Want to Make Money as an Author? Start Thinking Like a Brand
If you think that creating a beautifully written book is enough to guarantee a best-seller, I have bad news for you.
A well-written book is a great start, and if you’ve got one ready to go, I congratulate you on the herculean effort I know that went into it.
Unfortunately though, if you want to make money out of book sales, you need to wrap your head around something that may seem like the complete antithesis of creative writing.
You need to start thinking of yourself as a brand.
If you write strictly for a hobby, that is, you don’t want, or need, to make money from selling your books, at ease. You can go back to trawling through social media/watching reality TV/reading a book, doing whatever you were doing before.
The rest of you though, don’t go anywhere. Trust me, I’ll know if you stop reading now. : )
Run It Like a Business
A very wise publishing friend of mine recently told me that the most difficult part of working with his clients is convincing them why they should act like they are running a business.
The leap from writing books to running a business, isn’t as big as you may think.
Businesses sell products – you (I assume) want to sell books (products).
Running a business requires financial and time management – so does writing. Whether you’re squeezing it in between your day job or family commitments, you will need to juggle your time and resources to pursue a career as an author.
Importantly, successful businesses need to invest time and effort into marketing.
For authors, aspiring or otherwise, your marketing (or lack of it) has the potential to make or break your writing career.
This is why, you hear so much about why you should build your author brand or platform.
Start Thinking Like a Brand
Authors are brands, whether they like to think of themselves that way or not.
***Brand is the only thing that matters when the market is saturated***
Okay, brand may not be the only thing, but I don’t need to tell you that the book marketplace is super competitive, and brand is often the difference between an author gaining cut through or not.
While it pains me to say this, many brilliantly written books may never make it to a book store, or generate the sales they deserve, without brand recognition.
When Should I Start Developing My Brand?
If you’re an aspiring author, you may believe you don’t have to worry about this ‘marketing stuff’ yet.
Sorry to rain on your parade.
The best time to start marketing yourself as an author is ASAP!
The more time you have to build your platform and generate interest, as well as followers, the easier it will be when you do publish your book. This applies whether you self-publish or have a traditional publisher.
First-up, you want to create a brand that agents, publishers, influencers and other book industry types want to support and invest in.
Start creating a brand now that your target audience, and readers, can really connect to, so when you do launch your book, you have a ready-made fan club buying it, and telling all of their friends to buy it too.
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