The Writer as CEO of their own company
Total focus on writing the manuscript today, but I did take time out to consider the current state of the publishing world and self-publishing in particular.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch has posted a brilliant piece this week about the real and not so glamorous life of a published author in 2017 – and it is not for the faint of heart.**
Her slice of life has made me think through some of the aspects of being an author which I had not anticipated would take up so much of my day when I was a struggling writer, namely the BIZ part of being in SHOWBIZ.
Once upon a time in a land close by, I was in the business world, working for a major international company with headquarters in the USA.
Now I am working for NinaHarrington.Com with headquarters in the back bedroom of the stone and brick home where I am sitting right now. According to my income tax return I am a sole trader running a small business.
Imagine a typical organisation chart for a retail business selling a product, any product, like this:
|A. Project Manager||Marketing|
|B. Project Manager||Finance and Accounts|
|C. Project Manager||Human Resources|
|Operational and Technical Support||Legal|
How does a sole trader like a writer carry out all of these functions?
And yes, you do need an HR dept. to schedule holidays and pensions and national insurance and all of that good stuff when you are working for yourself.
And yes, I do tend to work on multiple projects at the same time, and frequently have proofs for book A [quality control] arriving at the same time as writing book B [production] and creating ideas for the proposal for book C [product development] – which is vital to keep the production line going and persuade publishers and readers to buy the products.
Of course we can hire accountants, tax advisers, perhaps a literary agent to handle the legal aspects of contracts, as well as computer experts and web designers. They are all part of the ‘the team’ which makes up the business.
We do not have to do everything ourselves. But the stark truth is that the writer is the CEO of the business and we are responsible for the strategic direction of the company and the final decisions on who, what and why rests with us.
Kristine posted this week about why she chose to focus on the creative aspects of being a fiction writer as opposed to the BIZ side of being self- published, and it is a valid point.
A long term career AND a decent worklife balance AND emotional joy and exuberance in what we do are all valid goals. Now what we have to do is become the professional multi-tasking all singing and all dancing ShowBiz stars we know ourselves to be.
At this point Nina pauses to peruse Diary and target wordcount for WIP. Looks at words written and the quantity and quality of these words. Gulp. My line manager is tapping her shoe. On with the show.
**[ Read more here: http://kriswrites.com/2017/12/06/business-musings-sustainability/]