Study Like Your Life Depends on It! Why Successful Authors Study
Successful authors are continually studying. I know that sounds scary to those who hated school, but it’s easy when you find your perfect way of learning.
Whether you choose to self-publish or be traditionally published, you must learn how to market your book. When you have your manuscript completed, you are only 5% finished. Yes, you read that right. 95% of an author’s work is in marketing.
Publishers will NOT market your book for you!
I know it says on their website that they will help with marketing, but their idea of helping is uploading it to their website with all the other books they have published. You will be lost in the shuffle. Publishing houses spend their marketing budget on the top 3% of authors. That means unless you have a name like J.K. Rowling, you will not have one dollar spent on your marketing campaign. Trust me on this. I learned it the hard way.
Nowadays, the marketplace is flooded with books, and it’s your job to stand out from the crowd. If you can’t accomplish this, then you will be lost in the sea of want-to-be writers.
Don’t Despair. There’s Hope!
Successful authors know they have to keep an eye on their market. They have found their target audience and are actively studying their interests.
True Crime Example: As usual, I will give you an example from the true-crime side of my business. I wrote my first book Unorganized Crime and marketed it as the biography of an ex-gangster from Chicago. There is one problem with this. The market has been flooded with Mafia-style books, and now the public is more interested in cold cases, serial killers, and even the Dixie Mafia. The Italian Mafia is slowly becoming “Old News” in the marketplace. I will be rebranding this book and relaunching it after the first of the year.
The constant study is necessary to stay on top of these market trends. Also, you need to be studying delivery methods in the marketplace. Facebook Algorithms are continually changing. Youtube video guidelines are changing. Technology is always evolving, and a good marketer will change along with them.
I also make it a habit to study the best in my field. Find the leaders in your genre and model their business plan. Please don’t copy them, but find out what works for them and use it as inspiration to create your own business plan.
Self-study is the key to success in any field of endeavor, but some people hate book work. I understand that. Luckily, we live in the information age, and we can acquire the knowledge we need in various ways. Videos abound online, and most of what you need to get started, you can find for FREE on Youtube. Other video tutorials have a small cost, but it’s worth it when your business starts to flourish.
Audiobooks are a valuable resource, and you can get a subscription to Amazon’s Audible for less than $15/month. I recently found the Scribd App. It allows its subscribers to have unlimited audiobooks a month for less than $7/month. Look over the various options for audio programs. You can listen to them on your daily commute. Think about it. If you drive minutes to and from work, that is an hour a day that you could be studying. That hour will multiply to a whopping 260 hours a year! Do you realize the average college student only spends approximately 72 hours in the classroom a semester? This is the equivalent of 3.6 college courses, and all it cost was the price of an audiobook.
I listen to audio courses, seminars, and workshops on my earbuds while I clean the house. I particularly hate doing dishes and folding socks. Those chores, of course, have to be repeated daily, so I use my house cleaning time to study. I literally have a pen and notebook by the kitchen sink. I will be scrubbing my pots and pans and then dry my soapy hands to write down some notes.
...But I don’t have time
I hear this all the time, and it’s simply not true. Think about it. If you really want to do something, you will find the time. This sounds harsh, but believe me that I say it with utmost love and appreciation for you. I am a homeschooling mother of two. I do not have a babysitter, and so my children always want something from me. I run a cold case blog that goes out to half a million people each week. I blog twice a week, I have several books published, and I’m currently working on two more. I will launch a podcast series and a tv show soon, and I’m now launching my new “Get Your Book Done!” course. Yes, it is hard to squeeze in time for my study, but I know it is essential for my business, and I find a way.
Whatever you do, find a way to continue your education in your chosen field, and you will find yourself ahead of the pack. And if you would like a professional coach to help you level up as a writer, then check out my Synova’s Simply Biz Author Coaching Service.
As part of the launch week for my new course, I am giving away FREE 30-min coaching calls. I usually charge $500 for these guys, so don’t miss your chance to get a free coaching session!
Sign up for my services before Valentine’s Day and get a free book!