An MBA education teaches you so many things. But most are forgotten as we move along our jobs. Unless of course, you are an entrepreneur. The journey as an author has made me relive all the fundamentals of MBA starting from finance and marketing to people management.
From a finance point of view, getting a book out is a huge investment. Contrary to popular myths that as an author, you make a lot of money; if you are a fast time author, money is the last thing you should expect. In fact, over the last month , I have told a lot of aspiring writers that write for passion but not for money. You earn minuscule on the book. Depending on your publisher, you sometimes even need to buy some minimum copies which cost you a lot. Then comes the point of spreading awareness about your book. A lot of free copies may have to be given out just to arouse people’s interest. People even hire PR agencies to get their books across to the mainstream. I too contemplated doing that. But the money they quote simply makes you jump out of your seats!
On the marketing front, in the age of digital media you are connected to friends and can coax them to buy and rate your book. But beyond a few friends, scaling is not an easy job. What will engage people? What will prompt them to buy your book? What will differentiate your product from others in the market? Questions like these just keep popping in your head. And you are left juggling with ideas, putting all the ‘gyaan’ of your marketing classes to use…
And then there are people management issues. Some will like your book, some will not. Some may keep bragging to be given a ‘free’ book. Some may feel you are acting pricey even if you are ‘genuinely’ busy. The book is like your baby. So on your part, you need to be careful that even negative feedback is taken well by you.. I even had a person telling me why I had ‘stolen’ his name without his permission.
There are always reviews flowing in. You keep reminding friends to keep posting reviews. Remind some others to buy the book if they have not already. Sometimes you feel bad when despite constant reminder, even a good friend does not buy the book.
But all in all, its an entrepreneurial venture in itself. Success or failure is not in my hand, learning definitely is!