10 Minutes of This Could Launch Your Career as a Published Author

Hi! It’s Mindy McHorse, excited to be back to talk about all the opportunities in self-publishing for copywriters and freelance writers. Because not only is self-publishing a viable path toward life as a published author …

It’s also an excellent way to make money, at least if you understand the power in persuasive writing.

Let me put it this way: There’s a very simple, easily doable thing that separates money-making book authors from all the other book authors out there …

Want to know what it is?

Marketing.

Back when I wanted to be just a writer and hadn’t yet discovered copywriting, marketing was the furthest thing from my mind. Marketing had nothing to do with writing. Marketing wasn’t sexy, or romantic, or, you know, interesting.

At least that’s what I (mistakenly) thought.

But, if you’re a copywriter, you already know what it takes to launch, market, and profit from a book.

By the way, this is true whether you take the traditional publishing route with a publishing house or whether you self-publish. Either way, the task of getting your book noticed and bought falls to you. Publishing houses generally lack the manpower and marketing muscle to get your book noticed above all the others that are out there.

But, with basic copywriting knowledge and a fair amount of dedication, you have the power to get your book noticed.

That’s why I want to launch right into setting up your marketing platform – before you write your book.

Most people do it the other way around. They write a book, then put together some kind of platform, then look around for buyers.

Except this approach won’t work in most cases.

That’s because, if you want your book to be a success, you need to know who you’re writing for. This is true whether you want to make a lot of money with your book, whether you want it to position you as an expert on something, or whether you’re just hoping to build credibility.

Now, what exactly does it mean to launch your marketing platform? It can mean a lot of things, but let’s just drill it down to the simplest explanation:

Put yourself online in a way that’s favorable to your book-writing goals.

That includes any combination of the following:

  • Public/online visibility
  • Online reputation
  • Number of social media followers
  • Number of blog readers
  • Visitors to your website
  • Connections on LinkedIn

Now, don’t look at this list and let your knees start quaking. You don’t have to do all of these things, and you certainly don’t have to do them all at once. Besides, what you do depends on the type of book you want to write, as I talked about yesterday.

For example, if you want to write a book that shows you’re an expert in software development so you can tap the copywriting needs of that market, build your connections with computer software professionals on LinkedIn.

If you want to write fiction for young adults, look for them on Tumblr or Instagram and build a following there.

If you want to write a how-to book on crafting, your prospects probably spend a lot of time on Pinterest.

Not sure where to find your audience? Look for the most successful self-published authors in the niche you want to write for and find out what they’re doing. Then do it. It’s at least a starting point.

Quick word of caution: When it comes to a marketing platform, you don’t want to overstretch yourself on too many social media channels and with too many daily blogging or posting obligations. If you do, you’ll never have time to write your book in the first place!

So today, just pick one action to start building your marketing platform, and start doing it. Maybe that means you put up a bare-bones website. Maybe you set up a Pinterest profile and tack up a few pins. Or, you bring your Twitter presence to life and follow other authors who are popular in your area of interest.

Pick one thing, and then spend at least 10 minutes on it every day. Starting now. (What’d you pick and why? Tell me here!)

Tomorrow, after you put in your 10 minutes on your new platform, we’ll talk about publishing plans.

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Published: April 28, 2015

9 Responses to “10 Minutes of This Could Launch Your Career as a Published Author”

  1. My area will be writing for the youth. I taught writing to 5th graders for 20 years and loved working with them. I would love to be able to write stories that would interest them. I have written a picture book and am interested in self publishing it on Amazon. I've thought of trying to get some of my short stories for YA in magazines. I'm hoping that what your telling us will be of help to me. Thank you.

    Lois PowellApril 28, 2015 at 3:18 pm

  2. Hi Mindy,

    You are spot-on regarding the importance of marketing! I wrote a history book that was published in 2008 by a highly regarded publishing house that has yet to pay the research expenses ($5700), much less show a profit!

    Having a title on the shelf or the web means nothing if it's not promoted ...

    I can't wait for your next article!

    Jeff PhisterApril 28, 2015 at 4:32 pm

  3. I have been a nurse for 35 years and have written articles for small groups of nurses and for women in my church. I am interested in writing a book for nurses and church women, respectively, on reaching out to others. Self-publishing seems a reasonable way to go.

    Guest (Diane Maurer)April 28, 2015 at 6:02 pm

  4. My background is in teaching, psychology, and health coaching. My focus is assisting others (women especially)in letting go, accepting, and embracing their inner bliss. I believe an e-newsletter with topics to include elements of a healthy lifestyle and that includes a brief blog/memoir would help to reach my target market.

    In2itivecassApril 28, 2015 at 11:12 pm

  5. Hi Mindy,

    I'm a fresh newbie! I use to write great papers in college, never got less than an A. I've always felt I had the talent to write, and have been told I'm pretty good.

    If I had to pick just one of the three marketing opportunities, I would pick the "Build Your Professional Freelance Website Now". The internet is everywhere! What better place to begin. I will have to say, I also like the B2B, but I had to choose. So, there is my choice.

    Guest (Jean)April 29, 2015 at 12:26 am

  6. Hi Mindy,

    First, I want to tell you that it was YOUR writing and presentation style that sold me on signing up for this site and giving copywriting a shot. And although I am very much a novice, I have always dreamed of being able to write the "great American novel". I love stories - reading them, hearing them and writing them, but I honestly have doubts that I have the necessary "chops" to create a literary masterpiece!

    However your advice really resonated with me because I feel that I have had to market myself throughout my career and life. Sometimes it can be such a drag to have to do it when searching for a job or trying to advance, even trying to just meet people (the worst of all!)

    I would welcome any advice.

    Guest (Melyssa)April 29, 2015 at 9:49 am

  7. 1st off, thank you! I appreciate all of you, reaching out to all of us! Helping to inspire motivation and dedication to one self expression, in a world that tends to feature:inorder to be financially prosperous, you must be miserablely dedicated to something that probably isn't your passion per se!It is nice to do things that we enjoy and see that there is hope! The amazing thing about my current works is that..EvErYoNe Is my demographic!Thank you for planting the seed of self publication! ***

    Guest (Cody)April 29, 2015 at 10:20 am

  8. Hi Mindy,

    Great strategy to start with the marketing very early in the process. Begin with the end in mind.

    For those interested in specific platforms for a complete launch, here's what I'm doing.

    I've decided on a strategy that utilizes Facebook and an iTunes podcast show, driving people to a blog.

    The blog will be designed to drive people to a membership site based on the New Rainmaker platform.

    CRM/email will be Infusionsoft, integrating with Clickfunnels for landing pages.

    ------------------- Note to Mindy & team: I decided to provide this level of detail because I look for it myself. But if it will overwhelm readers I'll understand if you decide not to post it.

    Jeff KlaubertApril 30, 2015 at 1:58 pm

  9. Me, I love to attend certain types of events that give me a greater edge and knowledge about the genre I'm writing about. For example, one of my books is about a unique couple who are involved in Asian pop culture. For that novel, I attend anime and manga conventions, ones that I can make it to. Going to these gives me an awesome perspective on this subculture, and I can gauge how and who to market to (anime/manga fans).

    Kimberly SmithApril 30, 2015 at 6:52 pm


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