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Authors: Listen Up!
You are a company.
Yes, that’s right. You are an entity that exists which conceives ideas, performs research, develops products, and brings them to market. That’s what other companies do, so why deny it?
1. You Conceive Ideas:
You do this because you’re a creative individual, who probably uses a combination of inspiration, dedication and frigging hard work to develop a story arc and write it convincingly, passionately, creatively.
These moments of inspiration, or enlightenment, or insight are the bare bones of your products: the books you write. Without conceiving ideas, you wouldn’t have any books to write. And before you can write a book, you have to have conceived an idea.
It’s simple, really: you conceive ideas that may or may not sell. Companies do this all the time. The ideas they conceive form the basis of corporate sustainability, expansion, and success. And in order to determine whether or not to bring them to market, they perform research.
2. You Perform Research:
Did you read my posting from the other day, “Hey First-Time Book Authors: 6 Essential Steps You MUST Take to Sell Your Book!“?
This should be your very first research assignment. It will suggest just how much research you must be willing to perform in order to sell your book. Well, you need to do just as much research, if not more, to determine whether or not your new idea will perform in the market at the level you require to make your bottom line.
First of all, you need to determine where your target audience resides online. By lurking, listening and learning (see the above mentioned blog posting for an understanding of what I mean), you will have a better understanding of what your target audience – more accurately, your targeted online community – wants, desires, aspires to, buys – and reads.
This will help you enormously in determining whether or not your newly conceived idea has enough market potential to proceed further in the product’s development.
In other words, the more you can understand about the buying habits of your targeted community, the more easily you can determine whether or not to produce the product you have in mind (that is, write the book that your idea has inspired).
It is through a similar research process that other companies determine whether or not to produce a new product inspired by a newly conceived idea. (Are you beginning to notice a pattern here?) And after deciding to go ahead? Then it’s time to Develop the Product.
3) You Develop Products:
Books. That’s what you’re in the business of producing. Or maybe articles, whitepapers or non-profit applications for money.
Whatever your business produces – read: whatever YOU produce – you still develop products. In your case, your products use raw materials of ideas, theories, feelings, processes, relationships, etc – all wrapped up in words. That’s what you’re in the business of producing: Products Constructed From Words.
So after all your research it’s now time to develop your new product, whether that idea was for a how-to book, a fictional novel, a graphic novel, a whitepaper or technical document for another company. Whatever the product you have chosen to develop, it’s now time to sit down and write.
But you’re a writer, so that’s not too hard. (Insert Laugh Track here.)
Well, okay, so writing is hard work. But you’ve got to do it. You’ve got your idea, you’ve done your research, you’ve said YES to the challenge – now get it done!
(INSERT: Very Long Pause)
4. You Bring Products to Market
Okay, so now you’re done. You’ve finished your work and now it’s time to sell it. This is where you’ve really got to read my previous blog posting, here: “Hey First-Time Book Authors: 6 Essential Steps You MUST Take to Sell Your Book!”
See how much work it is to sell a book? But let me reassure you – it CAN be done. With the right amount of effort, you CAN promote and sell your book.
But you are a company, remember?
And there’s something that every company needs to create: Their Brand. It’s called “Branding” – and every company does it whether they are aware of it or not. And so, guess what? This means that there’s something else that you have to do, too…
5. You Must Brand Your SELF!
to be continued… in Part II (coming up in my next blog posting)Oh… …if you’ve found this blog entry helpful then please tweet this to all your followers using the “share” button below! I’d like the chance to guide as many authors/publishers as I can!