Author-preneur. Writer-preneur. Book-preneur. Most of us may already know or have heard of these words at some point. They all mean the same thing: someone who writes books. However, there is a little more to it than that.

What is an author-preneur?

An authorpreneur writing on an old typewriter

What is the official definition? Though I could find no formal meaning for Book-preneur and Writer-preneur, thanks to my trusted Urban Dictionary, the word “Author-preneur” means: An author who creates a written product, participates in creating their brand, and actively promotes that brand through a variety of outlets.

That definition is music to the ears of an intellectual property lawyer like me. Why? When I hear the word brand, I am reminded of business creators, product owners, and yes – writers. I’m reminded of authors, but most especially authors who are more than mere authors; they are entrepreneurs who know necessary business concepts to succeed – like branding.

Having a brand implies that whatever business you may be engaged in, you are doing it strategically, intelligently, and futuristically. When I hear of an author that is not just writing a book to put out there into book-space but is intentionally creating a brand around their creation, I consider them to be business masterminds.

Such individuals are writers who do not only have the talent to create new worlds of fiction or generate ideas for non-fiction – but they are also business people who know the importance of carving out a unique space for themselves in the book universe and being recognized for their work, to the exclusion of all other seas of multiple writers out there.

The difference is in what you do after you write your book

The front of a bookstore

An author-preneur is that person who has created a product – a book – and did not simply slap it onto a bookshelf or on Amazon and sits back, hopefully anticipating that customers will come to buy it. Instead, the author-preneur is someone who has learned about or enlists the knowledge of someone who knows the art of brand marketing, brand positioning, and brand recognition. They use the assistance and support of those knowledgeable professionals who can help them set up these various segments for success.

The author-preneur knows about audience engagement, A/B testing for marketing, social media algorithms, registering trademarks, and copyrights for their business and products. Or, as mentioned earlier, they have a team helping them in these various segments.

Therefore, the author-preneur is the strategic, intelligent, futuristic writer that I love to work with – perhaps since I am one myself.

You are probably wondering about these 3 points I keep mentioning about the author-preneur, and asking: Who is a (1) strategic (2) intelligent (3) futuristic author-preneur?

I am extremely glad that you asked the question. Let me explain who this strategic, intelligent, futuristic author-preneur could be. You may recognize yourself from this picture:

The Strategic Author-preneur
A group of people cutting out paper for a project

According to the Oxford dictionary (you can tell by now that I am a book nerd), being strategic is the identification of long-term or overall aims and interests and the means of achieving them.

An author-preneur who engages strategy would look like this person: They get a book idea, and even before they start writing it, they are already analyzing the type of market where the book will be needed or where it has the best chance of acceptance and success. They conduct their research on the demographic of their audience i.e. the people most likely to buy the book that they want to write; they start engaging that specific audience right away, be it on social media or their network circles. Finally, they involve their audience in every step of the book creation process.

For instance, the reason behind why they are writing the book, the reveal of the book cover, the advance announcement of live events that they will hold to market the book, or where they will be appearing to sign personalized copies, etc. These are steps that have far-reaching outcomes because engaging their audience from the start is the ideal way to convert them to fans before the book is even published!

These are just a few examples of strategic author-preneurship.

The Intelligent Author-preneur
Authorpreneur writing while holding a coffee mug

This is the writer who knows how to run a business, and not simply minting out books. They know that having an entity to represent their writing business is an intelligent move. After all, if they become successful, and, for instance, have a dispute with one of their vendors, perhaps a literary agent, and it gets so ugly that they have to go to court, the fact that the author-preneur is operating under a bonafide business entity, like an LLC, or a corporation, means that if the vendor tries to clean them out at the courts, all that the vendor can reach is money or assets in the writing business entity.

They cannot touch the author-preneur’s bank accounts or assets for settlement of any disputes if the author-preneur has intelligently set up their writing business enterprise to prevent such ill luck from befalling them. Further, the author-preneur enters the ‘intelligent’ realm when they have come to recognize that they should register copyrights for their books before posting it on any platform, or register trademarks for their business names so that they will have a unique identity in the book space.

The Futuristic Author-preneur
Person using a tablet next to a computer

I picked up the trusted Oxford Dictionary yet again to find that the definition of ‘futuristic’ is: having or involving very modern technology or design. This is the author-preneur that has mastered the benefits of using leverage to make their writing lives easier. There are a plethora of technology resources available in our world today that can only be called ‘the best author-assistants’ ever, in terms of helping an author to stay focused, generating quality files, organizing written words, grammar, and spelling, and so much more.

Are you a strategic, intelligent, or futuristic entrepreneur? If you are reading this or got this far, I guess that you most certainly are.

Keep up the good work, create that beautiful book content, and let your business grow!

Which style of author-preneur do you think you are? Let us know in the comments!

This article originally published on GREY Journal.