Be sure to check out our podcasts and YouTube videos at the bottom of the page!

058 - Are you an Authorpreneur?

authorpreneur Jul 23, 2020

What is an authorpreneur? It’s a mix of two words “author” + “entrepreneur”. Authorpreneurs apply entrepreneurial skills and mindset to making a sustainable and ongoing living using a book. Are you trying to use a book to grow your business?

Hey guys! Nicole here!

There really are two kinds of authors…

  1. The writer looking to sell books and the business around their books, and
  2. The entrepreneur looking to write a book to get ahead in their business.

An author needs to become entrepreneurial if they want long term success…whatever category you fall into.

If you have the attitude…I will just put it out there and see what happens you are not an authorprenuer! An authorpreneur looks at writing a book with a different attitude…by choosing to do things to create awareness about why they are writing the book in the first place.

Business owners, authors, and impact changers are using a book to create value from ideas (out of their head). The business of the content and the strategy for what is produced is taken as seriously as the art of writing, if not more so. The content is designed to make an income for the entrepreneur. There is a long-term goal in mind.

You know, lots of people talk about a book like it’s giving birth to a baby. But, if you have a long term plan you might look at it like this is an employee in your business, or a marketing or business plan. A baby implies it requires nurturing…and so many books do. But, a book with a plan is going to work for you differently.

And, when you learn new things you can pivot your business. You can also build a scalable business from a book. You now have a product that can produce an income without you, and with you…you can promote the intellectual property you have just created…or the business behind the book. You see, you create the book once, but it exists for life and some years thereafter…depending on how you created awareness about both you and your book during life.

And, whether you are in the business of selling books or building a business using the book, you have a scalable asset that builds over time… you can up sell with courses, products, speaking, or other services as people come into your ecosystem. You can also license the book or the product or asset you’ve created. As well, Indie authors who are serious about making a living from self-published books need to treat their writing like a business.

If selling books is your thing, you can step away and books keep earning you income if you’re out there building awareness. This business can really grow over time. You can write a book and use it to build a platform, then add another book to pivot from that platform into another. The book can be leveraged to launch your speaking, coaching, training, or other new business.

So, what percentage of your business is currently scaleable?

And here’s something I learned recently, as I mostly help non-fiction authors, so this was new to me. I heard that with a fiction book it can be like winning the lottery. It never goes out of date because it’s a story. It can be harder to market, but if you get it right (write a good one), it can be turned into a movie or merchandise if everyone is talking about it.

Non fiction…requires some updating to keep current. It generally can be leveraged by helping to answer someones problem. Then it can generally lead into speaking and consulting.

So, again, there are really two business models:

  1. Be the author that puts out massive books with a huge production…like a book a month. All of your time is focused on writing. These books are generally romance, young adult, thrillers, or erotica. It’s common for most authors not to sell more than 500 books. This is why you have to generate so many books on a regular basis…and you have to have an engaged following. You also have to be speaking about the next book as your promoting the prior book.
  2. Books are a part of your business, but other things bring in income. You can make money from a podcast, YouTube channel, and you use your book as business card as you perhaps move toward consulting or speaking.

So, which are you? In the business of being an author or in the business you run by adding a book…the question might be who are you serving as an author? Is your goal to entertain, persuade, create awareness, or something else?

Is there someone doing what you are trying to do? Have you studied how they are doing it? If you have tried to do what they are but personalize it for your needs but its not working, have you considered where change is needed? Is it as simple as a new cover design or is there something about your platform that is lacking? Is your book speaking to an aligned business or client?

I had a new potential new client contact me to design and layout her book for Kindle last week. I figured she wouldn’t become a new client once she listened to what I had to say, but I felt compelled to educate her a bit more on the KDP model.

