Have you seen David Hancock’s view of an Entrepreneurial Author? He’s written a terrific book on the topic and posted this summary of his ideas as a Google knol.
What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneurial Author?
An Entrepreneurial Author is an author who knows that they will make the most money from what their book does for them — not from the royalties from that book.
An Entrepreneurial Author is an author who sees their book royalties as a small bonus for writing a book, but not the reason for writing a book.
An Entrepreneurial Author sees their book as a way to become a celebrity in their market — as a way to gain instant expert status.
An Entrepreneurial Author is concerned first and foremost about the readers of their book. They think about the benefits that the readers will gain by buying and reading the book. They also think in terms of the customers, the clients, or the constituency they serve.
An Entrepreneurial Author understands that a book is a powerful lead generation tool that can help grow their customer and prospect databases — customers or prospects who may go on to become life-long customers. They see their book as one of the tools for the top of their marketing funnel.
An Entrepreneurial Author understands that a book, with full bookstore distribution, can give them access to markets that they otherwise would not have had access to. They know that a book can open up new markets for them, providing access to new customers, new clients and new partners.
An Entrepreneurial Author understands that they can gain new speaking engagements and other opportunities to get in front of their target audience. “Now introducing Rick Frishman, author of the bestselling book, Guerrilla Publicity,” is a familiar sounding announcement when Rick goes on stage. Having a book title follow your name is a powerful credibility tool.
An Entrepreneurial Author takes advantage of all of the publicity and recognition that their book gives them in their local market and beyond.
An Entrepreneurial Author also uses their book, or the fact that they have been accepted by a publisher, to gain all of the publicity and recognition they can.
An Entrepreneurial Author uses their book to help them develop additional products. Examples could be a reading of the same book to create an audio CD product, a home-study course based on the principles of the book, or a workbook to compliment the content of the book.
An Entrepreneurial Author is prepared to build a very large business from the success of their book, the additional clientele their book brings, and the celebrity status their book gives. If they have an existing business, the book is a tool or an additional product or lead generator to augment their current success.
An Entrepreneurial Author is prepared to write their book in a manner that provides benefits to both their readers and to themselves. Their book is a tool for earning profit, and Entrepreneurial Authors recognize this and enjoy the benefits of the profit their book brings. For some Entrepreneurial Authors, publishing a book will make them more money with their current 9 to 5 job, by way of possible promotions, outside opportunities, or newfound credibility.
The marketing funnel.
Understanding the marketing funnel is one of the most basic, yet most important, lessons in marketing. The entire premise of the marketing funnel is the idea of the 80/20 rule, also known as Pareto’s law. The 80/20 rule simply states that 80% of your results will be generated by only 20% of your activities. Said another way, 80% of your revenue/income will come from 20% of your clients.
Now imagine there is a funnel, or inverted triangle. At the top of the funnel you have many customer or prospects who have bought a small-ticket product from you, or perhaps have merely requested information about your company or products.
At the bottom of the funnel you would find fewer customers or clients, but those who resulted in a greater percentage of profits for your business.
In order to find those “whale” customers, you must start by finding many “minnow” customers. As some of your customers get to know you better, like what you do, and trust you, they’re likely to purchase more from you and will naturally migrate down the funnel and become higher paying clients. Those who continue through your marketing funnel can also be developed into lifelong customers. Lifelong, evangelistic customers are a business’ greatest source of revenue and profits.
Your job is to find out what your customers, or target market, want, and to deliver it to them. You can even have your target market decide your book’s content for you.
Daniel Steel learned how to do this and became a huge success. She knew how to deliver what women wanted to read, though she didn’t know a comma from a colon. In Women’s Day, June, 1990, Steel said, “I am never lonely when I write. You concoct dream men because there are no men in your life.”
Think about just one additional product or service that you could offer your clientele that you’re not currently offering. It could be a big ticket item (over $1,000) or a small ticket item (under $1,000). Simply think of a new product or service that you’re not yet offering and write it down.
Here is a perfect example …
100 people buy a copy of your book
25 go online to claim the free bonus that you offer in your book
10 purchase a $97 audio recording from you
3 purchase a $397 home-study course
1 person hires you for consulting at $1,000/hour or attends your $5,000 seminar.
