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News

The posts have been few and far between this month.

It isn’t holidays that have got in the way.

It’s the changes we are making to our business.

We now have a new blog up and running and, yes, the posts have restarted.

 Visit our new site  to carry on reading about being in business as a writer.

 The new site is:  www.margaretadams.co.uk

Watch out for the changes we’ll be making to our websites over the coming weeks, too.

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It’s in the news.

When did you last write a press release?

If you’ve written them for other people, they don’t count.

When did you last write a press release for yourself, and about yourself?

It’s worth spending time thinking about what is newsworthy about what you do. It’s also worth thinking about who might be interested in reading about you.

You’ll find this task easier, if you think of yourself as something other than a writer.

  • As well as being a writer, are you a female entrepreneur?
  • As well as being a writer, are you a survivor of a serious illness?
  • As well as being a writer, are you the only person to ……? (You fill in the gap.)

Think about what you do. Think about what could appear in the local paper about you. Think about what local people like to read about.

Bring all of these things together in an interesting way. Create a story about yourself.

It’s not an easy task, especially if you don’t see yourself as being famous or interesting. However, part of the process of promoting yourself, and your business, is building a public persona and to do that you will need to be reported on in the media.

So, now is the time to start to build a list of media contacts. Now is the time to start to think of yourself as somebody who will be in the news soon.

Now is the time to write that press release.

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Promoting yourself

Most writers don’t like the idea of promoting themselves.

They don’t want to tell the world how good they are at anything.
If someone else tells them they do something well, they are often uncomfortable about accepting the praise.

In business you need to adopt a different tack.

  • If you don’t say that you do a good job, why should anyone else?
  • If you don’t say your work is excellent, why should anyone else?

If you don’t write that press release or agree to do that interview for the local radio station to let the world know about your personal success and your vision and your passions . . . will anyone else?

Most writers don’t go in for self-promotion. They are somehow embarrassed at the prospect of doing so. Many writers prefer to stay in the shadows and to let their works speak for them.

They don’t like to think about promoting themselves and they assume their publishers will promote their books.

Well, publishers have limited funds to promote books and authors – as noted in the previous post.

Additionally, you know best what image you want to present to the world. You know how you wish to project yourself into your marketplace – or if you don’t, it’s time to get started.

Here are two questions to help you to know yourself better.

  1. If I didn’t do what I do, what would be missing in the world?
  2. If a journalist asked me to define myself in a single sentence, what would I say?

We ask these questions – and quite a few more – in our workshop for writers looking to build their business.

Try them out for yourself now.

Next time: what’s the difference between promoting yourself as a writer of fiction and as a writer on non-fiction?

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Earned Out!

18470603154How to take charge of your teaching career was published in August 2008.

I received my first royaly statement today.  During the period August 2008 to December 2008 the book earned more than the advance I was paid when I delivered the manuscript.

That’s good news.

It’s not simply good luck.

I have made a point of promoting the book whenever I can.

I have ensured there are reviews of the book on websites . . . and so on.

Here’s an example, then, of how taking a disciplined approach to book promotion works.  It’s also an example of how being a businessperson who writes pays dividends, or rather, royalties.

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Good Business

Why didn’t I blog between March 23rd and April 3rd?

It was all to do with business needs.

The period leading up to the end of March and into early April is the most important time of year for the vast majority of businesses.

It’s the end of the financial year and people in business always have lots to do at the end of March.

There are all the final reports, final workshops, final days of support to be delivered. There are checks to be made that contracts have been fulfilled and that everything that has been promised by the end of the year has been delivered.

There’s also the very important job of invoicing to be done. With so many contracts ending in March, it’s really important to make sure that the final invoices are accurate. There won’t be another chance to invoice for work undertaken in the period that ends on March 31st if you make a mistake now.

Then there’s the job of making sure that the invoices have been received by customers. It’s also important at this time to check likely payment dates. This is all about checking that accounts departments have received everything they’re expecting, making sure you have presented everything in the form the accounts people like, and so on.

Of course, I already have contacts who know me in the accounts departments of all the organisations with which we are doing business. I’ve made sure I’ve built up good relationships with these people. I’ve found out about their deadlines and I’ve made sure I met them. I have also thanked them when they have ensured we have been paid on time.

In early April, I make a point of contacting all the people in our customers’ accounts departments and thanking them for their efforts throughout the year.

Now think about your own business.

  • Do you know the people in the accounts department of the organisations with which you work – even if you work on a self-invoicing basis or if you receive royalties?
  • Do you know who to speak to about all things financial in your customers’ organisations?
  • Do those people know you? Even if you have never met them, when you telephone, do they know who you are?

All of these things matter.

You need to keep on top of this aspect of your business. If you’re in business as a writer, you need allies wherever you can find them, and you definitely need allies in the accounts department.

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Terrible Times for Writers

Who needs another blog for writers?

The web is packed with sites for writers, courses for writers, blogs, articles, guides …

And times are tough. Many publishers are publishing fewer books. Publishers and agents are less likely, because of the current economic situation, to take a chance on a new writer, or on someone who isn’t established.

With advertising income shrinking some magazines are cutting back on the number of pages they publish and so need fewer articles. This means they probably aren’t looking out for new contributors quite so enthusiastically as they once did.

There are lots of people out there who will write for a pittance, or maybe even for free.

So it’s more difficult than ever to make it as a writer, isn’t it?

That may be what you believe. Let me tell you, I don’t, but then I’m not a writer. I’m a businessperson who writes, and there’s a subtle difference between the two.

One of those differences is that I tend to get paid for my writing – whether or not it is published – and well paid, too.

Another difference is that I’m confident that I can carry on getting paid for my writing.

This blog is going to unpick the difference between being a writer and a businessperson who writes.

Come along for the journey if you want to build a business that has your writing at the heart of it.

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