This post is the second part on how to be a savvy author. You can read Part 1 here.
What does it mean to be a ‘savvy author?
It means recognising all the opportunities and possibilities available to writers today to help you build your Author Business.
#1. Be an Explosion of Creativity
Today it has never been easier to market your book or get attention. But the rise of the internet also means there are a lot more people out there.
There is more noise. So you need to be a signal amongst the noise.
It’s the signal that stands out and really gets the real attention. Everything else is just background noise which eventually dissolves away. So you need to think creatively about how to write and get your book to market.
Call to Action: if you are typing your words have you considered dictation? If you are blogging, have you thought about vlogging (blogging in video form)?
Again, for those of you early on in your writing journey, all of this can be overwhelming (this includes me!) so pick one thing first and try it out.
I started with blogging and use only one social media tool (Twitter). Once I am comfortable with these I will move onto new things (as long as it does not affect my writing). Writers need to write first!
#2. Make your Book the Best it can be
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the pressure of having to release your book as soon as possible. What we tend to forget is that writing a book is a huge undertaking! Its something that will take time so why not give it your best shot before you send it out into the world?
Remember the 80/20 principle? 80 % of your time should go into creating the best product you can, 20% can go on marketing and selling. If you spend the time now to make the book the best it can be, then the book will sell itself.
Your book itself is the best form of marketing.
I was in quite a rush to get my book out to market but then decided to give it the time and care it needs. If you are in this for the long-term then there is no rush.
Each book is a foundation stone. Make each book strong.
Call to Action: commit to creating the best book you can, given your time and budget constraints.
As a minimum you should invest in professional editing and cover design. Give up those $3 coffees for three months and put that money aside to invest in your book.
#3. Start a blog
I used to get quite annoyed at being told to blog. I didn’t know if I had anything useful to say. The technical side of the set up also seemed confusing at first. But actually it can be a really good tool to:
- Develop and establish your voice
- Own a particular niche and build credibility
- Establish yourself as an expert or authority figure
- Provide potential to turn your blog posts into a book!
I started this blog as a place to document my learnings about self-publishing and share my author journey as an Author Entrepreneur.
It’s also a resource I am building to help other people with their own writing journey and to show how authors can become entrepreneurs.
I also love learning about writing and the publishing process and want to share my learnings with others.
Call to Action: start a blog today and commit to posting on a consistent basis (once a week? Once a month?). What ever it is, stick to and commit to this frequency to build trust with your audience.
Start with a free WordPress blog if you want to take the easy option (although I recommend you own your own site and domain).
Here is a video tutorial by Joanna Penn of the Creative Penn to help you set up a self hosted WordPress site in under 30 mins. This is the tutorial I used to help me get started.
#4. Book titles with ‘How To…’.
These books typically tend to sell well. This is because they appeal to readers who are looking for hard practical advice. I
f you are writing non-fiction then this is probably more relevant. Think about the last five books you bought. What called out to you to buy them?
Call To Action: Brainstorm for 30 minutes on potential book titles or take an existing title and rework it to include the phrase ‘How to…’. What other titles do you come up with? Do they stand out better? Test them with friends/ family.
#5. How to be a Successful Author Entrepreneur?
Successful authors are also successful business people! Hugh Howey negotiated to keep his e-book rights. JK Rowling sells her books through her own publishing company so keeps all the revenue! Think big and think smart.
Your book is a product you can license multiple times.
You can turn your one book into multiple products such an audio books, print books as well as an online course. So many opportunities are opening up and we are only at the very beginning!
Call To Action: If you already have a book, have you thought about translating it into a different format or a different language? Are you selling in multiple countries? And if you are still writing that first book…then start thinking about these possibilities now!
#6. Get your Book into Existence!
There are so many distractions around, all competing for our attention, that it can be hard to get the work done and create the book.
I know I can get bogged down in the unimportant stuff which leads to overwhelm. But you need to focus on the basics first.
Get your book into the world (self publishing has made this easier) and then you can move onto the next stage such as contacting agents and marketing. But first things first, get the book out!
What do you struggle with as an author entrepreneur? Please join in the discussion below.