An authorpreneur (author + entrepreneur) is an author who recognizes what it takes to be successful as an author in today’s world–not twenty years ago. An authorpreneur takes habits from highly successful entrepreneurs and implements them into selling their book. An authorpreneur isn’t just a writer; an authorpreneur is a speaker, social media strategist, networker, etc. The authorpreneur recognizes that the book is just a piece of the puzzle, a product that supports and is supported by speaking, blogging, networking, etc.
In order to be truly successful as an authorprenuer today, there needs to be a delicate balance of purposely and specifically targeting the niche audience while at the same time using a variety of well-rounded strategical practices to target them. The first piece to becoming a well-rounded authorpreneur?
Consider yourself to be a thought leader.
It really does start with developing the mindset. Considering oneself to be a thought leader is vital for any authorpreneur, regardless of genre. Tom Rath, the bestselling author of Strengths Finders 2.0, says in his bio that he is a “leading business thinker.” E.L. James of Fifty Shades of Grey, another bestselling author, could be considered a thought leader in married couples rediscovering lusty bliss. Their paths to becoming thought leaders were likely very different, but it is the “thought leader” assumption that gave them the chutzpah to get there in the first place.
An author who considers himself/herself to be a thought leader is going to approach marketing in a much more expansive way that than an author who considers himself/herself to be just a writer. To become a writer, you have to write a book and find a way for it to be published, which isn’t hard in today’s world (but it IS hard to do WELL). For the thought leader, the book isn’t the destination, but a step on the never-ending road to the destination. The thought leader has a mission outside the book, and the book exists to support that mission. Becoming a thought leader doesn’t happen overnight, but over much dedicated time embracing many tools and mediums to deliver the message–not to deliver the book alone. For the thought leader, the book will deliver itself if the message is delivered effectively everywhere else (blogs, speaking, media, social media, etc.).
Do you know any successful authorpreneurs who have become thought leaders? What characteristics do you see them exhibiting? What tools are they using? Are they clearly trying to sell their book, or are they selling a message through many different channels?