I spent this afternoon reading up on medical practice management (don’t ask—I know it sound odd, but there was a reason). As I read those areas practice managers must master, I realized the processes weren’t that different from what a professional writer must use to master the business of writing. Here’s the list and how the two professions compare:
1. Running a Practice with Maximum Efficiency, Quality Patient Care and To Increase the Bottom Line
Writers have a “practice” in the sense that they have a business producing a commodity that can be sold to the end-user, the reader. The better the quality controls on the writing, such as critiquing, editing, and testing the market before submission, the better it is likely to sell and produce a profit.
2. Handling the Multiple Management Tasks of Financial, Operational, Managed Care and Personnel
A writer’s multiple management tasks consist of: the financial, which encompass most of a writer’s end-put activities; operational, what needs to be done to submit, close the deal track sales, and how to turn a profit after advertising, home office and public appearance expenses; managed care in writing would be publishing discounting; personnel would include any individuals hired by you to edit, advertise, provide administrative support, etc.
3. Measuring How Well the Practice is Doing. Reporting Meaningful and Practical Financial Data to Senior Management and/or Physicians
Now we’re back to tracking sales, then submitting ARCs for reviews, checking fan reaction via author pages, blogs, Facebook and other networking sites. Make sure to let the editor know what input you’re receiving.
4. Pre-collections and Post-Collections
Always make sure you keep the publisher honest about sales. This is where an agent really helps.
Okay, I admit there are some dissimilarities between medical practice management and the business of writing, but I think I have proven one thing. Writing is a business.