Monday, June 25, 2012

Author Blog Challenge # 24

If your goal is to sell books, you must view your book as a business. In what ways do you treat your book as a business? Where could you improve? What resources could you leverage to improve your book business?

I think my goal has always been more to write than to sell, which is a real conundrum.  I am in the business of writing, with all its subsidiaries of copy editing, proofreading, mentoring, and teacher of creative writing, and I have allowed this to take precedence over all else. I instruct other writers in how to publish their work and build a business around writing and marketing their books and maybe this is yet another area where I need to follow my own advice – or perhaps I don’t worry too much whether I sell or not.

I have mentioned in other posts how I tend to take on too much; to put up my hand when I should be sitting on it, and something always has to give – in this instance it is the business side of my writing that takes a very poor back seat, and much of the time I am an observer to the efforts of others that I teach/mentor.

To treat my book/s as a business I need to first change my own habits in areas where there is plenty of room for improvement. It’s all very well having altruistic intention, in a 'playing it forward' sort of way, but this doesn’t help sell books – and what makes me think I have to be the saviour of any literary-deprived community anyway? I am satisfied with the business side of copyediting etc, but can see I could improve the business of selling books by bringing balance into this side of my writing.  This will require self-discipline and forward planning, and an acceptance you can only 'play it forward' as long as it keeps coming your way to keep it alive, otherwise you run the risk of depleting the essence of yourself.

The resources I could leverage to improve my book business would be to revisit and revitalise networks I have let slide over the past couple of years, to freshen the product with updated  promotional material and make myself available to interest groups for author talks and signings. 

~ Merlene Fawdry


  1. After reading this article I find an image in my mind of writers emerging from their garrets, and finding a phone box from which they emerge in power suits, with briefcase and brolly in hand. Hawking their story along Fleet Street,never taking no for an answer.

    I know, I'm strange, but some of your advice applys to us all.

  2. This is really interesting. To someone in my position, the goal has always been just to get a book published. But now, as I'm meeting more and more published writers, I'm realising that's not even the beginning of the battle to get your work read. The screenwriting course I've been doing has really encouraged me to look at my work as a product I want to sell, but you've illustrated how easy it can be to go down a different path entirely. That one is definitely worthwhile as well. There's nothing more noble than passing on knowledge, though.

    Damn, all I can think about is platform and how they're impossible to find.

  3. Great imagery here, Terry. I like it - and maybe it isn't too far from the truth these days, except that now we sit in the comfort of our own homes and hawk the story around the world at the press of a button. I like your perception the best :-)


For some reason I'm yet to fathom I'm unable to reply to comments left by others so thank you for dropping by and taking the time to read and comment. Merlene