The writing business has a steep learning curve, especially for newbie self published authors. There’s so much to learn, both in terms of writing as in the publishing, marketing, and business side. A lot of is is stuff that’s relatively easy to find on Google, but you have to know to look for it in the first place (trust me, I’m still learning a lot with every single release…).
What’s The Biggest Challenge for Authors?
One thing I wanted to focus on today was one of the biggest challenges for authors, and interestingly enough, I came across another article in my email inbox tackling this. According to k-lytics, the biggest challenge for authors is visibility, and I have to agree with that.
At the end of the day, when you’ve written a solid book and your cover is high quality, it’s all about selling that book. How do you stand out in the crowd? How doe you make readers pick up your release, when so many awesome books release every week, every day even?
This, of course, is the key question for every author, because it’s what we struggle with most: how doe we actually sell our books? There’s a lot to be said about marketing strategies like ads, how effective newsletters are (or not anymore, according to some), how to utilize Amazon’s algorithms and more. But I want to focus on something else, something that I feel is more subtle and yet super important.
Let’s call it the X-factor, because that’s what it comes down to. Aside from all the marketing strategies, visibility is about standing out in the crowd, about having something extra, something special. It’s about having an author brand, especially for your books but maybe for you as a person as well. Let me illustrate with some examples.
Lucy Lennox is a great example. If you pick up a Lucy Lennox book, you know it will be a rom com with hot sex and plenty of humor, without kinks or threesomes, ’cause she doesn’t do those. Her X-factor is that combination, but the humor especially.
Sloane Kennedy’s X-factor is the combination of broken characters and angsty situations. Her characters often go through hell before they get their happy end. She’s also not afraid to tackle some heavy topics and unconventional pairings (MMM, age gap, etc.), and she’s known for her elaborate series.
Let’s do one more example: Anyta Sunday. No matter which book of hers you pick up, you’ll get a slow burn romance, as that’s her trademark. Some are more emotional than others (rock comes to mind), some are fluffier, but there’s always the slow burn and not a lot of explicit sex.
What’s Your X-Factor?
So, that begs the question: what’s your X-factor? What makes you stand out in the crowd? What’s so special or consistent about your books that readers know what to expect when they pick up one of your books? If you can’t point this out, I suggest you spend some time thinking about this. It’ll make it a lot easier to sell your books once you’ve determined what makes them special.
Bonus points for those who know my X-Factor!