On Writing

Being an Indie Author: How hard can it be?

2014-07-14 14.06.01

Once upon a time an author needed a notebook, pen, a dictionary, and a typewriter. Those are, after all, the critical tools of a writer. Today it’s a little different and many times, when asked—how’s the writing coming along—the answer is a bit complicated although most Indie writers just respond—fine.

We understand that the inquisitor’s question refers to the actual process of writing…of typing a story. But today’s writer doesn’t just write. He researches, fact checks, edits or works with an editor, communicates with a beta-reader, designs the interior, works with a cover artist, tracks expenditures, pays for services, reviews endless proofs, builds a platform, maintains a website and/or a blog, markets, joins groups, builds relationships, panders for reviews…and…plans the next book.

Indie Publishing is a business. A mostly self-contained publishing house where all the work gets done at one desk. It’s not really the type of business for those who like to have a single focus. Being an Indie Author means having an entrepreneurial spirit—a willingness to self-teach, to wear the many proverbial hats, and to devote hours of your time into not just your writing passion, but all the support mechanisms required to make a hobby a potential livelihood.

If the Indie writing business was to be summed up into a single, encompassing statement of the requirements of the position, I would say that it is this: A willingness to learn and execute every aspect of a business operation while seeking out new and creative methods to improve and expand your communication reach all while diligently working to improve your craft.

Fortunately there are many tools, venues and services to help with the endeavor. Since it is summer in the northern hemisphere, and since most people are doing things other than reading blogs, I thought I’d keep this short and use one of my organization tools—Scapple—to demonstrate my “how hard can it be” writer’s world with a picture. And because I always love the “next” widget—what is your favorite writing/business tool?

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 1.32.45 PM


1 reply »

  1. I love this! All the pretty colors . . . and I like the picture of your office an awful lot, but am confused because I don’t see a chat window open with my name. Hmm . . . someone else must have been using the computer that day, I suppose.

    I think you’ve really nailed it: you have to wear all the hats while STILL managing to get better at your primary skill. The great thing is that your chart helps others to see that there are steps that need to be taken, and skipping them will only result in an inferior product. Too many people out there think the steps are “write and publish” and that’s that. I’m glad you take all the steps, Raymond. Your work reflects it.

Keep it sane

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