Your book is a lot of things. Originally, it’s a dream. As you begin developing the story, it becomes your baby. Once you publish, it becomes reality—something you can hold and touch, give away and sell. Throughout the process, your book is a business.
For writers who take their craft seriously, this can sound crass. After all, you didn’t write to start a business. You wrote to tell your story, to let your voice soar into homes and hearts. While all of that is true, you should view your book as a business if you want it to have maximum impact.
How is you book a business?
Book Publishing Has Startup Costs
In the business world, startup costs get a business off the ground. Like a business, your book has startup costs. They’re just a bit different.
- Money. When people think of startup costs, this is the first thing that comes to mind. And rightfully so. According to Nerd Wallet, you can expect to spend between $10,000 and $120,000 on equipment when launching a new business. Pile on office rent, utilities, and insurance, and you’re dropping a lot of cash. Publishing also has financial startup costs. Granted, publishing costs less than $120,000, but there is some expense to get your book off your computer and onto bookshelves. Editors, illustrators, cover designers, and book designers don’t work for free. Paying them is your business’s startup fees. Because remember, your book is a business!
- Time. No matter what business you want to launch, you need time to gain expertise in that area. Otherwise your business will flop. The same is true in the world of publishing. To make sure your book is just right, you either spend time mastering all of the necessary skills to make it perfect or you spend time finding someone with those skills. Either way, like a business, publishing doesn’t happen over night. It takes time.
Books and Businesses Have Overhead
Overhead is cash you drop to keep a business running. While overhead doesn’t make you money, you can’t make money without it. Because your book is a business, your book has overhead also.
The overhead for your books may look something like this:
- Traveling expenses. Did you get an interview with a television station out of state? Anything you pay to get there is overhead. This may include gas, a hotel room, and meals.
- Event booths. Getting a booth or a table at conventions and other events is a great way to market your book. Choose the right event, and you’ll get access to all sorts of eager buyers. To get a table or booth, you have to pay. That’s overhead!
- Copies of your book. Want to give books away or sell them in person for cash or credit via Square? You’ve got to buy them first. This is considered overhead. Planning to ship books to someone? More overhead.
- Marketing. This overhead expense comes in many forms. Your marketing may only require your time. Or it may take money, free books, etc. In fact, the overhead of marketing is too big a topic to fit inside a tiny bullet point. So let’s expand on it.
Both Require Marketing
Still not convinced your book is a business? Consider that both require marketing to gain new customers. In the world of books, those customers are called readers. And you need lots of them.
How can you market your book? Today, the sky and your imagination are the limits. A few ways to put your book in front of potential readers include:
- Amazon Ads
- Google Ads
- Interviews with newspapers, magazines, blogs, podcasts, TV shows, etc.
- Social media (posting on your site and asking influencers to do the same)
Your Book Is a Business Because It Makes Money
Since this reason seemed most obvious, we saved it for last. Your book is a business because it makes money!
As soon as you begin working on your book, you are founding a small business. Work long enough, hard enough, and smart enough, and that small business pays dividends. It may even become more than a small business. It may become a career that exceeds your wildest dreams.
Before you make your book a business, you’ve got to get it published. If you’re stuck in publishing limbo and need help getting your book to the finish line, Argyle Fox Publishing can help. Founded by an author who knows the struggle of navigating the publishing world, we treat you like we want to be treated. And we treat your book like one of our own. If that sounds intriguing, submit your manuscript for consideration today!