Have you ever watched American Idol, or the X Factor, or any show where contestants compete to win the big prize? I remember watching American Idol with a friend and she was rooting for her favorite singer to win. We got caught up in the drama and the suspense of it would the singer win or lose her big chance?
She worked so hard for the spotlight, what would happen if she didn't make it?
Why do you want to write a book? Is it a deep desire or just a “nice to have?” Are you hoping to promote your business, or tell your personal story?
The great thing is that you aren't competing with anyone else to tell your story. That applies even if you're writing a book to promote your business. Your business might have competitors, but your book won't.
Because no one can tell the story like you can. No one else can have the same life experiences or point of view, no matter how similar your businesses are. Even if your dream is to write a novel or memoir, no one else's story will ever be the same as yours. (If you're already an author, you know what I'm talking about!)
Even when it comes to marketing you are not competing. If your marketing is truly reflecting your story and your brand you won't look or sound like anyone else. (And that's the catch you have to publish a book that's as real and authentic as you are instead of being a copy of what everyone else is doing.)
That's what makes a book stand out. And probably that's why so many people say they want to write one!
So what do you need? An idea, a plan and persistence.
Your big book idea describes what you want to say, your plan (or outline) will give you the roadmap on how to say it and persistence will get you through the process.
Creatives know that it can be a challenge to take a right-brained person and drop them into a left-brained endeavor like running a business. Spreadsheets, accounting programs, business plans just thinking about those things can send a creative person into a tailspin.
What drives a lot of creative people into self employment is that they are stifled in structured work environments. I'm a business coach but I'm also a writer, a photographer and a musician (if my years in the high school band count).
After working as a copywriter in the fashion industry, I changed careers and went into information technology. It may seem like I made a huge leap from the right brain to the left, but actually it wasn't as big as it sounds. Learning a computer programming language was similar to learning any other language. In fact, when I met with the computer school's counselor I was told that people who had a background in music or languages actually had an advantage in learning computer programming.
Who'd have thought it? Most people believe that there's a firm line between the two worlds, but it is possible to cross from one to the other when necessary.
As a right-brained entrepreneur, are you dealing with any of these challenges? When you are creative and you want to be self-employed, you will have to deal with schedules, structure and systems. Otherwise, you'll either start a lot of projects and never finish anything, or spend a lot of time thinking about what you're going to do, but never starting. Putting a price on your creations can be challenge, especially if you feel that money doesn't mix with creative expression. Pricing is a challenge for most business owners, but you should never feel guilty about asking to be paid. On the other side of the coin, you'll work against yourself if you feel that being paid equals selling out. A lot of the time creative people are expected to give their work away for the “exposure.” Well, at what point have you been exposed enough? When do you start asking for compensation? If you don't have an answer to that, it's time to take an honest look at things. Are you running a charity or a business? Have you ever been told that you'll never make any money making art? Were you discouraged from becoming a writer because “books don't make any money?” When those messages are in the back of your mind, it will be difficult to build a successful business.
Being a creative entrepreneur comes with a built-in set of challenges, such as how to deal with structure when it feels totally uncomfortable.
Here are a few tips: Make a schedule for yourself nothing fancy. Just write down what you have to accomplish each day. When get distracted, it'll help to have your list of tasks to refer to. Hire help if you can. You may have a lot of interests, but some things are better left to the experts. Rather than struggle with an accounting program, you can have a bookkeeper handle things much quicker. Be honest about what you're good at, and what you're not so good at. Delegation is not a dirty word. If you can hand off administrative tasks to a VA or an assistant, you will have even more time to work on the things that you do best. Get a coach. No, I'm not suggesting that because I am a coach. I'm saying it because no one needs accountability like a right-brained entrepreneur. There's always a new idea that seems so much better than the idea you had yesterday. When you're always chasing the next new thing you're going to leave a trail of things undone. A coach will keep you honest by providing the feedback, direction and accountability that you require to stay on track.
