new series. The other I'll also include bundled in one of the ebooks of the new series as it is also related.

So yeah, that's my plan for the rest of the year. My circumstances will change mid December, so I need to sort out a new plan for next year, once I know how things will work out in real life :)

Callie Kingston said...

I admire your business focus and it's obvious you do have your head in the game. When do you come to Beaverton?