novelist writing self published books

Growing Your Artistic Assets Like Cash

Hi, and welcome to The Smarter Artist podcast. I’m author and podcaster Jamie Davis filling in for this episode.

(If you prefer audio, you can listen to this episode on the Smarter Artist Podcast)

I thought today I’d use a common concept from financial circles to talk about how we manage and grow our artistic assets.

Now, you may have heard of something called dollar cost averaging and compounded growth and assets.

It’s when you consistently put money into your account in the stock market, whether the market is up or down. Over time the swings in the market average out and you’re investment grows along with the long-term growth of the market, or at least that’s what the overall concept is supposed to do.

Well, this is actually a great concept for you to adapt in how you, a Smarter Artist, invests in your own artistic assets.

Bear with me here. I want to explain what I mean.

I’m not talking about investing money in your art, although that’s important too. I’m talking about investing your time and talent in your art.

The idea is that you need to set your goals and plan ahead, and think about using a slow and steady regular approach you can maintain over a long time.

Stacks of hardback books in a storeNow, let’s look at how this works using my own writing speed, and your mileage may vary but this is how fast I write.

I can usually plow through in a first draft about 1,200 to 1,500 words an hour.

But let’s say maybe you can’t do that fast. Maybe you’re slower than that and only have maybe a half hour to write a day, and you can go that fast, but only for a half an hour.

Well, what if you could only write 500 words a day, but you could do it every day, guaranteed, with only one day a week off and some major holidays throughout the year?

That would be you writing about 300 days a year. Now, if you do the math, you end up at 150,000 words for that year.

Now, that’s two standard novels or maybe one epic fantasy novel.

If you do that each and every year for five years, very, very part-time, you’ve written maybe ten books or so, all taking a slow and steady approach to writing, only half an hour a day.

Now, you can take this concept even further when you look at how your books increase your potential for income the more you write.

Now, I like to think about this as thinking about compounded interest, like you’d get in a checking or savings account.

You make money on the interest over time, thus growing your account faster and faster.

Now, it starts out slow, but eventually that growth takes off. The same is true for how putting out a new book works.

For the purpose of this model, I’m going to talk about putting out a well written, good, edited first book that follows genre tropes and conventions with The Smarter Artist approach to your launch and growing your list.

woman typing at standing deskAll those things are just givens.

You really need to be smart about how you do everything in this business, but if you do put out a really good book and you follow the conventions for doing that, you can be really amazed over time at how it works out.

Now, you put this aforementioned book out and guess what? Book 1, you make peanuts.

If you’re like me, it might be as little as $32 the first month for your first book.

But you’re a Smarter Artist, right? You’re doing what I said earlier in this podcast. You keep writing, so that when you add another book and make it two books, there’s a slightly larger list to promote to.

You also have people finding Book 2 and going back and looking for Book 1, if it’s a series, or even if they’re two stand alones.

For me this is where I figured it all out. If you want to market your books, write more books.

That’s because everyone discovers and likes one of your books and then goes and tries another of your books if you have one.

So, add a third book, or a fourth book and the same thing happens.

And you don’t just make three or four times the amount of one book, you add an increasing multiplier with each new book as your readers grow in number.

So, there you have it. You put these two financial concepts together and you can do some truly amazing things as a Smarter Artist.

flying moneyYou can write more books. You can be faster about it and be more consistent. A steady output is something readers love to see from authors. And you can improve your output using a slow and steady approach.

Just write more words more often if you want to do it faster.

But the more you do it, you’ll double or triple your output, or even more, using the concept of dollar cost averaging by doing it slow and steady at a regular pace you can maintain.

Now, this is borrowing from what other businesses do to be successful and it’s something I’ve done to grow my online and artistic businesses a lot over the last eleven years.

And you can take this idea and do the same thing.

So look around you. Pay attention to what smart businesses around you do to grow and thrive.

Be a Smarter Artist. Figure out how you can apply these same concepts to your business too. You’ll see all sorts of things when you start paying attention.

Start with the businesses you like and support in your own community.  What keeps you coming back time and again?

How can you adapt a similar practice to your own Smarter Artist business?

When you find the right combination, it can transform what you do.

I’m Jamie Davis, fantasy author and medical podcaster. You can find me and my books over at  my author page at I look forward to hearing from you soon over there.

In the meantime, thank you for being a Smarter Artist.