Today’s #BookMarket Tip: Don’t try to go it alone. Hire the help you need. (Disclaimer: I am an author’s business manager).
Writing books for a living is a tough occupation. Unlike, say, newspaper stringers and advertising copywriters, it is not enough to just find an editor and then write. Book authors have to build a platform, market their books, be vigilant and consistent with their social media presence, maintain a blog, manage subsidiary rights and royalties, sell books from the trunk of their car, and in between, they must write a few thousand words a day.
There is a lot to running a book-writing business. It is no wonder that most book authors make less than poverty wages. There is just no way to get it all done.
However, when it does all work, the reward can be very lucrative. So how does a writer run an entire entertainment media company, albeit a very small one?
With help of course.
Many book authors turn to literary agents. Agents sell and resell rights and manage royalties. Good agents go beyond this and offer publicity services.
Others want a more complete solution and hire a manager. This may be a simple secretarial assistant, an apprentice writer, or a full-bore business manager.
Yet others are very lucky. I’ve noticed that many of the most successful authors are married to business-savvy spouses. Some even make the business a family business, bringing their adult children into the fold (after all, they will inherit any valuable copyrights and contracts).
Still others band together. Many a critique group or local writers group has given an author the support she needs to succeed.
Just what do I do for my clients as their business manager? I help them to succeed by keeping their business running smoothly and helping them improve their craft.
- I coach them to write better.
- I assist in the writing process, with research, interviews, typing and even ghostwriting if necessary.
- I edit their work for content, grammar and style, appropriate to the purpose and audience.
- I arrange for beta readers and marketing research.
- I pitch the clients’ material to publishers and perform query campaigns.
- I review and negotiate contracts.
- I line up writing assignments of all sorts, from ad copy to magazine articles, books to speeches, as is appropriate to each client.
- I pursue, negotiate and monitor subsidiary rights.
- I monitor and audit royalties.
- I create and execute marketing plans, to help the clients build their platforms and sell more books.
- I can manage an author-owned publishing company or authors’ cooperative.
- I process and ship book orders.
To do all this for my clients, I have built up a network of publishing professionals and writing experts, plus I bring 25 years of my own experience as a professional writer. There is never a reason for an author to go it alone.
I like to work with emerging authors, who rarely have capital to hire help. Thus, I’ve created a commission schedule, roughly 15% of an author’s writing income, much as literary agents charge. This way, there is no upfront cost, no lingering hourly billing. I only make a percentage of the author’s success. This also keeps me on my toes—if I can’t deliver a successful career to the author, there is no income for me, either.
If you would like to know more about these Author’s Business Management services, please contact me offline. My client list is exclusive, but if you have talent and potential, there are openings at this time. Confidentiality is guaranteed. Free consultations are always happily offered.
Who is helping you with your writing business?