Monday, May 18, 2015
From First Idea To Final Draft Part 2: The Bottom Line
What are you writing for?
To tell a story that's burning its way out of you?
To become a USA or NY Times Bestseller?
To quit your day job and generate enough income with your writing to support yourself and/or your family?
What's your bottom line?
To succeed as an indie writer, you have to wear a lot of hats. All of them, to be specific. You have to handle writing, marketing, social media, strategic planning, web design, and probably a few other things I can't think of right now. But if it's essential to the success of your business, you, and no one else (unless you plan to hire someone and cut into your own meager profits) are responsible for making it happen.
Most importantly, you have to be a customer service expert. If you think your profits are your bottom line, you're wrong; if no one's reading your work, there are no profits. If your customers aren't happy with you or your work, then kiss your sales goodbye.
This means that in order to keep your customers happy, you may have to put profits on the back burner.
Last week, I was trying to give a friend of mine a free audio copy of one of my stories. When he went to redeem the code, the site prompted him to register his financial information so he could take advantage of a "free trial". He was leery of doing this because this same company had taken him for a ride not too long ago, and the ride had not been free.
I tried to find a workaround--reviewers are hard to come by--but was unable. In the end, I had to let the matter go. It wasn't worth risking someone's finances so I could push a product on them.
In hindsight, I'm grateful to have learned this lesson with a friend, rather than a stranger.
Customers, readers, must always, always, always come before profits. It's Business 101. Your reputation is everything. If you present yourself as only self-supporting with no interest in others, you will fail. If your primary goal with writing is to attain financial freedom, you have a better chance of getting struck with red lightning than making that happen. Not because it's impossible, but because no one's going to care about you if you don't care about them.
If your bottom line in writing is to get rich, you're going about this the wrong way.
If your bottom line is the exchange of knowledge, and your willingness to aid in the success of others, then you are on the right track.
What's your bottom line?
Thanks for reading.