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Dollars and Sense for Writers: A Guide to Managing Your Writing Business

Dollars and Sense for Writers: A Guide to Managing Your Writing Business

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Dollars and Sense for Writers: A Guide to Managing Your Writing Business

evaluări:
5/5 (1 evaluare)
Lungime:
143 pages
1 hour
Lansat:
Aug 5, 2010
ISBN:
9781452412795
Format:
Carte

Descriere

This must-have manual is a plain-talk look at the business of writing. It will help you know what you don't know about publishing and provides tools you can use to survive and thrive as a writer.

Lansat:
Aug 5, 2010
ISBN:
9781452412795
Format:
Carte

Despre autor

Touring the county morgue, chatting with forensic scientists, and figuring out who killed whom...that's what Linda Mickey likes to do. There is something special about the hours spent at the keyboard crafting a whodunnit: developing characters, understanding the crime and why it was committed,then planting clues and red herrings in the narrative.At the same time, Mickey is fascinated by the business aspects of writing and publishing. As a speaker and workshop facilitator, she is frequently asked as many questions about how to manage a writing business as how to create believable dialogue. In fact, queries about publishing industry-related topics came up so often that she complied what she knew about business and what she had learned about the publishing industry into Dollars and Sense for Writers.Mickey is employed by a small accounting firm. In other words, her life is all about death and taxes.

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Dollars and Sense for Writers - Linda Mickey

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Dollars and Sense for Writers:

A Guide to Managing Your Writing Business

Dollars and Sense for Writers is a solid, no-nonsense guide to the business side of writing - from working with agents to keeping proper financial records and registering one's business, to marketing, year-end business review and more. Peppered with helpful checklists, Dollars and Sense for Writers is an easy-to-understand and useful guide…Highly recommended.

- Midwest Book Reviews

There is more to being a writer than being creative. For writers who want to sell their wares, this handbook will guide them from contract to marketing to sales with business practices for writers.

- Writer’s Journal

Dollars & Sense for Writers:

A Guide to Managing Your Writing Business

Linda Mickey

Published by:

Finish Off Press Ltd. at Smashwords

Copyright © 2010 Linda Mickey

This book is also available in print.

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwods.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

To Amy Alessia and Susan Gibberman. This book would never have happened without your inspiration, encouragement, and enthusiasm.

Additional appreciation is extended to Sandra Burkett, CPA,MST and Carol Hannigan, Attorney at Law, who provided expert counsel and reviewed the material for technical accuracy.

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: The Legal Stuff

This publication contains the opinions and ideas of the author. The intent is to provide information and entertainment. This book is sold with the understanding that the author and the publisher do not render legal, financial, or any other professional services. If the reader needs personal assistance or advice, a competent professional should be consulted.

The author and the publisher specifically disclaim any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this book.

It is not possible to put all the facts about writing, business, and publishing into one book. This manuscript is a general guide and overview. The objective is to spur the reader to obtain additional information through the many other available sources.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER ONE: LOOKING IN THE MIRROR

Writing and Business Goals Checklist

Things to Consider Checklist

Key Skills Checklist

Analysis

CHAPTER TWO: ENTERING THE PUBLISHING MAZE

Distribution

Returns

CHAPTER THREE: WORKING WITH AGENTS

Selecting an Agent Checklist

CHAPTER FOUR: THE DOTTED LINE

Understanding Advances, Royalties, and Payments

Agent Contract Analysis

Publishing Contract Analysis

CHAPTER FIVE: ABOUT THE NUMBERS

Questions for the Accountant

Recordkeeping

CHAPTER SIX: MAKE IT OFFICIAL

Questions for the Attorney

CHAPTER SEVEN: GIVING THE DEVIL HIS DUE

Register Your Business Checklist

CHAPTER EIGHT: THE BUSINESS OF BUSINESS

Business Plan Introduction

Sample Business Plan for Writers and Publishers

Working With Vendors

CHAPTER NINE: WHO WILL BUY?

