As many writers have discovered, being a successful author requires more than just writing an awesome book. You send your manuscript out to every publisher, big and small, or even better yet, you self-publish your book through Amazon. Now, you sit back, eagerly awaiting the flood of readers yelling ‘Take my money!’, clamoring to purchase that book you are so proud of. In a matter of days, you will be a huge success and have piles of cash falling from the sky straight into your bank account.
You watch your computer screen as though at any second, bells and whistles will sound, heralding your status on the New York Times Bestsellers list.
You got a sale! Your excitement grows.
“This is it!” you tell yourself.
This is the life changing moment when you become a world-famous successful author. The hours slowly click by, your eyes become red and tired from watching your monitor, and your excitement has faded into despair. You hate yourself for being glued to the screen, but are unable to look away. You begin to tell yourself that you will shut it down for the night and not look again until morning. After all, a watched pot never boils. You manage to allow almost five minutes to click by before checking your sales again. You wonder what went wrong. Your book is awesome. You poured your heart and soul into creating this book only to feel disappointed, frustrated and even a little angry it didn’t sell the way that you expected. This leaves you with nagging questions.
- Why are there no buyers?
- What are you doing wrong?
- Why can’t they see what an amazing book this is?
- Why is the Universe fighting so hard against your success?
Cultivate reader relationships | Building your success
I have heard the above scenario way too many times from disappointed authors. Brilliant authors with exceptional writing abilities having little to no luck in the sale of their books.
Cultivating reader relationships with their prospective buyers is one thing that is missing.
Not only should an author concern themselves with the importance of creating their short stories, books or novels; there is also an importance in creating relationships with potential readers through multimedia, blogging, author/reader groups on Facebook and Twitter. Not to mention advertising through sites like “The Daily Bookworm” to help locate indie readers subscribed here to show off your awesome books.
Only in this manner can you, as a self-published author build your success.
I personally believe authors in this day and age need to create a presence online with a website and blog like WordPress to help drive free traffic to their website where their loyal and new readers can:
- Opt-in to your author’s email list.
- See what books you have to offer.
- Learn about new projects you are working on.
- Most importantly, get to know you.
You may currently have as many as one hundred loyal readers/friends or maybe as few as five. Build your success by cultivating relationships with all your readers through your email list and spending an hour or two on your blog each week, posting and answering questions. Visit other blogs and join in discussing topics that interest you. Expand those relationships you have with a few loyal readers into three thousand or more loyal followers. Cultivate three thousand loyal readers and your success will build itself.
Helping new authors | Friends and resources
You may be surprised to find that there are many social groups on Facebook, Twitter and blogs helping new authors to achieve success. They are good resources for the beginner and advanced author alike. A lot of the members have ‘been there, done that’. Make friends with these experienced authors. Help each other by posting on each others blogs. Read each others books and leave honest reviews, helping each other to rise in the rankings.
If you don’t understand WordPress and it seems to be too complicated, contact an experienced, professional internet Consultant like David Boozer. David works with WordPress and search engine optimization (SEO) everyday to help you create a website and blog that looks like it cost thousands of dollars for a fraction of the price.
If you are an imaginative writer with skill and interesting content, being a successful, present author is not difficult, but it does require the following:
- Being open and listening to other authors when they try to help you.
- You putting in the time and effort to be successful.
- Blogging and socializing at least weekly.
- Building your success by cultivating good relationships with readers as people, not just prospective buyers.
- Creating a presence online with your website and blog.
Amazon recently reported $21,270,000,000 in book sales in their 2nd quarter in 2012. That’s right, folks. Look at all of those zeros!!
What does this mean to you? Other than the fact that Amazon made a boatload of money in 2012? It means that as an author, you can jump in there and get your own piece of that pie. If you work hard enough and write great books, you might even be able to spring for a dollop of whipped cream. We are talking real cream here, not the non-dairy junk.
E-books are big business. The new customer/reader model is a person that is on the go and wants that new book by (insert your name here) right now! They want to pull out that Kindle and start reading. You need to position yourself so that you are one of the authors that they have heard buzz about on the internet.
If you want to be a successful author. You need to have the mindset that this is a career choice, you are in business for yourself and need to treat it as such. Sell your product. You need to work at selling your books like a Girl Scout working for her next badge. We don’t suggest standing in front of a Wal-Mart making doe eyes at passersby, but you get the idea. We hope.
Following the above suggestions will help you to achieve the success you deserve. Just remember to hop on that new blog, or log in to Facebook and work it!