Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Writer as Entrepreneur by Mar Preston

If you're a very new author like me, you find promoting yourself second in dread only to a spinal tap, a baby shower, and a tax audit-all on the same day.

NO DICE, my first mystery, could sink like a stone unless I act way out of my comfort zone. That means self-promotion. I'm aleady over my allowance of shy attacks for the month.

But something has happened that changed the way I think about myself. I'm defining myself now as an entrepreneur.

I found Women's Economic Ventures-an organization here in Southern California 'dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women.' I know they must have opportunities like this in Canada.

Twenty-seven budding entrepreneurs, and none of them authors, have met four times. the initial ripple of uneasiness and plain fear has been trasformed into a can do optimism at the end of every class. We leave on a high.

We will try to pin down our brand in the fluctuationg publishing marketplace, create a marketing plan, produce financials, and a business plan. Subjects I never could have imagined myself being interested in.

But I want to learn how to earn a modest income as an author who is in business for herself. I have other books I want to publish.

A consultant has gently guided my down the path of assembling the rudiments of self-promotion. That includes a blog (not this one) embedded in a website, and supported by business cards and bookmarks, an e-newletter, as well as a Facebook fan page. It's all there at

What has helped me most in the class so far is learning techniques of time management. Last week I found myself combing the fringe on the rug to delay writing the next chapter. Have I mentioned Spider Solitaire? It has to stop.

This entrepreneurship class takes into account the emotions that go along with assuming the huge risk of indenturing yourself to the vision of being your own boss.

After all, as authors, we are in business. Publication is only the first step.