“If you can’t advertise yourself, what hope have you being able to advertise anything else?”
— David Ogilvy
Let’s talk about books for a minute. What we know from all the data is that more and more books are being published, but fewer and fewer are being sold. It’s not just that more people are fighting for a piece of the pie, but the pie is shrinking every year. The numbers would astound you.
When people write a book, they naturally want to sell as many copies as possible. They turn to all sorts of tactics. There are public relations type of tactics, giveaways, and social media promotion of various kinds. All of those ways of getting your book in front of people are great, and they will all help.
But what none of those marketing tactics can do is to establish or expand the thought leadership of the author. That’s because marketing sells books, but status building sells you.
And I told you all that to tell you this: the formula for author success has flipped. The goal isn’t to have a book to get yourself in front of an audience, but to build an audience so you can get your book in front of them.
Your book, then, allows you the time and space to potentially tell your story or make your point in a much longer format that your typical communications format would normally allow.
My recommendation, in the vein of David Ogilvy’s observation, is that any author who wishes to position themselves as an Authority or Thought Leader would do well to spend more time on status building.
One example of establishing thought leadership is your lexicon: the words and phrases you use that your audience adopts, allowing you to “own” that word in their heads. They’ll think of you when they use them, and they’ll use them to seek out other audience members.
A high quality audience that buys what you tell them to buy, and reads what you tell them to read is now a fundamental asset for the success of a book. If you need help with this, let’s talk.