6 Do’s and Don’ts of Managing Your Writing Business

Vision 64

6 Do’s and Don’ts

of Managing Your Writing Business


April Aragam

Copyright © 2011, April Aragam, All Rights Reserved


Being a writer involves so much more than just writing. It’s a whole business that must be managed. Research must be done. Emails must be written. It’s a never-ending process. So, how does one manage their writing business? This article outlines 6 do’s and don’ts that will help you through.


Do: Keep meticulous records

What can be an annoying task to a writer is really very important to your business. It’s important to keep track of communication with editors you deal with in case you need to double check payment and rights agreements. You also want to keep hold of receipts for things you buy for your writing business. These will come in handy at tax time. Don’t throw them out because you feel that you haven’t made enough to claim deductions, you maybe be able to use them in the future. As a writer you also want to keep track of all your writing projects and where you’ve submitted them. It probably goes without saying that you need to keep track of how much you earn, but just in case. You really do. Sometimes publications pay on publication instead of on acceptance, so it might help to keep a running list of publications that you are waiting to get paid from. This is something you don’t want to lose track of because despite everyone’s good intentions, sometimes a writer needs to ask to get paid. You may want to use some kind of calendar as a place to remind yourself when pieces are to be published, when you need to follow up with editors and deadlines.


Don’t: Ignore deadlines

You got an assignment, good for you. The editor has likely given you a deadline and you’re going to try and have the piece to her by then but you’ve got other projects you’re working on as well. Your novel is coming together and you don’t want to break the flow. Never put off an assignment. No matter what. An assignment with a deadline must come first. You’ve been trusted by an editor to write a good piece that they can publish. If you are having deadline issues, contact your editor and ask for an extension. Do not leave an editor hanging, wondering whatever happened to her writer and article for page eight. If you ever hope to write for the publication again, you want to show the editor that she can count on you.


Do: Connect with editors and fellow writers

With the internet and networking sites, writes and editors are now becoming friends. But you also shouldn’t be afraid to email an editor, especially one you’ve worked with before and ask if they are looking for articles on specific topics. It’s important to build relationships with editors. Don’t be intimidated or think you have no business even talking to an editor outside of work. Meeting other writers is also a good business move for a writer. Though you may prefer to write alone, writers do hold a place in the lives of other writers. Have you ever noticed that people seem to know about a new market or contest before you do? Writer friends share these things 


Don’t: Be afraid to ask for more money

So, you’ve been writing for a magazine for a while and the pay is average. You love writing for the magazine and they obviously like your work, but it’s been a couple of years and it feels like a raise is in order. It never hurts to ask for more money. If you get paid by the word, decide how much more per word you think is fair. If you get paid a flat fee, decide on a slightly higher flat fee that seems reasonable. The worst that can happen is that you’re told it can’t be done. The best is that you get your raise and feel great about continuing to write for the publication.


Do: Keep an up-to-date portfolio

If you do not already have a portfolio online, get one. You can get your very own website or you can create a portfolio through a blogging site. Having an online portfolio means that you can share your clips and publications with editors at the click of a link. If you have an email signature (which is highly recommended) you will have the link on every email you send out. Don’t forget to update your portfolio when you have new pieces published. And always link to pieces that are online. Every now and them it’s a good idea to make sure links are still valid. An editor maybe get annoyed if he clicks on links and gets taken to nothing.


Don’t: Be shy about marketing

As a writer you must market and promote yourself. Even if you don’t write novels and only freelance for small-time magazines, you want to market. You want people to read your work and the publications you are in. Maybe you don’t want to feel like a show off. You’re not showing off, you are sharing your work just as actors and musicians do. They don’t sit idly by and hope people see their work. You’re probably friends with a number of writers and writers love to hear the success stories. It’s not a bad idea to create a blog about your writing career. This is a good way to connect with more writers and gain more followers. And some editors do read blogs, which will give them an idea of your writing style. So share away. If you write novels you can put more into you marketing. You can blog about your novel and even create a website for it to help get the word out. When you get your authors copies, you can hold contests for people to win a free copy. Hopefully people who read your book will review it online, which you can share with others who have no read it yet.


By following the above tips you can manage your business to success. Though it might seem like a lot to handle, with a some organization it won’t seem like so much.