On this journey from writer to author, I have read a lot about the importance of writers to think about their art as a business. I am sure I am not the only one who finds this a bit bewildering and uncomfortable. Surely a writer’s focus should be solely on the storytelling and all of the other bits and pieces that get your book to the readers will somehow just happen. When you think author don’t you think of that person holed up in a cabin somewhere, pounding out the stories and sending them via mail to the publisher that makes the rest all happen?
Well friends, the publishing world has been going through a metamorphosis that I seem to have entered mid-change. There are lots of voices out there and now multiple paths available to the bookshelf, physical or cyber. I have decided to stay out of the debate, I believe writer’s need to find the path that works for them. However, like anything worth doing, I have found that regardless of the path you take, there are certain things all writer’s need to do on their journey.
I have spent a lovely career in education and still have a few years left, but that does not mean I can think of my writing as a hobby or even a part-time job. I need to view it as my second career and everything I do now to build it will help me transition into it as my sole career. So I need to treat my writing as a professional, which means branding, marketing and LLC incorporation are subjects I have had to study.
I am fortunate to be taking this journey at a time when there are many resources and I highly recommend bublish.com if you are not already familiar with all they do to support authors on their journey. For the most part the community of writers is full of mentors. One thing I decided was I needed to establish a Limited Liability Corporation so that finances for my writing could be separate from my personal finances. I wanted to chose a name that also went along with my “branding” of my writing to express my genre. If I could name my genre it would be Southern Women’s Fiction. I have yet to find that category listed among sub-genres. The closest ones are: women’s fiction and contemporary fiction. So with Southern Women’s fiction and the setting of the lowcountry in mind, I began my quest for a name.
I googled possible names and had to scratch out a few that were taken. I was left with about half a dozen possibilities. From the start Palmettos and Pearls was on the top of my list but I toyed with a few others. Then I narrowed down and had a few friends give their feedback. Palmetto’s and Pearls won hands down. They all said it was more me than the other contenders. So I got on Legal Zoom, another marvel of the modern world, and processed my paperwork.
In this age of images I knew a name was not enough. I needed a logo, that could go on every book cover and on all my business paperwork. I originally wanted a tree wearing a pearl necklace but we could not seem to get it just right. The final logo I think is reminiscent of a modern pearl statement necklace, and after all this is contemporary fiction I am writing . The Palmetto tree is an iconic symbol in these parts and just like that I have my own business with it’s own logo.
I am constantly learning on this journey and I hope my logo will grow be synonymous with my author brand. Who knew when I set out to become a published author I would be creating a business. I truly did envision a quiet beach house where I could hide away from the world and just write. I like being in the driver’s seat and I am thankful for the many who have gone before for sharing their knowledge as I chart my road map. I can’t wait to see what I learn at the next stop.