A couple years back, in an article about self-publishing, I wrote the following:
If you’re an author with a traditional publishing contract, you don’t really have to be an entrepreneur as such; the publishing company does the marketing and PR for you, though you have to do a little of it. But mainly, you can get on with the next book. It’s your publisher’s job to get you into the top 100 of XYZ category.
My, how times have changed. Any independent author is an entrepreneur by definition…maybe a great entrepreneur, maybe a terrible one, but definitely an entrepreneur. You have to run your author business like a business. Or you’ll be out of business. And that means you have to be a self-marketer.
But in the world of the big traditional publishing houses, the old model I mentioned above has slowly started to go away. Publishers tell their authors that they have to get out there and get their hands dirty, marketing themselves. Only the big-name authors and household-name celebrities get the big marketing budget. The house always wins, and the house only bets on a sure thing.
I remember being horrified when I learned that writers with trad publishing contracts have to just accept their editors’ changes. I only took about 70% of my editor’s suggestions, because I paid her. One thing for sure: I can’t imagine not having that autonomy.
Still, I thought that traditional publishers gave their authors much more than I could ever give myself in terms of promotion. Turns out, not so much. So now I’m doubly glad to be independent.
The distinction between author or entrepreneur and the relatively-recently-coined word authorpreneur is an interesting one. I guess the emphasis for an authorpreneur really depends on the individual. Are you more interested in the business side of things, making money from a variety of merchandise? Or are you primarily interested in writing?
Me, I’m primarily interested in writing. All this other stuff is just to get the work out there and into people’s hands.
To get some of my books into your hands, check out my author page on Amazon. Or just click on the Novels tab here on the site to order a paperback direct from the publisher. And remember – the best way to support an indie author after you’ve read one of their books is to write a review!
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