skip to Main Content
Creative Self-Publishing — Your Books, Your Way With Orna Ross: Self-Publishing Conference Highlight

Creative Self-Publishing — Your Books, Your Way with Orna Ross: Self-Publishing Conference Highlight

Creative self-publishing is when indie authors approach our publishing tasks, and our author business, with the same creative mindset that we bring to our writing. It focuses not just on what we do, but how we do it, as we publish our books and establish our author business.

In this presentation, based on her new book Creative Self-Publishing, ALLi Director Orna Ross demonstrates how creativity can be embedded in every task we do, across the seven stages of the publishing process.  The result is a business that is uniquely you — and that attracts the right readers for your books.

This is a post from the Authors and Money SelfPubCon. SelfPubCon (The Self-Publishing Advice Conference) is an online author event, run free twice-yearly, in association with the Alliance of Independent Authors.

Listen to the Self-Publishing Conference Highlight on Creative Self-Publishing

Subscribe to our Ask ALLi podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Player.FM, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or Spotify.

Subscribe on iTunes   Stitcher Podcast Logo for link to ALLi podcast   Player.fm for podcasts   Overcast.fm logo   Pocket Casts Logo  

Watch the Self-Publishing Advice Conference Highlight on Creative Self-Publishing

Creative self-publishing is when indie authors approach our publishing tasks, and our author business, with the same creative mindset that we bring to our writing. @OrnaRoss explains in our latest #podcast. Click To Tweet

Find more author advice, tips and tools at our Self-publishing Author Advice Centerhttps://selfpublishingadvice.org, with a huge archive of nearly 2,000 blog posts, and a handy search box to find key info on the topic you need.

And, if you haven’t already, we invite you to join our organization and become a self-publishing ally. You can do that at http://allianceindependentauthors.org.

Read the Transcripts on Creative Self-Publishing

Orna: Hello, hello and welcome to this session for Self Pub Com. If you’ve been watching all night, I know you haven’t. If you were, this is the final session of our spring 2020. Self Pub Con, I’m Orna Ross and so this is the final session. It’s actually the kind of session that perhaps you take before you start your self publishing career, though is something to think about no matter what stage you’re at, in the business of publishing, in the craft of publishing and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. How to make that craft as creative as possible. So bringing creativity not just to your writing, but to your publishing process and to your business because of course this conference is all about income and growing your business and becoming somebody who is able to make an living from writing, which is the wonderful thing that we can do as creative Self Publishers today.

So, just a little about me, I’m Orna Ross I am the founding director of The Alliance of Independent Authors on Self Pub Con is of course run in association with the Alliance or ALLi, as we are known for short. And I’ve just finished a book called by No Coincidence, Creative Self Publishing and a lot of the themes and ideas and theories and practices that I’m going to be talking about in this session are expanded upon in the book.

So and also there are some free copies being given away in the giveaway associated with this session. So, if you like what you hear and you want to know more, then you might want to enter that competition.

So, what do I mean creative self publishing, what is this about and are you interested in should you listen any further. But the important thing to say is I’m not going to be giving, you know, really practical sort of income growth and ideas or tools or anything like that. We’ve had lots of those and in the other sessions here at the conference, my session here today is about your beliefs. Your mind mode has a creative mindset, but beliefs that you might be bringing to your publishing that might not be serving you very well, and also presenting some ideas, theories, to some degree, also some proven strategies that I’ve seen work for me experienced personally but also seeing work working well for a lot of other authors in ALLi and so today is all about how you set yourself up for success and no matter where you are, as a publisher, this session is relevant. Because if you haven’t started at all, if you’re only kind of in the middle of writing your first book and considering the self publishing option, then there is a lot here for you to think about before you even get going as a publisher. But if you’ve also been doing this for a long time, there’s still stuff here that we always need to come back to.

So, I come back to everything that I’m talking about here. Today, I’m publishing now for nearly a decade and myself. I’ve been involved in publishing for too many decades. I don’t want to say how many. But I come back to this stuff all the time, because creativity never stops. It’s forever flowing, and it’s forever changing. The only constant is change. So we look in the session about how you can set yourself up for creative success for commercial success from a creative perspective, and how you can get creative across the seven processes, essence of publishing and if you don’t know what they are, don’t worry we will be talking about that.

So, let’s just talk a little bit about what creative is and self publishing is so that we know we’re on the same sort of page here. Yeah, to use like a writing metaphor.

