The Entrepreneurial Author: Four Tips For Marketing Your Book
By Jane Wesman, President, Jane Wesman Public Relations, Inc.
In today’s hyper-competitive publishing world your job as an author does not end when your book is written. The most successful writers are those who think like entrepreneurs – especially when it comes to marketing their books.
The key to becoming an entrepreneurial author is to recognize that you are the lynch pin around which your book’s promotion revolves. No one cares more about its success than you. When writers ask me for advice, here are a few of the things I tell them.
1. Articulate Your Goals
Just like a great business leader, you need to articulate your goals right from the start. What is it that you really want to accomplish? Is your goal to sell as many books as possible? Do you want to use your book as a marketing tool for your business or profession? Are you looking for new clients or trying to build your speaking career? Or do you have other objectives in mind? Think this through carefully, so you are able to state your goals and commit to achieving them.
2. Identify Your Platform
As an author, you are unique and have certain resources or a “platform” that you can mobilize. Begin by developing an email list of people who will be interested in your book. This includes customers, friends, associates, suppliers, golf and tennis partners, or any group of people with whom you interact such as members of non-profit organizations or clubs to which you belong. If you post on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or write a blog, then you have a ready-made platform and audience right there. The same is true if you are a professional speaker or journalist. Another way to build your platform and spread the word is to ask your colleagues or friends to help by tapping their own email lists and networks. Think big as you develop your list of resources. Consider all of the opportunities and venues that are open to you.
3. Budget Your Time And Your Money
All successful businesses have budgets and you will need one too. How much time and money can you spend marketing your book? Can you devote a solid three months to promoting it or do you have business and family commitments that must come first? How much money can you invest in the marketing process? Be realistic about what you can afford to do.
4. Build A Team
Once you have articulated your goals, identified resources, and established a budget, you’re ready to assemble a marketing team just like an entrepreneur launching a new business. Your team might consist of a publicist, website designer, and a social media expert – or a public relations agency that provides all of these services. When choosing your team, look for people who specialize in marketing books, who understand what works and what will be a waste of your time and money. Make sure you are comfortable with each of the team members and that you can openly communicate your goals and expectations with them.
Launching your book is an exciting process. At first, it can seem daunting. But these four simple steps will help you lay the groundwork for a successful campaign. Let me know if you need more information. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.