Product: The Business Plan is A Living, Breathing Thing
In Part 4 of the 8-part Indie Author Business Plan, we’ll revisit some of the strategies we covered in previous sections of the series in making sure our product is ready for the light of day.
In Part 1 of our series, we crafted a mission statement by defining our core values and goals, and in Part 2 we focused on the genre of our eBook to determine a good market fit. Here, we will take all of the qualities and descriptions that we’ve managed to define through introspective research of our eBook, as well as things we’ve learned about ourselves through researching competitors (Part 3), and funnel them down to an important goal: the creation a living; a breathing representation of your talent and hard work.This will be your finished product.
Part 4: The Product
All of the research and preparation we’ve done so far has led to a clear understanding of what our eBook is and who we are as authors (keep in mind that we are not only marketing the eBook, but also our persona as the mastermind behind it). Now it’s time to start conjuring up a physical form of the eBook – whether that means creating a digital presence with captivating art and memorable touchpoints, or moving outside of the digital world by printing hard copies you can ship out to your customers. Here’s a few steps you’ll want to take to ensure you are distributing the best representation of your work that will excite your fan base and do justice to the ideas and stories you are publishing within the eBook.
Determine what defines your product from a commercial standpoint.
Continue adding to the recurring theme of ‘defining yourself’, only this time you can use all of the research you’ve gathered to choose the most solidified aspects of your eBook. These selected parts of your eBook will be the focal points of your marketing campaign. You’ve already taken time to create a target audience to market to so it is important to stay dedicated to this goal, and only shift gears if you are not receiving the return you were hoping for after testing your initial strategy.
Keep the target audience “top of mind” when you are selecting the best characterizing elements of your eBook to use as marketing tools going forward. These will be the main touch points that you can focus on every time your eBook is brought up in conversation, every time you post about it on social media, and will also be huge factors in designing your artwork for the eBook. The goal here is to create one big conversation centering around your eBook and to have total control over the nature of the talking points.
Delve Deeper and Look Further
Here are some examples of characterizing elements of eBooks that would be useful marketing tools: best passages and quotes from your work, characters your target audience will be interested in, real-life events related to the content of your book that can be leveraged, main themes and motifs, related work or inspirations, and your personal story.
These are only a few examples of many. When you have prepared and taken significant time to pin-point the best characterizing elements of your eBook, it is beneficial to spend a bit more energy to thinking of outside-the-box elements that might set your eBook apart from the rest of the pack. Do your due diligence.
Packaging is key
Even if you only plan on selling your work online, you still have to continue driving the conversation through artistic visual representation. Make it look nice, but stay true to the characterizing elements and themes of the book. The tone and attitude of your eBook will play a huge role at this stage, as well as thinking big picture if you plan on expanding this work into a series or adding follow-up sequels in the future.
Remember, take your time defining what your eBook is going to look like. This is a critical step, as you are setting yourself up for success in sparking a spirited conversation about your eBook. Be sure to check out Authorpreneurlaunch’s fifth installment to its 8-part Indie Author Business Plan where we begin structuring a business model for your eBook!
— Marquina (@Marquina) July 12, 2016