THREE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEOPLE

So, when I’m talking about self publishing, and Self Publishers, I’m talking about three different types of people. So, you might want to locate yourself first of all within these three categories.

SINGLE PROJECT AUTHORS

There are the single project authors somebody who is writing a book for community, friends, family, and really isn’t looking beyond one particular book or perhaps group of books. And that’s not so much the kind of person that I’m going be talking here today. Today I’m going to be talking to you.

INDIE AUTHOR

The second category of self publisher is those that we call the indie author. Now, sometimes the single project author loves what they do and decides, well, you know what, I want to do more of this, I actually would love to become a full time writer and that’s what an indie author is somebody who is using self publishing and various ways to become a full time working indie author, and this session would be of most value to those and when you have succeeded in doing that, we have this word called author printer that we have an author printer category at ALLi. These are people who have sold 50,000 books or more in the past two years or equivalent, business equivalent KU or whatever. They are successfully applying these creative strategies and growing their business and they too will find and something of news in this presentation.

CREATIVE

So, what is created up for sale publishers are and what self publishing looks like in the three categories of self publishing author, what on earth do we mean by creative? Not so easy to define? I’m afraid. Creative is one of those very amorphous very ambiguous words and depends on who you talk to, as to how they will define it. So if you ask an artist to watch his creative, you get a very different answer than if you ask say an engineer. Or if you ask a psychologist or whatever, and the kinds of definitions that have an effect on how we think about what we mean by creativity as writers and as publishers we get definitions from the art world so the artist and you know, as writers we are defined, as, you know, creative becomes a noun.

It’s no longer an adjective a descriptive word, but it’s an actual thing that you are we are supposed to be creatives every minute of the day, though, that’s not quite how it works. And so quite how the understanding will be looking at today applies. We will be looking a little bit more from a psychological perspective and some of the research that has been done which shows what creative actually is in terms of mindset, particularly on belief. Religion gives us the idea of the Creator or the original creator of the world creator of us and business has another idea again of creation, creativity of innovation and development and something that adds to the bottom line.

Neuroscience as a relatively new science, which was introduced in the late 1990s only 20 years old when neuroscience started, there was this big search for the part of the brain so neurosciences for those of you who don’t know is the study of the brain and the neurological system attached to it and brain scanning was what led to this upsurge in research new neuro scientific research. And when it started, everybody was looking for the part of the brain. That was creative. There was this idea of the left brain right brain. If you were a right brained person, you were more creative. If you were a left brained person you were more analytical and reasonable.

All the neuroscientists went looking for the creation bit and found that there was no creative bit they also went looking the psychologists went looking for the things that were unique to creative people. Those who had you know, the noun word were defined as creative people who were highly creative and innovative and turning out amazing things. Again, they found there was no such thing. What they found, but we now know as a result of all this research by many people and fully accepted now by the scientific fraternity is that creative? It is not a noun. It’s not a thing. And it’s not even an adjective. It’s, it’s a process. It’s something that we’re all doing all the time. So the creative process is defined by particular things that happen in the brain. And we call it creative flow when a person is in the mind state that leads to this sort of activity. And we’re not going to go into flow today.

It’s something I’ve discussed a great deal elsewhere, you can google on Orna Ross Creative Flow to find out all about that if you want to pause today. The important point for us to realize is that the creative process is something that’s going on all the time within us and around us. It is created us the human being the brain and body. He is creating everything that is produced in this world. They can be engaged consciously by anybody anytime, and it can be applied to anything. So, it really is a universal process and what we’re talking about here today is the conscious engagement of this process. Because sometimes it’s happening in us as humans, sometimes it’s just happening  consciously. So most of the time it’s happening unconsciously, we’re doing it and we don’t even know we’re doing it. Today, we’re going to talk about the way in which we consciously apply it to publishing.

And so creative self publishing is a form of creative business and as authors, we don’t always like to think about that and I’ll talk about that a little bit more in a few minutes. But the creative business is not business as usual. It’s different to conventional business and that’s what we need to take on board if we are going to become creative Self Publishers. So, the creative defines us success differently from the average conventional business. As creatives we tend to work from different drives and values, we learn by doing and we’re self directed and self empowering.

Creative Self-Publishing: CONVENTIONAL BUSINESS

So conventional business happens in quite a different way. Taking these things on board is very important if we are going to be able to do the sorts of activities that we need and want to do as creative Self Publishers.

So what I want to say to you, you know, from the start as far as I am concerned, you are a creative writer, you are a creative publisher and you run a creative business, all of those things are necessary, fully that your full engagement in all three of these is necessary for your success as a self publishing author.

But we can resist that we can be particularly resistant to the idea of business, mentioned the author printer word earlier on authors as entrepreneurs, we can resist that a lot and when ALLi changed our category of an author from professional to Authorprenuer, there was quite a bit of controversy around that. And the reason we did it was we wanted to bring home to people this idea that authors are no longer professionals.

There is a sort of a history to the author were in you know, optimum, through medieval times into the time of Shakespeare all the way up to the Romantic poets really, authors were seen as makers, crafters, part of the craft guild, then the romantics brought in the idea of the author’s artist, the 20th century so the author of professional man and now the 21st century seeing the author is entrepreneur, but we could be carrying those older definitions into our current digitally powered entrepreneurial world and in so doing holding ourselves back. So when we resist this idea that we are in business, we are from the day we sell our first book on Amazon, Kindle or on our own website, or wherever we are trading and selling our books from the day we sell the first one, we’ve gone into business, whether we realize it or not. The tax authorities view us as being in business, and business is just a fact for us. And if we’re resisting that, we’re using an awful lot of creative energy that could be more positively used. And very often we’re resisting it because we’ve got all sorts of beliefs about business.

Now, we think they’re facts, but actually, they’re not facts. They’re just beliefs. And I’m hoping that this session will help to maybe dissolve some of those beliefs as we go through. A lot of people fail as  Self Publishers don’t make an income don’t have the impact they want to have. don’t extend into having an influence through what I call creative ignorance.

It’s just not knowing what works and not knowing what to do. So for example, not knowing what you need to know about creative business, thinking it is business as usual thinking that it apply, you know, the same sort of principles that applying conventional business supplying creative business they don’t. But if we haven’t gotten into it, we don’t necessarily know that not knowing enough about our own creative process, and I’m feeling quite overwhelmed a lot of the time confused, you know, just not knowing how do I find out what my process is? How do I know what is most effective for me? That’s sort of what I call creative ignorance, and not knowing about assets and how they work in the business not understanding that and author in creative business elsewhere, three different hats, the maker, the manager, and the marketer and how to combine those three together. So very often we’re doing the wrong things, or if we’re doing the right things we’re doing, doing them in the wrong way. And that’s what I hope to, and yeah, to change, I guess in this session.

So why we fail as creative Self Publishers just continuing that theme before we get on to setting up for success. We fail. As Self Publishers, we fail to have the income, the influence or the impact that we want to have because either our writing is not yet created enough. Our book production is not yet creative and we don’t know how to make a good book, our book mark marketing or promotion is not just creative enough. We don’t know how to market our books and how to promote and sell them, or our business process is not creative enough. So we haven’t created the proper connection with our writing our production, our marketing or our business. And there is no other reason why we fail. Now the wonderful thing about all of these is, they are all skills and they can all be improved. We can become better at writing, we can become better making books, we can become better at marketing and promotion, we can become better at running a creative business. There are skills that we can work on.

Creative Self-Publishing: CALL IT YOUR “MASHION”

So moving now from why things don’t go well into how we are going to change all of that by going creative. And as I said, there are thousands and hundred thousand probably definitions of what creativity means, but specifically today what I’m going to be looking at in terms of going creative. We’re going to be talking about you and your values. And your own particular mission and passion of the writer, a boss is making you write the books you write. When you put these two things together your mission, which is what you want to see changing in the world, and your passion, what you love to do. When you put these two things together, you come up with what I call it your mashion. It’s a mixture a mashup of your mission and your passion. And when you understand that, what where that is for you, where it relates to your writing.

