Why Your New Book Is Like a Start-Up Business – for self-publishing authors

So you’re considering writing a book.  Or you recently were published.  Did you take some time to plan ahead?  It’s not too late if you didn’t.

In many ways, writing and publishing a book is like a new start-up business.  There are many things to consider once you make that big decision to self-publish.  Your new book is your new business.  You need to keep many things in mind prior to, during and after publishing.  Take some time to sit down and plan ahead.  Taking time periodically to evaluate, and possibly re-evaluate your plan, is necessary to ensure that you are still on the right track.  Following a few simple steps will help to keep your book, and you as an author, in business for a very long time.

  1. Before starting your project, determine what business you will be in.  This is an important initial step and everything you do should build from this.  What things are you interested in?  Will your book be a product of your interests?
  2. Describe your product.  What are the features?  Benefits?  Is your book a niche product?
  3. What are your goals and objectives?  This is an important step when starting off your new book and your business.  Determine where you want this business to go.  Things to consider are if you want to market this book locally, regionally, nationally or even world-wide.  After you determine this, then there are many directions and goals that should be considered.  Set goals for yourself and for the sale of the book itself.  Sit down every now and then and find out if those goals are reasonable, or perhaps they need to be changed.
  4. Target market.  Who do you want to buy your book?  We all would love to say that everyone will be interested and want to buy our books.  But the reality is that this is never, and will never be the case.  There is a market for everything, and now is the time to think about who that market will be for you. Things to thing about are your customer’s characteristics, their geography, age, gender, possibly even their income status.
  5. Competition.  Check out your competition for your book.  Has someone written anything similar?  Do some research and find things out about other books that compare to yours.
  6. Pricing and budget.  Pricing is an integral part of being able to set a budget for your book.  Pricing can be a critical piece of the puzzle.  You don’t want to set the price too high, and you certainly don’t want to short-change yourself by setting it too low.  Consider your competitors when setting your price. When determining your budget, be sure to set this to your comfort level.  The budget is one of the steps that should be evaluated on a continual basis.
  7. Inventory.  The last thing you want to happen is to not have books available when a person wants to buy.  On the other hand, you don’t want to have too many on-hand.
  8. Strategy.  Now it’s time to consider just about everything.  Creating your strategy can be overwhelming  if you let it.  Creating the strategy involves taking all these steps and running with them.  This, along with the steps that follow need to go hand-in-hand to achieve all the goals and objectives you set out to achieve.
  9.  Marketing.  Now the fun part.  There are so many things that go into marketing your book and your business.  The first would be to create your brand.  Your brand should reflect you as a writer, and more specifically your book from your brand.  Everything you do marketing-wise reflects your brand.  Marketing involves promotions, sales, advertising, distribution channels and much more.  Create a plan that satisfies all these things, and all things you want to do to market your creation.  Where do you want to make your book available for purchase?  Who will be selling your book?  What avenues do you want to use to advertise your book?  Marketing can be critical in making or breaking the success of your business.

Now you have buyers and fans, and you’ve sold millions of copies of your book.  Now what?  Follow up.  Hopefully you have created a brand that reflects you.  You want to make sure you keep those fans.  Don’t let them go!  Always be sure to keep in touch with them.  While there are a number of ways to do this, you have to decide what the best way is for you.  I’m sure with the success you had with this book, you’re going to write many more…..right?  Keeping in touch with your fans will make selling that next book that much easier.

Rob MangelsonABOUT ROB MANGELSON: Rob is a seasoned marketing professional with over fifteen years experience in multiple industries. His experience includes both traditional and online marketing offering unique understanding of a variety of markets. Through his experience and education, Rob has developed a keen sense of relationship and loyalty marketing in leading the Marketing process. He is currently a Marketing professional with Outskirts Press, a full-service, custom self-publishing and book marketing company out of Parker, Colorado that offers services for authors seeking a cost-effective, fast, and flexible way to publish and distribute their books worldwide while retaining all rights.

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