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What Kind Of Author Are You?

Written by: Dawn Bates, Senior Level Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Whether we choose to become an author because it is a childhood dream, are hired as an author by a corporate firm to write technical or scientific papers, or whether it is because we want to boost our career in the world of business, doesn’t really matter – or does it?

selfie of a beautiful woman on the beach

With so many ‘starving artist’ authors out there living on less than minimum wage and polluting the writing community on Twitter with their negativity, as opposed to the well-paid employed authors who write for organisations, or those who are selling books they have written on their chosen expertise ‘at the back of the room’ of their latest speaking gig, it is important to understand why this poverty gap exists. Many of the ‘starving artist’ authors have little to no entrepreneurial or business sense. They just want to write and publish a book because it has been their dream or career choice for as long as they can remember. Many work part time in order to supplement their income or work full time to just survive, cramming their writing into their time off.

This type of author tends to live with a scarcity mindset day in and day out, and their negativity keeps them from seeing the bigger picture. They are what I call the ‘Woe is me Wendy and Wills’ of this world and they love to bring everyone else down to their level of negativity.

They are the ones who refuse to invest money into cover design, editing and marketing of their book, and anyone who tells them investing in professional services is the way to go to make sure they make a living from being an author, they are quick to pull out the ‘Easy for you to say with your privilege’ card, served with a side dish of ‘the elites keeping poor people out of writing’. When we look at the authors who are willing to take their skills and interests and write for organisations, we see they are getting paid on average $78k a year in the US ¹ and anywhere between £10k ² and £18k ³ a year in the UK, and have a constant income stream, regardless of which organisation they write for.

Then there are those who are entrepreneurial, self-employed, self-published authors who are prepared to invest in their books, from the cover design, the typesetting, editing and proofreading, all the way through to ad campaigns, buying copies of their books to sell wherever they go, and regular promotions.

We also find that these are the authors who are prepared to sacrifice, hustle and are so focused on learning how to be successful, they are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure they do not live beneath the poverty line.

As an entrepreneur first who became an accidental author by coming out with a flippant comment of “You know what, I’m just going to write a book, so I don’t have to answer all the same questions all the time!” – A comment which now sees me as an award-winning writer, international bestselling author and publisher of almost twenty books, I have been able to build a successful business out of my writing… and it took sacrifice, learning, deep inner work, and starting out on the poverty line after getting divorced after 18 years of marriage. The majority of these books I have authored by myself, with a handful of them seeing me be the developmental editor and co-author who ensured my clients were producing and publishing a book of the highest quality.

It takes a relentless drive for success to succeed in anything, and it takes belief in yourself and your product, and as an author in the realm of human rights, cultural diversity and social change, being relentless – as well as smart – is absolutely essential.

And whilst that description of the kind of books I write may seem too high-brown for many, writing about certain topics which impact every single one of us, and doing so in such as way even my dad reads my books (and he only reads carp fishing magazines!), is key to the success I now enjoy; along with having multiple income streams, including crypto trading.

Many of the authors we see on social media, especially on LinkedIn are what we call secondary and tertiary authors; authors who have achieved a level of success in their chosen career and now wish to add an additional income stream to their finances.

These authors will be hitting the speaker circuit and buying copies of their books at author price so they can sell their book at events, allowing them to make the biggest profits available to them. With so many authors now offering their insights on how to make 6-figure incomes as an author due to the marketing tactics they have implemented, the ‘starving artist author’ is still refusing to follow these hints and tips because they come with a price tag, even if it is as low as $97 – which could easily be made back by selling anywhere between 10 and 20 books, depending on the price of the book and the platform they publish to.

The old adage of never judging a book by its cover really comes into its own here, because with the increasing number of business professionals and indie authors creating their own cover designs, we are seeing some very poor book covers flooding the market – which really does impact the number of sales the book will achieve.

Book design is a science, and a talent not many authors have – and the discerning reader can tell. Homemade isn’t bad, but if you are wanting to make money from being an author, creating your own book cover with no design skills whatsoever, you are robbing yourself blind. The ROI on having a professionally created cover is a no brainer, and if authors do not believe they can make that money back, or at least cut back and save for a book cover, then do they really believe in their writing or themselves?

