This post, by S.R. Johannes, originally appeared on Indie ReCon on 2/19/13.
In the digital age, a new kind of author is emerging. The entrepreneurial author (EA).
Entrepreneurial authors run their own publishing business – all aspects. The only difference between an entrepreneurial author and an actual independent press is that EAs only publish own works and contract out the work needed. Independent presses publish more than one author while handling all business aspects.
To be an entrepreneurial author – you will have to wear many hats: (these are not in any order of importance)
· Writer – Write the best book you can. But in this industry, the writer side has to understand that self-publishing is not a shortcut to writing; it’s a shortcut to publishing.
· Editor – Edit and re-edit your own work. Traditional authors have a stricter vetting process where many people look over the work from content to copyediting. EAs need to be even better at editing. That way, the EA can use an editorial budget wisely – for content editing and copyediting.
· Cover designer – Figure out your cover design as well as overall book design. Even if you can’t do it yourself, try to learn about covers, find out what looks good and what doesn’t – placement, fonts, colors, jacket copy – and know your book enough to figure out what concept you want. Whether you pay someone or not – you need to know how to define quality work.
· Formatter – Unless you want to pay someone to format, you will be expected to format across several different channels that may have different requirements, depending on what ebook format you need (epub, mobi, pdf, paperback etc). This requires an understanding of Word, Html, and more.
· Project manager – When you have experts doing things for you (covers, swag, web sites etc.), you have to manage a budget and a timeline to be sure it all comes together.
· Distribution –