Why Am I Writing?

Why Am I Writing?

The Two Worlds of Becoming an Author

So, you want to be an Author?

Writing is putting the stories in our head into a format where we can share it with others, or simply keep it for our own enjoyment later.   There are two distinct parts to being an author that do not necessarily apply to just being a writer.

Writers enjoy the artistic side of the craft. They tell their stories; they create worlds and characters.  They evoke emotion and imagination in their readers.  Writing is truly an art.

Why am I writing? by author KA Brown. Tactical 16 Publishing.As such, writing can take many directions, some even outside the control of the writer.  Many times, once characters or the outline is created, other ideas, concepts and direction will emerge beyond the writer’s control.  This isn’t just specific to fiction writers; nonfiction writers are many times afflicted with this same hematoma of original ideas.

This only becomes an issue as we decide that we want our works to be available to others. Becoming an author, means getting published.

Publishing is not just sharing your artistic endeavor with others.  Publishing is the other side of the writing profession.  Publishing is the business of writing.  If you are not ready to start a business, then you probably are not ready to publish.  There are many aspects to the business side once you decide that it is the direction you will pursue.

First, once you decide that you will publish, you have an obligation to put forth the best version of your work that you possibly can.  This means editing and rewriting.

Editing and rewriting is how you polish your manuscript to make the words have the greatest possible effect on the reader.

Second, you need a true cover design. The cover is the first opportunity to sell your written work. It is the quiet salesperson who has the job of cold calling potential readers.

Third, takes us to publication, the physical act of creating a book. This article isn’t to suggest one version of publishing over another. I will only say this; Publishing is how you get the product your business will sell. Choose wisely. And like any business opportunity, do your homework before you make a decision.

Finally, the biggest expense of the business side of becoming an Author. Marketing. This is how you expand your brand and the public’s knowledge of the existence of your book.

Why am I writing? by author KA Brown. Tactical 16 Publishing.There are all kinds of ways to market your book. Hopefully you have a publisher that will develop a plan with you and help implement it in a way that gets the most bang for your buck.  Ultimately, this is still a business, and you must remember to treat it that way as you move forward to your hopefully inevitable success.

KA Brown

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Where Did Your Royalty Go?

Where Did Your Royalty Go?

Royalties can be confusing to the new author. I know an author that once received a check from his publisher for a mere 39 cents. Frustration can ensue when you used a royalty calculator, and your royalty payment is much less than what you calculated. The question is, where is all the money going?

To understand royalties, one must consider the type of contract the publisher offers. Contracts vary widely, and royalties’ percentages will reflect the method used to create the book, market it and sell it. Professional crafted books are not cheap. Even if you go the self-publishing route, the time and effort will cost something. Remember, everyone will get a piece of the pie no matter which method you use. Let’s get back to contracts.

Some publishers front the money to bring the book into existence. They recoup the cost incurred by producing the book by retaining 100% of royalties and then start paying the author. Another method is where an advance is paid to the author and then is paid back with royalties gained from the book’s sale. Only after the advance is paid back will the author receive any money. Many self-publishing companies get paid upfront for services and then give the author a file that can be loaded into a Print On Demand (POD) platform like Amazon, where the author then receives royalties from each sale. There are other variations, but these are common.

You might be thinking that the fastest way to riches is to go the self-publishing route and throw the book on Amazon. You might be right, but you need to understand that you will still pay Amazon for the privilege of using their platform.

If you decide to self-publish throwing your work onto Amazon, they will still take some of the total sales. Amazon has its advantages, but you need someone that knows how to leverage these “advantages.” The standard royalty for Amazon is 60/40. That is, you get to keep 60% of every sale even after you did all the work or paid someone to get your book ready to upload.  Why is it that they keep 40%? The simple answer is they are the store that is carrying your product, and they have to maintain that store.

There are industry expectations in the background of any effort to publish, market, and sell a book. For instance, to entice many of the more prominent retailers, it’s normal to offer a 54% discount from the retail price. 54% is a good deal for the local bookstore and incentives them to carry your book but is a killer on the profit to the author and publisher. There are also buy-back options that state if the retailer can’t sell the book that the publisher will purchase the book back. This expectation is the ruin of many authors. They agree for a big box store to carry several hundred copies of the book and then purchase them back if they didn’t sell.

To put a title into a catalog that reaches thousands of retailers that incurs a cost. There are various miscellaneous costs associated with maintaining a title with a printer for loading a file. The printer to check the cover size is but a few.

If you own a website to sell your book, there are costs, and any POD platform will take a piece of the pie. All the charges are the reason for the disappearance of the royalty that the calculator said you would get paid.

There is a way to hedge against all these costs and make more money from each sale. And that is volume. The more books printed in a run will reduce the cost to print the book, thus increasing the royalty paid to the author.

Tactical 16 Publishing can help navigate all the costs associated with creating marketing and selling a book and help to get you the best royalty possible. We will work with you to create a contract that makes sense for you and your budget and will do more to support you with author pages marketing and release parties.

Tactical 16 Publishing
(719) 398-8002

Becoming a Profitable Author

Becoming a Profitable Author

Step OneWrite the best book ever.

Step TwoLand a contract with a sick amount paid in advance. 

Step Three: Sit around and wait for fat royalty checks to land in the mailbox.

I can almost hear the laughter from those who have published a book or are in the process of finding a publisher. If it were only so easy.


Tactical 16