Saturday, September 27, 2014


I often get asked one of the Sisters In Crime bloghop questions, "If you were to mentor a new writer, what would you tell her about the writing business?"

There is one important concept that seems simple but is difficult to understand and accept: If you are serious about being an author, then writing is a business. This is separate from the creative work of writing. They are two very different things. The more a writer is able to keep the two distinct, the more successful she'll be in both.

Whether you are a well-established name or pre-published, you are having a writing career. The business aspects of the career are your job in which you are the boss, CEO, CFO, and employee. What does that mean, really? It means that you must work to be your best advocate in your business decisions. It means that you must work to keep yourself apprised of this new publishing world. It means that you must work to promote yourself as best as you can. What it mostly means is the writing comes first and foremost always. In business terms, you can't sell what you don't have. You need product. (With rejections, it's helpful to think of your finished manuscript in terms of being product. After all, no one sells all their product all the time.)

The writing business can be frustrating, annoying and even heart-rending. Remembering that the writing biz isn't writing often helps reduce the pain. And the rewards far outweigh the struggle. May all you new authors succeed!

This blog post was inspired and created for the Sisters In Crime bloghop. You can find out more here,

Last, but perhaps most important: my great friend and great author, Kathy McIntosh, is also participating in this bloghop. She's the author of the comic crime novel in which there is “plenty of laughs in this page turner and plenty of insights that keep the story fresh and memorable.” So hop on over to her post about what she says to someone who says "Nothing against women writers, but all of my favorite crime fiction authors happen to be men," on her website here.

And dear readers, what do you think? Are you successful in separating the two aspects of being a successful author? Any tips on how to do so?


Kathy McIntosh said...

Thanks for the good advice, for every author, not just newbies! And thanks for the link to my blog. The post won't be there until tomorrow because I'm trying hard to figure out how to allow comments and filter the garbage.

Conda Douglas said...

I know how that goes, Kathy! Ah, when technology works...but when it doesn't...