I want to make my writing a business. It may be a small business, but I definitely want to treat it as more than just a hobby. And as readers, this should make you happier to read my books. Why?
Entertaining Readers becomes Central
To make writing more of a business, I need to figure out how to please the customer-readers. So in essence I need to entertain you in order for you to be interested in paying for my stories. If this was just a hobby, I would be content writing books that no one else wanted to read.
It also means that if I write a self-contained pilot to a series that no one likes, then I won’t do more of it. Hence giving me time to do things that people do actually like.
Long Term Thinking
As a self-published author of (at the moment) only one book, I know I need to take a much longer view of things. I as a reader don’t like to get invested in a series that I know might take a while to finish. (I remember reading the Wheel of Time through each time there was a new book to the point I am not even interested in the ending anymore.) So I am dedicated to finishing the series to a satisfying end before I market it heavily.
This long term thinking also means I can work on building a set of readers that enjoys my stuff. This decision means thinking about business plans and making decisions based on those plans. I plan to have the Crossing the Dropline series be a group of seasons each of 6 books. I will continue to write them as long as I have ideas and people willing to read them.
I definitely know I need to diversify as well. Again as a reader I know that I like certain author’s worlds and characters, but sometimes I just want them to be done. For the stories to be finished and let some set of characters finally get on with their life after the torture of being in the crosshairs of an author pumping them full of conflict. Move on to someone else and talk about their cool story.
Ideas are rarely my problem. I have plenty of stories spread around the Dropline world. As I get ahead on the main storyline I will be working on standalone novellas. Keeper of the Trees and Catman are already started. I even have ideas outside of the Dropline world and a couple outside of the fantasy realm totally.
So as a reader, expect that I will look to broaden the world that I have created and explore it with you. I like my worlds and want to poke into a lot of different areas of it.
And lastly, looking at this writing as a business helps me keep writing. If I treat it with the same professionalism I treat any other job or client project, I get results. I set deadlines and get myself to work on the books. Self-publishing has given me the channel to the immediate feedback that I think I was lacking earlier in my life when I started looking at novel and story ideas. Now I know what happens when a project is done. It gets put out there for readers to enjoy. That is a wonderful feeling.
Where this comes from
I definitely believe what I wrote here, but the crystallization of the ideas came from reading “Write. Publish. Repeat.“(affiliate link) by a couple of guys that run the Self Publishing Podcast. They write novellas in short series even going as far as calling them episodes and seasons. I love this and fell in love with this idea before I even heard about them. I love the idea of books being more like TV series.
The book is about their ideas of how a self-published author can make a living these days. I like tone of the book (tons of humor) and I totally see myself as Dave (the curmudgeon who thinks marketing is evil). That said I am into having this writing be more than a hobby and with that comes the business aspects. I will learn. And I hope as readers you will benefit.