I’ve been thinking over the break about some of the key things independent authors and publishers will need to do this year to take their author platforms to the next level and make more sales.
This year we’ll see more changes in the publishing industry, and those changes might have a direct impact on how we publish, promote and build platforms for creating wider author brand awareness.
But no matter what changes we see in publishing this year, there is two key factors that will be consistent with this year’s most successful authors.
1. Having a better book product than the authors next to you.
There’s going to be some good books published this year, and there’s going to be a slew of crap. You’ll need to become part of the cream that rises to the top. This means having better book cover design that stands out and conveys exactly what your book is about in 3 seconds.
This means keeping your promise to buyers, who have forked over their hard earned money to buy your book. It means making sure you’ve invested in your book with professional book editing and presentation.
If your book looks like a good product and your reader enjoys what they’ve read, then it’s going to be seen as great value for money.
Guess what happens then?
That reader talks about you. They spread the word on Facebook, they tell their friends over coffee, at school and at dinner.
That reader comes back to your website to see what else you have to offer. They want to see the face behind their new favourite book.
Will you be ready when this reader comes knocking?
Then you have some work to do. You have some required investment to make if you want this to happen for you.
And this leads us to our second key factor.
2. Increased discoverability
This year more writers will become authors, and authors will publish more books.
This means a larger sea of books to stand out in, and so the importance of discoverabililty is going to be a critical factor for finding a buying audience and growing your author brand.
What do I mean by the term “Discoverability?”
Discoverability is the ability for people to find and connect with you. How and where people find you, is what allows you to be “discovered.”
To increase your discoverability, you’ll want to take action on the following.
Provide value, in which people are entertained, educated or informed
People are in some fashion, self serving. It’s just the way the world is. So part of heightening your ability to be discovered, is being someone, having a destination that is perceived as valuable or interesting to your target audience.
- Nonfiction authors can provide solutions to people’s problems in the form of tips, fact sheets, videos, audio and training.
- Fiction authors can have more books available, free short stories, behind the scenes videos, illustrations, games and activities.
Do this well and you’ll be worthy of word of mouth, where your readers and visitors will go away talking about you, emailing others about you, tweeting and liking you.
Being visible to your target readers in all the places ‘they’ hang out
Consider where your readers spend time online, what do they consider their trusted source for entertainment and information? Then make sure you are visible there. This could be via Goodreads, Pinterest, Facebook, reader forums, magazine coverage and live events.
When you put these factors together you’ll create a perfect storm for building your author platform and selling more books.
There’s no question: this is the time to be an upcoming independent author star. This year’s successful authors will capitalise on all the available tools, service professionals and opportunities available to be the cream that rises to the top.
This is the year to make your mark, and I’m here to help you succeed.
Be the captain of your own ship.