Writing comes first

Being a self-published author is a full-time business, says author Bella Andre. It takes drive, stamina, discipline, business savvy, passion, and the right personality.


What is a typical day?

So I don’t really have a typical day apart from the fact that the book is always the most important thing. The book, the book, the book, the book. I’m a broken record, and when I give talks and when I talk to people they’re like “We get it. The book’s really important.” […]

[…] So the writing comes first. If there is a really pressing email or phone call I have to make, I will. Otherwise I’m going to save that till the evening. I’m going to save that till later. I’ve got to get the words written, and I’ve got to know that I’ve done them so I can move on and do everything else […]

[…] Whether I’m dealing with a new release, running Facebook party for a new release, working with the publicist I’ve hired on the products that we’re creating for giveaways, answering email, talking with my retailers about upcoming promotions, talking with my foreign agent about foreign offers that are coming in, negotiations on—I work with Harlequin as my print publisher for my Sullivan series, so if I’m working—if we’re negotiating a new contract, if Harlequin is sending me the covers for the print, “What do you think of this? What do you think of that?”

Contacting my digital production team, working through the digital production with them. Coordinating schedules, the audiobooks that I’m self-producing, working out dates with my narrator. QAing the audiobooks that are coming in. I am tip of the iceberg here. That would be all the top-priority stuff that, okay, I try to get through a lot of that. Then there’s everything else […]

So my workday is 10, 14 hours, whatever it takes. I wake up in the morning, take my kids to school with my husband, and we walk through the vineyards […] And then I come back and I am working, and I work until usually long after everybody’s gone to bed, because, see, I did all my writing earlier in the day, and I have all the emails and people waiting to hear back from me to take care of at night.

What advice do you have for writers?

If people are trying to look at the idea of “Would I be better off just writing and working with a publisher and letting them handle all of that?” versus “Would it be a good idea to be sort of splitting my time between writing and running my business?” that’s a question everybody has to answer for themselves. I really like running my own business. I’m an entrepreneur. I like being in charge of everything, and I like making every decision. So for me it’s a no-brainer.

Other people are going to hate that. They are going to hate it. They’re not going to like marketing. They’re not going to like coming up with business ideas. They’re not going to like interfacing directly with retailers. I really do.

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