That’s the point at which you begin to understand what genre you’re writing should be in what niche you fit into, and going further down into that the micro niche that you fit into. So it’s really important that you begin to get a handle on this and that you deepen this knowledge. This is something that the more you do, the more you understand us, the more you engage with us, and the more you bring it there in your work as a publisher and as a writer. And the more you do that, the more you understand, the better you are at doing it the next time. Sometimes people are just born with it. They just know exactly what they’re meant to be doing. And they only want to do one thing, and they just do it consistently and off they go. Very often, though, we’re more confused than that. We’re not quite sure. There are lots of different things we want to do. You don’t know how they all fit together. We don’t quite understand the overarching mission, mission and passion that we have. And I’m returning to our values as people and as authors is how we do that. The idea is to come up with an aspect of the writing and of your mission and passion that is uniquely you something that only you are offering. Why should the reader buy your book what makes you different distinctive from better than other people who are writing in the same micro niche, some genre. And then when we understand that, we start to take it into the whole craft of publishing, and what I mean by the craft of publishing, it has three elements, seven processes, and I’m going to look at how to get more creative in each and all of those in a moment. So the three elements of publishing are production, placement, and business. So production is about making great books. placement is about how you position those books in the marketplace. businesses, how you sell them, get them, you know, into the hands of readers sell the books and also license the right.

THREE ELEMENTS OF PRODUCTION

So we’ll go through each of these elements, each of which breaks down further down into different processes. So this process, first of all, the element of production has three different processes, editorial, design, and actual production itself, the putting the book together.

The second element is the positioning and the two processes, there are distribution and marketing. And the third element is business and the processes there are promotion sales, which are one in the same thing in digital land, and I’ll talk about that in a moment. And the set of process is rights licensing.

So let’s go through each of these seven processes one by one and talk about We can get more creative with each of them. So, the first is editorial. And you will have heard probably, if you’ve been in this business for any length of time that there are various kinds of editorial that you need to do after you finish writing your book yourself and after you’ve finished your own self editing. And after you have perhaps given your book out to beta readers, or your writers group or your trusted first readers, then you bring in the professionals, the professionals can come in at the level of developmental editing, which will be sorting out structure, if it’s fiction, looking at character, plus theme, and if it’s fiction or nonfiction, and all the different elements pacing that make up a good book, and ensuring that you have the shape the structure, the development of the book is right.

Then after that there’s a copy editing phase. That’s more of the level of power some lines making sure the words are well used spelling and punctuation it conforms to a consistent style.

And then the final stage of editing is proofreading editorial is super important to publishing. Really, it’s publishers add value to a writer’s manuscript. And the major value that is added is in editorial. And very often beginners don’t understand that or don’t appreciate enough what an editor does. So being creative in this phase is very much about respecting the expertise of the editor. And it’s very much an opening up to constructive criticism, and becoming the sort of person who loves having that creative dialogue with another publishing expert.

So beginner authors or, indeed, at any stage or point in our career, if we’re feeling low or, and just catch us on a bad moment, it can be hard to take criticism of our writing, we can be very close to our writing and find it difficult to bring detachment to us. And that is the creative quality that is most important for the editorial phase out ability to detach from your own work, and to be able to discern the useful parts that the editor is bringing the parts that are perhaps Yeah, I hear what you’re saying. But actually, I don’t agree with you, or I hear what you’re saying. But I don’t think your solution is right, but I know what the solution is. So the creative qualities of discernment and detachment, that’s what we’re looking for in the editorial phase, and mostly the time and effort and the great work that it takes to Take the notes from the editor and get stuck back into the manuscript and make those improvements.

The next stage and in producing good books is design. This is where we go back to this idea of the mashion, the mission and passion that made you write the book in the first place. So the words that you have are in there to create an emotional response in the reader. And that’s true whether you’re writing fiction, nonfiction or poetry, you want to take over the mind, the heart, the soul of reader, you want to have an effect, you want to have an influence, you want to make some sort of impact on them as a person. And knowing that and as we were talking about earlier, it feeds into everything else, and it really feeds into design.

So in the design phase, it’s a very creative phase and what’s wonderful working with another creative, somebody who’s visually inspiring and works, you know, with visual art as opposed to the art of words. And most publishers really enjoy this stage. Once you get a good designer, it’s really fantastic working with somebody in that way. And the main thing I think from a creative perspective here is that you do return to that emotional and response that you’re trying to get in the reader, in some way informs the cover. So sometimes realize just can get very literal about, you know, having actual objects that are in the story and on the cover or if the heroine has red hair, you know, it’s really important that the woman on the cover also has red hair. That’s really not half as important as the cover has the same emotional resonance of the book. So it should create in the viewer who looks at this It should actually create in them a sense of what they’re going to experience emotionally on reading the book. And it should also respect the conventions of the genre.