If you're a right-brained entrepreneur you are a visionary. But every vision requires action so that you can bring it to life. It is possible to stop struggling and manage your creativity and your business.
When I first started using it, I was excited to connect with old friends and meet lots of new ones. Then it became overwhelming to try to be in so many places and make updates on all of them.
Then it got tiresome. Let's face it, there's no way to make it sound interesting if all you're talking about is what you had for breakfast. Here I am walking down the street. Here I am ordering coffee. Wow I'm stuck on the turnpike. Let me post a picture of this tree. Really?
Actually, social media can be a very useful tool, fun and doesn't have to require constant care and feeding. You can use it effectively without burning yourself out, wasting time or spamming others.
If you're an author who's got books to promote, it's really easier than you think.
Twitter good for quick interactions. Keeps your communication simple and straightforward. But don't spam your followers by asking them to buy your book. Mix your mentions in with other tweets. RT (retweet) interesting tweets so that you're not just focusing on you. It's an easy way to communicate and connect without the feeling of overwhelm that you may feel on other sites.
Facebook post your book cover, articles, share other posts, quotes, pictures, etc. Share your interests while you promote your books. Create a fan page to promote yourself as an author. But whatever you do, be yourself and don't feel compelled to say yes to every friend request.
LinkedIn actually a good place for writers to interact. Lots of writing and publishing groups and (for the freelancers out there) opportunities to get job offers. If you write business books, it's ideal because your potential readers will be on there. Good place to establish your “thought leader” creds.
Instagram when I got my book proof, I took a picture and posted it on my account as an announcement of my new book. At first I was skeptical about its usefulness, but it's actually fun to take pictures and share with your followers. it's yet another way to tell your story and like all social media, it's up to you how much you want to share.
Pandora Do your characters have a favorite song? Any music inspire you while you work? Share your playlist or your favorite songs with your readers.
Blog Talk Radio start a radio show or be a guest. Check out my radio show, Women Entrepreneurs Radio to get an idea of how it's done.
PinterestIf you're a visual person you'll easily get lost for essay writing serviceon this site. So, don't use it if you can't keep track of time! Set up boards to post pics that describe your characters or settings from your book. Writing non-fiction? Share pins that show locations you've visited, or perhaps are related to topics from your book. It's yet another way to reach potential readers, connect with others and share your interests.
Social media can help you to connect with readers around the world. But don't rely on just one way to reach out to your fans and promote your books. You'll never know where you'll find your readers or where they'll find you.
When I got the idea to write my first non-fiction book, Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life, I wanted to share my experiences with other corporate employees who were making career transitions. My intention was to show them how to use entrepreneurial thinking and apply it to their personal and professional lives.
But over time I found out that, based on the feedback I was receiving, my average reader was an entrepreneur not a corporate employee. Though it seems obvious to me now, at the time I didn't realize that my ideal reader would be different than the one I had in mind!
If want to use your book to promote your business, your ideal reader should be your ideal client. I remember speaking to an author who wanted to write a book about fathers being single parents. When I asked him who his ideal reader was, he said, “everyone!” Well, that does present a marketing challenge, doesn't it?
Just as you identify a target market for you business (if you own one), you should also have one for your book. The book subject category you pick will determine where the book will be sold in online or brick-and-mortar stores. If you want to see some examples of how books are listed, go to Amazon.com. You can use their listing of book categories to see where your book would go. When your ideal reader is looking for a book, what category will they look under?
When it comes to fiction, I think the same rules apply. You'll have to market to your target reader. What do you know about them? Are they looking for HEA (happy ever after) or would they rather read about lots of drama and angst? What are their expectations?
Research never hurts. So get out there and find out what's going on in your genre or in your field.Even with a target market in mind, stay open to the fact that other types of readers will respond to you.
Be authentic and write from the heart readers will pick up on it and they'll connect with your message.