Making Books a Business:
I listened to a minister say several years ago. “If you have to work two jobs, one needs to be for yourself.” I knew nothing about operating a business, so I had to learn everything from scratch. I searched for small business information on the internet and one of several sites I found the United States Small Business Administration website. The site is located at https://www.sba.gov/. The site to be a very useful tool in learning the ins and outs of starting and maintaining a business.
When I published my first novel “360 Degrees” I was in a “keeping your nose above water” type of situation. I had recently moved to a new city and soon became pregnant with my third child. At the time, my marriage was going through a rough spot. Being the planner that I am, I wrote my budget down on paper as if I was going to have to take care of the household as a single parent. I was not surprised to find the income from my job was not enough money to pay for child care for the new baby. I also had a child that made the grades and did everything needed to go to college and there was no way I could assist even with grants, loans, and the scholarships she earned to send her to the Historically Black College she chose. I stressed myself so much I became ill. “How will I take care of a child and put another one in college?” It was kind of like a whisper, not an explosion but a soft whisper I believe came from my God. “Finish writing and publish that book.” Since then, I have published a second novel, “Urban Tango,” and working on a third novel, “Central Drive.” If you are a writer and you want to make your writing a business, check out my suggestions below.
- 1. Make sure you have a good product. Use beta readers to get an idea of the positives and negatives of your book. Hire an editor to fine tune your product.
2. Make sure you copyright your material. The library of congress allows one to copyright online. Check out the site at www.loc.gov.
3. You will need an ISBN number. These can be purchase individually or as a group. These numbers identify your company as a publisher. You can find out about ISBNs at the Bowker site at http://www.bowker.com/products/ISBN-US.html.
- 4. Contact our local Secretary of state and register your business.
5. Contact the IRS to get an Employee Identification Number you can find the information here https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online.
- 6. Open a business account at your bank. It is important to keep your personal and business finances separate.
7. Create a website. A website is your cyber home. It is the address where your audience can learn about you.