So there’s no point in producing a cover up looks like it could be a romantic novel, if what you’ve written is a scientific tone, you’re just going you’re setting yourself up for failure in that way. And it’s important that the designer you work with is familiar with the genre that you’re working in. And they say about cover is that it’s the picture on the front of the cover that actually makes the reader take notice pick it up physically, if they’re in a bookstore or a physical bookshop, or you know, take notice in the online store, make them stop look, but is the description book description that makes them actually and pay and buy the book purchases? So do remember that design is not just pictures on your book is also the book description that will sit beside the book and is on the back of the book on in a printed book.

So production then is literally about putting the book together and format of things like formatting. And if it’s an E book, the audiobook production, if it’s all do the interior design and the putting together the binding of the book, whether it’s going to be hard back, soft back or large print these sorts of questions are production questions. And you can be there are two sort of ways to approach this from a creative perspective.

I think. First of all, it’s about getting a process, a creative process of works for you so that this doesn’t take up too much of your time. So it may be that you hire somebody to help you with it. formatting. If it for an E book for example, though more and more authors are now doing it themselves with an good software, I use vellum for my books and it’s really short cut my process as well as giving me books that I really like the look and feel of. It’s been a fantastic software for me and I know other people talk about other software is only available for Mac users. So it’s not useful for everybody, but it certainly has been wonderful for me. I also have used Scrivener in the past and wanted to say that there are two kinds of approaches here you can either go for very practical and Pacey you know, improving the creative process as much as possible to quickly get through production and it doesn’t take up a huge amount of your time.

Once you’ve got your well edited text your beautifully designed cover the production and uploading to the various online bookstores doesn’t take too long. But every so often speaking personally, and perhaps you too, I like to do something that’s very slow and very crafty, craft driven. I’m not that sort of paced production. This is an example here a couple of years ago, I’m a big fan of WB Yates and I did this special production book where we produced an 1897 cover, and the inside that chose the paper, the illustrations, everything was done very slowly, very carefully. just published 500 of them. It’s sold as a premium gift book and I every so often stop advertising it because I like selling it slowly. I just have a few copies left now and I really enjoyed not just the making and the putting together of the book, but also the way in which it has gone out into the world. And that’s Creative production to so doing a project that gives you great joy. And in the doing and that is different from the gotta make gotta get another book goes go, you know that sort of forwards driving pressure that we can get into particularly if we’ve tilted a little too far in the commercial side of the creative commercial balance. So every so often it can be very balancing to do something that’s done just for the joy of it.

Creative self publishing, when it comes to distribution is about thinking laterally. So there are the obvious way to self publish is Amazon Kindle and everybody on this, you have a particular reason for not being on Amazon pretty much every cell publisher and goes through Amazon and both in terms of E book Also KDP print and also Audible for audiobooks.

It’s from a creative perspective, we can think much more laterally we can also publish wide obviously, and a lot of authors do and increasing numbers of authors do and it is Alliance recommendation that you do publish wide at least some of your books. And that means using other suppliers like Ingram Spark for print, like Kobo and Apple, and Nuke and other platforms for eBooks, using aggregators who can take you into many stores globally around the world and also then returning to the particular nature of your book and thinking more laterally about ways in which you could get it out into the world. So that can take the form of special sales shops that are not book shops, but different kinds of shops, it could be something to do. Some times authors like to sell locally in their local bookstores. There are lots of different ways in which you can distribute a book and getting creative around that can really add to your joy. And that’s a creative distribution. And the other important thing, and I think the trend really for 2020 and beyond is authors and distributing on their own website. So making your own website, the home of your creative business is something again that we think more authors need to be thinking about your own real estate. And on the internet is a very valuable commodity. And if somebody buys a book from your store, you get their email address. If somebody buys a book from Amazon, you don’t know who they are. You never know you never actually get anything about that Yes, of course, you get the value of the Amazon algorithm if you have enough sales that will actually drive you up the ranks.

But you are essentially relying on another business to distribute your work. Whereas if you can actually build your business on your own website, then you’re building something that will last you for right through and help your business to grow over time.

Creative marketing. So this is the fifth stage in the process.

Marketing is very much from a creative perspective is very much about understanding your reader. And again, going back to that passion and mission, the buyers the book, and understanding how that connects you to that right reader while you are providing that the reader wants. And when you understand your own values, as we were talking earlier, you begin to understand your value. And your value is what actually your business is built on. So what is it about your books that the reader values? We were asking that question earlier, when you begin to understand that you begin to apply it not just in terms of understanding who the reader is, but in every aspect of your marketing.

