Simply put, it means you need to not just be an author, but an authorpreneur. And here’s how.
Identify your brand.
Your brand is inclusive of your book, but more so is determined by your goals. You should have goals beyond selling books, and if you don’t, it’s time to seriously start brainstorming why it is you’ve written this book.
Do you hope to be a source of guidance for a particular group of people? Do you hope to secure speaking opportunities about your book’s subject matter? Is your book meant to establish you as an industry expert? Compiling a list of at least 5 goals will help you determine what other assets you can bring into your personal brand.
Determine your audience.
Once you have a solid grasp on your brand and your overall business goals, you can more accurately determine who your audience is. Being able to pinpoint your audience is extremely important and the more specific your can be, the easier it will be to find and connect with potential readers.
Build Your Assets.
Your main priority, as with any business, is to be discoverable. With an audience that isn’t geographically specific, the best way to connect with your target audience and build a relationship with readers is through the Internet.
Creating an engaging website is the first step to developing your online presence. Think of your website as your virtual business card. You’ll want it to be informative and memorable. Your website should convey your brand and provide calls to action for the goals you’ve outlined for yourself. For example, Buy My Book, Hire Me, or Book Me To Speak are common calls to action, but be sure to cater your website to your own personal and professional goals.
Choosing one or two social media platforms that best cater to your audience is another valuable asset to build. Also, to broaden your reach past your own network, it’s a good idea to seek out guest blogging or freelance writing opportunities. Just be sure your bio links back to your beautiful website and social media channels.
Build connections by providing value.
As a customer, why is it you frequent your favorite stores or restaurants? Most likely, it’s because you find value in what they offer, along with a friendly staff. If you want your audience to frequent your site, blog, or social media channels, then you must provide them with content they find valuable—and do so with an pleasant personality.
The content you provide should also correlate to your overall brand, so you’re constantly building upon your goals. Every post, tweet or promotion should somehow help you to achieve your goals.
Invest in yourself.
What many authors don’t realize is a book is an investment. If you’re publishing independently, you need to put money into your book in order to produce something people will want to buy.
You’re competing against traditionally published books and you know publishers don’t skimp when it comes to creating high quality and attractive books. If you want your book to stand out in the market, you must do the same, which might require putting a little extra funding towards the creation of your books.
Luckily, there are options, like crowdfunding, that can help to mitigate this upfront financial burden.
Making the transition from author to authorpreneur simply requires you to take your book, and your brand, as seriously as you hope others will. Writing a publishing a book is a business investment, and you’ll find when you treat is as such, you will be more likely to reach your goals and find success.
About the Author
Justine Schofield received her MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. A prominent voice in the publishing industry and an advocate for educating authors and publishers about crowdfunding, she is a regular contributor to many online publications. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter.