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Are you an Author or an Authorpreneur?

Jan 13, 2021

There are two categories of writers.

The first category is the writer who is an author who writes for self-expression, the author who has a story to tell and simply has the need to get it out.

The second category is the writer author who is also an entrepreneur—the mashup is authorpreneur.

An authorpreneur is an entrepreneur who offers products and services based on their books.

If you’re in category 1—the writer author--carry on.

If you’re in category 2—the authorpreneur--read on.

People will argue on the number of steps or paths or characteristics it takes to build a  successful book business. I’m going to suggest that there are three absolutes that everybody can agree upon: Strategy, Brand, and P&L.

Strategy

Your strategy is the nitty-gritty-nuts-and-bolts of the mission and purpose. The strategy is the formula that brings the mission to life; it’s parsing out the pieces of your mission and creating the formula of X to Y by When.  

For example, say your mission is to have a positive global influence and share a message of hope. That mission translates into strategy when you determine that to be a global thought leader you have to offer keynotes and speeches, you have to have your books translated into other languages, and you have to build a business model that is scalable; and all within a specified period of time. 

 X is where you are today; to Y is when you’ve gotten your first international speaking engagement or you’ve gotten your book translated into a foreign language or when you hire your first consultant--you decide what the Y is; and When? Set yourself a timeline and stick to it.

The book is part of that strategy--it is your calling card, it is a marketing tool, it establishes your credibility, and it sets you apart. 

Remember, your strategy is to make your mission your identity. Focus your efforts on developing a solid value proposition and build distinctive capabilities that set you apart and provide a unique solution.  

  • What are your strategic goals this week? This month? This year?

Brand

Your author brand is an ongoing, continually evolving story that communicates what makes you and your work unique. Building a brand is based upon what you and only you can provide your audience. Your brand is an implied promise to your readers of what they can expect you to consistently deliver.

You build your brand through LinkedIn, social media, blogging, interviews, commenting, guest blogging, new products, speaking engagements, just to name a few.

You can expand your brand by introducing new products that support and reinforce your book’s message. Spend some time on product ideation. Set yourself a goal to come up with a new product idea once a month. Think beyond the book!

  • What are your brand goals this week? This month? This year?

Building on your title and name recognition and attracting audience awareness should be part of your daily routine. If you’re not posting something somewhere every day, you’re losing the eyes and interest of your audience. 

P&L (Profit and Loss sheet)

I can easily determine whether you’re an author or an authorpreneur and that’s by asking you which is more important--your margin or your mission. I quote this frequently to our clients:

No margin, No mission.

 A business requires margin--even non-profits have to make money to keep the lights on. If you don’t care about the margin, you’re an author, and good for you. If you care about the margins and you’re willing to put in the work, you’re an authorpreneur.

If you’re an authorpreneur you know your numbers backward and forwards. Your P&L is your Bible and your financial diary. 

Your P&L is like the dashboard of a car. Your P&L tells you how fast you’re driving and whether or not you’re driving on a full tank of gas and it tells you whether or not you’re driving in the right direction. Your dashboard will tell you if you’re driving with the check engine light flashing or if the tire pressure is low.

 Can you imagine driving without a dashboard? That’s what running a book business without a P&L is.  

You don’t have any experience with finance and P&Ls? Try QuickBooks or make an appointment with Juxtabook and they’ll share some tips and tools. I also highly recommend Entrepreneur’s Paradox by Curtis Morley--an excellent resource for the first-time entrepreneur. 

 (P.S. Keep a careful eye on that dashboard so you’ll know when to hire an accountant.)

  • What are your P&L goals this week? This month? This year?

Where are you on your authorpreneur absolutes? I challenge you to right now go back through this post and write down your weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. 

A goal not written is just a wish. 

Make it happen my fellow Authorpreneurs! And if you're stuck, contact Juxtabook.

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