So we talked earlier about how it’s reflected in the design, and then how you get your books out into the world. It’s very much comes to the fore when it comes to marketing. And so often I was talking earlier about resistance. So often I hear from authors who say, I love writing but I don’t like marketing. And really, this in this day and age writing is marketing. So it’s it doesn’t matter Makes sense. It’s a sense it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Because if you’re talking about digital self publishing, which we are in the main, then how you actually market your book is writing is we’ll be writing a social media post or writing a blog or writing an advertisement. It’s creative communication. And I think the reason I also say this so often is back to this resistance that I was talking about earlier. It’s the idea of not wanting to be in business and what they mean what we mean by that, because I very much carried a lot of this stuff myself when I started self publishing. So it’s a mindset I know and understand. And I think it comes from the difference in intention. If you’re thinking from a business perspective, you want to sell the book and you know, that’s a commercial intention where as the creative intention that fired, the writing of the book is something different. And we don’t want to swap that create intention, you know, it makes us feel good to be in that place. And we think that if we, because we want to sell the book because the intention is different that in some way everything collapses into the commerciality of that intention. And it really isn’t like us.

Having to communicate our ideas through marketing is actually a wonderful creative challenge. It forces us to think about what it is we’re trying to communicate. And when we understand that better, feeds back into the understanding of mission and passion and stuff and values and affects the next book and how we write it. So there’s a beautiful actual symbiosis between creative marketing Creative Writing, that only happens when we drop this resistance to business and drop this resistance to marketing, then we can let our creativity completely suffuse our advertising and our social media and our email communications to our readers in a way that we simply can’t when we’re in resistance mode.

Creative Self-Publishing: MARKETING ISN’T THE SAME AS PROMOTION

Marketing is letting your readers know you exist as an author, letting them know what books you have written, giving them an idea of the genre you’re in, the promise that you’re making to them, the value that you’re bringing to them. They understand all of that through your marketing. Marketing just puts the book out there. It’s you know, it’s it. Distribution is part of it, but also positions the book within the marketplace so that people understand where you’re coming from and part of your books are coming from. Promotion is much more time based and much more about selling promotion is about trying to get our reader across the line. So when we say we hate marketing really often what we’re talking about that we really hate is promotion and sales. And again, it’s back to this idea of the commercial intent that is behind that relationship. How do we balance the passion and the profit, the commercial and the creative? How do we sell our books without selling our soul?

And I think the key is very much in this notion of balance.

It’s about ensuring that as we are taking ourselves out into the world that we’re remembering our passion, what we love to do, and we’re bringing that into the communication and the love that we have for the reader for the person that we aimed the book at, either consciously or unconsciously why we were writing.

And that is the that’s what ensures that we don’t get lost in the profit motive and become, you know, one of those writers that’s just buy my book, buy my book, buy my book that’s only sees the other person only sees the reader in terms of what they can do for them. And you know, in terms of, you’re just somebody I want to buy my book, I don’t know much about you. I don’t really care. I just want you to buy my book. So getting beyond that, through promotion, is very much about thinking about the reader and thinking about being in service. It’s we Are writers in service to our readers, I’m not talking about selling to market or trying to second guess what’s going to sell next or anything like that. I’m talking about a full understanding of what the reader needs, requires and wants from us and how we can provide us. And again, this is something that the more you write, and the more you publish, the better you get.

RIGHTS LICENSING

And finally, there is rights licensing. So you know, people traditionally have talked very much in terms of self publishing versus traditional publishing one or the other. What’s actually happening now in publishing matures, is the fastest breaking down as soon as you’re successful. As a self publisher, you’re going to get various rights buyers, including trade publishers who are interested in what you do and who are making you and offer creative approach to rights licensing is very much about knowing what you want, just as it is in any aspect of creativity, knowing your definition of success and selectively licensing when you limit term territorian format.

So it’s a negotiation and I think that’s what’s interesting about creativity generally, it’s about collaboration and negotiation. And I’m not going to spend a lot of time talking about rights today. But in terms of creativity there, it’s really about not jumping in because somebody has made you an offer and saying, Yes, hooray, publish my book, you know, take these rights. It’s understanding that each right that you have is something specific, that your book is not just one thing. You don’t sell all your rights to one trade publisher. You See what they can do for you, and you sell just specifically that particular right. So it might be, for example, print rights in North America, or it might be audio book rights in somewhere else. And so it’s very much by being aware of your own power as a self publisher and resting with confidence there.

