When was the last time you played Monopoly? I’ve been playing a lot of Monopoly lately, and I’ve realized that there’s a big similarity between winning this classic game and being a successful indie author.
How to Win at Monopoly
I was brainstorming for a new blog post the other day while my two nephews were playing in a game of Monopoly. My older nephew was clearly winning. He had five times more properties than his little brother and lots more cash.
Yet he was holding back on buying houses and hotels. He had settled for having two or three for fear of going broke. The other nephew who had only three properties and a few hundred dollars was even less likely to buy more properties.
This is when I stepped in and gave the older one some advice on how he could end the game quickly (hoping the younger one would take mental notes).
I advised him to buy as many houses and hotels as he could afford, only leaving a hundred dollars or so for expenses. That way, his brother would be a lot more likely to land on his properties and go broke faster.
Pretty soon, the whole board was covered in houses and hotels, much to the younger nephew’s dismay. The game was over in less than fifteen minutes.
This is the strategy I use to win so many Monopoly games. I buy as many properties, houses, and hotels as I can possibly afford right in the beginning so that I can cash in on the huge rents later. The money I spend comes back tenfold, and I usually win. Unless my older brother is playing, but that’s another story.
Investing Is Also the Key to Indie Success
I realized that day I saw them play that being a good Monopoly player and being an indie author have a lot in common.
Because they’re both about knowing how to run a business. In any business, you need money to make money. In other words, you need to invest money before you can start making profits.
You have to be business-oriented. You have to see your writing as a business, and you must invest in it if you want to be successful. This means investing in professional editing, covers, and formatting. It also means investing time in learning how to market successfully. For example, taking the time create a newsletter. nurture relationships with readers. and build your author platform.
Respondents who hired help for things like story-editing, copyediting and proofreading earned on average 13% more than those who didn’t. Hiring a professional cover designer earned them on average 18% more.
Smart entrepreneurs, which includes indie authors, also use their earnings to reinvest in their business. They’re always looking to improve.
One Last Thing
However, I would like to clarify that there is one thing about Monopoly that does not apply to being an indie author. While in Monopoly it is easy to spend all your cash on properties, houses, and hotels without any real consequence, this is NOT true in real life.
Create a realistic budget for your publishing expenses. One that will not leave you without an emergency or retirement fund. Or keep the kids from going to college.
If you want some specific info on how much it costs to self publish (and how to save!), check out these two extremely helpful articles from my friends at DuoLit:
Splurge & Save: How to Be a Thrifty Indie! by Shannon
Look at how you’re doing as an indie author. Now think about what you’ve invested into your writing. Do you need to invest more? Differently? How else is Monopoly like or not like being a successful indie author?