What's the point of this blog!

I'm documenting the marketing for my YA book series "The chick friends rules". I want to see which marketing strategies will work best in creating buzz and hopefully income. So, sign up below and take the journey with me.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Is your writing a hobby or a business?

After receiving some very interesting emails on my post asking readers how they would spend $5000 for book marketing, it made me want to delve into the subject further. Most of the responses were "Are you crazy, why would you spend $5000 on marketing an indie book?" I counted 24 emails literally giving me a virtual thumping on the head for being so foolish. But, it made me more confused. Is this a business or is it a hobby? One reader said that $5000 doesn't come close to competing with the big publishing companies therefore it would be throwing money out of the window because it still wouldn't drum up enough business. And another reader suggested not to be concerned with paid advertising but on building 1000 readers and letting it grow slowly. So, are they right? How do we know? I have a theory that we as indie writers have been so conditioned that our books are not going to sell that it stops us from trying from the moment we write The End on the last page of our books. If we don't try to sell our books commercially doesn't that just make what we're doing a hobby? It would be the same as opening a business in the middle of the desert hoping customers will show up or hoping one customer is going to go back an tell enough people to keep your desert store open. How are we to reach readers if we aren't supposed to spend money promoting it? Okay, there's word of mouth, but word of mouth isn't free, I have proof of that from the number of freebies I've sent out to bloggers, reviewers and winners. Don't get me wrong, I'm not itching to spend $5000, I can think of a lot of other things I'd rather spend $5k on, like European vacation or a pair of beautiful diamond earrings. But I don't want my writing to be nothing more than a hobby, if that was the case then most of us would be satisfied with writing for the simple pleasure of it with no real intentions of success. I don't know if that's enough for me. Am I alone? So,is your writing a hobby or a business? I'm just asking.


  1. Great post and very thought provoking. For me, I would have to say it's both. It's a hobby that I hope to become a more successful business, but for now I have a day job that I have to maintain. That's the only way I can afford this business/hobby. I wish I could commit more time to making this a success, but time is a luxury I don't have. Time is what I truly think makes the most difference. You can pour thousands of dollars into the wrong avenues and waste money. Time is needed to figure out the best marketing options to take advantage of and some of those options don't require any money. You need time to find them. Writing is a business that requires a significant investment of time more than anything else.

  2. I'm sort of leaning like J.E. Hopkins - it is both but I think I'm more of a business since that is how I claim it on my taxes. With all the tax deductions and everything I've spent on supplies and traveling and all, I think the IRS considers my writing a business even though I have yet to see any real profit or maybe I do see profit but since I turn it all right back into the business I don't see it as a profitable business. I take losses all the time but thast is part of it. I've decided that by 2013 (fingers crossed and hoping/praying very hard) that I can make writing and traveling full time and only work part time at my current day job. That is the hope for me at least and then it truly will be a business.

    The fact that we do spend money on promoting our stories and give aways et cetera makes it more of a business than not.

    Good question and thanks for keeping us on our toes and thinking about the whole marketing aspect of this hobby/business. E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of Finally Home, a YA paranormal mystery (coming very soon)
    The Proposal (An April Fools Day story), a humorous romance (now available)
    Bride-and-Seek, a paranormal romance story (coming soon)
    Butterfly Halves, a YA fantasy (coming soon)
    The Tulip Kiss, a paranormal romance (coming soon)

    Ma America, The Travelin' Maven
    Author of the JGDS, 50-state, mystery, trivia series
    Where will the adventure take you next?