First published on The Writers Bureau on 31 July, 2015
Vincent de Paul is a Writers Bureau student and successful author. He has completed the course and, as you can see from the above, is busy writing and marketing his work.
So you’re a writer, thanks to The Writers Bureau, what next? Writing, investing and earning from your writing is what’s next: what I call writepreneurship.
Writing can be a lonely and difficult process and the post-project depression may be disheartening, but in the end writing is one of life’s most satisfying achievements. For me it’s therapeutic. I have over ten published articles by two national newspapers, never paid, but I still write.
Investing in writing is the first step. Time is never there for writing, so create time from your busy life schedule to write. Don’t wait for motivation, it never comes. Throw yourself into your writing, it is a venture like any other. And then be passionate about it.
The Writers Bureau’s guarantee for your fees back is not for lazybones. Today many papers, magazines and publishers don’t pay for articles/stories, not with the plethora of whatever they want all over cyberspace or being provided by their regular contributors; but you end up writing for them anyway because of the publicity a reputable media house, paper/magazine or publisher will guarantee, to enrich lives and for catharsis.
To earn from writing the (novice) writer has to come up with creative ways on how to earn from the craft. You have to be a jack of all trades and master of all of them. You write your own stories, edit them and be your own publisher, because no publisher will take a chance on a newbie, and then market your work; in other words, become an APE (author, publisher, and entrepreneur).
Being an APE is demanding. Quality is the foremost requirement. Once done with the manuscript, you either hire professionals to fine-tune it before it goes out to the world or, if you want something done right you gotta do it ya’self, right? Take editing/copyediting and book design courses so you won’t be hiring professional editors every time you have a new book out.
Your work is not done when the book is published. That’s when the real work begins – marketing. Make your book available everywhere – online bookstores, street bookstores, schools, libraries, social media, friends, and anywhere else where you’d get readers. Do something completely crazy and unexpected, ‘guerrilla marketing’ is the term.
This is what I have done with my book, Flashes of Vice, a series of collections of flash fiction stories I compile on my blog for one year before publishing them on Amazon Kindle, online Print-On-Demand companies, and hiring a printer for hardcopies. I have personally hawked the books to offices, people’s homes, schools, media houses, even ‘forced’ it on my juniors at my work place. The guerrilla technique in sales and marketing has helped me break even and now I’m enjoying all the profits, except for the paltry commission on sales on Amazon and other online bookstores.