There is a huge transition from being a “writer” – the one who works by himself to claiming authorship – the published author who has to promote his work. In fact, it takes great courage for writers to take that level of responsibility. Not getting ready for authorship can hold a writer’s career back with fewer opportunities to help get their names out and build a platform. Here are some of the common ways writers sabotage their ability to prepare for authorship.
1. They underestimate the planning and effort needed to engage with the marketplace in order to promote their work. Until you are ready to take the reins into your own hands to promote your book, you are still a writer. Publishers today do very little to promote your work. If you want to be an author, you need a robust marketing plan that is planned out at least six months before your publishing date and it’s essential to also have a post-publishing plan as well.
2. They get caught up with sales. This is a biggie – after all there’s lots of pressure made upon authors to constantly promote their books! Yet, a lot of writers want a “payback” in the form of sales. I get that sales are important, but you know what will bring those sales? Readers. If you forgo that connection, then you’ve missed building a platform that sells. Word-of-mouth marketing is the best kind of selling there is. Every time you find yourself looking at sales, ask yourself if you’ve done all that you can to fully connect with readers. Think of workshops, book talks, speaking engagements, webinars, teleseminars. The opportunities are endless!
3. They don’t have a long term marketing strategy. You aren’t in the business just to publish your first and only book, right? A long term marketing strategy requires investing in the publishing and marketing for your first book as well as leaving aside time to write additional books. Becoming an author requires long term thinking. What do you want your career to look like in 5-10-15 years? Do you want to still see yourself promoting over your first book?
4. They depend on the publisher to market and promote their books. Sadly, publishers don’t do very much for their authors these days. Even the bestselling New York Times authors are self-publishing their books to regain more control of the sales and marketing. Many authors like myself
5. They become distracted by the success of other authors. In the process of learning how to promote themselves, they inevitably compare themselves to the success of other authors, (this is very easy to do, I know!) which in turns, lowers one’s self-esteem. They think: “I’m never going to become like that author who does such and such.” So here’s a better way to go about it: If you’re an aspiring author, look at what these authors are doing right, and then aim for that. Make that your quarterly goal. Stay focused.
As you can see, there’s a lot of footwork involved in transitioning from the writer’s life to claiming authorship. It’s one of the hardest things to do.
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