Too many writing programs focus on the creative aspects of writing and not enough on the business of writing. This is ironic, because many programs have published authors among the instructors, who deal with the business aspects on a daily basis. Failure to treat writing as anything more than a creative endeavor leads to there being lots of writers who know how to “express themselves” but never seem to publish anything.
The writing marketplace has changed a lot in the past few decades and the ease with which a writer can now publish a work has given rise to numerous indie authors competing for an often shrinking group of readers. Some genres, such as science fiction or romance, seem to have numerous adherents and large fan bases. Even within traditional publishing circles, works that are easy to categorize often stand a better chance of being published.
My own work can be considered general or regional fiction, since the stories are largely set in my home state of Georgia. Even when I am writing about characters who have extremely long lifespans, the genre is more fantasy than science fiction. Consequently, it’s a challenge to find an audience. One reviewer compared a story I wrote to Shirley Jackson, but I haven’t yet read enough of her work to make a call one way or the other. I don’t specialize in any of the genres that get the most attention, so it remains a concern.
In early 2020, I made plans to start getting more involved with local theater groups, possibly auditioning for roles, and participating in writing events where I could set up a table with my works. We all know what happened next. Since then, I’ve been looking for an opportunity to get involved, but so far, it hasn’t seemed quite safe enough. I signed up for a book event that was supposed to be held October of 2021, but it was canceled. Consequently, opportunities to expand my knowledge of the business behind writing have been few and far between.
I recently opened a store at my blog and have been slowly populating it and setting up shipping and billing. So far, no one has purchased anything so I haven’t been able to troubleshoot anything. I also set up a tax ID and registered with the state department of commerce. Prior to this, I had already set up a corporation for Lupo Digital Services, LLC to publish and distribute my work. The store is a natural extension. There are, perhaps, better ways to go about setting things up, and when the business components come up for renewal, I’ll probably look into separating the commercial aspects from my blog, which is intended as a creative outlet, but, in the meantime, I’m trying to sort out how the business end works.