LET'S BE REAL! When you wrote your book, you did not write it with the intent of keeping it to yourself. Your book was written because you felt you had a story or message to share with others. Unless you have a plan to just tell your story for publicity sake - - it’s a great idea for you to learn the business side of the book industry! Maybe you didn’t think about your book as a business until now, but the reality is, when you decided to write a book, you took on a new business venture.
As an author, you should be writing your book with results in mind. Most business experts will tell you do not proceed in business without a business plan, but who's telling you that BOOKS ARE A BUSINESS™? Typically, the business plan is the first step in creating a business, where goals and operating objectives are laid out and strategies for completing those goals are drafted. If you want to be successful in the book business, why not plan for it? Your Business Plan becomes "the way you do business where books are concerned". Writing a book is much like opening a new business and it involves business activities such as marketing, advertising, profit and loss, expenses, key personnel and other related activities. Developing a written plan for your book, gives you a visual plan of success.
BOOKS ARE A BUSINESS™ and you have to plan a promotion strategy with purpose. Anyone venturing into the world of publishing needs to understand the business side of books. This BOOKS ARE A BUSINESS™ kit will give you tools to make the most of your new business venture. Covering line items found in a traditional business plan, this kit also shows you how to tailor it to the success of your book by providing a clear understanding of the following as it relates to your book which is also your new business.
• Executive Summary: Highlights of your book and the purpose for it
• Company Description: Legal establishment, history, start-up plans, etc.
• Product or Service: Describe what you're selling. Focus on customer benefits.
• Market Analysis: Your target market, customer needs, where they are, how to reach them, etc.
• Strategy and Implementation: Management responsibilities with dates and budget.
• Management Team: Include backgrounds of key members of the team, personnel strategy, and details.
• Financial Plan: Include profit and loss, cash flow, balance sheet, break-even analysis, assumptions, business ratios, etc.
Yes, writing a book requires you to know and understand all of the above. Why? Because BOOKS ARE A BUSINESS™. The Book Business will thrust you in the world of entrepreneurship (or Authorpreneurship, as I like to say). Running a home-based business venture requires an investment of time, energy, resources and lots of volunteers. By definition (Webster's) an entrepreneur is one who organizes, manages and assumes the risk of a business or enterprise. As an entrepreneur you become the creator of your work life. When you write a book you are also making the decision to take control of your future. Initially, you may still work the "9 to 5 window", but as your book prospers, you will need flexibility to keep up with the demands of your new business venture.
Congratulations on deciding to become an author and taking the steps to be successful. The choice to become an author is one of the most fulfilling choices one could make, but don’t forget at the end of the day....it’s all about the money, honey! Enjoy the journey!
Stephanie C. Harper, PHR, CCP, CHRM
Author, Career Expert, Speaker & Radio Host
Entrepreneur & Publisher, CAREER Magazine