The life of an author is more than just creative stories and exciting characters. Aside from writing, there are major business matters to handle, such as copyrighting and publishing. Established writer Ylleya Fields, author of the children’s book series Princess Cupcake Jones, has offered five tips for staying in business and becoming a better author.
When BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Fields to talk about her book series and how a cultural gap in children’s literature led to her entrepreneurial start, the author and mother of four revealed that when it came time to publish her manuscripts, which were filled with the adventures of the sassy, young Cupcake Jones, she chose the nontraditional route.
Fields established her own publishing company with the sole purpose of publishing her own stories and maintaining complete creative control of each project. She says that with today’s self-publishing options, traditional publishing is no longer a “must.” Still there are a few things that entrepreneurs may want to keep in mind while working on becoming a better author.
1. Set goals. Make sure they are realistic. As with any business, owners want to have a list of short- and long-term goals to help guide them on their entrepreneurial journey. Authors may consider giving themselves deadlines to accomplish each goal.
2. Hire a lawyer. When it comes to writing, legally guarding an author’s manuscript is key. A good lawyer can make this process easy. “Copyright law is specific and varies from state to state,” says Fields. “Lawyers know the specifics and can help protect you.”
3. Never give up. “This really is more of a mantra,” says Fields. “It’s easy to throw the towel in when the going gets tough, but nothing worth having comes easy.”
4. Don’t get comfortable. For Fields, this means constantly writing. “I can’t ever get complacent with having two books out. I need to be working on books five and six while I’m publishing book three,” she says.
5. No more excuses. This may be the hardest one for most people. “Do what needs to be done today,” says Fields. “Not tomorrow, not after the kids turn a certain age, not when you move. Today.”