Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

For Writers Who Don’t Think They Can “Do The Business Side” of Self-Publishing

Traditional publishing is far from dead but self-publishing is one helluva scrappy kid.

Seems, though, that either method now demands a writer get up and do some “Business”

I really don’t like current connotations of the term Marketing, Promotion can sound like a selfish activity, Building An Author Platform can seem an insurmountable task, and Gathering A Tribe could scare the most introverted writers.

In a post back in December, Getting Published Is Easy ~ Getting Readers Is Hard Work, I posed a few questions about the effort writers need to find readers:

“Is all this talk about the hard work of finding readers going to make you give up?

“If you have a book, in your head or written out, does its Life justify lots of hard work?

“Does it seem unfair to you that sensitive, creative people need to roll up their sleeves and build a sustainable author platform?”

Plus, that post has a link to the article I wrote for Joel Friedlander about my unique process of finding readers.

It may seem like an over-simplification but, to me, having a readership is having relationships

What kind of relationship is engendered when the Woo-er dresses up in flashy clothes, flagrantly promises huge returns for Immediate Action, and leaves the Woo-ie high and dry after the one-night-purchase?

If you’re a writer, will you only write one book?

If not, wouldn’t it be nice if those who bought your first book actually liked the relationship they have with you and are breathlessly awaiting your second and third performance?

So, grabbing myself by the ears and making myself pay closer attention to the title of this post, I offer an article orriginally published in Fortune magazine then republished in CNN Money.

It’s written by Ben Casnocha (serial entrepreneur) and Reid Hoffman (co-founder of LinkedIn) and gets deeply into the nature of one’s business relationships—what works long-term—what gains traction for the long-haul—what writers could really use for the present-day challenges of getting books read.

It’s called, The Real Way to Build a Social Network, and here’s a brief excerpt:

“Old-school networkers are transactional. They pursue relationships thinking solely about what other people can do for them. Relationship builders, on the other hand, try to help others first. They don’t keep score. And they prioritize high-quality relationships over a large number of connections….it’s only when you put yourself in the other person’s shoes that you begin to develop an honest connection.”

Hope you check it out and hope you come back and Comment :-)
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

10 responses to “For Writers Who Don’t Think They Can “Do The Business Side” of Self-Publishing

  1. lynnbiederstadt March 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I am loving this, AZ. I’ve been loving all of them. Hard work doesn’t scare me…it’s just the nature of it that gives me pause. But I haven’t given up. I’m just writing for now. And watching the river come up. Yikes.


    • Alexander M Zoltai March 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm


      You say, “…it’s just the nature of it that gives me pause.”, and I hope this post plus the linked-to articles can help folks sort out the “nature” of what’s necessary :-)

      Left you a sincere response about the river on your blog<b……….


  2. Catana March 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    I don’t think of it as “business.” That’s probably the fastest way to kill the spirit of social networking. The whole thing of “I link to you, so you should link to me,” is about accounting, not about relationships. Ditto reciprocal reading or rating. The most important idea in that article was about being helpful. That means being genuinely helpful, without calculating what it might be worth to you in the future.


  3. Simone Benedict March 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    I totally agree Alexander. My feeling is there is often too much emphasis on numbers and one’s “popularity.” Of course every writer wants to reach as many readers as possible, I’d assume, but for me personally I’d rather aim for quality, or depth, than quantity in those relationships.


  4. Jane Watson March 21, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    I loved the observations Reid Hoffman makes in the article linked here, especially: ‘Novelist Jonathan Franzen gets it right when he says inauthentic people are obsessed with authenticity…’ (Makes you wonder why ‘Reality TV’ has really taken off so much…lol). And also his fresh way of describing things: ‘Either you can take low-resolution photographs and store 100 of them in total, or you can take high-resolution photographs and store 40.’ when talking about relationships. Yes, I’d rather have a few high quality pics, too, in my Friendship memory card than thousands. Then I was astonished to find he was the founder of LinkedIn, probably one of the most popular business social networking tools ever and found myself then doing something I have never done before – forwarding on a link from a blog page about writing to someone in the corporate world. How worlds can collide…:)


    • Alexander M Zoltai March 21, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      I love it when folks tell me which parts of a linked-to article impressed them :-)

      And, yes, I go for the higher resolution relationships, too

      So, Jane, does it happen to be this post you’re sending to someone in the corporate world; or, perhaps, the linked-to article??


  5. Jane Watson March 22, 2012 at 1:06 am

    :) just sent the article link – corporate types are often frightened of ‘sensitive, creative people’ who are writers, but I told them where it came from, lol.


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