5 Reasons Why Authors Today Must Possess Entrepreneurial Skills
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Who is an entrepreneur? Well, we all know anyone who creates a product or a design to provide a service, makes it useful and commercial and find ways to reach out to his target customers.
Now, who is an author? A couple of decades ago the definition of an author was purely one dimensional; a person who writes a book and is published by a publisher. However, the definition has now changed. Today an author creates his product; which is her or his manuscript, ensures that it will give readers some value and finds, connects and interacts with the potential target readers. So essentially this is how an author is an entrepreneur. This change is large because publishing tools, scopes and expertise are now easily available. Concepts of self-publishing companies and print on demand have also given an opportunity for authors to get their work published easily. But at the same time, they have to take greater control over their book and use different routes to reach the target readers. Also, now with a heavy proportion of books selling online, apart from the traditional distribution system what is imperative is to make the book reach the right places online.
The following are the 5 strong reasons why authors thus today possess entrepreneurial skills: -
The most prime reason is that authors turn an idea into creation just like an entrepreneur. Authors get the chance to pitch their book idea with commercial viability to literary agents and publishers and editors. The pitch has to be clear about the book’s strengths, its reader base and its uniqueness. Thus, an author must have the ability to understand business and the financial viability of a book project. She must be also possessing negotiation and convincing skills and at the same time once published, an author today has to manage their own image and the book’s branding and reach as well. So, she must have managerial skills too.
The number of books published today is staggeringly high. So, there are more options for people. In this scenario, an author must know what are the Unique Selling Points of her book. She must be able to bring out how the book is a different and better option for the readers. Here innovation too plays a role. Just like an entrepreneur, an author too must have unique ways of reaching her best potential readers. So even before writing the book an author today must know – who will be reading her books and why? How different approaches can she take to be interactive with readers and give them some incentive to read?
Just like products and services of businesses focus on customer feedback, review and referral programs; authors too must be able to do so today. With major book sales now also happening online; the authors have to ensure that they seek online feedback about readers’ reading experience and ratings for the book. As book readers online rely heavily on the book reviews and ratings so the author must know how to get reviews from readers, testimonials from literary influencers and they must have a plan to clearly spread the message for garnering customer feedback.
Again, as an entrepreneur has to also constantly build a network of like-minded and mutually beneficial individuals; an author too must forge connection so that they can make collaborations with fellow artists, bloggers and others. This has become essential to increase book branding. Authors can easily connect with suitable content creators and even merchandise partners to help them make their book a brand. But again, to reach such arrangements the author must have something to offer in exchange. But for this, here once again innovative thinking and a promotional model must be ready with the author.
The most important thing that draws a parallel between an author and an entrepreneur is in this fact that both have to know how to market and promote their creation.
Today readers mostly come across a new book online; through reviews, shared posts and eye-grabbing video trailers. Also, potential readers’ interest today has to be grabbed swiftly through the messages of and about the book. An intriguing tagline and a crisp but gritty blurb today are more important for a book than ever before. For all these the authors must have a blueprint about how to promote and brand the book. Just like any other product books to today need referral programs, cashback options or discount offers and other incentives.
These are only some of the very essential reasons why authors must be eager to take greater control over their books and acquire entrepreneurial traits. Although it is a common belief that the author’s role is sterner in self-publishing what we today see is even bestselling authors from Multinational Publishing Companies too are increasingly focusing on building their own market niche. Maybe that is why the term ‘authorpreneur’ become so popular in this decade.