But, it’s not just about dollars and cents.
Entrepreneurial Authors do more than read books and attend seminars about achievement to success. They take action, do something, and shake the tree.
They know that their time on Earth is limited, that the most important time is right now, and they’ve got to get it right the first time. To do this, they go with the flow – their own flow – possessing the sensitivity to know what they really want, what they can do well, why they’re here, what they love to do, what is realistic, and what is possible.
An Entrepreneurial Author knows that the journey is the goal. They also realize that they are in control of their work, not the other way around, and that if they’re dissatisfied with their journey, they’re missing the point of the journey itself. Unlike old-fashioned authors, who are often required to make huge sacrifices for the sake of the goal, Entrepreneurial Authors place the goal of a pleasant journey ahead of the mere notion of sacrifices.
An Entrepreneurial Author achieves balance from the very start. They build free time into their work schedule, so that balance is part of their lives. They respect their leisure time as much as their work time, never allowing too much of one to interfere with the other. Traditional authors always place work ahead of leisure and show no respect for their own personal freedom. Entrepreneurs cherish their freedom as much as their work.
An Entrepreneurial Author is not in a hurry. A false need for speed frequently undermines even the best conceived strategies. Haste makes waste and sacrifices quality. The Entrepreneurial Author is fully aware that patience is their ally, and they have planned intelligently to eliminate most emergencies that call for moving fast. Their pace is always steady, but never rushed.
An Entrepreneurial Author uses stress as a benchmark. If they feel any stress, they know they must be going about things in the wrong way. Entrepreneurial Authors don’t accept stress as part of doing business and recognize any stress as a warning sign that something’s the matter in their work plan or in the business itself. Adjustments are made to eliminate the cause of the stress, rather than the stress itself.
An Entrepreneurial Author looks forward to work. They have a love affair with their work, and consider themselves blessed to be paid for doing the work they do. They are good at their work, energizing their passion in a quest to learn more and improve their understanding of it, thereby increasing their skills. The Entrepreneurial Author doesn’t think about retirement, for they never would want to stop doing work they love.
An Entrepreneurial Author has no weaknesses. They’re effective in every aspect of their enterprise because they’ve filled in the gaps between their strengths and talents with people who abound in the prowess they lack. They’re very much the team player, and team up with Entrepreneurs, like themselves, who share the team spirit and possess complementary skills. They value their teammates as much as old-fashioned authors value their independence.
An Entrepreneurial Author is fusion-oriented. They’re always on the alert to fuse their business with other enterprises in town, in America, and in the world. They’re willing to combine marketing efforts, production skills, information, leads, mailing lists, and anything else to increase their effectiveness and marketing reach, while reducing the cost of achieving those goals. Their fusion efforts are intentionally short-term and rarely permanent. In their business relationships, instead of thinking marriage, they think fling.
An Entrepreneurial Author does not kid themself. They know that if they overestimate their own abilities, they run the risk of skimping on the quality they give to their readers. They force themselves to face reality on a daily basis and realize that all of their business practices must always be evaluated in the glaring light of what is really happening, instead of what should be happening.
An Entrepreneurial Author lives in the present. They’re well-aware of the past and are very enticed by the future, but the “here and now” is where they reside, embracing the technologies of the present, leaving future technologies on the horizon. Future technologies belong on the horizon until later, when they’re ripe and ready. Entrepreneurial Authors are alert to the new, wary of the avant-garde, and only wooed from the old by improvement – not merely change.
An Entrepreneurial Author understands the precious nature of time. They don’t buy into the old lie that time is money and know in their hearts that time is far more important than money. They know that instead, time is life. They’re aware that their customers and prospects feel the same way about time, so they respect it and wouldn’t dare waste it. As a practicing Entrepreneurial Author, they’re the epitome of efficiency, but never let it interfere with their effectiveness.
An Entrepreneurial Author always operates according to a plan. They know who they are, where they’re going, and how they’ll get there. They’re prepared, know that anything can and will happen, and can deal with the barriers to their successes because their plan has foreseen and shown exactly how to surmount them. The Entrepreneurial Author reevaluates their plans regularly and does not hesitate to make changes in it; though commitment to the plan is part of their very being.
