I found writing for authorship a fulfilling, albeit timing consuming, endeavor. The prospects of publishing the piece added to, or should I say subtracted from, the time warp I experienced every time, especially as I was working full-time while writing each one of my now four published novels. Regardless, having the time isn’t enough. Is it? Even if you do manage to schedule the timing of every part of your juggling act to perfection.
There is so much else to being an Indie author besides writing good books that readers want to read. Once the book is written the biggest challenge a writer—prospective author—faces, be it self-published or traditionally published, is exposure to his or her target audience of readers.
Many of us take the simplest route, which is not simple at all; we publish. Then, we wait, expecting our masterpiece to be discovered among the millions of books in the marketplace. Here’s where I start talking about your brand. Whether you are Stephen King, your main character is Harry Potter, or your books are set in Narnia, there IS branding involved.
There are several very good resources on self-publishing. Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn, for example, is an amazingly resourceful and straight-forward author-entrepreneur. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast team are nice, helpful folks as well if you write in these genres (and even if you don’t).
There are many other resources I’ve discovered during my own process of publishing. But … in-depth, targeted, branding self-help has not been as easy to find. I’ve run across a useful blog post here, or a video there, and I’m sure there are great books with chapters on establishing an author platform somewhere. However, compiling tips from ten different resources probably means missing a good portion of what is useful for YOU. It can be tedious endeavor (and time consuming) and if you don’t know what to search for in the first place it is easy to become distracted by a myriad of other topics interspersed among your hit list—, “relevant” or not. I know.
That all said, I’ll be honest, marketing in the traditional sense is not my forte. Besides, you’ve probably heard it before: what works for one writer will not work for another. Therefore, I’ll steer clear of suggesting that branding will lead to direct sales of books, although I do feel strongly about an entrepreneurial approach. Just like readers of your creative work(s), your business voice will ring true to the right person(s). And, in the long run, your brand will make you money, indirectly, but it must start somewhere.
establishing an author platform
As an author, myself what I am offering is my knowledge and experience as a long-time graphic designer and web developer to help you set up your author brand. I mean to save you time and inadvertently make you money from your author platform. Because I know what you’re going through … every step of the way.
I’ve had to learn how to publish a book without having a crew of specialists to walk me through the process. One, I wanted to do it myself. Two, even though uploading to online venues is free, publishing can cost a lot of money and that was money I just didn’t have. And three, I was lucky to have the skill set and experience to take care of many of the costly pieces (like the book cover design and interior file formatting). That said, while I am proud of myself for being both an author and publisher, we all know writing the book and submitting the files to a sales venue is not enough. It doesn’t end there. Ideally, it wouldn’t begin there either. It would begin with establishing your platform.
Author-entrepreneur is right.
If you’re interested … forge onward to the details of author brand coaching.