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Business of Writing and Publishing

  • April 2019

In my roles as publisher at Elva Resa Publishing and Books Make a Difference magazine, as a board member for Independent Book Publishers Association, and as a successful published author, I engage in many aspects of the business side of writing and publishing.

Writing is, by its nature, a very personal profession. Writers tend to write about topics they are passionate about and independent publishers tend to publish authors and messages they believe in.

But the business side of writing and publishing requires much more than passion. Publishing is a profession. To succeed, authors and publishers must become competent in the skills of the trade, industry standards, lingo, processes, etiquette, culture, players, roles and responsibilities, and best practices.

If you aspire to be a published writer—writing part- or full-time, with one book or one hundred—you’ll need to learn what it means to be a professional author. Not only do you need to know how to write exceptionally well, you also need to learn how to edit, proof, pitch, submit your work. How to build an author platform, engage with your readership, and market your book. How to work with a publisher, talk with the media, speak to an audience, respond to good and bad reviews, and carry yourself as a professional in the publishing industry and in society.

If you’re going to be a successful publisher—of your own or others’ works, one author or a thousand authors—you’ll need to learn how to run a business, work with a team of legal and financial advisers, manage complex projects and timelines, collaborate with creative and logistical partners, mentor authors, build a brand, meet industry publishing standards, market and sell products and services, deal with distribution and returns, budget and manage cash flow, network with other publishers and industry suppliers, and much more.

As with other professions, there are many, many aspects to the business of writing and publishing. A quick search online will present you with books, blogs, conferences, and service providers catered to the education of authors and publishers. I encourage you to read any and all to arm yourself with knowledge.

In this new blog section, I will share

  • my perspective as a book and magazine publisher
  • my journey as a published author
  • ideas from my publishing network
  • challenges our authors and colleagues face and how they meet those challenges
  • industry best practices
  • answers to questions from other authors and publishers I mentor

Feel free to leave a comment here with questions you’d like me to answer in future posts, or you can connect with me on social media (links at the top of the site).

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Karen’s life experience is intertwined with her roles as a wife, mom, stepmom, writer, publisher, photographer, traveler, and woman of faith. All these elements tend to make their way into her blog posts.

“Writers have to write. It’s something deep inside us that pushes and pushes until we let it out. It’s part of the air we breathe, this need to make sense of the world around us and to somehow find the right words to express and influence the way we each feel and interact and love and live.”—Writing is Risky Business