I know many authors don’t like the business side of the writing life. But the truth is that if you want to make a very good living from your writing, you need to create a business around the writing.
This is what author-entrepreneurs do.
I come from a business background so am comfortable with running a business, managing operations, finances and projects.
But I have little experience with marketing. Yet this is a key skill for being able to sell your books!
A few weeks ago, Helena Halme mentored me on a unique method that helps you as an author to understand your brand and how to create a marketing plan that suits you.
In today’s guest post, I asked Helena some questions on marketing, how the CreateThinkDo method (CTD) is helping authors and why authors need to care about marketing in today’s world.
Why do authors struggle with marketing so much?
I’m not sure authors are particularly bad at marketing – some are absolutely brilliant at it!
Authors are excellent story-tellers, inventing complicated characters and plots. They are talented communicators, able to provoke strong emotions in their readers, which is what we need to do when we sell something.
The difficulty arises when you have to market your own work.
I think that in any industry, it’s much more difficult to sell something you have made or produced yourself.
This kind of marketing needs an entrepreneurial approach, and a business head, which many creatives struggle with.
Plus writing a book is hard, dammit, so it sometimes surprises authors that they also have to work equally hard at marketing the book they’ve written and published.
What’s special about the Create Think Do (CTD) method?
CreateThinkDo helps authors – and all creatives – develop a unique marketing approach based on your individual needs and ambitions.
We help authors find their unique brand so that they can target their marketing activity and exploit technology to improve sales.
Through our one-to-one sessions, we build your author brand and find your keywords, which are used to develop a marketing strategy.
Each one of the two-hour sessions is tailored to the individual author, so you leave with a concrete plan of action.
Why do authors need to learn about keywords, marketing, etc.?
The only way to find readers for your books is through marketing. Most large publishing houses spend thousands of dollars on a new title to create a fan base for the author, or to launch a new title.
To compete with the dollars spent on advertising by the big boys, and to stand out from the thousands of new titles published every day, an author needs to get to grips with marketing.
We need the readers to buy our books, but for us authors to make a sustainable, long-term living out of writing we have to convince people to buy all or most of the books we write, in other words, buy into us.
It is therefore imperative that an author finds his or her tribe, people who love the author and her work.
To find these super fans, an author needs to be visible, communicate with the readers in a way that is unique to them; to develop an author brand.
How can you find your author brand?
The easiest way to find your brand is to find the specific keywords that apply to you as the person and the author.
The author keywords are also incredibly useful on social media and make it easier to be true to yourself when communicating with the world outside.
They ensure that your messages are written for your audiences. I have my keywords on the office wall to remind me what my brand is!
With the CreateThinkDo method, we help you find the best marketing strategy tailored specifically for you.
How can authors benefit from having a mentor?
Authors, like most creatives, may have a professional handicap of working on their own and often lack motivation or fail to see the progress they’ve made.
Sometimes authors also struggle to define their unique author brand and therefore find it hard to market their books. Or sometimes, an author just needs to re-evaluate the direction of their writing career.
I help writers at various stages of their careers, from those who are just starting out, to experienced authors who find the writing, publishing and marketing process daunting.
I also work with business people with a specialism – or passion – which they wish to turn into a non-fiction title to build their platform and to increase their authority in that field.
My clients tell me that they reach their goals a lot faster when they work with me. That’s the best compliment ever!
***Time – Sensitive offer from Helena***
Helena is sponsoring The Literary Consultancy’s Writer’s Day on 24th June 2017 with a free CreateThinkDo 2×2-hour sessions worth £250.
Former BBC journalist, bookseller and magazine editor, Helena Halme holds an MSc in Marketing and an MA in Creative Writing. Full-time author and mentor, Helena also acts as Nordic ambassador for The Alliance of Independent Authors and is a Fellow at CreateThinkDo.
Apart from writing stories set in her native Finland, Helena is addicted to Nordic Noir and dances to Abba songs when nobody’s watching.
Helena loves to share her experience in indie publishing with other authors and creatives. Find out more about Helena’s mentoring programmes here.
(Disclaimer: ALLi affiliate link)
How are you marketing your books? How do you define your author brand? Please share in the comments below and join the conversation.