Having just re-released my very first book with a whole new cover design, a structural re-edit to create the Relentless Rebel duology with Walaahi, rather than stick with the three standalone books which became The Trilogy of Life Itself with Crossing The Line, I can already see the impact a new cover design has had.

As successful authors, regardless of which kind of author we are, we invest a lot of time researching and writing (as well as hopefully editing our books with a professional editor!) so to not invest in the essentials to make the book a success shows not only our readers a lack of respect for their time and money invested in purchasing and reading our books, but also shows a lack of self-respect for what we have created.

Then we need to look at the lack of respect shown for the art of writing and our fellow authors. To be able to write a book is a talent, which many people have, but do not harness.

To have the patience, mental ability and the creativity to write 50,000 words plus, often creating new worlds and concepts in fiction, be brave enough to showcase your expertise or open up in memoir, takes commitment, patience and a lot of hard work. To be a successful author who can live off the royalties alone, another level of commitment, patience and hard work – along with strategy and sound business sense – is paramount.

And with all the books out on the market on how to grow a business, make money and be successful, one would think that the indie authors who say they wish to support other authors would actually buy the success books to boost their own book sales.

Sadly though, many won’t, not because they enjoy the struggle, but because of the payoff of belonging with others who do not know how to succeed.

My question to them is this: Why belong with those who prefer to make excuses rather than money and create success, when you can belong to a group of success minded authors who will encourage you to succeed rather than stay stagnant and poor? Overcoming the blocks to money and success is a challenge for many, not just authors, and it is one of the reasons I created my Money Mindset Shifts workbook, 16-page workbook packed with practical tips, journalling questions and actions we need to take to start moving forward.

Overcoming our money and success blocks isn’t easy, especially if we are surrounded by others who are negative towards those who have taken the journey to success. It can be a lonely journey – to begin with – but once we start owning our future goals, we start owning who we are on a whole other level, a much happier, carefree level, because we are not worried where the next pay cheque is coming from, or our next meal. And our writing improves, our energy frequency attracts a different kind of reader, a stranger who isn’t buying our books out of pity, but because they actually want to read it – and not just because they belong to the writers lift on Twitter.

As an indie author our real success is found in learning, developing and implementing business skills, not tweeting basic questions and negativity all day. So, does it make a difference what kind of author you are?

I believe so, but I’ll let you all be the judge of that!

*If you are thinking of writing a book or are in the middle of writing a book and want to get some perspective on it, then consider doing my 7 Week Author Course, a business, mindset and life coaching course all in one designed with flexibility and budgets in mind; or if you believe in hiring a coach, then schedule a Discovery Call with me on how we can work together as writer and development editor and author coach.

All but one of the books I have published have been designed by a professional designer. The one that wasn’t designed by a professional clearly shows in how cover design impacts the book sales, but the client was adamant he wanted to use the cover he provided. I no longer accept client supplied artwork unless a professional designer has worked their magic on the cover design.

Follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter and visit my website for more info!


Dawn Bates, Senior Level Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dawn Bates is a true international bestselling author multiple times over on five continents. She specialises in developing global leaders into real authorities who wish to give a voice to the voiceless whilst working with them to create brand expansion strategies through activism and authorship.

Profound truths, social justice and human rights underpin everything she does, and at the core of her soul is a passion for being of service to humanity, giving hope, courage and confidence for others to stand in their truth and live a life of conviction.

She writes for various magazines, sails around the world on yachts as a digital nomad and is currently working towards her PhD in Human Rights and Social Justice with the University of Oxford, whilst also hosting her own podcasts The Sacral Series and The Truth Serum.

Her books are powerful and comprise of solo compilations and multiple collaborations of the highest caliber. Dawn brings together the multi-faceted aspects of the world we live in and takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, whilst delivering mic dropping inspiration, motivation and awakening. Her work captures life around the world in all its rawness.

Dawn’s expertise and insights will make you rethink your life, whilst harnessing the deepest freedom of all: your own truth. She’s an authority on leading others to create exceptional results by igniting the passions and fires deep within to speak and live powerfully.





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