I just came across a great new word: Authorpreneur. The concept is obvious, and I’ve been explaining it to all of the authors I work with for at least ten years now. “I am looking for authors with an entrepreneurial spirit,” I’ve said countless times. Now, someone has coined the perfect word: Authorpreneur. And I’m officially appropriating it and offering you my own definition.
Authorpreneur: A writer who understands that to be a successful author in today’s market must work diligently, every day, to promote their books and their brand to the reading public.
The day of the self-published author is here. And it’s here to stay. The number of authors who are self-publishing has increased over 400,000 per year for the past four years. That means that over 1.5 million new books were self-published in 2018, the last year for which statistics are in. That number will surely increase when the 2019 statistics come out in a few more weeks.
KDP, Amazon’s direct publishing service, produces the vast number of these books. Most of their services are free, making it easy for anyone to publish a book without putting up any money. That means that many would-be authors think that they can literally do it all themselves at no cost. But as the competition increases, the more difficult it becomes for readers to find new authors. Here are some tips for becoming an authorpreneur.
- Marketing experts talk about “choice overload.” In other words, readers have so many choices in front of them that they just give up and purchase nothing. How do you convince prospective readers to choose your book over all the other possible choices? That’s the real trick to becoming an authorpreneur.
- People are still reading, but surveys show that they are reading less. That makes the competition for readers even more fierce. A good authorpreneur should promote reading—not just of their own books, but of other authors as well. Review and recommend other authors’ books to your readers, support your local library and literacy programs, post general articles about the benefits of reading, and look for other ways to encourage your friends and fans to read, read, read.
- Increasing your discoverability is key. As I mentioned earlier, we are plagued by choice overload, and if you are a first-time author, getting the attention of new readers is increasingly difficult. Make sure that you are up to date on SEO best practices, which now includes voice search for many of your potential readers. Don’t depend on just your Amazon listing to attract new readers. Successful authorpreneurs will use a variety of methods to gain recognition, including personal speaking engagements, writing articles in publications, online media presence, and more
I’ll be writing and speaking more throughout the year about how you can become an authorpreneur. Keep watching our newsletter and blog posts for more ideas to increase your book sales.