What does focus mean to you? Something that happens automatically when you use your modern camera or smartphone? A type of Ford car?
I’m talking about personal focus. That moment of clarity, when the fug and fog around you disappears, what’s truly important comes into view.
The life of an independent author – one who doesn’t have a traditional deal with a large or medium-sized publisher – is one of wearing two hats, almost being a Janus figure – looking both ways. Janus, the God of beginnings and transitions. The beginning is the creative side, the writing of a novel; the transition is one of becoming a commercial author.
What are you talking about, Gerald?
I’m talking about writing and publishing. To create an income stream as an author, you need to write the books, and then you need to sell the books. In our courses and workshops, we describe writing as an art form, also a craft; publishing is a business. The two are very different. There’s a reason publishers aren’t authors – they’re good at what they do, and not good at what we do. Publishers are focused – making books, marketing books, and distributing … books. But an independent author needs to be both writer and publisher. Book sales don’t happen without both being in place.
Marketing is hard, if you’re a creative. You need to switch hats, or maybe look in a different direction. Janus-like. Okay, I’ll quit the analogy.
I have teamed up with some fantastic authors in recent weeks – Anita Belli, Ellie Holmes, and Deborah Klée. We are all local to each other at the top right-hand corner of Essex, UK. We are all members of the Frinton Writers’ Group (which was started by the wonderful Lesley Kara). We all have products we need to sell, or in the modern jargon, IP (Intellectual Property).
Now, we are the Four Marketeers. We are working both together and separately, sharing our research, highlighting our results, and generally supporting each other. We’re condensing some of the masses of information available, and sharing that amongst our group. As authors, we’ve been working together for a few years now. We understand and trust each other, and we know each other’s writing. Now, we’ve turned to face a different direction, outwards, into the book-buying market.
It’s been a great beginning to our group, less than a month old, and we are now FOCUSED! More writing will come, of course, but we now have more balance to our businesses. For that’s what we are – business people, with novel-writing at its core.
And because I’m trying to practice what I preach, if you are interested in any of my fiction (thriller / crime), click here for my fiction page. I have also written writing craft books, so you can click here for my non-fiction page.
Thank you for reading.