Orna Ross, ALLi director and author of the Go Creative! book series explains why keeping control of creative assets is essential to the indie author’s success in self-publishing.
What does being an indie author mean to you?
- a readership
- an ecosystem of assets that yields a sustainable income
- a body of work that fulfils my creative intentions
Most of us, though, occupy the middle of this bell curve where creative and commercial impact are intertwined.
Ah yes, assets. Creative assets are the fulcrum of our income and influence as creative entrepreneurs.
Why Trade-Published Authors Fail To Earn
There is one core reason why an author who works only with trade publishers is not making money. If you think about it from a business perspective, it’s clear:
If you don’t have any control over your metadata, your marketing, your pricing, your distribution network, or your rights, you’re not in business as an author.Other people are looking after the business. You’re an artist, at the financial mercy of a system built around a few winners (which means most are losers).
Why Self-Publishing Authors Fail To Earn
Either our books are not good enough, or our marketing is not good enough, or our business processes are not good enough. Or–and this is the one we’ll look at next time–we haven’t set the intention to succeed commercially.
If we understand what good writing and publishing are comprised of,add time and energy, keep on writing and publishing, with the intention to improve, and a willingness to learn from failures and mistakes, we will improve. It’s inevitable.
If we understand how income follows assets, add time and energy, keep on improving our author-business practices and processes, with a willingness to learn from failures and mistakes, then we will improve our financial return. It’s inevitable
And therein lie the fifth reason: we don’t understand how income follows creative assets. Or we don’t act from that understanding.
Creative Success Follows Creative Assets
- Books and other information, inspiration or entertainment products.
- Data about your readers and followers
- The process that produces your products or services and gets them to market
3) Marketing Assets e.g.
- Your author brand that conveys to readers what you stand for
- Your mailing list that connects you to your readers and lets them know about your books
See the Go Creative! books for more on this.