Close up of a beautiful woman looking at the horizonLast summer, when many of my writing friends were gathered in Los Angeles for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators international summer conference, they had the opportunity to attend a break-out session/workshop that I so wished I could be part of.

I’ve often mentioned Julie Foster Hedlund. She is an author, the originator and power behind the 12×12 picture book challenge, a creative forward-thinker. She was leading that workshop in LA last summer, talking about the concept of authors as entrepreneurs.

The Michigan Regional SCBWI group is hosting a webinar series open to all writers and illustrators, not just those in Michigan. I’m delighted that one of the webinars offered in that series is Julie’s Authors as Entrepreneurs: Surviving (and Thriving in) the Publishing Revolution!

Quite likely, when you think of an entrepreneur, a writer is not the first person who comes to mind. Dictionary definitions, and our own mental definitions, tend to focus on up-and-coming business people, a group that at first glance seems exclusive of creative folk.

That perception needs to change. As writers and illustrators, we need to change our own perception of what we do. If we are traditionally published, we can no longer rely on our publisher to do our marketing for us. If we self/independently publish, we are the publisher, the marketing firm, everything, rolled into one. We need to be creative entrepreneurs, advocating for our own work.

This goes far beyond saying “buy my book” at every opportunity, as Julie would quickly point out. Three excerpts from the Facebook Page description of the event bear this out:

“…In order to succeed as an author or illustrator in the 21st Century, you must treat your writing as a business.

…In this webinar, Author Entrepreneur Julie Hedlund will show you how to be the CEO of your career.

…This webinar is not a ‘How authors can market and promote online,’ presentation, but rather provides information that will help you build a sustainable business around your writing so it can grow and prosper.”

I, for one, am eager to “build a sustainable business around my writing” and look forward to all Julie will have to say about this topic. What about you?

The webinar will take place live on Thursday, April 24th at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and for registered participants there will be a recording available for a three-month period following the live presentation. (For once I’m grateful for the two-hour difference between me and the east – I’ll be able to attend the webinar and still be at the piano for choir practice on time.)

For more information, you can check out the Facebook Event or the SCBWI MI website.

Moving forward!

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