Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to speak with and observe hundreds of authors, many of whom have self published. What has become clear to me is there are some common characteristics of authors who have achieved their goals versus those who have been disappointed in their results. Recent news has more and more examples of authors who have bypassed the traditional publishing route and turned to indie publishing to get their books in the hands of readers. So what do those authors, who have been pleased with the outcome, have in common? Here are my conclusions.
1. They know their audience and can describe them.
If you assume someone has a well written book, I actually think this is the most important contributor to success. I ask authors to describe their audience to me all the time and I am amazed at how many authors have not thought about that question at all or have unrealistic expectations. One time I asked an author who the audience was for his book was and he very sincerely and seriously told me every man, woman and child living on this planet. While I appreciate his ambition, he will never evercome close to reaching that goal and therefore will likely be unsatisfied. On the other hand, I have met authors their audience by gender and interests and where they look for information and that is very helpful because it is a key driver to the marketing plan for the book. It helps focus activity so that you reach out to a specific group of people and is particularly helpful with social media.
So that’s one secret. Over the next few posts I will share the other six I see as being critical to success for self published authors.