Indie author entrepreneurs, also known as authorpreneurs, are becoming more and more common. Being an authorpreneur means managing your own business, and in addition to writing books, includes design, marketing, converting to ebooks, selling, and even creating products around your books, such as online classes.
There are now so many authorpreneurs that Notion Press has started an accelerator program for authorpreneurs, a three month program for authors in India, where selected applicants (authors who have sold 300+ copies and have 30+ positive reviews) receive some funding for marketing and have mentors help them set up their platform in exchange for a 30% cut for Notion Press.
But this isn’t the only accelerator program geared towards publishing. Ingram recently launched its own startup accelerator called 1440, where 10 startups participate in the 14-week program, which began this month, and receive $30,000 for 10% equity. Though not specifically for authorpreneurs, the program focuses on startups “creating the next breakthrough innovations in the publishing industry.”
It seems that being an entrepreneur also nowadays motivates people to publish their own books. In 2012, James Altucher on TechCrunch wrote about how entrepreneurs should self-publish books. This includes entrepreneurs who are making money online by blogging or podcasting or other means. Reasons to self publish, according to him, include using content you’ve already written to make a book and using the book marketing platforms to further help promote your blog.
Anne R. Allen wrote that although self-publishing is no longer the “new query letter,” meaning large volumes of self published sales don’t necessarily lead to a traditional publishing contract, authorpreneurs can still find a lot of success. She cites Barbara Freethy and Marie Force as examples.
Being an Authorpreneur
One way to figure out if being an authorpreneur is the right path for you is to rate yourself with 10 questions asked in Joanna Penn’s “Author Entrepreneur. Why Being An Indie Author Is A Great Business Model.” This includes determining market size, pricing potential, value, and other factors to help you figure out if being an authorpreneur is worth it for you.
Remember, just because you choose to be an authorpreneur does not mean you have to do every task yourself. In fact, you shouldn’t. Financial Times reported on a slew of startups that have sprung up to help authors with each facet of the publishing process (finding editors, marketing and promoting, converting to ebooks, etc.).
And if you’re looking for a nice place to write, you can try out Amtrak’s residency program (which is awesome because it all started from a tweet). This year’s 24 writers have already been selected, but if all goes well it may continue next year.
Last, if you want to learn more about authorpreneurs and hear some success stories, check out these links: