The Writer as CEO of her own company

Posted on Posted in Business, Marketing and Publicity


My pal Kate Hardy is blogging today about the real and not quite so glamorous life of a published author if you need a chuckle.

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 far away, I was in the business world, working for a major international company with headquarters in the US.

 Now I am working for  NinaHarrington.Com with headquarters in the back bedroom where I am sitting right now.

 Imagine a typical organisation chart for a retail business selling a product -like this:  

Chief Executive

Product development Sales
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 to buy the products.

But 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.

Sarah Duncan 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 multitasking all singing and all dancing ShowBiz goddesses 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 his shoe. On with the show.

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