I have worked with many authors over the years. I have also trained many of them in classrooms and conferences. There are many authors who just want to write a book and have it published, and maybe do a book signing or two if need be. But in today’s technological environment you need more: authors need to have an online business.
Publishing House Marketing Isn’t Enough
The glory days of being agented, selling your title to a publisher, and having them market your book at bookstores and elsewhere are mostly gone. Oh sure, you can still have all those things happen—if you are one of the chosen few. Nowadays, however, if you do not have a strong author platform, you may not win the support of a traditional publisher. And even if you do, you have to come with backing.
How Can You Gain Backing?
Part of building the author platform that garners the attention of publishers now includes an online presence. It is no longer sufficient to say what you are willing to do from a marketing perspective to support your own book sales. Now you need to have social media evidence that you have a fan base and can spread the word about your book. How many Twitter followers to you have? Do you have any listeners on your podcasts? How many connections on LinkedIn follow your Pulse articles and engage with you about them?
How Can an Online Business Help?
Successful online entrepreneurs like Connie Ragen Green suggest that having a thriving online business requires a consistent, high content presence online. This means that you need to be writing, blogging, posting, tweeting, and podcasting to build your audience and your credibility. Green’s book titled Book. Blog. Broadcast: The Trifecta of Entrepreneurial Success helps authors (among others) to see how they can use their writing to create an online business and build an author platform. (I encourage you to pick up the book. It is one that you “don’t just read; you ‘do.’”) Having an online business will “not only take you out of your comfort zone but will catapult you into the spotlight,” which is exactly what you need as a successful author.
A Supportive Revenue Stream
I have always told my students and clients that when you become a published author, you are creating a business. If you intend to actually sell your books, you are creating a new stream of income from which you can deduct expenses (talk to your tax professional about how to structure this). To support this venture in today’s Internet world and to elevate your platform and presence, authors need to have an online business. Leave me a comment to share your thoughts about this—do you agree or disagree?