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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Beyond Hybrid Author To Entrepreneurial Author

Conquering the business
side of writing 
I've been getting a lot of feedback lately decrying all the roadblocks to being a successful author in today's 'chaotic' publishing environment --- As if tons of roadblocks didn't exist under traditional publishing :)

Friends and neighbors, ANY publishing system is going to have roadblocks of some kind! The trick is to find creative ways around these damn obstacles. Same requirement to success as in any industry.

So tonight we will discuss the absolute need for the modern writer to develop as an entrepreneur and businessman to become a successful writer. Writers today need to get out from their writing enclaves and interact with people, places and things (on the Internet, too) to develop a following and master at least a rudimentary knowledge of marketing --- a game changer goal would be to invest in study and become a master marketer --- what you could do with your content then :)

Writers need to do this to discover what needed skills they may have an affinity for or weakness in --- With this knowledge they can decide what skills to outsource, no?

First, definitions:

Hybrid Author: An author who publishes (or works toward publishing) through both traditional publishers and non-traditional alternatives such as self-publishing.

Entrepreneurial Author: An author who gets as serious about the business of being a writer as they are about their writing. 

The following article (let's call it a study piece tonight) by Kristen McLean in Electric Literature dot com is a must read and an excellent place to start on your road to being a more successful writer (it is chock full of resource links):

Author as Entrepreneur: the new model for success

For hundreds of years, the image of the solitary writer as successful creative genius has been the dominant paradigm. Well, we have to rethink that—it seems that today’s successful author is looking more and more like a highly engaged startup entrepreneur than a solo artist.
According to the just released study from Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest What Authors Want: Understanding Authors in the Era of Self-Publishingthe hybrid author—an author who has published through traditional publishers, and non-traditional alternatives such as self-publishing—outperforms both their traditionally published and self-published peers by just about every measure.
Hybrid authors make on average $10K more a year from their writing than traditionally published authors surveyed, and nearly $31K a year more than the self-published authors. They also command higher advances, and demonstrate more sophisticated attitudes about everything from the importance of great editing to what “prestige” is really worth in a traditional deal. (It’s a fascinating survey—I highly recommend it.)
What also emerges from the survey is evidence of the effort they are putting in to engage their audience and build their business.

78% of hybrid authors are on Facebook versus 68% of their traditionally published colleagues, and 56% of their self-published colleagues.
Hybrid authors are also 10% more likely to be blogging, and have been on Twitter 12% longer than their traditionally published colleagues. That rises to 16%, and 23% respectively when compared with self-published authors.
Clearly these guys are working it.
I’ve written elsewhere about why I believe authors need to get as serious about their business as they are about their writing. It’s why I’m building a new breed of analytical tools for authors, and it’s why I joined my friends at O’Reilly Media’s Tools of Change project to co-chair the first Author (R)evolution Day* on 2/12 to get writers and the industry talking about these issues together.

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