Aspiring authors often don’t start promoting themselves and their works until after they get published. And while this decision isn’t the most crucial element to your success, it does have several benefits that can influence the outcome of your debut.
Marketing your brand early is largely an advantage for aspiring authors and one that is affordable enough to pull off by yourself. Before you bow out of this idea, consider the following ways having one can influence your career:
Increase your chances of getting published
This is primarily true for nonfiction authors. If you’re going to establish yourself as an authority on something, agents and publishers need to verify your credibility. For academic, political, and scientific books, a professional license and a few years of experience may be enough. For personal development and lifestyle issues, however, simply being an enthusiast won’t cut it.
Agents are more likely to take you seriously if you have a blog, vlog, or any social media account that has amassed a considerable following. More than hitting an impressive ten-thousand or a million-follower mark, there needs to be sufficient engagement in your posts to prove that you didn’t just buy bots.
After all, publishing is still a business. The bigger your chances of getting sales through your platform, the better your chances of seeing your dreams materialize.
Publishers won’t do everything for you
Yes, there’s a marketing budget, but unless you’re David Baldacci or Sophia Kinsella, you won’t get a book tour on your debut. Large publishers have big names to cater to, and small publishers rarely have the means and the staff to tell the world your book exists. This means that somewhere down the road, you’ll have to promote your brand by yourself.
Think of it as being the CEO of your own company. To get the visibility and sales you need to rack up those royalties, you need to put as much effort as you can into marketing.
Learn the ropes early
You’ll inevitably encounter pitfalls as you launch your brand, and you won’t want to do that when your book’s reputation and sales are on the line. Starting early gives you the margin for error that you need. This means you’ll have the time to invest in a good camera for taking photos and maybe learn a few editing software. If technology isn’t your friend, look up image enhancement services to fix your photos for you. Photos are your first and most important touchpoints with potential followers and are therefore worthy investments.
You’ll also have time to discover your aesthetics and revamp your brand until you find the one that suits you best. It’s not a good idea to do this after your book is published and you’re gaining a considerable following, as it could either turn off your followers or confuse them.
Think like a businessman
You’ll rely primarily on your own efforts during your first years as a published author. If you’re going to be smart and intentional about building a career in writing, you better approach it with a businessman’s mindset. Build your brand early so you can look forward to a favorable outcome after you get published.