Writing and Publishing

Balancing the Pure Artist with the Entrepreneur: Why Book Publishing Requires Both

Last week I shared that the three parts of publishing a book we’re writing it, producing it, and marketing it. Each of these aspects has a creative element and a business element. Balance the pure artist and the pure entrepreneur in a respectable tension.

The pure artist says, “Let me create without interference. I don’t care about commercial viability. Just let me be me.” The pure artist will likely starve or need to get a day job.

The pure entrepreneur says, “I will only do things that will make money, the more the better. I’ll follow trends and jump on any bandwagon moving in the right direction.” The pure entrepreneur may put food on the table, but he will sacrifice his soul in the process, and her writing will have no heart.

The pure entrepreneur doesn’t like the pure artist. But…

The pure artist and the pure entrepreneur cannot survive apart from each other

They must embrace the skills of each if there’s any hope for success —however, they choose to measure it.


Writing the book is where the artist flourishes, yet the entrepreneur cannot be excluded from this phase. The art of organizing words must be guided by a knowledge of what is able to be reproduced and of potential interest to the buying public.


Producing the book has a creative element, but the entrepreneur should direct it. Yet the entrepreneur must not remove the artist at the risk of producing a bland, boring book.


Marketing the book requires mostly the entrepreneur, though the artist needs to add his or her flare, embracing activities that produce energy and avoiding those that are draining. Yes, the author must market, but the entrepreneur needs to guide activities to what the artist can reasonably handle. If marketing kills the artist, there will be no more art.

Publishing a book requires we be an artist and an entrepreneur, embracing both and ignoring neither. May your artist side hear your entrepreneur’s voice, and may your entrepreneur side listen to your artist’s heart. That’s how to publish a book.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s book: Successful Author FAQs: Discover the Art of Writing, the Business of Publishing, and the Joy of Wielding Words. Get your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book Successful Author FAQs for insider tips and insights.

By Peter Lyle DeHaan

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, publishes books about business, customer service, the call center industry, and business and writing.