Taking Summer Break To Restructure The Writing Business

After writing a three-part blog post about forming a revocable living trust for my personal life, converting my writing business into a limited liability company (LLC), and using the two together, I felt it was time to take a break for the summer. With my father’s death from lung cancer and starting a new non-writing tech job last month, writing short stories, four 500-word blog posts every week, and a new short story or essay ebook every other week have left me stretched thin. I’m halting the publication of ebooks to work on several projects for the next three months.

Writing A Business Plan

One of the reasons why I converted my writing business from a sole proprietorship to a LLC was to impose structure. I’m no longer a writer sending out short stories into a cruel world of rejections in the slush piles, but a business owner with copyrights, ebooks and websites. All these areas require my attention to make the new structure successful. Writing a business plan will put everything into focus.

Re-branding Existing eBooks

When your business becomes a LLC, you need to let the entire world know that you have a LLC. I’ll be adding “Published by C.D. Reimer & Associates, LLC.” to the title page of existing and future ebooks. This will also be a good time to update each ebook with a new cover, navigation structure and content changes.

Filling Up The eBook Buffer

Although I have 24-month publishing calendar for my ebooks, I don’t have a four-month buffer with ebook titles ready for publication. Every other week becomes crunch time to put together a new ebook. Unlike reprint short stories ebooks, original short stories and essay ebooks require additional work. I can fill up the buffer before I resume ebook publication in September.

If this summer break works out well, I’m hoping to take every summer off to work on longer writing projects (i.e., my unfinished first novel that’s been gathering dust since 2009). As a writer, I want to write without worry about the business side. As a business owner, I need to make the business run well enough to make that happen.

The 500-Word Blog Post

When I decided to get back into blogging on a regular basis for my personal blog and this writing blog, I also decided to limit myself to 500 words or less per each blog posting. Having written numerous 500-word flash stories, this was a comfortable length that represented 15 minutes to two hours of work. Like any good flash story, you need a solid beginning, middle and ending to make a blog post work at that length.

When I surveyed the 300 postings from the two blogs to start compiling them into ebooks (starting with ASVW Volume 1), the shortest blog post was 29 words (i.e., an introduction to a video) and the longest blog post was 3,000+ words (i.e., a book review with a half-dozen books).  The average length between the two extremes was about 500 words. I have enough material to release ten 15,000-word ebooks over the next year. If I continue to blog at a regular pace, I’ll have enough material to publish two blog compilation ebooks each year.

Writing a 500-word blog post isn’t a piece of cake. If I can’t shoehorn an idea into 500 words in less than two hours, I need to split it into multiple blog posts or turn it into a 3,000-word essay ebook. That’s what I did for the Kickstarter blog posts (Part 1/Part 2). A bit ugly but a practical workaround to stay within the 500-word limit I set. Quoted text from other sources doesn’t count towards the limit.

If everything goes smoothly (and nothing ever does in my life), I can knock out a week worth of blog posts—2,000 words—on a weekend afternoon.