7 Steps to Launching your Author Business

launching your author business

As an author, your business is to write and sell books, articles, or writing services. But in order to do so, you must think like an entrepreneur. The good news is you can create an entire business based on your writing! You can start by designing related products and services such as courses and merchandise. This is just the beginning to launching your very own author business!

Each state or country has specific business set ups, permits, and tax requirements to follow. You will need to begin your own research in order to comply with your state’s requirements. You will also need to identify tax and legal experts who can support you. They can help in the process of creating invoices, contract templates, setting up bank accounts and accounting systems.

In this article, I give you a thorough explanation of the creative process for launching your writing business.

Steps to Follow for Launching your Author Business

Step 1: Decide what to write

First, you should decide if it’s fiction or non-fiction or both. Second, define your main topic and subtopics. For example, my main topic is self-publishing and my subtopics are creative writing, writing and editing tips, and personal brand and marketing for authors.

Deciding on your topics will also help you identify your audience. Once you know who you want to write to, it will determine your tone and style. Third, design your writing strategy.

Will you write long novels or short books? Or will you write series (related novels or related non-fiction topics that work as a set)? Are you working on books with visual elements? Or will you write books based on your blog articles?

Step 2: Establish your personal brand look and feel before launching your author business

Your personal brand is the experience you offer; therefore, think of what you bring to your business to make it unique. Are you fun, organized, detail-oriented, knowledgeable, creative, or accessible? You can use those elements to create a logo and slogan.

Select colors that reflect your personality or writing themes and use them on your blog and social media. Take a professional picture using those colors. Then, use it as your profile picture on your blog and social media accounts. 

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Step 3: Set up a blog to serve as your digital home

This is where you can share writing tips, interviews, Q&A, and upcoming events; and sell your products and services. Ideally, you would use your name as your internet address, but you can also buy a domain name that is broad enough to house your writing interests.

Then, establish a frequency to publish on your blog regularly. Your blog should also include:

  • profile picture
  • contact information
  • author bio
  • a description of your business (products and services), writing themes, and/or a welcome message
  • sign-up form for your mailing list
  • a payment system
  • links to social media

Step 4: Set up the social media

Once you know which social media you would like to use, set the accounts with the same name you used for your blog. For example, if you decided on using your name as a web address, use it as your social media handle. However, if you already have a blog and social media, you can work with what you have.

It is best to focus on just a few social media accounts. Update them often instead of having them all and never updating them. Include links to your blog on your social media profiles.

More Steps for Launching your Author Business

Step 5: Establish your publishing goals.

Do you want to publish a new book every year or every two years? Two books per year, or six articles per year? Consider the time you have available so that you decide on a rhythm that works for you and your lifestyle.

Also, keep in mind that the first couple of books or articles will likely take you longer to write and publish while you learn the process. Another decision is whether you would like to write proposals for a traditional publisher or self-publish your books.

marketing plan for authors
Photo: Christina Morillo

If you are writing articles for online publications, how often will you submit? Select publications that are related to your writing themes. Follow their guidelines and keep in mind that not all articles you submit will be accepted and published. 

Step 6: Identify short-, mid-, and long-term opportunities for your writing.

Prepare a price list for your products and services. You may want to start by looking for publications that need content. Some of these will pay you to write articles or work with existing clients and offer them new services.

Then, think of other products or services you can create such as multiple book formats (which I discuss in an article in The Creativity Issue, July-September 2020), workbooks, seminars, and membership sites.

To help you plan long-term, think about where you see your business (and yourself) in the next five to ten years. Think about what you want to offer to your readers and clients.

Step 7: Create an initial marketing plan.

Design a newsletter to share the launch of your author business and news about your writing. Also, print bookmarks to use as business cards and create digital flyers. Identify friends or family members who can help you spread the word that you are offering writing services or have a new blog.

marketing strategies for your author business
Photo: Cottonbro

Create a relationship with other writers, readers, or potential clients by answering questions. Provide useful information and support their work (such as liking their social media posts). Additionally, you can volunteer to help others. Record short videos to talk about your writing process, works in progress, and writing themes. Furthermore, you can prepare infographics with that information. 

Final Thoughts

Select the ideas that work for you. You can work on them in any order and revisit each step as often as you want. Test them, see what works, and readjust. But most importantly, remember that an author is a creative entrepreneur. An author finds a way to have fun while working on their business every day.

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7 steps to launching your author business

Vigimaris Nadal-Ramos, E.d.D
Vigimaris Nadal-Ramos is an English-Spanish editor, translator, blogger, and professor. She has business experience and a doctorate in education, with a concentration in curriculum and teaching of English as a second language.