When I was a young lad, imagining I’d have five novels published by twenty one and be as successful as David Eddings because I was going to write the same number of books (this was Belgariad era Eddings), I never put any thought to the business side of writing. I was going to write, get published (again, I didn’t bother thinking about the mechanics of that step) and then have an awesome time writing five part epics and the odd trilogy, because that’s what my favourite authors did. I envisaged sunshine and roses all the way, and smiled my way through physics classes I mostly ignored.
Reality, as was once said, bites.
This weekend I will be up in Georgetown at the Book Nook, and am very excited to meet my fellow authors and hopefully some of you, the fabulous reading public, without whom we writers would all be lost, our lives entirely without purpose. At Thanksgiving I was grateful for readers, of every size and shape, among many other blessings I try not to take for granted in this world of light and heat and endless fresh water that I miraculously enjoy.
But unlike my youthful imaginings, stuff doesn’t just magically happen when you get published. The work goes on. This is my first sale to the public. So I’ve had to check out sales tax rules. Get a Square account so I can process plastic upon demand, though I will offer a discount to my fellow luddites who still think exchanges of pieces of paper are a fine basis for financial transactions. We are a dying breed, but I will cater to you!
I am taking my first small steps down the road to being a business person as well as a writer. If you are going to do it yourself, this is an inevitability, so be ready for form filling and the beginnings of a tension headache as the stuff you never really wanted to do sits on your desk waiting to be done. When I finally tackled it (after a delay or two), it really wasn’t that bad. So I suspect I missed something, hahaha! Live and learn, that’s all we can do.
And then there is the whole display aspect. This is my first ‘booth’, even if it is more table shaped. My first table, dammit! I have a table cloth. They invented those a while back, so I have that covered. Yes, I went there. Being something of an epic procrastinator I am, again, wildly indebted to my wife for creating posters, bookmarks, bidness cards, even a special treasure chest of goodies to share with visitors to my booth/table. And other stuff that you’ll just have to come up to Georgetown to see!
So this is it, the part of writing that is a business. I’m road-testing this booth/table experience, and if it is as fun as I anticipate, well, then it may become a thing for me to do (paperwork and taxes permitting) of a weekend or three at various wonderful locations around this great state of Colorado. Once you have the display items you might as well make use of them! (Sunk costs and all!) This will of course entail me doing more business type activity I never imagined as a lad, like calling bookshops, contacting the organizers of events, and generally demonstrating a willingness to put myself out there. I’ll tell you, it was much easier just imagining world literary domination as a fourteen year old!
I look forward to seeing you this coming Saturday. I’ll be the one in the kilt.