I regularly hear disappointment from fellow writers when they admit they haven’t sold many books. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, books don’t just sell themselves. Rather, books that sell millions of copies, as in NY Times Best Sellers have had hundreds of thousands of marketing dollars invested in their success.
Perhaps you’re a consultant and have seen those “Forbes Authors” list and thought to yourself, “How do I get on that list?!” Its pay to play baby, simple as that. With a starting price tag of around $40K up to an excess of $100K depending on the level of marketing you want – you too could brag to your friends and family that you’re on the Forbes list. Fantastic if you’re a CEO of an organization who’s already made your chunk of change and who simply wants to add a ghost-written book to your resume.
But what about the rest of us?
What about those of us authors who have something to say, are really good writers but don’t have really deep pockets?
If you aren’t a Jordan Peterson (groovy intellectual) or Sophia Kinsella, writer of pure, indulgent brain-candy, with Random House connections then your book isn’t going to sell without your own effort.
This is What I Learned
What I discovered through two intense years of writing and publishing two books is that there are just three simple things you need to master as an author:
- How to Position
- How to Present
- How to Promote
When I mention that they are simple, they are in the sense that they are not complex ideas. However, the devil, as they say, is in the details.
As an author you need to learn to position yourself as an authority in your particular industry. It may be a large segment or a specific niche, either way, you must learn how to leverage digital marketing and social media so that you are a credible resource in your particular area of expertise.
If you’re a consultant with a business book, you need to position yourself as an authority within your particular market. If you’re fiction writer, then you need to share a compelling story of what inspired you to write your book.
This isn’t just for authors who write business books. It doesn’t matter if you’re an author of romance novels – you must present yourself professionally online. Your writing genre and your objectives will determine the best way to do this, but any author who wants to sell books, needs to first master how to present themselves.
From a professional writer LinkedIn profile to a custom, author website – you need to control how you present yourself online.
Authors who learn how to promote themselves and their book are the authors who make money. It isn’t just the revenue from the books, in fact, often the book is a loss-leader, meaning you won’t make much on your book – where you will make your revenue is from speaking engagements and consulting services you provide.
If you don’t offer something like this, you will have to rely solely on recouping the cost of the book. This is harder to do and takes laser-like focus and determination, and you will need to promote on a large, nationwide or international scale.
If you’re not sure where or how to start, marketing coaching for authors is a fantastic step. I work with select authors helping them understand their category, their audience and how to market themselves in a way that covers positioning, presenting and promoting – all in a positive, professional manner. (How’s that for some alliteration?)
If you think you’d be a good candidate for my program just reach out at Leah@visionforcemarketing.com