What is the definition of an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneur: (noun) 1. A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.
2. A promoter in the entertainment industry.
What is an author?
Author: (noun) 1. A writer of book, article, or report.
(verb) 1. Be the author of (a book or piece of writing)
Now when we combine those we get today's published writer. Most writers are not going with the big publishing companies. Why? Well, there are a lot of reasons. There are hoops upon hoops and far more promise of rejection. You'll still have to do 98% of the marketing yourself, if not 100%. They get the rights to your work. Which I believe is the biggest reason of all.
Lets break this down. You've slaved over your book. You sent it out to beta readers. You saved up money for a professional editor. Worked through the edits. Made it as perfect as you can. You crossed your Ts and dotted all the Is.
Next step: You break out the trusty excel spreadsheet and search every agent (or as I call them the first gatekeepers) the represent your genre. You research this for days. You create a special query letter, follow their rules, make certain every gender if addressed properly, and every Ms is not a Miss or a Mrs or vice versa. You cross your fingers, pray to the writing gods, and send.
Many years ago some would write back with a thoughtful message thanking you. In most fields there is a phrase “no news is good news”. Not in publishing. Agents are so inundated with query letters that if they don’t want you they reject you by simply ignoring you. Which I believe it poor business. I understand why they say they do it, but I wouldn’t accept it from any other company. Why should they get away with it?
Moving on. Big publishing companies like to stay with authors they know will make money. Understandable. But this keeps them away from bringing in new names. Their fear has caused businesses like Amazon to grow in leaps and bounds.
The promise of an advance is minimum. The money you get you’ll need to use to market yourself. The percentages you get from sales are split between the publisher, all their departments, the agent, and then you.
Heaven forbid you have a falling out with your publisher and you are halfway through a series. You have plans to go to another publisher or start your own company. You need your rights transferred for new editions published. Guess who needs a lawyer?
These are some of the reasons I have chosen to pick the route of an author entrepreneur. Less outside muss. Less outside fuss. More $$$ in my pocket overtime. Is it easy? Heck no. But it is worth it. If it were easy I don’t think I would do it. I like a bit of a challenge. This combines my love for writing and getting the books out there.
If you are an independent author please tell us why you picked that route. If you’re a writer on the verge of publishing and have any questions please ask away. You can find me on Facebook and Twitter. The links are in the bar at the top of the page.
Hope this was helpful. Thank you.