Bestseller authors often need years and years to build up their audience, so it is surprising, that authors dream of their first book as a potential bestseller, and don’t realize that it takes a long time and hard work to get an audience, one reader at a time – especially if they did not do the ground work to build a huge following at Social Media, in reader forums or in real-life before they start publishing.
Author-Publishing is Like a New Profession
And professions need to be learned! It takes years to become an excellent writer and it also takes years to become an excellent publisher. It involves lots of skills and knowledge business-wise, marketing skills, not to mention, learning constantly new internet techniques and get to know the latest changes in publishing. Many authors have unrealistic expectations when it comes to the time required for effective book promotion and to make meaningful connections with readers. They expect wonders from a single sales campaign.
Take Advantage of their Knowledge
A book marketing professional has to learn years and years. Why, as an author, not take advantage of their knowledge to keep your head free for writing and interacting with readers? No one would start an accounting business without learning the ropes, and knowing how to create a revenue / expenses sheet or fill out income tax forms. Writing a book does not make for a publisher, no matter how clever businesses want you to imagine. Take the time to build your author platform and establish a brand, it will eventually give you an advantage in the market.
Who are Your Readers?
Authors often do very little research to really understand their audience. Asking: “Who is your audience and who is your competition?” one might receive only vague answers … Topics, that are not only very important for self-publishers, but also for authors who want to go with a traditional publisher. They need to proof to the agent or publisher that they have done their homework.
How Can You Research Your Competition?
First of all make a long list with possible keywords that readers might use to find a similar book.
Check out the complete categories / genres at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Apple, Sony, Google Books, Waterstones etc. and study all the books, that could be akin to your future work. Visit several public libraries to learn about your competition. Borrow the most interesting ones, not only to read them, but also to study the book layout and design. Read the online reviews of their books carefully!
- How many books of this topic / with the same keywords have been published already?
- Where are these books sold and for which price?
- In which format are they offered: e-book, print, audio-book?
- Who are the customers of these competing books?
- How are these books received and which ones are bestselling?
- Which categories did they choose, and which keywords?
- In which categories / genres are these competitive books listed?
- What cover designs have been chosen for these books?
- Which author represent him/herself and their book the best – via their Amazon and Goodreads author page, and on their website or blog?
According to a new report from Bowker, the number of self-published titles in 2012 jumped to more than 391,000, up 59 percent over 2011. The 2012 numbers will be published soon, but they might be even much higher – which means: more and more competition for authors.
Bowker explains: “The most successful self-publishers don’t view themselves as writers only, but as business owners. They invest in their businesses, hiring experts to fill skill gaps and to gain more time for writing.”
Becoming an author-publisher is a long-term commitment and requires hundreds of small steps on the path to success! Before you start writing, create yourself a road map. Take your time, see your writing & publishing as a long-term project and don’t have unrealistic expectations. First create a professional looking book, do the ground work to build up your author platform, and then have fun, winning one reader at a time. Becoming an author-publisher is a marathon, not a sprint, and it will require hundreds of small steps on the path to success! Before you start writing, create yourself a road map.
If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.
Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 970 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following: