Communication in any situation is important, but since relationships were talked about in a previous post, I’m going to spend some time talking about Business Communication.
So, what is Business Communication?
Business communication is essentially any type of communication you have with anyone else regarding your business, whether it’s marketing, customer relations or interpersonal communication. Anything that provides a way for you to speak to others is included. There are so many ways to communicate with in a business that we’ll only be focusing on how it relates to the writing business. That’s what we’re here for, right, the business of writing?
Image by rawpixel from Pixabay
You, as a business owner, have so many people you contact for different services and assistance, it’s no wonder being an author is a hard job. Unless you have some sort of system down for who you’re speaking to and what your talking about at any given moment, things can get hectic and overwhelming very quickly.
Problems with Communication
Even though we have plenty of ways to communicate nowadays, not all of them are as reliable as speaking face to face or over the phone, but we still try to use them. Email, text/messaging, print, and even television and radio have their downsides.
Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay
Have you ever sent a text or message and the other person thought you were angry at them? Or had a customer look at your ad and wonder what it was that you’re trying to sell/say? There is no way to know the tone or meaning behind the words when you message others. If your not careful, your words can be completely misunderstood and they could interpret them one way when you meant for it to be taken a completely different way.
Once that occurs, you have to spend your time working to rectify the situation and get everything back on track, which could take more time than you have.
How to Fix or Avoid Communication Problems
Image by Allan Washbrook from Pixabay
In order to avoid issues with misconstrued communication efforts, the best thing to do is probably stick to speaking to everyone on the phone or in person. If you don’t live close, programs like Skype and FaceTime work well to speak with others face to face. That way any questions about the project can be answered right away.
If you prefer contacting through written words, find a program like Trello, Asana, Monday.com, etc that allows you to form teams, assign tasks and communicate with each other as you work through projects. That way you and your team can ask questions, attach samples, and clarify issues all in one place.
Image by engin akyurt from Pixabay
As an author and writer, you are communicating with others on a daily basis whether that’s posting to social media, writing stories for your readers, or sending your work to your editor. We as writers, are always communicating and connecting with others and that in itself can be a taunting task.
Through the writing process, the one person we are trying to reach are our readers. We write for them. (Well, we write for ourselves and for the joy of it, but the readers we gain are the goal) Of course, not everyone is going to love your work, but you will get those that will love your style and work to the point of ordering everything that you produce.
Our stories fill a missing piece within our readers that even they didn’t realize was missing; whether that is a sense of adventure, the need to know love, or even a bit of fright. Our readers hang onto every word as they read waiting to see what happens on the next page. Its the most gratifying and natural ways for writers to speak, through words on a page.
You as a writer may or may not have a team yet, but once you do things can get much smoother, but that doesn’t mean problems don’t arise. Tools like Trello or Asana are perfect for keeping things organized between the writer and their team members. You can assign them tasks and they can ask questions and check things off right on the apps.
You may also communicate with your team though texts, messages, or others, but keeping to one type (unless it’s an emergency) keeps things flowing nicely. Each person knows what they need to do and they can get it done before the deadline approaches. If you don’t have a system for your team, I suggest you try one of these out for yourself.
Beta and Alpha readers are those that you depend on the most for their honest opinions, but there are those times when they can be too honest, harsh even. It’s a price we pay for writing and something that must be understood as both reader and writer. The writer is trying their best to bring out the best story to the public. In return for receiving an advanced copy of their work, the writer expects honest feedback from the beta.
That doesn’t mean that betas/alphas can totally rip apart the work that writer has spent who knows how much time on or even suggest they change the story completely to suit that particular reader. As betas/alphas, we as writers are only looking for suggestions on making our writing better and enjoyable for others before putting it out into the world. And writers, be clear what you are to expect of your betas/alphas as they read through your work. If you don’t specify what you’re looking for in feedback, you’re going to get everything and anything, which let me tell you can be overwhelming when you finally receive your manuscript back.
So, communication with your betas/alpha on what you are specifically looking for is necessary to keep things running as smooth as possible.
Here is another, where you need to specify what you’re looking for unless you are hiring them for one specific job, such as line editing. Editors are your last stop before publishing and once they’ve gone through your work, be prepared to revise if necessary. They will let you know what could be done better and inform you of any errors they may catch. So communication between you and your editor is a must.
Now, I know not everyone has an agent, but if you do, the communication you have between yourself and them is also important. If one of you doesn’t receive the right information, you could end up booking the wrong event or submitting to the wrong publishing house.
There are so many things that could go wrong when you don’t communicate well between you and others. Think about your everyday communications with family and friends. how often is something taken out of context or interpreted wrong? I can’t tell you how many times my sister and I ask if the other is angry because we just didn’t get back to them soon enough. Things happen, but we don’t want any conflicts between anyone.
Though communication is important and can get skewed as we type the wrong words or we didn’t clarify something well enough, there are ways to avoid those problems by keeping communication open and discussing the issues when they arise. You can do your part by clarifying as much as possible before anything can get to that point and keeping everyone on the same page with sites like Trello. They will put that to rest as everyone has their tasks and no one is getting confused as to what they need to do.
That leaves you time to focus on what you need to focus on, communicating the best way you know how… through the words of your stories!