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The Flip-side of Writing: Creating a Writer's Business Plan
by Tequitia R. Andrews
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced
writer, you could benefit from having a writer's business plan in place. Not
only does a writer's business plan helps you set writing goals, but it can also
improve your odds of publishing success and keep your writing on track. Here are
the four basic elements of a writer's business plan.
Describe what type of writer you are or your
specialization. Do you write fiction, nonfiction, or both? Maybe you write
greeting cards, screenplays, or copywriting. Whatever genre or field of writing,
Also include your writing goals. For example,
you could write, "As a fiction writer, I would like to have published one novel
within the first year and three novels within a five year period". Try to be
very specific in what you'd like to accomplish.
A big part of writing is getting publishers to
buy what you write. Thus, the marketing element of your business plan is very
important. First, research your customers. Find out what they want. Read what
they have on the market now. Once you know that information, target the ones who
are interested in what you have to offer.
The number one marketing tool for writers are
query letters. They can be your one-way ticket to publication or the trash bin.
Send them out as frequently as possible. Some additional marketing tools for
writers include networking and free publicity. You can network at writing
conferences or workshops. Get some business cards and by all means, give them
out. Free publicity can be helpful, but be careful. It's okay to do the
occasional free article or newsletter to get your name out but too many free
writing assignments and you're no longer in business. The point is to get paying
Speaking of getting paid, it's important to
manage properly the money coming in and going out. You can hire an accountant or
do it yourself. If you do it yourself, then you must be aware of what receipts
are important to keep, which items are tax deductible, and how much money it
requires to cover the day-to-day needs of your business. Have budget in place
for items like supplies, equipment, and fees. There are many accounting software
available that can help like, Quicken and MS Money. Also, keep your personal
finances separate from your writing finances. It makes it easier to decipher
what is what when tax season rolls around.
Have in place a plan to run the day-to-day
functions of your business. This includes clerical and administrative work. How
are you tracking your submissions? What system will you use in filing work that
has been published versus those awaiting publication? What about meetings with
clients or subjects to be interviewed? Decide on how they will fit into your
weekly schedule. You may want to designate one day a week for meetings and a
couple days a week for clerical work. It's up to you and what works best.
Give your plan a test drive for a year. After
which, sit down and re-evaluate it. Look at what worked and what didn't. Edit it
to suit your needs. Your business plan isn't set in stone. It can be flexible
enough to grow and adjust with the changes of your writing business.
© Copyright 2002, Tequitia R. Andrews
Tequitia Andrews work has been published in All About Kids, Indy's Child, MainStreetMom.com, and CreativeHomemaking.com.
Other articles by Tequitia R. Andrews :
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