Craft of Writing: (Spin-off!) Tips for Growing your Writing Business


#1

I wanted to use the “Craft of Writing” tag to make this searchable with the previous threads, but this one will be a little different. It’s for folks to share tips/information about how they have grown their writing businesses.

Tips could include marketing, managing various projects, time management, business aspects, networking, education, and really any other relevant topic. I know there is a wealth of knowledge on these forums, so if you’d like to share, please do! Obviously, everyone’s mileage will vary, so some tips will work better for some folks and some projects, but even so, share what has worked for you!

The first tips that come to my mind are…

1) Listen to writing podcasts to strengthen your craft - I highly recommend Writing Excuses! They are very funny and personable and the 20 minutes flies by! I’m also getting into the StoryGrid, which dives into some “writing math” and overall story structure. Those guys help you outline the crap out of a story. I feel like I’ve picked up many craft tips from listening to these two shows.

2) Facebook Marketing - I’ve learned to CHILL on the Pushy Sales Posts. Don’t keep posting for people to buy your story every three days. Mix it up. Provide funny or useful content. Share work or posts from other authors your readers may enjoy. Sponsor contests! ASK questions! These techniques encourage likes and comments, which increase your FB visibility. They also keep your brand in your readers’ brains (in a good way) while you work on your next project.

3) Attend a Writing Conference - Imaginarium in Louisville in October was awesome! I felt like I was with my “tribe!” I’m betting you might feel the same way if you attended one. I learned so much by speaking with other writers, publishers, etc. And note, I’m talking about conferences, not comic-cons. The former tends to target creators, while the former tends to target consumers/fans.

Anyone else have some tips??


#2

Bit of a weird one on finance, but did you know that if you’re employed somewhere, and you pay tax on your income, then some of your expenses as a self-employed writer can be offset against that tax?

An accountant can take what you paid for art, editing or whatever, and if its a cost versus your writing income (which is highly likely for anyone starting out), then you may be entitled to some of the tax you paid back.

I think I paid mine about £150 last year, and got about £300 back from the tax man…

Edit: of course you’re not saving money :blush: just offsetting some of the money you want to spend on your writing business.


#3

@Charles_Parkes, and on that note, I would definitely recommend *U.S.-based writers speak with an accountant when they start getting those royalty payments to make sure they report the quarterly taxes correctly and to confirm they are taking advantage of all available deductions for their situation.

I met with an accountant for 30 minutes for free. I’m guessing many smaller firms will do the same. They figure you’ll appreciate it and return if you hit it big.

(*I specify US only because I know jack about other countries’ tax laws)


#4

I’ve missed these - I’ll be reading and responding later.

Thank you for bringing the series of threads back.

A quick suggestion: Tumblr is a great tool to utilize for writers.


#5

Participating in game jams or comps is great, either as a solo creator or in a team. You’ll get more eyes and feedback on your work, and players may investigate your other games as a result! Not to mention it’s good for getting to know other creators in your area of interest.

Comps and jams are also useful for making sure you’re disciplined about keeping to a deadline and avoiding scope creep. All in all, a good idea if you have the time!

(Full disclosure: I’ve seen far more jams that I’d like to do than I’ve managed to take part in. Do as I say, not as I do!)


#6

I can confirm that it’s similar in Germany for what that’s worth. Essentially, all your income is added together to calculate your income tax (which is relevant with regards to staggered tax brackets) and you put your deductibles against that total regardless of origin.