Top 10 Signs that You’re an Author Entrepreneur by Beth Barany

Top 10 Signs that You’re an Author Entrepreneur by Beth Barany

You’re a creative writer, a novelist or short story writer, or maybe you write novellas, too. In any event, this article was especially written with the fiction writer in mind. If you write creative nonfiction and use the tools of story telling in your work, you’ll probably relate to these signs as well. If you’re any other kind of writer, I’m sure you’ll find some value here too!

#10: You notice the bestseller’s list in the newspaper and online.

You track the New York Times, USA Today’s, your local newspaper, and Amazon’s bestsellers’ lists and day dream about having your book on the list.

Secret: Author entrepreneurs think big and aim for the top.

#9: You’re fierce about protecting your writing time and get upset or cranky or [fill in the blank with something not fun] when you don’t get your writing time in.

Creativity is a habit and when we go off our good habit we don’t feel right. Okay, I’ll speak for myself; I do get cranky, and a little bit snippy to my husband. (Good thing he’s a writer too, so he gets me. But still! Sure sign I need to get back to my writing routine if I start snipping at him.) As a good friend once said to me, “You need to work on grand projects, otherwise, you get crabby.” What could be more grand than creating whole worlds in novel form?!

Secret: Successful authors are productive.

#8: You have a million story ideas a day.

Okay, maybe not a million, but lots. I’m working on one story and another clamors for my attention. My system is to note the new idea in my journal, or if I’m at my computer, in Scrivener (a cool and affordable writing tool). When I’m really on fire about a new idea, I’ll take the time to research and document my findings and story ideas.

Secret: Author entrepreneurs say YES to the creative flow, and know how to manage their time and focus.

#7: You know what you want and you go for it.

Let me get more specific. You want to be an author and make money from your books and other creative ideas and be able to sustain and grow your income.

Secret: Author entrepreneurs create goals and plans and know their numbers. Practice setting goals. Actually do it. Revise your goals as you go. Review them regularly and update them as needed. Numbers can include how much money you want to make, how many books you’d like to sell, and how may clients you’d like to serve.

Admission: Writing goals? I’ve done that, after over 22 years of practice. Growing a business? I’m relatively new at it, having run my business for just 7 years. Managing the numbers is a big growth area for me right now.

#6: Other people’s success encourages you to work harder.

When I go to my monthly Romance Writers of America meeting here in the San Francisco area, I am so inspired by the success of my colleagues, and go home with renewed focus and determination.

Secret: Success leaves trails. Who is successful in your specific genre and what can you learn from them?

#5: You’re coming to terms with how art and commerce intersect.

In the last few hundred years a myth has arisen especially in Western culture that art and commerce are like enemies and don’t even speak to each other. Yet, there has been a growing awareness in the business world that they need creativity. And now with the burgeoning DIY market for all artists, and most definitely authors, we’re seeing how we need the skills of business – sales and marketing most specifically – to succeed in this new world. I see learning these skills as an extension of what it means to be an author today. Just like we learned editing and — OMG — writing a synopsis, we can learn how to sell and how to market. Because, guess what, we creative writers already have some of the most highly prized and useful skills needed to succeed, which brings me to our last few signs that you’re an author entrepreneur. So read on!

Secret: Successful author entrepreneurs see the creativity in business and the business in creativity.

#4: You like to think of excellent ways to do harm to your lovely characters.

You are a novelist, or a short story writer, or somewhere in between. You daydream for a living, and not only daydream, but scheme and plot and think up marvelous ways to surprise yourself and your readers. That type of thinking, called lateral thinking in the business world, is key to your work, and to your success.

Secret: Apply lateral – creative — thinking, to how you can best market and sell your books.

#3: You’re in it for the long haul.

It takes, ahem, a while to write a novel. Yes? Even plays, short stories, screenplays, and novellas take time. Writers I know who have finished at least one book (Congratulations!) are persistent, keep going even after long breaks, and see things through to the end of the book.

Secret: Author entrepreneurs persevere.

#2: You finish books.

This point bears repeating. And leads up to the Secret:

Secret: Successful author entrepreneurs finish their books.

And the #1 sign that you are an author entrepreneur: You take risks.

Being a creative is risky business. You put your vision and dream out there for all to see.

Secret: Author entrepreneurs risk and risk again, growing and evolving with the times, trying new things, experimenting, playing, and enjoying the ride.

Do you see yourself in these signs? Share below. I’d love to hear from you!

Guest post: Top 10 Signs that You’re an Author Entrepreneur

Author, speaker, and author’s coach Beth Barany

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Beth Barany is the editor and publisher of the Author Entrepreneurship Magazine. She’s an award winning YA fantasy author, keynote speaker, and author’s coach. A certified Creativity Coach and a Master NLP Practitioner, Beth brings to her work with authors a deep experience and understanding of the creative process. Beth lives in Oakland, California with her husband, bestselling thriller author and speaker, Ezra Barany, and together they enjoy their two cats, watching movies, and travelling to the big cities of the world.

More about her products and services to help fiction writers create successful and sustainable careers at:

To sign up for the next issue of the Author Entrepreneurship Magazine go here:

To get fun tips on creative writing from other creative writers, visit Beth’s blog, Writer’s Fun Zone:

Check out Beth’s courses for authors:

Blog Tour Course Beth BaranyBestseller Weekend Beth Barany

Check out Beth’s books for authors:

Writers Adventure Guide Beth Barany  Twitter for Authors Beth Barany   Overcome Writers Block Beth Barany

To learn about Beth’s award-winning fiction, go to her fiction author site.

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  1. Victoria, Thanks for having me! I love chatting about being an author entrepreneur!

  2. Beth–
    Thank you for sharing your author entrepreneur signs and secrets. And thanks for all you do to help authors!

  3. Such a cool article about merging two areas that don’t always mesh well. Thanks for sharing!

  4. You’re welcome, RS! I have a passion about bringing the two domains together. 🙂

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