Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Business of Writing by Vannetta Chapman

As a writer seeking publication, you're a creator, but you're also a professional. It's a business. Today, author Vannetta Chapman provides her tips for treating it as such. -- Sandy

Vannetta: It doesn’t seem like those two words would fit together—business and writing. Most of us like to think of writing as something mysterious, and it is … but it’s also like any other business in some aspects.

Meet your contractual obligations. If you sign a contract for a 90,000 word manuscript due on November 1, then turn in a 90,000 word manuscript on November 1. You are building a reputation with every project, and you want that reputation to be a good one.

Be a team player. Whether you’re indie or traditionally published, you have a team—people who are helping you to complete and promote your books. It makes sense to “play nice” with these people. They’re on your side! If a publisher asks for a blog, say yes! If your influencers ask for a copy, send it! Do everything you can to show respect for those on your team.

Don’t whine. You can whine to your mother or your best friend, but that’s it. And only do so in person—not on facebook and not in texts (I’m the queen of sending texts to the wrong people). Yes, we all feel discouraged or slighted at times. You’ll feel better about it tomorrow or next week or in a month. In the mean time, don’t put anything out there permanently. Just don’t do it.

Try to be logical. I’ve heard everything from “my book is like my child” to “this is my art—my very soul.” It’s not either of those things. It might be an important message that you want to share with people. It might represent some important experiences, but it is not YOU. Trust me on this. Learn from reviews, but don’t sweat over them. Take editorial suggestions to heart, but don’t take them personally. Try to think of your book as a very cool car. Folks are helping you to make it the best car that it can be, and some of those folks are experts in some areas that you aren’t (marketing for example). Thank them, use what you can, and do not dwell on the rest.

The first few books I wrote I was teaching full time. Now I write full time. But in every instance, I addressed writing as a business, albeit one that is very close to my heart.



What is your best tip for treating writing as the business it is?


When a tornado strikes, Anna Schwartz’s life is changed forever. She suffers a spinal cord injury and finds
herself learning to live as a paraplegic. But then a miracle happens, and the world’s attention is drawn to this young Amish girl who has experienced the unexplainable.

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Her novel, Falling to Pieces, was a 2012 ACFW Carol Award finalist. A Promise for Miriam earned a spot on the June 2012 Christian Retailing Top Ten Fiction list. Chapman was a teacher for 15 years and currently writes full time. She lives in the Texas hill country with her husband. For more information, visit her at