Writers write. And complain. Most of the complaints are about how publishing works, and they’re (mostly) unfounded, because you can protect yourself if you understand how publishing works.
Your understanding starts with realizing that freelance writing is business. It’s about selling, at all levels. The currency of this sales process is ATTENTION.
Unlike a movie, or even a photo, when you ask someone to read something, whether it’s short or long, you’re asking for a commitment – they have to read, think, and in the case of fiction, use their imagination. Reading takes time and energy.
Reading, not to belabor the point overmuch, is WORK.
So when you’re asking someone to read, you’re selling. Their attention is your payment.
Many freelance writers resist the idea of selling but the people who are buying your words are completely focused on sales:
* The magazine which just bought your article is supported by advertising, that is, by companies which sell their goods to consumers and businesses (a magazines’ subscriber base doesn’t pay for the ink, let alone the paper). Your editor hopes that you realize that you need to sell your information to readers – make it appealing enough for them to read;
* The publishing house to which you’ve sent your book proposal needs to invest many thousands of dollars in your book for at least a couple of years before there’s any dollar return. Indeed, there many not be any profit from your book at all. Your editor prays that you understand that publishing is serious business and careers depend on your writing. She doesn’t want to know that you’re missing your deadline because your canary died;
* The agent you hope will represent you survives on a 15 per cent commission. 15 per cent of nothing is nothing. Therefore, you must represent an opportunity to the agent. You have to sell yourself and your books, not only to her, but in every word you write – your books must be salable.
Boost your freelance writing career by learning about business
The more you learn about business, the less you will complain about how you’re treated as a writer, because you will understand where editors, publishers and agents are coming from.
Understanding means that you will protect yourself: when you’re dealing with business people, if you don’t understand how business works you’re a woolly lamb dealing with a pack of wolves.
Read the free PDF offered in “The Sales Wiz – A story of sales transformation” – it’s well worth the investment of your time; it will help you to become a better, more sales-focused and competent writer.
It will also stop you complaining about the publishing process – and give you clues about protecting yourself.
[tags]writing, freelance writing, complaining, sales, writers[/tags]
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