Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
As a writer, you are constantly asked to be two people:
Your artist self and your business self.
You’ve got to keep them separated, and they both need to be nurtured.
I find this to be more of an issue for unpublished authors. Once a writer is published, they seem highly motivated to stay published. They’re more open to increasing the commercial appeal of their work or paying more attention to marketing.
But some authors resist “commercializing” their art. That’s fine, if you want to write for yourself, your family and your friends. But if the goal is to ask strangers to pay money to read your work, then it deserves a two-fold approach: (1) nurture your craft to write the best books you can, and (2) think of yourself as a small business.
How do you develop a business mindset? One way is to read books that people in business typically read.
These books can be helpful in learning how to approach writing as a business or even a career. They can teach you to ask the right questions as you consider what kinds of books to write and how to write them.
They can open your eyes to everything from
…how consumers make buying decisions
…to how to create a successful brand
…to how to organize your time for maximum effectiveness (and much more).
There is an art to running a successful business. As I’ve spoken with several of my clients who have multiple books published, it’s been interesting to see how they approach the constant necessity to keep drawing in readers: rather than feeling like they’re “selling out,” they savor the challenge of getting better at crafting words into books that people want to read. They look for the stories or topics that interest them, and then ask themselves where their interests meet the demands of the marketplace. And they don’t shy away from taking an intentional approach to book promotion.
So what books should you read? There is no single one to recommend. You may want to choose a few that interest you, and try to read them over the next year.
Below are some good books to get you started. Feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments.
- To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink
- Originals by Adam Grant
- Essentialism by Greg McKeown
- Made to Stick by Chip Heath
- Grit by Angela Duckworth
- Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
- Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin
- The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz
- Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg
- Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne
Are you comfortable with approaching writing as a business? What helps you nurture this mindset? How do you balance your artistic self with your business self?