Your Books (and E-books) are Your Business

If you go into indie publishing with the intention of selling your books and earning a profit, you're going into business. Your books and e-books become the products you build your business around. You'll see me emphasize this fact a lot here at All Indie Publishing. Today I want to talk about what that really means (being an authorpreneur as opposed to just an author).

Here are some of the things you'll need to think about and deal with when you go into the indie publishing business that you might have been able to minimize if you worked with a traditional publisher.

  • It's up to you to build a solid business plan and marketing plan before diving in.
  • It's up to you to fully understand your target market and what influences those buyers.
  • It's up to you to finance all levels of production -- from editing to cover designs to printing to e-book delivery systems.
  • It's up to you to recruit and hire the right people to help you bring your books to market (thinking you can do everything yourself, and do it well, is generally irresponsible).
  • It's up to you to manage and schedule those contractors to get things done by your deadlines.
  • It's up to you to collect and pay sales tax if required where you live (and get a sales and use tax license if that is a requirement).
  • It's up to you to manage the carrying out of your marketing plan (while traditional authors still have to market their own books, as an indie publisher you have to do even more in that department).

Are you prepared to do all of these things? If not, now is a good time to brush up on the basics of business and marketing or work on your budget and planning. By no means are these all of your responsibilities when you become an indie publisher. But they give you a basic idea of what to expect. If you've been independently publishing books and e-books for a while, what else would you add to this list? If you're a new indie author, do any of these things appeal to you or worry you more than the others? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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2 thoughts on “Your Books (and E-books) are Your Business”

    • Well, it’s all in how seriously you take it I suppose. It’s one thing to self-publish something quickly for family or for yourself. But once you cross over to a more professional level and you go in with the goal of selling and earning a profit, you’re absolutely in business. I think a part of the issue is that many creative professionals have a tough time framing their plans in a business sense. Authors know they want to sell their books. But rather than admitting it in those terms, acknowledging it’s at least in part about earning a return on investment, they just frame it in the term of wanting readers. Readers are great. But you can’t deny the profit incentive side of selling. And if you want to reach those readers in any way other than giving your work away for free, selling is exactly what you have to do.


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