She is an entrepreneur and wanted to print a publication she had designed for her business and simply needed someone to lay it out for her. She had what would have amounted to a small booklet in terms of content. I explained to her that my layout fees are actually generally a bit more for kindle books because they are can be somewhat complicated in terms of bleeds, folds, margins, and centering the spine…sometimes they take several attempts of proof books to get it right. The quality is better than it used to be but, from a professional Designer’s standpoint, this system is clearly lacking. But, it does make for a great system for someone needing a quick print job done if they can get a file laid out inexpensively. I like to think it’s more for the quick publication of a business journal or workshop material, but mostly for the novel writer or first time author.

I generally specialize in high quality book production for business people looking to enhance their image with a top quality, content rich, and stage presence ready kind of book. I wanted to encourage her to not just increase her content, but also to consider a higher quality output, like through a professional printer…and to go hard cover with a jacket. I wanted to encourage her into writing a professional book to enhance her image and grow her business. I also wanted to educate her why she would never be taken seriously as a kindle published author.

Of course, having this conversation with someone just looking for a layout designer to take her book over the finish line was perhaps not getting her closer to getting her book done, and I was happy to work with her to layout her book. I just wanted her to know there is a difference. I wouldn’t be doing my job right if I didn’t schedule a call with her to educate her. I wanted to instill in her the idea of the authorpreneur.

In this business you see many things. But, what you see most of all is people that are not aware that a book will do nothing for them once they publish it….unless of course they get clear on why they wrote it. Those that come in hopeful this will get them attention just because they wrote it have been mislead by someone somewhere along the way.

Related, but a bit off subject…I was once considering creating a dog farm when I lived in Hawaii - breeding my beloved Chinese Shar Pei. But, my female developed some health issues and I knew quickly that her puppies would be inferior to the breed. They would have very likely been born with the severe allergies she had and at some point either returned to me hairless or dropped in an animal shelter due to the expense trying a variety of options for a cure. This breed can be quite expensive for care and many owners are taken advantage of by veterinary clinics unfamiliar with the breed. I decided it was best not to breed her.

So, it comes down to integrity before profit. It’s this same agenda that follows through into my work as a book publishing coach and designer. I want to stand in my integrity as I guide my clients, or potential clients, to the best solution. I want them to know what they can expect and I want to align them with the best solution. With this gal (the potential new client) I told her I’d be happy to lay out her book for my normal fees and additional hourly fees for each proof book we attempt to print through the print on demand system. I educated her about the trouble with the ISBN number they give you…it will always show you off as a kindle author and you will not be able to expand into bookstores or libraries as a result.

It reminds me of the days I used to teach yoga and quickly realized that I wanted to be tough on my students…not go easy. I didn’t want them to leave my class without a transformational experience. I would have been embarrassed if they had shown up in another teachers class not being enlightened by the practice and me as a teacher.

In summary, a book is not just about making a profit, but it is an opportunity to make a nice income and position you nicely if it’s played right. No matter what kind of authorprenuer you are aiming to be, you still have to create products and services that are based on your book. And, it goes without saying that you should be identifying your passion and line up the business accordingly. In other words, don’t write about something that won’t interest you in six months. Be clear on your purpose and why you feel compelled to share what you are with the world. Is this you mission, passion, or life purpose? If not, re-work it, if so then you also have to determine your brand or image—build your business by gathering your assets (for example, build your website and make sure it’s engaging). Know who your audience is and how to find them, then target market them. Make sure you are doing your best to build a top quality end product…hire the best coach, editor, designer, etc.) Make sure you are promoting your book well before you launch it. Don’t get a pallet of books from the printer and just start selling them—plan!

Continue to be valuable to your followers and readers by staying relevant with valuable content and social media updates to continue to engage readers…because you are an authorprenuer! Start acting like you own a business…not like you wrote a casual book for people to read in passing! You have to keep putting in time and effort for people to take you more seriously…thus driving your success.

OK guys…I hope you are staying engaged during these times. I know there is a lot of uncertainty. If you can focus its truly a great time to write a book! There is so much history to be captured and some of us have a bit more time to do that with the help of a book.

Stay strong! I’m wishing you peace, love, and light!

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.


50% Complete

Join Our Email List

When you join our email list you'll automatically get a free copy of Nicole's  
Let's Get Your Book Published ebook