Book Marketing, Author Publicity, Branding

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Authors Need to Think and Act Like Entrepreneurs

Today's guest post is courtesy of Matthew Toone, an entrepreneur and author of Great Games! 175 Games & Activities for Families, Groups, & Children! Keep in mind his figures are averages for the entire publishing industry.
- Terry
Authors Need to Think and Act Like Entrepreneurs

Authors Need to Think and Act Like Entrepreneurs

By Matthew Toone

If you are an author, or even an aspiring author, you probably realize that less than 1% of published authors ever make more than $50,000. The vast majority of authors are unsuccessful because they fail to realize that their book is a product and that authorship is a business. Authors often fail because they believe that writing the book is their responsibility, and promoting the book is the publishers. The first step towards guaranteed failure for most authors is to simply write the book, hand the manuscript over to the publisher, and expect the publisher to make them millions.

To put it simply, authors fail because they do not think or act like entrepreneurs! There is a 'secret' that most successful entrepreneurs know and apply that is the reason for their success. This same 'secret' or formula, ironically, is the same formula needing to be applied to be successful in anything in life. Unfortunately, most authors know of and practice only the first few steps, and then they unfortunately stop (or quit) by not putting into practice the last few steps of these secrets for success. To summarize this formula and apply it to authors (although it applies to anyone and any goal), we need to break it down into 5 simple categories:

1) Desire Success

2) Believe in Themselves and their Book

3) Take Action

4) Learn from Failure

5) Persist and Never Quit

The formula seems simple, right? The reality is that there is much more that goes into it, and it is certainly more difficult than these 5 simple steps make it seem. However, most unsuccessful authors stop after step 3. Every author of course desires their book to be successful, they undoubtedly believe in their book, and they put forth the necessary effort to write the book. However, writing the book is half the battle - promoting the book to make money is much more difficult. Thus, most authors fail because they expect or depend upon others to make their book successful, when those 'others' do not have the same desire, belief in the book, and time to put in the effort required to make the book a success.

Keep in mind that best-selling books are best SELLING. That does not mean they are necessarily the best written, most informative or helpful, or even the most entertaining books. Thus, if an author's book is not making money, rather than assuming the plot, size of the market, or front cover illustration or title is the problem - perhaps the actual problem is within - reflected in a lack of the author's desire, belief, and work ethic to make the book successful. Every successful entrepreneur (and author) understands that their potential and success is determined by them alone - not the publisher, not the customers, not the economy, not even the business/book idea. They also understand that work will be required every day, overcoming fear and doubt is a constant battle, getting up after failure is essential, re-adjusting the marketing plan is necessary, not giving excuses or expecting others to make them successful is understood, and persisting until their goal is accomplished is what they are committed to doing.

So, where is the manuscript for your book? Is it collecting dust on the shelf, is it already published and in print, is it just thoughts in your mind, or perhaps you haven't even discovered yet that it is in your mind? Regardless of where it is, the reality is that it can be a success if you personally learn and implement the laws of success to achieve greatness in anything. But never forget that the success of any book is not solely found in the plot, market size, topic covered, or catchy title - it is mainly found and realized because of the desire, belief, and work ethic of the author.

Matt is the founder of - a website focused on inspiring people to achieve their goals and dreams, live up to their full potential, and learn the secrets for success in anything. As a successful entrepreneur, Matt recently accomplished one of his dreams - to write a book! His book is entitled: "Great Games! 175 Games & Activities for Families, Groups, & Children." To view the book and learn more, visit:

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Steve Newman said...

It is impossible to think and act like an entrepreneur and be an artist all at the same time. If so the first line of poetic prows would never hit the page and never would a single literary master peace, work of fiction, or peace of art ever be created. The odds against success are too great; therefore, it is the hope and skill of an artist and the deliberate analytical approach of an entrepreneur that creates the formula for success.

An aspiring entrepreneur will generally conduct a market analysis to identify the demand for a certain product in order to hopefully gain a competitive advantage within a niche market. He would do this market analysis before investing the time and energy to create a business plan. He would definitely conduct this analysis before he ever floated the idea across the desk of a banker or an investor. If through his market analysis he were to determine that there was less than a 1% chance of success he wouldn’t even consider the idea in the first place. He would move onto the next idea and the next until he found the right formula. If all writers followed this approach the only books to ever get written or published would be self help, how to books for dummies.

This is where the crux of the matter lies. It lies between being a creative writer, an artist if you will and an entrepreneur. The artist will create out of a desire to be creative regardless of the market forces that shape the world. The artist fails when he stops being an artist. The entrepreneur fails when he stops being an entrepreneur. It requires a team effort that is mutually supportive and that is why we have an entire industry that relies upon a symbiotic relationship between the artist and entrepreneur for success. The collapse of the publishing industry is looming because of the barriers to entry it has itself created through an almost purely entrepreneurial vision that blocks new and creative writers from gaining a toe hold.

Tate Publishing is growing and succeeding in today’s market because it has created an environment that is mutually supportive to both the creative process and the business of publishing. An integral part of this success is Tate’s incredible marketing department which was created to help the Author achieve his goals. I think I would change the title to your article to: An Author needs to be creative in his writing, business like in the promotion of his work and realistic in his expectations for success.

Thanks Terry

Steve Newman
First time Author
“The Night Eagles Soared”
To be released in 2010

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