There are quite a few posts that help entrepreneurs determine their why so they can sell their products. This is a principle that helps anyone who wants to be their own boss, authors included. I’d love to help you see how this applies to authors especially. Sometimes, it feels like it’s tough selling yet another romance or YA fantasy novel but it’s possible. It takes work but it’s possible.
Get out your note-taking supplies—it’s time to really dig deep.
Recognizing Your Why
If you think about it, we as authors need a why—a direction—just like our protagonists. We send our MCs out into the world to get what they want. What do you want as an author? If your answer doesn’t feel clear, here are some other prompts that might help:
- What made you decide to go from writing to becoming an author?
- How do you want your readers to feel—inspired, smarter, entertained?
- What do you genuinely enjoy discussing or sharing online?
- When writing gets difficult, what keeps you going?
- What kind of stories does our society need right now? What can you add to the bookshelf?
What Is My “Why”?
I’ll share a bit about my why so you can see an example in action.
When I was a teen author, I always had this goal of becoming a young published author. But why was this so important to me? Why was traditional publishing on my bucket list? If I think about it, I would read books and see myself in the stories but I wanted more. I wanted to join the ranks of female authors writing about amazing women and girls.
Even as a young person, I felt like my story was important enough to be seen on the page. Instead of being the “token girl,” I wanted to see stories where girls—besties—were facing the world and kicking butt together. The Spice Girls and Sailor Moon were awesome but I wanted to add even more.
I eventually realized that there were many folks who did not see themselves in stories. It took me some time but I realized that there were more people besides women who needed and deserved representation. So my “why” became deeper and more community-based.
I can’t write all these stories or create perfect inclusive narratives. But I can certainly encourage other creatives to join me. It’s this “why” that drives every blog post, social media caption, giveaway, publication, and private interaction.
How to Fuse Your Why With Your Platform
So how do you apply your why to your author platform? My upcoming guide, Finding Your Future Fans, will cover this in detail but here’s the summary. Rather than thinking every day about what to post, you can set up regular series and plan them in advance. For example, mental health is an important principle to me, so every Friday, I share my Let’s Get Real posts. I don’t have to think about how I’ll reach out to other authors and build community—I have a pattern.
If you want to balance out the promos, free information, aesthetically-pleasing shots, and other posts that cater to your why, you can plot them out on a calendar and spread them out. You’ll avoid that icky feeling of “Am I sounding too desperate?” or “Do people even care about my books?”
You can set up weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly patterns to check all your boxes. Your schedule can help you clarify what you want to share and what you want people to do or feel when they see your work.
Let Your Why Guide You
I hope this post helps you get started or reminds you of your why. We authors spend a lot of time doing things besides writing. What makes all that marketing worth it? Whether you get a publishing deal or you do everything on your own, your purpose will guide you, help you reach your author goals, and ultimately speak your readers’ language.
If you’re still struggling, let us help! You can ask us how to create an author platform that matches your why.