Understanding the Business of Writing in 2018

Writing is a profession which can never lose its worth. Regardless of the form of writing or the medium, writers are always going to be in demand. This is because the power a piece of writing has is quite different from that of a song or movie. No matter how well a movie has been made, viewers who have read the books or comics that have acted as inspiration for the work will always prefer the written version.

Though many claim the act of reading is diminishing, in truth, it is still very much alive owing to the advent of the digital age. With content today pairing text with images, GIFs, and small video clips among other things, people have developed a newfound interest in reading and everything that comes with it. Content writing has also become a major marketing tool which doesn’t seem to be losing popularity any time soon.

The Business Side of Writing

Writing in itself is a process in which the writer invests themselves not only physically and mentally, but emotionally too. For most writers, the main part of their work is getting it to a point where they feel it is worthy of being shown to other people. The process of actually making their work available to others and ensuring they make the profit they feel they deserve, especially in this age of immense competition, is another matter altogether, and that is what brings us to our topic of discussion, the business of writing in 2018.

For writers, navigating the business side of writing is essential. One needs to have a clear-cut idea of what steps need to be taken. We outline some of them here.

Do Appropriate Research

Before taking any step, every writer needs to know their options. This means putting in the correct amount of research, which, despite being boring, is highly necessary. If you are a freelance writer, conduct a survey of all the places where your work can be published based on your niche. You will also need to make sure your work fits the criteria of the companies you are looking to write for.

For writers of books, comics, and movie scripts, a more rigorous search needs to be undertaken to ensure they get the best deal possible. To achieve this, one step which can be taken is to hire an agent. As is the case with all other fields, going for a professional’s help is the more beneficial course of action. By hiring an agent, the writer can rely on someone who knows the ins and outs of the market and who needs to be approached to get the ball rolling in the right direction.

Know Your Rights

Possessing thorough knowledge of the rights of a writer has become increasingly essential in today’s world. When signing a contract with a publisher, the writer needs to know what they are entering into and how much they will be benefitting from the deal. They also need to be sure of how they want their work to be used, as once the writer grants certain rights to the publisher, there is no going back.

There are different types of rights and knowing what each one entails is necessary before entering into an agreement with a publisher. Below, we discuss some of them:

  • First-serial rights: This allows the publisher to be the first one to make use of the writer’s work.
  • Second-serial rights: The writer’s work will get published after already having been published elsewhere.
  • Electronics rights: The publisher can make the work accessible on all forms of electronic media.
  • All Rights: Exclusive rights are given to the publisher and it is no longer in the hands of the writer.
  • Subsidiary rights: Pertaining to a book, these rights are separate from the book publication rights and cover movie adaptation, usage in electronic media, etc.

Create a Presence

In 2018, the power of digital media is greater than it has ever been before. A writer looking to make an impact by getting their work read must use digital media to their benefit.

Writers can have active social media accounts where they interact with their readers and keep them updated regarding new work. Email marketing is also a common strategy and if readers have subscribed to your newsletters or have asked for updates, make sure you interact with them through smartly-worded emails. Other than that, writers must take steps to ensure their work is available online so as to expand their reader base.

Take-Home Message

Having a firm grasp on the business of writing in 2018 is a skill which every writer needs to master. Without this, they can keep on producing quality content but it will go to waste because it will not reach the right audience. In today’s highly competitive age, knowing how to market your content effectively makes the difference between a successful and failed writer. This is why it is absolutely crucial for you to be aware of the business and commercial aspects of writing. Whether you opt for professional help or deal with it on your own, you have to be on top of things if you want to taste success.