Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pat's Convention Note #25 of 100 things I learned from attending SIX LITERARY CONFERENCES in 2014

#25. The Business side of Books

RWA 2014 workshop with NYT bestselling author Marie Force. Checkout Marieforce.com/connect
This sounds like a fairytale story, but it’s not.  This author’s income grew from $2500 in one year to $3 million dollars a few years later. I don’t know how to count that much $$. Marie said she didn’t see that kind of wealth coming and wasn’t prepared how to manage it. She was no longer a struggling author, but a business owner. She had to scramble to make sure taxes wouldn’t eat up her profits. These are a few of the steps she took:
·         Established a separate bank account
·         Applied for an American Express business credit card and record receipts as expenses incur.
·         Hired a CPA***she couldn’t stress this enough*** because authors do get audited.
·         She officially became a corporation, making sure all her books had copyrights with the Library of Congress. Plus, she hired two part-timers and two full time people.
Here are some tips that she used to build her career:
·         Make sure your email address shows your name, such as authorpatsimmons@gmail.com not pbooks@yahoo.com or booklover@hotmail. Everyone you email should know who you are and what you do.
·         Your signature in the email should contain your social media links as well as website. It took me a couple hours to do this because I had to add each icon, so I could link them separately. Here's my masterpiece: 

·         Marie believes in the personal touch, so she sends out Christmas cards to readers who sign up. They like receiving her swag in the mail. (I’m calculating the expense of this one). She also mails out postcards to announce new releases.
·         Another tip she shared was the fact she has 30 FB pages, one for every book or series. My jaw dropped. I have three major series. She has thousands of LIKEs that took years to reach.
·         She’s big on doing online workshops vs. traveling every month.
Okay, that’s it for now. I better go get started on my other Facebook pages: The Carmen Sisters and Love at the Crossroads. Revamping my signature line and creating multiple FB pages are what's doable for me right now.

I hope this has been a blessing!