Marketing Defined

Marketing Plans Explained

Marketing Options Checklist

Sample Marketing Plan

Who Is My Reader?

Working with a Publicist

Writers Groups and Organizations

Evaluation Checklist for Writers Groups and Organizations

Attending a Conference

Evaluation Checklist for Attending a Conference

Reviews

CHAPTER TEN: TUNING UP YOUR BUSINESS

Year-End Business Review List

The Year in Review Worksheet

The Annual Business Review: Guidelines and Questions

Staying Up to Date

CHAPTER ELEVEN: CONCLUSIONS

WHO WROTE WHAT

BIBLIOGRAPHY

INTRODUCTION

Does this sound familiar?

My fabulous first novel gets picked up immediately by the best agent in New York. Then a publisher buys the manuscript for a fantastic sum that makes headlines in Publisher’s Weekly. After that, Brad Pitt options the film rights and my book makes it to #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List. I become both a commercial and critical success.

As you can see, I had it all planned. Of course, that is not what happened. Instead, I bumped into the business side of writing.

When my first book was released, I knew almost nothing about the publishing business. Although I did not expect the national retail chains to stock my novel, I naively thought that independent bookstores would be delighted to carry a mystery by an exciting new author. I spent many hours and quite a few dollars preparing and sending out an amateurish press kit.

What did I get for my effort? Nothing.

I had not done my homework and did not understand the industry. Being new additions to the mystery genre did not automatically make my characters and plot special. I didn’t realize that I was competing for shelf space with the approximately 2,000 other mysteries also published in 2002.

But wait, you say to me.

Writers are warmly creative even when writing about something that is coldly logical. Breathing life into words is imaginative and inventive. Writers resemble Claude Monet more than Isaac Newton. Writing, you insist, is right brain stuff.

That is partly true. Writing is certainly an art and a craft.

However, the minute I decided to take payment for my work, writing became a business. So fair warning to anyone who thinks they want to earn money as a writer – there is a lot more to it than the artistic effort.

Many believe that the hardest part of being a writer is arranging words into poetic phrases or dynamic sentences that people will want to read or speak. My own experience, plus the questions posed at my writing workshops and author appearances, taught me the business side of our creative endeavor is just as important. Unfortunately, the idea that they are running a business seems counter-intuitive to most writers.

My colleagues often say managing their writing business is more difficult than the act of writing. I agree with them. But, like it or not, we exist in a world requiring us to wear two hats: artist and entrepreneur. Both demand our full attention and focus if we want to be profitable. When we are not creating, we must make sales calls, hire vendors, and do bookkeeping.

You didn’t know that, did you?

If the mere mention of business makes you anxious, don’t fret. Acting business-like means being organized and attentive to those things that help us achieve our goals. Writers who address their business as a business seem to be happier and better equipped to adjust to the rapidly changing industry we call publishing.

The original idea for Dollars & Sense for Writers was born at a convention for mystery writers and fans. Two writer-librarians and I took a break for coffee. The conversation eventually got around to the publishing industry, as it always does when writers get together. My colleagues suggested that a handbook about the business would be extremely useful and they urged me to write it. The information here is their request brought to fruition and represents the culmination of conversations with writers, loads of research, plus years of business and personal experience.

Dollars & Sense for Writers is a guide that highlights information you need to have in order to cope with this industry and your role as a business manager. It is a tool; one of many you need on your workbench as you build your writing business.

If you are already published:

Examine the portions of this handbook that best address your current need. At some point, I recommend you evaluate your goals, the contracts you have in force, and your relationship with your existing vendors and clients. Periodic examination and review are important aspects of running a business.

If you are not yet published:

I encourage you to begin with Chapter One. After you pinpoint the goals that are important to you and the skills you possess, you can develop your writing business with those objectives and capabilities in mind.

In addition to the checklists and suggestions included here, you will find quotes about business and the business of writing from others, all of whom are writers apart from any other occupation they have or had. I hope they inspire and encourage you as they have me.

Drive thy business or it will drive thee. -

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