I know a pastor who puts three titles on his email signature. He doesn’t just list “Pastor”, he lists:
Visioneer * Guide * Pastor
Just as this pastor believes that he is more than a pastor, you, too, are more than an author.
With close to two million books published every year in the world, you have to be more than an author to sell your books. You must add a couple more roles. To sell books, you should also be a marketer and a thought leader.
I know that sounds overwhelming. You’re probably thinking, “You have got to be kidding. Now, in addition to writing compelling prose, I have to also become a marketing ninja and a persuasion guru.”
It’s not as complicated as that, but yes, you do need to be more than an author. To put it more simply, you also have to be able to convince people to buy your book and have your ideas taken seriously.
Let’s take a closer look at these two additional roles of marketer and thought leader.
A marketer is simply someone that promotes or sells a product or service. In your case, you are promoting your book. You do this anytime you draw readers’ attention to your book. Whether this is through social media, speaking engagements, paid advertisements, book signings, or other marketing avenues, when you participate in activities that draw people’s attention to your book, you are fulfilling this role.
Most authors understand that they must sometimes put on the marketer hat to sell books. Many authors don’t like this role. They prefer to just write. Sadly, writing alone no longer sells books. The competition is too fierce.
A thought leader is someone who has authoritative or influential views on a subject. All nonfiction authors should consider themselves a thought leader. After all, you wrote the book on the subject. This means you are an expert and have an influential view of the subject matter. Fiction authors are thought leaders in the genre they write in.
Thought leaders spread their influence through blogs, articles, books, and speaking engagements. Your readers view you, the author, as a thought leader and look to you for advice and guidance.
As an author, you are also a thought leader for good books. The interest in books is still high for those who like to read. Your followers and fans are hungry for good book recommendations. As a thought leader and author, you should be recommending books to your audience.
Many authors are reluctant to recommend books to their audience because they feel that they are pointing these people away from their books to someone else’s book. This simply is not true.
Fans of an author really love it when the author introduces them to good books by other authors in the same genre. Doing this keeps your name in front of these readers and helps their trust in you grow.
No longer think of yourself as just an author. Remember, if you are selling your books, you are more than an author, you are also a marketer and a thought leader. Now you have three titles you can add to your signature.
P.S. If you need more marketing ideas, you can preorder the Fourth Edition of my book, Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books!
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Photo courtesy of geralt.