Whether this is your first book or twentieth, the publishing industry has changed and the lion’s share of the marketing, promotion and publicity pushes are now up to you. It’s time to get down to business.
Remember when we talked about a Book Business Plan? Well now we’re going go a little further and show you the ways to gain real success with ten of the most powerful elements of that Book Business Plan.
Yes you’re a writer, an author, a creative problem solver for your plot and characters and boy you are good at it. So now you’re faced with the challenge of plotting your own success as an author but there’s no need to be afraid. Whether you gauge your success in the amount of money you make, the fact that your book is on a bookstore shelf, the best selling in its genre or simply the best selling e-book of the month, it’s important to you.
None of it will happen without at least trying these Ten Tools for Author Success. I’m going to cover these vital tools right here, one tool at a time. Here’s what we’ll cover in this and my following entries.
Ten Tools for Author Success
- Tool 1, Have a Plan
- Tool 2, Find Your Unique Hooks
- Tool 3, Build Your Platforms
- Tool 4, Understand Your Market
- Tool 5, Publicity
- Tool 6, Your Image
- Tool 7, Marketing
- Tool 8, Promotion
- Tool 9, Resources Required
- Tool 10, Follow up
TOOL 1 – HAVE A PLAN
What are your goals? If this is your first book, what are your publisher’s expectations? How do you propose to let the world know you have a book coming out and how do you intend to approach your market? In other words … what’s your plan?
In order to create a competitive plan, you need competitive strategies. You can start by looking to your publisher. Ask them what they expect from your book. Which of their books, genres and authors are most successful and why?
Now, knowing what expectations your publisher has, you can multiply that and set a sales goal you’ll be proud of. Within your goals should be the following categories:
- Pre-launch exposure
- How many pre-orders or readers do you want on a waiting list for your book? This will determine how active your pre-launch marketing and publicity will need to be.
- First three months sales
- Research the market, know standard sales numbers for your genre and make it BIGGER. A book’s success or failure is based on its first quarter sales, don’t sell yourself short. Set high goals and push for them.
- Responses to your platform elements
- You’ll see later in Tool #3 that you’ll have many platforms from which to shout about your book. Decide now how active you want the response rate to be on those platforms. This way you’ll have viewing and response goals to reach. Of course, responses can only be made to a statement and you are the only one to make the statements, so knowing how active you want your prospective readers to be, pretty much determines how proactive you are going to need to be within your platforms.
- Demand for the next book
- Effective platforms and promotional efforts can create demand for more books from an author. Is this something you want? If so, add it to your goals list.
- 5 year sales goals
- Look at your author career – where do you want to be in five years? Does writing A LOT fit into that image? Do you want to use revenue earned from your books to improve your life? The sad truth is that most authors simply can’t live on what they earn as writers, but with a plan, strategies and goals that are clear, you can create an income to substantially add to your dreams and lifestyle. It doesn’t just happen. It must be set as a goal and made part of the plan.
- Number of successful books in 10 years
- Seriously think about this. Some writers see themselves as the author of one or two books, the creator of a mega success that rocks the world and then they can retire. There is a difference between fantasy, goals and strategic plans. Building a career demands you identify that career. If you want a booming writing career over 10 years, you may need to plan seven to ten books, several articles and short pieces published in collections, compilations or publications, speaking engagements, possibly writing in several genres or even adding non-fiction to your mix. This is a “going wide” strategy instead of a “going deep strategy” that limits the writer to a single genre or non-fiction subject. There are several industry theories on both approaches to building an author career, but the most important opinion is yours. You’ll be living the career and doing the work.
Remember, you’re not just an author; you’re an author building a career. Once your goals are set, it’s easy to take the following tools and put a strong, effective plan in play!
Next time, I’ll be covering Tool #2, Finding Your Unique Hooks to create powerful marketing strategies.
See you then … because, after all, what’s more erotic than a SUCCESSFUL AUTHOR?