Adite Banerjie | Paromita Goswami | Preethi Venugopala | Reet Singh | Ruchi Singh | Saiswaroopa Iyer | Sudesna Ghosh
A for Authorpreneur
What does authorpreneur mean?
In short, it stands for an author who also does a lot of things an entrepreneur would do. Authorpreneurs view their books not just as art but also as products. Thus, they promote their sale, act professionally, and tackle marketing. An authorpreneur (to some extent) is business-minded, publishes more than one book, and diligently cultivates an online presence. Authorpreneurship is closely linked to being aware of one’s author brand.
What is an author brand?
Like with a product brand, it is something people (customers/readers) automatically associate with your name; it makes you stand out. In much the same way that Lindt stands for expensive, sinfully tasty chocolate or Nike stands for trendy, sporty fashion, your author name will stand for a certain type of books. Famous authors like Nora Roberts, J. K. Rowling, Nicholas Sparks or Stephen King are all considered as brands because you immediate recognize their name and know what types of books they stand for. In much the same way, successful author branding will mean that your name causes a certain emotional resonance, conjures up certain images and hopefully acts as a buying impulse. Achieving this is key in authorpreneurship.
Why is it necessary?
The stronger your presence, the more fine-tuned to your readership and the more convincing your marketing, the better your sales. And as an authorpreneur, sales are as important to you as exposure and expressing yourself, as well as relying on self-publishing (or going the traditional route). If seeing a cover of yours or hearing a title of yours is a ‘light bulb’ moment for readers and is tied to certain emotional reactions, it might cause a buying impulse. As an authorpreneur, by the way, you should keep informed about latest trends, about your competitors, about readers’ demands and publishing opportunities. If you’re informed, you can act professionally and proactively.
The graphic aspects
Some people think it’s enough to have a beautiful logo or write your name on the cover in a certain way. While this is certainly beneficial to your visibility and credibility as an author, it is only one aspect of many. That being said, the visual presentation does play an important role. Just like a company has a corporate image that will be reflected in all advertising and to which all marketing campaigns are tailored, your author brand should reflect in your covers and social media posts. Keep the style the same, evoke the same emotions. Do you write fun, lighthearted, sweet romance? Do you focus on witches? Do you excel at fast-paced thrillers set in exotic locations? Pick one aspect (or one per series). This aspect should come across in your covers and images used on blogs and social media too. It can also be condensed into a tagline (romance with a heart, for example) and mentioned in your author bio. If people come to associate black and white graphics with a certain colourful font or a woman with a weapon with your books, then they will automatically think of you when they see them online, and make the connection to your books. Like entrepreneurs, authorpreneurs need to see their venture into the publishing world as a start-up, build a reader base, do some networking, etc.
How to be a successful authorpreneur
Ideally, you identify your (potential) readers, analyze your writing, and create an author persona that takes both these aspects into consideration. Be consistent once you’ve established what works. Even if you write in various genres, remember your USP (unique selling point) and highlight it in all your works and promotions. Stick to the same branding on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, website, etc. Even on printed matter if you have it, like posters, business cards or bookmarks.
Being an authorpreneur is about recognition, and about making a promise to a customer, and that message needs to be delivered. Even if you don’t deliberately think of your author behaviour, you’re leaving an impression just by posting online and publishing your books. So why not sit down and think of exactly what you want to stand for and how to attract readers? Find your author personality, make it yours, and in turn make readers and bloggers connect with you. We all know from experience how brand loyalty can lead to buying products in all other aspects of life… For additional advice, you might want to check out this blog post.