An Entrepreneurial Author is flexible. They’re guided by a strategy for success, and know the difference between a guide and a master. When it’s necessary for change, the Entrepreneurial Author changes, accepting change as part of the status quo, not ignoring or battling it. They’re able to adapt to new situations, realize service is whatever their customers want it to be, and know inflexible things become brittle and break.
An Entrepreneurial Author aims for results more than growth. They’re focused upon profitability and balance, vitality and improvement, and value and quality more than size and growth. Their plan calls for steadily increasing profits, without a sacrifice of personal time. Their actions are oriented to hitting those targets, instead of growing for the sake of growth alone. They’re wary of becoming large, and do not equate hugeness with excellence.
An Entrepreneurial Author is dependent upon many people. They know that the age of the lone wolf author, independent and proud of it, has passed. The Entrepreneurial Author is very dependent upon their fusion with business partners, their readers, and their mentors. They got where they are with their own wings, their own determination, their own smarts, and, as an Entrepreneurial Author, with a little help from a lot of friends.
An Entrepreneurial Author is constantly learning. A seagull flies in circles in the sky, looking for food in an endless quest. When it finally finds the food, the seagull lands, then eats its fill. When it has completed the meal, the seagull returns to the sky, only to fly in circles again, searching for food, although it has eaten. Humans have only one instinct that compares: the need for constant learning. Entrepreneurial Authors have this need in spades.
An Entrepreneurial Author is passionate about work. They have an enthusiasm for what they do that is apparent to everyone who sees their work. This enthusiasm spreads to everyone who works with them, even to their readers. In its purest form, this enthusiasm is best expressed as the word passion: an intense feeling that burns within and manifests in the devotion they demonstrate towards their business.
An Entrepreneurial Author is focused on the goal. They know balance doesn’t come easily, and they must rid themselves of the values and expectations of their ancestors. To do this, they must remain focused upon their journey, seeing the future clearly while concentrating upon the present. They’re aware that the minutiae of life and business can distract them. As a result, they do what’s necessary to make those distractions only momentary.
An Entrepreneurial Author is disciplined about the tasks at hand. They’re keenly aware that every time they write a task on their daily calendar, it’s a promise they’re making to themselves. As an Entrepreneurial Author who does not kid themself, they keep those promises, knowing that the achievement of their goals will be more than an adequate reward for their discipline. They find it easy to be disciplined because of the payback offered by the leisure that follows.
An Entrepreneurial Author is well-organized at home and at work. They know they waste valuable time looking for items that have been misplaced, so they organize as they work and as new work comes to them. Their sense of organization is fueled by the efficiency that results from it. While they’re always organized, the Entrepreneurial Author never squanders precious time by over-organizing.
An Entrepreneurial Author has an upbeat attitude. Because they know life is unfair, problems arise, to err is human, and the cool shall inherit the Earth, they manage to take obstacles in stride, keeping their perspective and their sense of humor. Their ever-present optimism is grounded in an ability to perceive the positive side of things, recognizing the negative, but never dwelling there. Their positivity is contagious.
An Entrepreneurial Author’s goals are work that is satisfying, enough money to enjoy freedom from worry about it, health good enough to take for granted, a bonding with others where you give and receive love and support, fun that is not pursued but is in the essence of daily living, and longevity to appreciate with wisdom that which you have achieved.
An Entrepreneurial Author understands their clients.
An Entrepreneurial Author is by their very definition, a good marketer. A good marketer understands their client base — as well as the target market.
Considering all aspects of your ideal customer or target client may not be necessary at this time. However, it’s a good idea for you to get a feel for whom you will be writing your book.
The more closely you can understand and associate with your ideal customer from your target market, the more impact your book, or any other material you create, will have. I believe in providing value to the greatest number of people possible.
That’s where the idea for our publishing model came from. We desired to serve more authors and more business people than traditional publishers did. Most people know that even getting an audience with a traditional publisher — let alone if you get picked up by one — can be a trying experience. Our goal was different.
