Wednesday, August 17, 2011

You, Inc.

This blog started out a lot differently.  Originally, it was: “Your writing as a business”, and I had a laundry list of things you should do.  But one of the major no-no’s of writing is telling, not showing, so I’m going to show you what I’m doing (or attempting) for the way I treat my writing as a business.
I’m in a different stage of life than most of our members.  My kids are grown, and I have buckets of free time to write.  I also have a bad case of procrastination and referenceitis.  I can spend hours doing anything but writing, and in order to kick start myself, I’ve formed a corporation - Cheryl, Inc.  You won’t find it registered with the state or on a domain, but it’s very real.
Cheryl, Inc has an agenda.  There are things to do, and goals and timelines.  Cheryl, Inc. has one employee who holds the positions of CEO, CFO, Marketing Director and Chief of Communications.  Her salary is zero, and sometimes she grumbles, but she still shows up for work and tackles her lists.
Cheryl, Inc. has a brand.  “Romantic comedies set in alternate realities.”  It’s specific, so her readers know what to expect with each book, but it gives her leeway to write about elves, fairy godmothers, vampire slayers or aliens (all of which she has done).
Cheryl, Inc. has a timetable.  “The Apprentice Fairy Godmother” was self-published at the end of July.  An ebook reissue of “What Do You Say to a Naked Elf?” will be published in September.  It’s sequel, tentatively titled “Roberts Rules of Disorder" will be published in November.  “Tall, Dark and Slayer”, by Champagne Books, in January.  And so on.  A book approximately every other month.
Cheryl, Inc. uses social media.  She has a blog and Facebook account and Tweets under her alternate persona, writerslikeme.  She follows over a dozen industry-related blogs, but needs to work on leaving comments to be recognized.  She realizes you can’t win readers by hitting them over the head with “Buy my book", but by building a relationship.  (Read “Tribes” by Seth Godin (or anything by him) to learn about marketing relationships and how to target them).
Cheryl, Inc. embraces her tiny business status.  In the words of (marketing for businesses without marketing departments; a fun, great website to follow):
I am building a business.  I am building a company.  It’s a small company, but it’s a company, and it’s mine.
Are you building your company?


Patricia Kiyono said...

Lots of food for thought here. Thinking of myself as a company needing to make a profit puts a whole new light on things I do to promote myself. Thanks!

Tess Grant said...

I'm trying to build my company. Sometimes I need to kick my one employee (me) in the butt!

Willow James said...

I quite my company six months ago. Lately I have been trying to reopen it. This helps to put me in the right direction to start fresh with a new perspective.

Andrea Dickinson said...

Great post, Cheryl. Thanks for giving us this perspective.

WS Gager said...

I'm officially on medical leave but really need to return to work. Good thing my doctor isn't employed by the company or I could stretch this out for a bit more. Great post Cheryl. Need to punch in now!
W.S. Gager