Four Essential Business Skills for Writers

Four Essential Business Skills for Writers

Writing is the skilled craft, but in today’s marketplace, you need more than just a flair for words if you want to succeed as an independent author. There are many benefits of being an independent author over having a traditional contract with a publisher, however, it does mean that authors need to be business savvy. If you are looking for ways to improve your book sales, or just want to spread the word about your latest publication, these essential business skills for writers are a good place to start.

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1. Author Website

When you launch a book, your readers are going to want to know more about you. This is where a good author website can give all the essential information, showcase your talents, and provide readers with a way of contacting you. If you don’t yet have your own website, make it a priority. 

Thankfully, now with publishing platforms such as WordPress, it is easy to have a professional-looking website, even if you don’t have web design skills. If you wanted to bring even more visitors to your author website, you could add a blog where you publish articles about the things that are interesting to you. This can help you get a following of people who enjoy reading your work, and who may go on to buy your books.

2. Business Plan

While writers may not need such an in-depth business plan as a corporation, it does help you achieve the goals that you set yourself. For example, you could add what titles you plan to write next, you can get reference books. This will allow you to know how much you need to write each day to achieve that goal within the time frame.

If you are unsure how to create a business plan, there are online courses that can help, or there are basic templates you can get from business niche websites. If you need further help with any aspect of the business, an online course is a good place to begin. Click here for more information.

Your business plan is like the blueprint for your author-business. You can also include how you intend to market your books, what publications or podcasts you want to be interviewed on, and what strategies you are going to use. Business plans are flexible, and if your needs change as an author, you can adapt your business plan to enable to you to meet a new challenge.

3. Social Media Marketing

Love it or hate it, social media is a powerful platform for you to connect with readers. As well as giving information about your books, you should also take part in conversations and interact with people. This will bring you more followers who may become fans of your work.

Social media marketing can feel overwhelming, but it helps if you make a plan as to what you want to post and when. For example, you could post about your weekly news on Mondays, interesting quotes on Tuesdays, and run a giveaway on Fridays. You could use scheduling software to send posts out without you having to log in to different accounts, saving you time and hassle.

Another tip for social media marketing is to pick one or two platforms and use them well. Trying to be equally active across many platforms can be too much to manage. Pick platforms you enjoy using and where your readers are most likely to be present.

Social media is also, a way to connect with other authors and influencers in your niche. Not only will you make some good friends and be able to discuss ideas, but getting mentioned by influencers raises your profile and gives you a new audience for your work.

4. Financial

All authors should keep track of how much income they earn from their books as well as their outgoings. Basic bookkeeping software helps keep it all in one place, or you could simply use a spreadsheet. By regularly updating your records, it makes it much easier at the end of the year, when you may need to provide an income statement to the government for tax purposes.

For independent authors and writers to be successful, either in how many books are sold or other income generated, there has to be some shrewd business skills in addition to writing well. Once you get into the swing of managing your business, it frees your time up so you can enjoy doing what you do best – writing the next best-seller.

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