These days, it’s rare for authors to get published unless they have a web presence. Literary agents and publishers want to see an online following via a blog, social media and more. So what do aspiring authors do? They create one. They start blogging and getting on board with social media to share their expertise or interests, and they realize that with consistency and quality they can creat a clout of followers that have begun turning to them for answers, for inspiration and as an industry authority.
When an author with a strong online audience starts publishing a book, they’ve got a fan base that not only ensures their success but that helps propel it forward.
So what’s it got to do with those without aspirations about become the next great American novelist? It’s simple. Apply the same strategy to your business and you’ve got two things…a golden formula for branding and a way to generate additional income.
How Self-Publishing Factors into Marketing
If you’ve published a book, you’ve become an authority. Not many people ask you “well how many books have you actually sold?” People don’t really think that way. Just knowing you’ve got a book out there gives consumers a sense of confidence in your abilities.
Having published a successfully-selling book on the other hand, opens more business opportunities, be it speaking engagements, panel talks or serving as a consultant. Big dollar businesses are looking for reliability and know how. Having a book they can read to really get to know what you’re all about offers them security in knowing that hiring you as a consultant or contractor won’t be a waste of time.
Self-publishing also offers you control. Get a standard publisher and your work turns from a Proust into a Patterson – it’s barely recognizable anymore and not authentic to your voice. Authenticity sells and self-publishing lets you do that. Going it on your own also halts the lengthy process from finding an agent to a publisher to the endless drafts and then finally to the product. If you’re writing about anything digital or trending, you need to publish quickly so you can stay on top of the conversation.
Don’t thrust yourself into a five-hundred page book. Start small with white papers that will do four things: 1) help you learn how to write effectively, 2) create an audience that now knows you can do more than just blog tidbits but also produce real content, 3) it will help you gauge what kind of readership you’re getting for larger content production and 4) it will help you determine which subjects and styles are most popular amongst your audience.
This is a key marketing tool that helps you get to the next book-publishing stage as a better prepared marketer and writer.
Once you’re ready to publish, you can obtain a number of self-publishing tools. I recommend using Amazon.com’s new self-publishing tool, which will also allow readers to download your work onto their Kindles. Amazon is without doubt a juggernaut book seller and with their new self-publishing service, they’re a force to be reckoned with. Don’t waste your time with anyone else – rather go to the biggest vendor out there that can help you reach the highest number of people and make the process easier for them too.
The downside with writing a book is obviously the time it takes. You can take an easy route by turning all your blog posts into a book. If you’re looking to write something original then you really need to break down your time. Allot something as little as an hour a day (realistically 2 hours) toward your book. Also remember that no one really cares about longer works; it doesn’t have to be 100+ pages when something like 50-70 pages will work just as well. Plus you can sell that for a smaller amount and reap in the volume over cost formula that’s always done well for other people.
And Check Out Benchmark’s Writer’s Manual!
Benchmark Email highly recommends our free PDF, Online Marketing for Writers & Authors, which takes you step by step through the process of building that internet following that will lead to recognition and success.