The Business of Being an Author

Although most think writing a book is a daunting task, and it truly is, the business of being an author is by far more arduous. Writing a book has a beginning and an end. The business of being an author never ends as long as an author wants to sell their books.
That is why it is so difficult for most authors who truly just want to write. Yet without developing a business plan and working on the business strategy of being an author, your book will not sell and the best book in the world could fall on non existent eyes.
One of the challenges is there are too many choices for getting your book out into the world. It’s like developing ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) overnight. Depending on who you ask, and it is strictly a personal choice of comfort. There are so many tasks related to marketing your book, it could paralyze you before you ever got started.
I like to recommend starting with the marketing programs each person is the most comfortable. If you enjoy speaking to groups, large or small, you might want to start at your local library, bookstores for a book signing or even service organizations such as Rotary, Lions, Kiwani, chamber of commerce and an often overlooked organization, the Soroptimist International. The latter is more difficult to find a contact, but you can look to your chamber directory for a listing. This group is often fondly referred to “the animal circuit” by seasoned speakers. It’s a great way to develop a comfort level of being in front of groups and testing your material.
Without out a doubt, speaking is the number one method of gaining an audience and developing a professional image. It is not common for authors to be comfortable speaking to groups, but from my own personal experience, anyone can learn to enjoy it. You can enroll in speaker training programs, join with other groups of speakers and gain from their knowledge or the way I did it, just get out there and speak at least once a week.
It is important to be able to develop your database through the people you meet while speaking. I learned from a well known author to give away a book, CD or something related to what I was speaking about to be able to ask for business cards and then draw from the cards to award one of the attendees with a free gift. Some of the people I first met speaking more than 20 years ago are still following my progress through my newsletter and will even show up when I speak locally.
My second most effective marketing concept is developing relationships through social media. My top two sites are Facebook and LinkedIn. I have been able to create hundreds of interviews, webinars and joint ventures through just those two sites. Those connections lead to developing a broader cross section in my database, more exposure and a resource to continue my education beyond any other activity.
Webinars and Teleseminars are an effective means of promoting your book and your intellectual knowledge. When you use social media sites to promote your events, just by the nature of the large and diverse audience, you will gain more followers and loyal fans.
My favorite activity in social media however is joint ventures. Everyone in business is looking to expand their database and gain more exposure. Working in a collaborative relationship with someone you meet through social media will help you gain a more targeted and rapidly growing following. It is very possible to build your database from scratch to ten thousand in six months by using this method. Imagine creating a six figure income from this one avenue of promoting your book. It is very possible and will take less effort than nearly any other task you might attempt.
One of my other successful marketing concepts is AM radio station interviews. I mention AM because of the difference in how many books I sell on AM station interviews compared to Internet based programs. Although both lead to wonderful exposure, if the name of the game is selling your books, AM is the way to go. There are many programs you can purchase to establish the “how to” of radio interviews including how to find the right match of program for your topic. You can even find a generous list by Internet searching for “Talk Shows.”
You should be spending about 20 hours a week marketing your book, five hours a week with social media activity, conducting a teleseminar or webinar as well as speaking at least once a week to gain the visibility you’ll want to achieve. There are more than 30 marketing activities you can perform as an author and more than enough for anyone’s comfort zone. The main thing to remember is to be consistent in your marketing and hire out what you don’t enjoy doing!