So, how you bring all this together, I just ducked down to this slide here actually, because it’s a little bit more informative than then go back and how you bring all this together as a practical level is that you understand that you are both you are three things. As a creative self publisher, you are a maker, producing the books you are manager, overseeing the process of making the book and also the process of running a business. And you are the marketer who’s overseeing the positioning of the books in the marketplace, and the pitches and promotions that will take your book out to the reader. And each week, each day, perhaps certainly each week, you need to be working on each of these three aspects.

So, let’s just look a little bit more closely at what each of these aspects asks for. So, the creative maker is the artist is the person who looks inwards who is most engaged with the imagination, and that’s whether you write nonfiction fiction or poetry imagination is huge and is our most valuable aspect. The maker is let’s be open and very flexible and resilient sets creative intentions and applies craft really cares about getting better and more skilled. And not just the writing, but also the making bits of the publishing process the putting together other beautiful book. So, the creative artist turns inwards, and thinks about producing products and projects.

The manager, on the other hand, looks around and sees what needs to be done in order for those products and projects to get made.

So, the manager is not so inwardly focused is much more purposeful and is its intention, and the manager tends to be quite intentional. And the intention is to be successful. So there’s kind of a determination they’re harder sorts of less soft, less inner emotions more and outward directed and more determined, and also assertive learning from mistakes, learning from failures, learning from both works and continuing to kind of develop that manager also keeps a firm eye on time as well as money and making sure that the processes that are under writing the production, the profits are in the right place, the plans are unfolding as they should be. And then the marketer the creative promoter looks out outwards into the rest of the world. And the marketer is thinks about attraction, so attracting readers towards the books making the books and the offer and interesting and something worthy of note entertaining if

possible, and perhaps informational If not, or both together, inspiring, perhaps, but trustworthy. Somebody as an author, we want our readers to trust us to deliver on whatever it is that they are looking for from us. So we’re looking to get their attention in a world where attention is a evermore precious commodity. And we’re looking to attract them to us in terms of what we put out there. And that’s by coming back to the start. That’s why it is so important to take this creative approach that begins with you and your own values, so that you can offer your value outwards. It doesn’t work. Otherwise, you can attract readers but they won’t be the right ones and they fall away.

So taking short term gain, and actually lose you your business in the end  far better to slowly and steadily build a community of readers who really genuinely are attracted to you and what you do. So this idea of the maker, the manager and the marketer and how they work together, and there is a Facebook group set up around these principles, if you would like to join us, you’d be very welcome. It’s facebook.com/groupsgocreativeinbusiness. And at the beginning of each week, we set our creation intentions. Then at the end of each week, we know who did actually managed to accomplish and it is and yeah, some weeks ago just as they should, so weeks don’t go as they ought to at all. But the idea is that we keep on keeping on and we offer each other as support motivation. So if you would like to join us, say just come along to the bath and address and apply To talk.

And finally, just to say that this is the creative age, and creative abilities and skills are becoming ever more important, as artificial intelligence and machine learning take over in, in every arena, and publishing to the creative aspects of what we do become ever more important in developing our creative skills becomes ever more important. And so thinking of ourselves as creators at all times, not just when we’re writing but also when were doing our publishing as we run our business, and indeed as we run our lives, understanding what that means reading about creativity, understanding our own process, observing ourselves as creatives, all of these things are really key to enjoying and thriving in the creative age. I wanted to say also the writing and publishing are really important. And as Self Publishers were pioneers were leading a change a big creative shift in power dynamics within publishing, but also in box being written in who is getting to write who’s getting to speak, whose voices were hearing, and issues like diversity, democracy, of expression, all of these are changing and being changed by self publishing and you are part of that movement. What you write you yourself, you are important. What you write is important, what’s rising up in you that wants to be written. It’s really important that you allow it and facilitate it and turn it into and great books and get them out there read by as many people as possible. So yeah, to finish just to say Go write, do write do publish and do promote and no matter what you’re doing, do it in the most creative way you possibly can.

Howard Lovy

Howard Lovy is an editor and writer with more than 30 years of experience in journalism, from newspapers to magazines specializing in business, science, and technology. He has spent the past few years guiding coverage of independent publishing, amplifying voices of the marginalized. Howard is also a book doctor who enjoys working with authors to get their work ready for publication.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top
Loading...