Writing your book is easy; marketing your book is hard.
Why? Because most authors approach the process backwards. Book selling is not about writing amazing books and attracting readers in droves. It is about finding, engaging, and building your audience and writing the book they want. Yes, you read that right: it is not about you, it is about them.
Most authors find this out right before they publish their books. It is that moment of truth when one of two scenarios happen:
- Submission to a traditional publishing house and rejection because the author doesn’t have a large following
- Submission to a self-publisher who asks questions about author platform building
It doesn’t matter which publishing route you take. The bottom line is in order to sell books, you need to have an audience. Most authors don’t even know that they needed to do this. When this realization hits most authors, they scramble for the free resources on the Internet. Yes, those free resources that are mostly written by people who have never published and marketed their own books.
An author platform is a complex interaction between business and relationships. The good news is that once your platform is built, it opens up a variety of opportunities. If you build your author platform and your goal is to be a speaker, speaking doors will open. If your goal is to coach, you have already built relationships that attract new clients.
The key to building all of this is to be able to begin the process and stay the course without getting overwhelmed. For most new authors, a website, blog, and email list-building are new concepts. Many new authors have no idea how to brand themselves or use social media to build relationships and a sense of community. Overwhelm leads to breakdown and this is why most authors fail at book marketing.
Another complication in this process is that platform building is not a one-size fits all prospect. Delivery is dependent upon your demographic. Your niche audience and social media strategies will be built around your demographic. If you are a 20-something snowboarder, your audience is not the over-50 crowd on LinkedIn. More than likely, you will be targeting Instagram or Snapchat with images that will attract people to your snowboarding platform. Every piece of the platform puzzle needs to be analyzed and approached in a strategic manner.
Without getting too far into what this is all about, there are 4 main components to making money with your books and they all happen before you before or during the writing process.
- Planning- This is everything from budget, publishing medium, niche identification, and platform choice.
- Set-up- This is your web presence. Whether you love or hate the web, the reality is that most of today’s bestselling authors are masters at Internet marketing and you have to be too. They are selling more than books and rocking it all!
- Communicating who you are- Consistent branding across all platforms and authenticity.
- Usage- Audience building. Who is your niche audience, what do they want, how do you find out what they want, where you will build your community.
To put those 4 concepts into perspective, without a plan, nothing works. Without set-up, you will be nowhere. If you are not communicating who you are through branding, no one will know who you are. Without usage, there will be no relationship and community building. Every piece of the puzzle works with another piece to bring it all together into a successful venture.