Hey everybody, welcome back to my channel. I'm Brit Poe from Thriving Scribes and today I wanted to talk about something that I think is extremely important when you start planning your author career. And that is - is an author an entrepreneur?
All right, so this video goes hand in hand with a video that I released a few weeks back that was all about whether or not it was time to call yourself a writer or an author and when is the right time to start using different titles. I will link that up here so that you can go watch that if you haven't yet, because I think that that is definitely step one before you start watching this video and using the things that I talk about here. So one thing I want to sort of get out of the way before I start talking on this topic on whether an author is an entrepreneur, because I know there are two really conflicting sides on this and that it's kind of a touchy subject for some people and that is that a lot of writers consider themselves artists, which in fact they are artists.
Writing is an art and being an author definitely takes a creative side and a strategic side and being able to balance those two sides equally is really what makes an author be successful. So going back to the people who believe being a writer is simply an artist and that their work is their art and they're extremely passionate about what they do and they don't want to put any sort of business labels on themselves or in any way incorporate themselves and their work. I completely understand that side of that side of the argument because I, myself, am extremely passionate about what I do. I love writing. It's a creative expression for me and I think that goes for most authors and writers, but I also believe that that does not mean that you are not in a business and that when you start publishing books that you're now an entrepreneur. That's what I'm going to talk about in this video and let you know why. My viewpoint on this topic comes from a few different talking points which I'm going to start discussing with you now.
Point A - Book = Product
So the first point here that I want to talk about is that as an author, you're creating a product with the end result being to sell to customers. Or in our case, readers. That right there is a given that you're an entrepreneur. You are in some way, shape, or form creating a product that someone else is going to purchase and use for themselves. Whether it be for entertainment purposes, like we as authors are creating a book to be read and enjoyed by a reader.
Point B - A Business Plan Is Needed
Point number two is that you need a plan as an author. Now the word business plan kind of sometimes elicits a panicky reaction from a lot of people, especially creatively driven people and I know that for a fact because many years ago, anytime I heard the word business-anything or statistics or analytics or plans or anything of that sort, I shied away completely. I wanted nothing to do with that. But over the years I've come to realize that in order to be successful as an author, in order to really take yourself seriously, you've got to have some kind of plan in place and whether you want to believe it or not, whether you want to call it a publishing plan or not give it a name at all - The reality of the fact is that you need some kind of business plan to plan your goals, to plan out where you're going, and how you're going to get there.
Point C - Marketing Know-How Is A Must
Point number three, you've got to do marketing. If you are not an entrepreneur, if you were not some kind of business owner, you would not really have to worry about marketing. But this also ties into fact number one where I said that you are creating a product, so once you create this product, you're going to have to market it in order to get it in front of your ideal customer (or your ideal readers) eyes. Even if you are going the traditional route, but especially if you're going to self publishing route. You're going to have to get used to and learn ways to market your book, to get them in front of the people that you want to read them and so by them. This is the reason why you've got to start working on your author platform ahead of time so that you can have a platform and so that you can start building that brand awareness for yourself once you start publishing books. And if you're a little behind in the game and you didn't start in the beginning, then once you publish your book, you definitely have to start working on that. Therefore, you are an entrepreneur.
Point D - The Government Says So
The government considers you an entrepreneur. Because you're having a product, because you're selling this product to the public, you have got to file taxes as an entrepreneur. That's right. As soon as you start making money from your books, the government expects you to do your taxes as a business would. Now, of course, there are different kinds of structures that an author can set up for themselves. For instance, some go and register themselves as an LLC. Other people decide to just go the sole proprietorship route, but either way you still have to file your taxes as a business owner or else you could get yourself into a sticky situation. Therefore, authors are entrepreneurs.
I think that coming to this realization early on when you decide to start writing a book and start planning how you're going to publish it and how you're going to approach marketing, what direction you're going to go, whether you're going traditional or indie or all of that. I believe that coming to the understanding that you are stepping into a field of business and that you yourself are becoming an entrepreneur is essential to getting yourself set up on the right foot in the very beginning. This way, as you're writing your book, you can start building your author platform & building that brand awareness. You can start marketing yourself or at least learning marketing tactics, understanding how advertising works, understanding how partnerships works, start building a group of author friends who all support each other, learning different social media platforms, all of these different things where you'll need to know in order to start marketing. I mean there are so many different things anyways.
Now you know that an author is an entrepreneur so what do you do with this information? Now say you just started writing a book with the plan to publish it and now you know that this is going to be considered a business, but you have no idea where to start when it comes to building a business. So what do you do? Obviously the first thing you really need to do is do your research. Start taking in whatever information you can about the subject. Don't let it overwhelm you, though, because there is a wealth of information out there for entrepreneurs and creative entrepreneurs, but start researching marketing tactics. Start building your business plan and your publishing plan. Start building your author platform because when it comes to having your end product, your book, you're going to want to have all of this ready so that you can be successful and sell copies of your book.
I hope this video enlightened you to the fact whether or not an author is an entrepreneur and why that mindset shift needs to happen somewhere along the journey, but let me know in the comments below whether you knew this or whether you consider authors to be entrepreneurs yourself. I'm always rooting for you. Bye.