Authorpreneurship is the business of creativity (hazeledwards.com). It is relevant especially to illustrators, designers, writers, multi-media innovators, photographers and other artistic individuals. Authorpreneurship helps you invest in your creativity to increase your professional opportunities. This involves combining both aspects of the individual in a way that works for them i.e. the originator and the entrepreneur. It involves learning the marketing, publicity, technological, legal and entrepreneurial skills required to sell ‘the brand’. Writers in Kenya fall under this category of individuals and should therefore think seriously of becoming authorpreneurs.
There is a misconception in Kenya that writing is not a “serious” job, especially writing fiction. Another misconception is that writers cannot make it as entrepreneurs – by writing fiction alone. However, this is not the case and I believe writers in Kenya should start looking either at themselves or their books as the brand – just like a business person looks at his/her products or services as a brand. As an aspiring fiction writer you may be asking yourself, ‘Why should I do that?” Well, here are a few simple reasons why.
1. It’s a way of generating secondary income if you are employed
If you already have a job but you still write fiction constantly and consistently, then you should become an authorpreneur. This will guarantee you some income on the side that could grow in the future and become a major source of income. The same way that you carve out time to write fiction when you are not working, is the same way you can make time to find out how to promote your brand online and offline to your target audience. You could always use some extra income, why don’t you generate it by doing something you love.
2. It’s an assured method of entrepreneurship in this particular industry
There are many best-selling authors in countries like the U.S. where writing is a main source of income for those authors; they have made a business out of their brands – themselves. Examples are John Grisham, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, and Nora Roberts to name a few. In Kenya however, most authors usually have their ‘brand’ as a secondary income. However an example of an authorpreneur who uses his creations as a main source of income is Allan Gichigi, a photographer and filmmaker.
3. Writing can be an expensive hobby, so make money from it
Writing fiction as a hobby can be costly in the long run; expenses like internet payment or bundles and time as well, which is a resource in itself. If you like writing – that is good, however; time is valuable and if you are looking for ways to generate income, you should use your time wisely. Therefore, you should ensure all your time spent doing different things enriches your life in some way. So if you spend a large amount of writing, you might as well get some money out of it while you’re at it; especially if you are really a talented writer.
4. There are other budding authorpreneurs doing it already
You might wonder if it’s worth doing and whether other people are doing it in Kenya and if they are getting results. The answer is yes. There are upcoming authorpreneurs in Kenya who are doing well, as well as gaining a strong following for their creations. Great examples are Boniface Mwangi the photographer,
Clifton Gachagua the poet and Nderitu Wahome the writer;
to name a few. They are gradually creating their artistic works (fiction, poems or photos) and marketing it to the Kenyan market in order to generate income as well as share their amazing creations with their audience. Therefore, if you have amazing fiction that you know your target audience will love reading and you can also generate income with – get started on becoming an authorpreneur today.
5. You can’t constantly create content to reach your audience if you can’t survive financially
If you love writing fiction and sharing it with your audience, you have to maintain it financially as well (see no.3 above). It is therefore logical that this writing activity maintain itself, especially financially. It would be regrettable when you go through financial difficulty that your creativity would have to suffer as well. In order to constantly and consistently keep creating fiction, ensure you are financially stable to do so by making your writing work for you as well.
If you are an aspiring fiction writer, I hope that those very important reasons have inspired you to research and find out more on how to become an authorpreneur in Kenya. Get started on your journey today.
Do you have any experience as an authorpreneur in Kenya? Feel free to share your experience or any suggestions by commenting below.
This post appeared originally on the Storymoja Hay Festival Blog.