That Book You Are Writing? It’s a Startup

Do you think of yourself as a “writer”? An “author”? Or an “entrepreneur”?

Chances are that you’ve never referred to yourself as the latter. But perhaps now is the time to start acting like one.

Listen to Brian Clark

Brian Clark should be familiar to you. He is the founder of Copyblogger, one of the most respected writing advice sites on the Internet. But what sets Brian and Copyblogger Media (the company he created from the Copyblogger blog) apart is that they go beyond merely writing, to focus on effective content creation, marketing and good business practices.

Marketing yourself properly is incredibly important for a writer. Creating a brand, an audience, seeking out opportunities – these are the types of things that an enterpreneur does day-in, day-out to build a successful business.

It’s time you did that too.

Turning Writers into Entrepeneurs

I’ve been trying to convert writers into entrepreneurs for 6 years now, and now you might not be able to resist.

Last week, Brian launched Entreproducer, a multimedia email newsletter that will focus on the business of independent new media content, and why every smart startup is a digital media company.

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His first article focuses on writers. Writers like you. In it, he examines the opportunities in ebooks, and argues why you should treat your book as a startup.

One way or another, you need to build an audience. And the smart entrepreneurial approach for authors involves creating free online content to build that audience before you try to sell a book (or anything else).

In other words, become an Internet publishing entrepreneur. Your first book is simply your first product, no matter the level of artistry you put into it, and your biggest asset is your audience.

Take Your Business Seriously

I think this last comment is key, and it definitely got me thinking. When an author begins to think like a business, then you realise the importance of taking the business of writing seriously. Of course, great content is paramount. But you need an audience, you need a market, you need people to care. On top of that, when you begin to think of yourself as an entrepreneur, you begin to look beyond the book. Why not think about publishing? Or speaking tours? Get your audience, and go from there.


I would encourage everyone to sign up for Brian’s Entreproducer newsletter. No, I’m not getting anything for saying that, I just think it’s awesome. But you will definitely get something if you sign up. You’ll learn to think about your work in a whole new way.

Christopher Jackson is the Editor for Fuel Your Writing and a creative copywriter. He is currently working on Project: Snotbook, an interactive children’s storybook for iPad.


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