Entrepreneurial Artistry 

Day 299 Week 43 Q4 Friday, October 27, 2023

If you are a creative outlier, you are probably mostly focused on creating outcomes that are artistic and expressive or technical and innovative, and perhaps all four at the same time. It appears that most artists, writers, inventors, and other creative types spend much more of their energy on the thing they are creating than on the means to deliver it to the world profitably.

Have you ever considered spending 50% of your time on the business aspect? Have you applied a significant portion of your creativity to being an entrepreneur as well as to creating an excellent output?

Eventually, to be successful writers, artists, musicians, and inventors have to become small business owners. The product may be what you have created, and the product may actually be you if you are selling creative services.

I understand words like product, business, services, and being an entrepreneur may all sound like dirty words because you are a creative artist or a brilliant technical person, but I can assure you that unless you are an employee working for somebody else who is worried about all of these things, that ignoring them, will not result of you being able to pay your bills.

The people who worry about all of these things, who are often middlemen or representatives of those more creative than himself, often make for more than the people doing the creative work. If you were an artist and also owned a gallery, you would capture a lot more of the selling price of your heart if you are an author who self-publishes and worries about things like book covers, font licensing, formatting, paper, thickness, distribution channels, and other business-related issues. The difference in what you earn per book can be more than 10 times greater.

For example, a new author may receive a royalty of 4 to 8% of the selling price of a book. Say the book sells for $20. That means you will earn between $.80 and $1.60 on each book sale. But if you are the publisher and simply paying to print the book, which may cost four or five dollars,  then you will make 15 or $16 on each book sale.  

Yes, it takes a lot more effort upfront to get a book into the condition to sell, but once you have done this and set up distribution, you will literally make an order of magnitude more. If your book sells, say, 5,000 copies per year, and you are collecting royalties, it will not be enough to live on, but if you were a publisher who owns all of the rights, it would be enough to live on.

It can be highly worthwhile to be entrepreneurial in addition to being creative and artistic. Apply some of your creativity to the business side, and your life will be very different.