All I have to say to a crowd of people is that I’m an author, and I see this statistic to be true: over 80 percent of Americans feel they have a book in them that is calling to be written, published and shared!
That’s exciting, especially since I know, first-hand, how stories (and books) and writers (and authors) change lives in very meaningful, real and impactful ways. But what I find even more interesting are their reasons why.
Pause for a moment and reflect on why you may want to write a book (or why you already have). In a connected world with a multitude of ways to say something, have you considered why writing a book is your method of choice?
You know it’s a time commitment. There’s no running from that.
You know it’s a financial investment. No matter your publishing approach, there will always be a financial investment of some sort if you want your book to accomplish the goals you have for it.
You know it requires persistence, dedication and commitment. Because … let’s be real … it’s a massive undertaking that requires you to keep pushing even when you’re tired, lack motivation, and are just over it.
You know it’s a vulnerable experience, exposing your perspective, your stories and, well, you in the process.
To others, the list of why not to publish a book may be enough to trade in the pen, keyboard or talk-to-text app and quit before you’ve even begun. But there’s a reason you haven’t. There’s a reason why you have taken on a goal so many have tried and yet so few have accomplished in their lifetime. There’s a reason, and understanding that reason can help you determine your marketing needs to support it.
Your why tells a story, too.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting dozens of authors (and working with them!). It’s become one of my favorite pastimes. Each author is as unique as their story. And each author’s process of writing, publishing and marketing their book fascinates me. I’m on the verge of needing new bookshelves to house all of the signed books that I’ve been collecting over the years from authors near and far. I figure that of all the things I could collect, author-signed books aren’t so bad! Right?!
In meeting and working with all types of authors – from memoir to historical fiction, nonfiction leadership to religious commentaries – I noticed that while each story is nuanced and laced with personal experiences only the author has, there tends to be a trend. And this trend isn’t something that is expected to go out of style and come back 40 years later (come on bell bottoms, stay in the 60s). This trend has become the cornerstone of the emPower PR Group’s meaningful work.
When asking an author why they wrote their book (or asking you why you may be considering writing one yourself), I’ve found that any answer can be categorized into one of three “why” buckets. The author wants to share a message, make a difference, and/or make money. Now, you may be thinking, “But Stephanie, I want to do all three of those things! Why would I write a book if I didn’t want to tell someone something, leave a lasting impact, or, God forbid, get rich quick?!” Yes, I realize this is an and/or not an either/or situation, but hear me out.
At the root of why you wrote your book (or are writing your book) there’s a single most important reason. I know this because I, too, experienced it.
I don’t care if I have 500 copies in my basement.
That’s the unexpected statement I told my husband after it all finally clicked to me as to why I was writing my book, Color Today Pretty: An Inspirational Guide to Living a Life in Perspective. I didn’t plan that answer; instead, it blurted out as if I had felt the need to convince him of this goal I had decided was a priority. (The funny thing was, he was on board before I was! The reality was that when I said this statement, I was convincing myself of my why.)
I had an itch to write a book. That itch started like a small bug bite that you don’t even know you have until you’ve scratched it so much that your skin turns red and raw, yelling for help, moisturizer and anti-itch cream. Yes, my book was like that itch. It wasn’t going to stop until I made it a reality. And I couldn’t figure out why I needed to write it until I told my husband what I felt deep within.
I didn’t write my book to become the next millionaire (which is smart because most authors never come close to reaching that accolade). I didn’t write my book to go on a speaking tour or form a business from it (although, surprisingly, that happened). I didn’t write my book to reach the masses. I wrote my book for the one … for that one person who needed to hear what I needed to hear. I wrote my book for me. With each chapter that I crafted, I shed tears of joy, vulnerability and peace. I knew that the book was a part of my cathartic release, and I knew someone else needed it, too. I just didn’t know who quite yet.
So, I walked up to my husband and boldly told him, if no one buys my book, that’s okay because I wrote it for me. AND, if I have 500 copies of it in my basement, that’s okay, too, because I have still proven to my kids that when you have a dream you can make it a reality.
There is a lot of flawed thinking in my declaration to my husband … but I didn’t know that yet. I just had a message that I knew I needed to share. Lucky for me, I learned that through the print on demand platform my publisher used, I didn’t have to have 500 copies in my basement (because there was no need for storing massive quantities of books when people can get one whenever they want!). And I learned that you can still prove something to yourself and your kids while also inspiring others. I accomplished that and became an Amazon #1 bestseller. I cried tears again that day … they were massive tears of joy!
Knowing your why helps develop your book’s marketing plan.
As excited as I was to write my book, I was even more excited to market it. Had I known the power of the emPowered Author Framework in 2018 when my first book was published, I could have saved myself hours by focusing my marketing efforts to align best with my why. I realize now it’s just that simple.
While working with authors across the globe, I’ve realized that understanding someone’s why will also help identify the most effective and strategic marketing efforts. This is important because it saves time, it saves resources, and it saves energy. In a world where new marketing opportunities seem as endless as the colors of M&M candies (and that’s a lot … go to the M&M store in Orlando and you’ll have a brain explosion moment), it’s important to make movement with strategy. And that just happens to be our motto here.
I wanted to give you a little insight into how we utilize our emPowered Author Framework to help authors accomplish the goals that they have for their books. And, how their why helps determine that.
Your why matters and so does your book.
Even though I know most people who dream of writing a book may never complete that bucket list goal, I continue to be amazed hearing their whys.
- “I have a message that I think could make a difference.”
- “I need to share this story.”
- “I want to reach people who are struggling, and I want to help them.”
- “I believe that what I went through has purpose. Maybe it can help someone else.”
- “I’m ready to quit my 9-to-5. And a book will help me do that.”
- “I want to leave a legacy.”
- “I want to inspire others in ways I can’t do otherwise.”
- “I want to prove to myself I can.”
- “I want to show the world that I can do anything.”
- “I want to build a passive income stream.”
- “I’m ready to be seen as THE subject matter expert in my field!”
- “It seems selfish not to share what I know.”
- “I want to share my story and my voice.”
Your why matters. Your message matters. Your book matters. And, here at the emPower PR Group, we make sure that your book marketing matters, too.
I’d love to know your why! Shoot me a message in LinkedIn DM with your reason for writing a book. It always inspires me.
And, let’s chat! I’d love to learn how the emPower PR Group can help you become an emPowered author!