You Can’t Do That

You can do it, if you want to.

If there’s a recurring theme in blogs I’ve read recently, it’s that writers are only good for one thing: writing.

I’ve read lots of posts about how writers cannot edit their text, format their interiors, design their covers, do their own accounting, or market their books successfully. They cannot do it. Now, if bloggers said that most writers do not want to do these things, then I would agree.

But I’m tired of being told I cannot do it. I can, and so can you…if you want to.

You can edit or hire an editor. I will agree that it is difficult, if not impossible, to proofread one’s own writing. But there are plenty of freelancers out there to help.

You can format your interior. I recommend getting the Chicago Manual of Style. It teaches you how to create a book from start to finish and includes every persnickety detail of how to format everything properly. Will it be fun? Not particularly. But you can do it.

You can design your cover. I don’t think I can understate the power of a good quality cover. Everyone judges a book by its cover, you know. There are plenty of design programs out there, and they are fun. I’ve been fiddling around with them for years. If you aren’t interested in designing your own cover or don’t want to learn a design program, I know of a great cover artist who only charges $50. You can afford that.

You can do your own accounting. You don’t need anything more complicated than Excel, and it works great. Just make columns for number of books sold, expenses, and royalties and update it daily. Trust me, you’ll be looking at your sales numbers daily, at the very least.

You can market your book.And it’s the most fun part because you get to meet tons of new people. Not only do you get to make new friends, but you also have more power over every aspect of your marketing plan. You can tweak your book summary every day if you want. You can try a different advertising venue every month and see how they compare. You can blog, tweet, and post on Facebook, and let’s face it: you’re there anyway, so why not make your time more productive?

So writers, this is your moment of empowerment. You are capable of a lot more than sitting at the keyboard and writing. If you can create an entire universe in your writing, then certainly, you are capable of making a spreadsheet.

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