Guest Post By Jeremy Strozer
How many authors are also good at business development? Let’s be honest: we didn’t get into writing so we could build a company. We write because it’s something we love or we have a message we’re trying to proliferate to the world. Few of us want to spend the time we could be writing submitting to instafrebe campaigns, getting the formatting in Smashwords exactly right, or messing with the metrics on Facebook marketing. I, for one, would rather research more history and gain insight into my characters than spend another minute trying to figure out the click-through rate on my monthly newsletter campaigns. Who’s with me?
As the author of historical fiction, my focus is on history and creating fiction. It’s not on the marketing of my work or the building of my e-mail list. I know these things must be done, but I simply don’t want to have to do them. This is where I got lucky! Not just because I found the woman with whom I wished to spend the rest of my life, but also because when we figured out how we wanted to live our lives we realized we are good at different things which complement each other. You can read about our journey on our blog www.lifeiscomfy.com. The gist of our story is we come from very different backgrounds. Our interests and capabilities complement each other. Thus, when it comes to living independently anywhere in the world we choose, we’re building toward that by the old maxim: Divide and Conquer.
My wife is becoming my in-house marketing guru. She’s doing this by taking on-line book marketing and list building courses from Mark Dawson and Nick Stephenson. Armed with this knowledge, my lovely marketing maven is bearing the burden of making the money from my art. This fits well, as she’s the far more practical, pragmatic, and in-the-here-and-now person than I am. I am the creative, head someplace far away, and looking to the past and future at the same time type.
Yet, even with this division of labor, there are some issues we need to iron out. Who makes the final decision on what editor to hire? Who gets to choose the cover art? Who is responsible for choosing which Facebook campaigns are working and which are not? Who does the formatting for the books to be on multiple platforms. For that last one, the answer is neither of us. We hire out for that. Some things are just not worth spending our time on.
The greatest challenge of working with my wife on this business is that this is not her passion. We’re hopeful the work can get us to the point where we can live anywhere in the world we want, making what we need off our shared efforts. So far, that has not been the case. We’re building toward it, but it’s a slow process requiring a lot of learning from both of us. She is a social worker by training, and if she had her druthers, she’d rather be helping other people improve their lives than figuring out how to improve our Facebook ad revenue. The greatest challenge when working with your spouse as your business partner is to make sure everyone is doing something they love. If not, it’s not fair to that person, or to the business. She’s a good sport, and will stick with it for now, but neither one of us believe this is something she is going to do for a long time.
Hopefully my wife and I can build up the business enough so I can then hire an assistant in the future to take over the laborious tasks, releasing her to help people again, while keeping me free to create the copy. In the meantime, we’re learning how to work together on more than just raising our children. We’re building a business by tapping into our respective areas of excellence.
When you think about your better half, is there something they can do to help your writing? If so, ask them to help you out, showing them where their skills or expertise would be most useful. Just keep in mind, they have their own goals for their career, so they may not want to simply support yours for the duration.
Jeremy Strozer is the author of Threads of The War: Personal Truth-Inspired Flash-Fiction of The 20th Century’s War, Volumes 1-3
By Jeremy Strozer
Threads of The War, Volume II collects and shares personal narratives during real events across the span of The 20th Century’s War. Building off of the success of Volume I, Threads II takes us from the celebratory streets of Paris in the summer of 1914, under the coast of North Carolina in 1918, across the ocean to the evacuated beaches of northern France in 1940, and finally within the minds of both the liberated and the confined at camps in 1945.
Within short easily-readable, yet emotionally compelling, bursts Threads II continues opening the door to the personal facet of war; exposing the reader to the facts, fictions, and fallacies of armed violence. Following each story, the reader is provided specific and revealing facts about the events narrated, offering both entertainment and education within the time it takes to read a blog-post.