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What it takes to be an authorpreneur

The 6 Ps to Authorpreneur Success

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by Cynthia T. Luna in Blog, Designing Your Life
What it takes to become and authorpreneur - Blog Featured Image

Are you thinking of becoming an author (i.e. writing a book, editing it, getting it published and having people read your work)? You might find it helpful to know that there are six general phases to accomplishing that goal. I like to call them the “6 Ps to Authorpreneur Success”. Check out the video below to find out what they are! Or scroll for the summary!

What the survey says about authorpreneurs…

Did you know that the greatest challenge among aspiring authors getting to publish was actually not being ready to publish? More than a third of respondents (to my recent survey) said they’ve “never been ready to publish” followed by a fifth (20 percent) who said “all the stuff that isn’t strictly writing the book”. That’s nearly 60 percent of all aspiring authors!

This is because the writers who embark on their long-form writing journeys weren’t fully aware of all the phases in accomplishing that goal. This roundup will give you a bird’s-eye view of what the journey entails. Then, you will know what you need to go the distance.

Some background on the term, “authorpreneur”

The first time I heard the term “authorpreneur” was in 2012. Joanna Penn traveled to Zurich, Switzerland, and spoke to writers, aspiring authors and creative individuals about her success as a full-time, self-published author. Or, as she put it at the time, as an “authorpreneur”.

The gist of her talk was that being an author was so much more than writing a story and flinging a book out into the internet. Her daily life is characterized by a combination of activities that blend the qualities of a writer, as well as an entrepreneur. Indeed, she’s a self-published author in the business of selling the products of her craft as well as her expertise.

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The 6 steps to become an authorpreneur

Over the years, I have come to learn there are six general phases or activities that an authorpreneur needs to engage in to succeed. In the video I expand on each of the “Six Ps”, which are as follows:

  1. Planning, which I am coming to find means more than just outlining one’s intended book. It means planning your life (and loved ones) around this project — your livelihood.
  2. Populating. This part includes the drafting of your content. There’s a degree of pantsing going on here. But I’m reluctantly learning that I need to do quite a bit of planning and outlining to write as fluidly as I enjoy.
  3. Positioning. This overlaps with “populating”. It relates mainly to positioning your content and revealing elements of your story in ways that create tension and suspense. (So, this phase also overlaps with polishing.)
  4. Polishing, which is a nice way of saying “proofreading”. Much of the developmental editing has already taken place during the “positioning” phase.

Many aspiring authors are ready to jump into writing the words, and making sure the story keeps readers reading. This is great! As a professional and amateur writer, I always abide by these four steps.

A word on the last two steps of becoming an authorpreneur

These days, the reality of being an author is that it’s more of a business than a craft. It’s an enterprise of being an author-entrepreneur.

  1. Publishing. All authorpreneurs have to decide for themselves whether they want to go the traditional route, or self-publish. Either way, this is the step that distinguishes the writer from the author.
  2. Promoting. Whether you’re a represented author or a self-published author, you will be responsible for marketing your book. Some days, you’ll spend a considerable amount of time promoting your book rather than writing it. Making you as much an entrepreneur as an author.

Aspiring authors at least should be aware of each of these steps as they embark on the authorpreneur journey. (I wish I had had an overview of what to expect when I began my own journey many years ago.)

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Regard your business as a marathon, rather than a sprint, and you will succeed. (Alas! The days when an agent and/or a publishing house edited, published and marketed your book are (mostly) long gone.)

Tell me! What has your experience been?

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