Our goal has always been to see publishing from the point of view of our clients — those people whose businesses, lives, and careers would be positively impacted by writing and having a published book.
In this same way, put yourself in the shoes of those you wish to serve. What’s going on in their minds? What are their fears and concerns? What are they hopeful about? What do they look forward to?
When you answer these questions, you’ll begin to develop a clearer vision for what your book will be about and what your content should include.
Write down the answers to the following questions:
Who would you like to write your book for? i.e., Who do you think should be reading it, or would benefit from reading your book?
What information, knowledge, skills, or experiences would you like to share with this group of people you desire to serve?
After putting yourself in this person’s shoes, what comes to mind? What are the concerns and aspirations they have?
What are some of the ways that you can help alleviate their fears and concerns?
What are some of the ways that you can help inspire or advance their goals and dreams?
Now, what are the bottom-line advantages of becoming an Entrepreneurial Author?
· You will earn more money in your present job or career
· You will become the acclaimed expert in your field
· You will gain celebrity status
· You will become the go-to expert in your market
· You will have access to new speaking platforms
· You will reach customers that you never reached before
· You will expand your sphere of influence
Consider some of the most successful people that you know. What do many of them have in common? Many very successful people in society today either became famous and successful, in part, because of the book(s) they had written, or otherwise had written about their success after-the-fact.
If you consider a guest on a daytime news or talk show, what often will appear after their name?
“Today as our guest we have Mr. John Smith, author of the book ______.”
Isn’t that how many guests are introduced? For those who are sharp enough to recognize the opportunities inherent in writing a book and having it published, there is a world of potential.
When I wrote my first book, I became the go-to expert in my local community as a mortgage banker. Why? Simply because I was the only person who had written a book and had it published.
There is a mysterious phenomenon that happens when you become the author of a published book. For some reason that still escapes me, you become the expert. Having a book published gives its author tremendous credibility.
I learned this lesson from one of my coaches, Jay Conrad Levinson. Jay is best known as the father of Guerrilla Marketing and is a best-selling author with more than 14 million books sold. One of the principles of Guerrilla Marketing is to do everything you can to establish yourself as an expert.
The expert is the person that people go to for solutions and advice. The expert is the person they often trust first. When you write your book and get it published, you’ll have taken a critical step in becoming an expert.
You will have a lead generation tool that will help you make more sales in your business. Your book will help you create other products and services to sell to your growing customer database. If you don’t have a customer list, then your book will help you create one. Your book will justify your method of doing whatever it is you do. Your clients will entrust you with their business because they’ll see you as “the one that wrote the book on it.” Your business will expand.
Most people truly have a book in them. What book is in you?
I personally believe that most people have several books in them. Raise your hand if there is one topic about which you could talk for hours and hours. What’s the topic? Is it stamps, cars, sailing, golf, your career, an admired author or actor? What topic draws you into a conversation?
Even the quietest people you know have something they love to talk about. Think for a minute about those people in your life. Now think about the person who is the quiet one. When speaking with that person, if a topic is brought up in the conversation that they enjoy, how lively and animated does his or her conversation become? What topic brings out your animated side?
You probably never thought of your passion as something that could turn into a book. Believe me, it can! I’ve seen books that have turned into best-sellers that are written on ordinary, everyday topics. For instance, Suze Orman is one of the leading experts on money and investing. Her latest book, Women & Money, is targeted specifically to teaching women how to take control of their financial future. Guess what? It was an instant New York Times best-seller. Why? Aren’t there plenty of books on the market that teach finances to the masses? Sure! But in this book, Suze took something as simple as finances and targeted the female gender, and in doing so created an overnight success.
What do you do that is targeted for a specific market? Do you know who your target market would be? If you haven’t already done so, take a few minutes and complete the Action Exercise above. Think about what you are passionate about and write it down. Make bullets about the things you know about your subject. Those bullets could bring about enough content for several books — or at least a start for several books.
You might be pleasantly surprised about what you know that you hadn’t really thought of before now. Remember, just because you know a lot about a topic doesn’t mean that everyone else has the same knowledge.
Share what you know … and you can be an Entrepreneurial Author too!