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Writers Need a Business Plan

If you are seeking an agent or publisher for your nonfiction book, you will have to provide a business plan. What is that? You ask. In fact, even if you write fiction, paint pictures, or indulge in any other artistic medium, a business plan may make the difference between a hobby and a career.

I have often wondered how an artist develops a career path from emerging artist just out of school to a world-famous artist like Picasso. A few contemporary artists, like Thomas Kincaid and Peter Lik, did become wealthy because they developed a business model for their art that worked. Thomas Kincaid was the first to franchise his gallery and his franchises are required to sell only his art. Peter Lik also developed a franchise system along similar lines. They sell millions of dollars worth of their own mass-produced art. Buyers pay big bucks for it, anticipating that its value will increase in time. Will it? Probably not.

The key thing here is that they developed a business model and, no doubt, had a marketing plan, unlike the thousands of other artists and writers who graduate from art institutes and creative writing programs every year. The list Is long of people with talent who floundered because they didn’t know how to sell their work.

I don’t think business and marketing courses are required anywhere for English, creative writing, communications, art, or any curriculum outside business and marketing. Yet they should be. These are essential skills in today’s world for just about any degree and occupation. Even writing a resume could benefit from a basic knowledge of business and marketing.


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