Learning how to become an authorpreneur is something that every author should know how to do.
It is more important than ever before to build a brand in order to sell your books and make your career as an author a success.
To succeed, you will need to think beyond one-off book marketing and instead think of yourself and your books as part of a larger brand. Then, you will need to apply entrepreneurial thinking so you can grow that brand.
If you have been wondering how to become an authorpreneur, or what steps you need to take to start, we will go over that and more.
This guide to becoming an authorpreneur includes:
What is an authorpreneur?
An authorpreneur is an author who offers products or services beyond their book. These things are usually an extension of their book or series, can be related to their characters, or can be supplementary information that helps their readers implement and get results from the things they share in their book.
Back in the day, many authors were just able to start writing a book when they felt inspired about a topic or had a story to tell. They were the creative force and left the promoting and selling of their book up to a publisher.
Now, many authors are taking control of the marketing and sales for their own books.
These authors come up with a marketing plan, go on digital book tours to promote the book, start a whole brand around being an author, and more.
While a traditional publisher may take on some of the burdens of doing your book marketing, they also take a large percentage of your royalties. And even if you have a mainstream publisher, there is still a ton of pressure to cultivate your own online presence to leverage and promote your books.
Thousands of people have become successful self-published authors by doing their own promotions. This is a growing trend in the publishing world, with many people preferring to become an authorpreneur, and extend their book brand into other business opportunities.
Why you should become an authorpreneur
It is no secret that selling books is hard. Most authors do not break past the first few hundred books sold. When an author has a powerful brand or a big social media following, it can become easier to sell books.
But even then, the success of your book relies solely on book sales.
As an authorpreneur, you can create different streams of income, taking your success beyond the book.
For example, you can create an online course teaching people how to implement what you write about in your book, you can provide one-on-one coaching with people who read your book, you can use your book as a way to generate more leads for your done-for-you-services, and more.
Think of your book as your business card or your lead magnet.
Once your book is written and published, your options are truly endless. But you do need to have a vision in order to stay focused and now how to set up the best author business for you.
How to become an authorpreneur
If you are ready to launch your brand as an author and dedicate yourself to learning how to become an authorpreneur, here are some tips to get started.
1. Mentally commit to the journey
Now, this doesn't really seem like a “step,” but so much of building your authorpreneur brand is mental. So it's important you spend time getting your mind ready for the journey.
You now will need to think like a business person, which uses different parts of your brain than you use to write your books and be creative.
This likely means learning some business basics, such as how to promote your book in creative, affordable ways, how to create a book funnel that turns readers into customers, how to use Facebook ads for books (and other ads platforms), how to get more reviews, and more.
But don't worry – support is here!
Having a strong support system, resources, coach, and community will help make your authorpreneur journey a lot easier. All you have to do is commit to putting in the work and be open to learning and implementing new things.
2. Figure out your brand
You most likely have a certain niche you like to write for or an angle you use with most of your books.
You will want to take the time to map out not only what kind of books you like to write, but also what others who write those types of books do. Take a page out of the marketing playbook and deep dive into who your ideal reader is, the books they read, and the authors they follow.
The reason you want to do this is so you can hone your marketing and advertising. When you know who wants to read your books, you can fine-tune your book title, book subtitle, book description, and all the other messaging you'll use to capture the attention of potential readers and pique their interest.
For example, think about Stephen King. He writes spooky horror stories and has built his entire brand around stories that scare people.
If someone wants to read scary stories, he will often be one of the first authors someone thinks of.
That is the power of branding and knowing your messaging.
3. Select your marketing channels
Now that you know your brand is about and are ready to put in the work, it is time to put together a full plan for how you are going to grow your brand as an authorpreneur.
You will want to take the time to go over all of the available options and pick an option that makes the most sense for you, your current skills, your audience, and your author brand.
Some examples include:
- Writing and growing an author blog
- Starting a YouTube channel
- Starting a podcast
- Becoming a guest speaker on various channels
- Joining particular social media channels
Before you decide that you should do all of them, know that it's best to only pick one or two at a time. Master that channel before moving on to the next.
Keep in mind, you may have to test a few of the different options out there before you know what is best for you, but that's the journey of being an authorpreneur.
4. Always be branding
Imagine this is said with the passion of Alec Baldwin in his famous Glengarry Glen Ross role when he tells everyone, “Always be closing!”
He might be talking about real estate, but it applies to all authors as well. You need to constantly be thinking about your author brand and keeping your eyes open for new ways to grow it.
Entrepreneurs are always thinking about their business. And while you should have a good work/life balance, you need to be thinking about various ways you can sell more books and attract more readers. Whether that's carrying around a few spare copies of your book to share when you bump into a potential (ideal) new reader or spending some time each week updating your book ads, there's always something to try.
5. Measure everything
One key part of succeeding as an authorpreneur is keeping track of all the important metrics.
If you do not track all your efforts, you will not know things like if your email list or your BookTok TikTok efforts brought in more readers.
By tracking and later reviewing your numbers, you can quickly and clearly see what is and is not working. Then, you can easily see where you should put more of your focus when you have a new promotion, a relaunch, or a completely new book to launch.
A true authorpreneur knows exactly what brings in money for them – and what doesn't. If you are a creative person, it might be hard to think like this, but it is essential to develop these skills over time if you want to turn this into a career.
6. Learn from other authorpreneurs
If you take a look at almost any famous author out there, you will see a living example of how to become an authorpreneur.
Stephen King, Brendon Burchard, Seth Godin, Brené Brown, Eric Carle, and more have built wildly successful careers and businesses after a successful book launch.
Find an author who has a career you want to emulate and analyze everything they are currently doing. Keep track of what they do during book launches, what social media sites they're on, how they talk about their books, what their website looks like, and more.
Chances are, if your favorite successful authorpreneur is still doing a particular tactic, it's working for them. And it might work for you too.
While a lot of big authors have a team, it's still a great way to get marketing inspiration that you can adapt and apply to your own brand.
Ready to Launch Your Author Brand?
Having a bestselling book is the best way to become an authorpreneur.
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