Being an author isn’t just about being able to write a good book. The discipline and organization that writing a novel or non-fiction book requires is one of the many good qualities that will help successful writers.
When I thought about the possibility of writing for a living, I never thought about marketing in my wildest dreams. I wanted to write a good book, worth publishing and one that my readers will love and tell others about. That will be the ideal case for us as authors, a book that sells itself. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.
The truth is, there are certain marketing skills that every writer should possess in order to be successful. But I don’t want to discourage you here, I just want you to know what’s expected of the industry, as more than ever publishers are considering authors who know their writing, their competitors, their readers, and how to promote their own work. Authors who have this knowledge have a greater chance of being offered a publishing deal than those who don’t. The number of books published each day is simply too great for publishers to advertise them all. Most likely, those writers with good sales will be promoted first.
Before writing your book, do some research on the topic and its competition. Can you write something that hasn’t been covered and needs to be covered, or can you write a book on a popular subject that’s better than ever?
Be prepared to spend money. As an authorpreneur, you incur costs like any other company in order to present the book to your audience. Be prepared to invest time and money in your book promotion.
Do something every day to promote your book. It could be as simple as writing a press release, creating promotional flyers, handing out your business cards to people you know and meet when you’re running errands. Visit a writing group near you or online and meet others who like you or who write in your genre.
Be creative. Just as you are creative with writing, you must be creative when it comes to promoting your work. Because you know your audience, you can think of effective ways to engage their interest. Look in magazines, newspapers, book store reviews, or online and see how they run their promotions, stories, articles, etc. When you publish your next book, you need to include your previously published work in your promotions.
Don’t ignore technology. A lot is done online these days and you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to use it to spread the word about your book and its message. Websites, blogs, forums, email and newsletters or ezines can be a vehicle to let the world know about your book. Do your best to create a community around the primary purpose of your writing efforts so you have an engaging and growing audience interested in your work.
Keep perfecting your craft. I don’t have to tell you how to become a better author, being an authorpreneur is a daunting task for many of us. Make it your mission to study successful authors, read their memoirs and how they came to be successful and how they continue to reach their audiences. Read about marketing in all areas and aspects that apply today. Meet with other artists on your own and share ideas and resources offline and online.
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