Are you a writer, or an author, or authorpreneur?
Judgements by others can have creatives questioning themselves and initiating self doubt. You may have been told you aren’t a writer, your not an author or asked what the hell is an authorpreneur?
One of the things creatives need to master is the ability to get past fear of judgement and the need for approval by everyone if they want to birth their creations into the world. We value what friends, family, our communities both on and offline, think of our babies/books. After spending the hours, weeks, months and possibly years creating something, for our kids to see the light of day, we need to let go so their pages can fly.
Letting go is easier said than done, I know because it’s been my yoga mantra for over ten years and I’m sure most people change their yoga mantras more frequently than that. Right there, note the comparison of myself to what others do or think? It isn’t helpful. So back to, let go. If you stay on your own yoga mat, your focus, energy and attention stay on yourself, which allows you to improve, strengthen and master your position. Stay in your pace, your time and with your own definitions. Stay on your yoga mat. Everyone has a past, we adjust and adapt to best suit ourselves whether writing or on a yoga mat.
Stay on your own yoga mat.
We all define the details differently, we all have individual plans and unique voices to tell the stories we write, or share our experiences and expertise. Comparison is futile. Every single book journey is different, even if you are the same author brand.
What is a Writer?
A writer writes. Anyone can be a writer, whether you do it for the enjoyment and love of it, because you have to, or it’s your career. It doesn’t matter if it’s a journal, it’s cathartic, it’s stories that are never published, perhaps they are for your kids or students. If you write, you are a writer. It doesn’t matter if you write by hand with a pen and paper, or type into a computer or onto paper, or you use audio and voice to text. If you are creating words onto the page, you are writing and are a writer.
A writer writes.
Anyone can be a writer. All Authors are writers. Not all writers are Authors. If you write, you are a writer. A writer writes.
What is an Author?
An Author is a published writer. An author creates original content through the use of words that they then publish.
An Author is a published writer.
What does the word Author mean?
The word Author comes from the old word, Augere from Latin, meaning original. Language evolves and this word evolved in Latin to auctor. Auctor shortened to Autor in old French.
The translation to English was first recorded in the fifteenth century as the word, Author with the word meaning authentic. The word authentic refers to the original creation of content. Author came from the word and meaning of Authentic, this definition is still applied within the legal professions today.
What does it mean to be published?
A writer becomes an author when their work is published. There are many journeys and options available to be considered published. The basic definition is to write and create literature, in the broad sense of the word which is made publicly available. This could be through being published in a magazine, a journal, an anthology, a book or audio book.
What is traditional publishing?
Authors may be traditionally published through a publishing house where the publishing company financially invests in the authors work.
What is self publishing?
Authors may publish themselves i.e. self publishing where they invest financially to get their work published and produced or they may start their own publishing company. Previously there was a lot of poor PR related to self publishing. The accessibility of print on demand and digital publishing has seen the industry boom unfortunately not all self publishers are aware of industry standards. If self published authors choose not to invest in their product ie book the result can do more harm than good with a poor product and damage to an author’s brand.
The publishing process entails many elements that need to come together to produce a quality book and then authors need to be able to market strategically for commercial viability. It’s your business. From editing, design, knowing your genre industry standards, generating PR and marketing that gets results, for self publishers to be taken seriously they need to understand and meet the publishing industry standards set by traditional publishers. Otherwise we are inundated with non fiction books of 30 000 words, poor covers – we do judge a book by it’s cover, and poorly constructed content. Some authors produce great books but don’t understand the branding and marketing so their books aren’t bought, shared or talked about. Getting your target audiences (T.A) to buy and read your books is a small step, your TA need to be raving about your books, they need to be starting conversations and building communities around your book. Marketing your book starts with your concept as you write, and continues well after publication.
What is a vanity press or vanity publishing?
There are also some authors published by vanity press/ publishers, please note this is a huge red flag, this is where authors invest in themselves and pay publishing houses to publish them. A lot of these houses are under investigation and the horror stories are numerous. Many of these vanity press can be imprints of a traditional publishing house.
There are increasing numbers of authors becoming hybrid authors ie authors who use a combination of both traditional and self publishing means to publish their works. This has become more accessible with the evolution of digital publishing and print on demand (POD).
What is an Authorpreneur?
An Authorpreneur is someone who lives off their income generated from their business as an Author. This term can be further individualised, for me it means being able to live the lifestyle I choose from my author income. If you are considering self publishing it is essential if one of your goals is for commercial gain, that you approach the process as a business venture with an entrepreneurial mindset not one of a hobbyist or hustler.
What does Author income include?
An authors income is not only generated directly from book sales. To establish a stable business model there are always multiple streams of income. Never put all your eggs in one basket. ( Side note: The same goes for social media eg don’t put all your eggs with one platform eg. Facebook and Instragram.) Authors have multiple opportunities to generate both passive and active income steams.
Passive income for authors
Passive income streams for authors includes your back list and other published works. Passive doesn’t mean you publish and sit back, you need marketing for sales to generate until critical mass, where they become self perpetuating. Successful marketing is scheduled and then your strategy adapted to ebbs and flows. Authors may have passive income from royalties, books especially backlists, anthologies, podcasts, affiliations, audio books, book and author merchandise, selling screen rights, selling copyright, lending rights, creating games (this could be active or passive depending on process and contract) eg Gerorge.R.R.Martin is creating games, the list is ongoing. Not everything appeals to everyone, you need to work to your strengths and outsource and learn when you are not in your zone of genius.
Online auto run programs and workshops can also generate income for authors.
Active income for authors
Active income is generate from your time for time physical involvement. For authors this is an important part of profile raising and brand generation. Active income for authors may include speaking events, facilitating workshops, appearing on panels, interviews, guest blogs, articles, appearances eg author meet and greets, readings, active selling of books at conferences and festivals etc.
Authorpreneurs create authentic ie original content and lead their business as an industry initiator ie identifying opportunities for financial gain. For me it’s being able to live the lifestyle I want, including travel, having writing time and taking off three months each year for myself. It’s being able to support family and friends and take time off when I want to. It’s being able to live a healthy, happy and content life that allows me to create, free from financial stress. Choosing to treat my author brand and publishing seriously as an entrepreneur and business venture instead of a hobby or side hustle, (there’s nothing good about hustle) is an essential element for me.
Any business needs solid foundations to grow from, eventually being able to scale and leverage. An authorpreneur approaches their position as an author as a business, similarly to a publishing house, they are here to make money. This doesn’t mean they don’t do what they love. It does mean that they are thinking strategically for commercial gain. Their mindset is an entrepreneurial one. JK Rowling and Pottermore, which grew into Wizarding World is a great example of this. The last Harry Potter book was released in 2007 and the enterprise generated from the wizarding world created in Rowling’s books continues to grow with new merchandise continuing to be released for fans and new movies based off her concepts. Every time a new movie is released related to this world a new generation of followers are inducted.
Australian author and New York Times best selling author, Matthew Reilly writes fast paced fiction with the screen in mind. As an authorpreneur he is strategically planning ahead whilst writing, there is a bigger picture beyond the book.
Authorpreneurs treat their books, their author branding and book branding like a business. They establish, develop and grow their opportunities and income. To do this they need industry standard, quality products ie books, a strong brand, and strategic marketing that is applied alongside a business plan that can adapt to their changing needs, goals and lifestyle.
Writers write. Authors are published writers.
Authorpreneurs live from income generated by their Author business income.
There is nothing wrong with being a writer. Doing what you love is reward in itself. If you write, you are a writer. If you are a creator of original content and have your works published in one of the many mediums or processes of publishing you are an author. If you are living from the income your book and author business generate by taking an entrepreneurial approach you are an authorpreneur.
Draw ink from your own well.
First and foremost we are all writers. Draw ink from your own well and stay authentic as an original creator. Write because you love it. Develop your craft as a storyteller and wordsmith. Stay on your own yoga mat and let go. Be your own best competition. Define life on your terms whether you are a writer, author or authorpreneur and let go of the fear of judgement.
I facilitate writers to authors by supporting them to navigate their best pathway to publishing aligned to their book business and personal goals. The Writer to Author to Authorpreneur Masterclass is a six month online course. From concept to completion this comprehensive course has been created to save you time, money and frustration in writing, editing, marketing, publishing and promoting your book to allow you to live the authorpreneur lifestyle. Apply today for Fiction, NonFiction and Memoir. (Please note we are not a publishing house. Both traditional and indie authors are welcome. I keep numbers small to allow for maximum support, our first Masterclass kicks off soon. Masterclass isn’t for everyone, if you are interested please send your expression of interest and we can arrange a chat and your application. It is essential for optimum results that our authors and emerging authors are gathered in a cohesive group.)
I am lucky enough that I get to work with inspiring authors, business owners and entrepreneurs, see what others have said.