In some ways, mindset is everything. Having the wrong mindset and looking at your work and career the wrong way can really hold you back. If you keep looping back to the same negative thoughts or limiting beliefs, you can limit your success. Conversely, if you look at your book and your writing through the right lens, it will help you become much more successful.
In this episode, I’ll primarily be speaking to nonfiction authors, but I think fiction authors can and will get a lot out of these mindset shifts, too. I’ll walk you through the five big mindset shifts that I think authors should make to be more successful. I’ve worked with and talked to many aspiring and published authors, and there are a few beliefs and mental habits that hold many of them back. I want to help you overcome these five major blocks so you can have a great author mindset and ultimately have more success as an author.
MINDSET SHIFTS AUTHORS NEED TO MAKE
1) Stop comparing your book to other books!
- Comparison stifles creativity; you’re only making yourself feel bad.
- One of the biggest reasons why writers get stuck is they’re worried that their book isn’t going to be “good enough.”
- Mindset shift: know that your work is unique, and that your voice and perspective add value to your book and what you’re doing.
- People love books for different reasons. No one book is going to please everybody.
- Think about some common genres out there—how many books have been written on a similar topic? For example, how many cookbooks are there that help people cook quick, easy meals? But, authors keep writing new books in these genres! There’s clearly room for many books.
2) Focus on value.
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- Bouncing off of the first point, a lot of writers get derailed when they start to worry that their book isn’t any good. (This really happens a lot when you’re comparing your book to other books, but it can happen at any point.)
- When we start to worry that are books aren’t good enough, we move away from focusing on our readers and start to focus on ourselves and our own egos.
- Mindset shift: focus on the value that your book brings to the table.
- This includes your unique voice, your perspective, your life experience, your training
- Example: when I wrote my first book, Yoga for Runners, there were other books out there on the topic. But, I didn’t find any that were written by someone who was both a running coach and yoga teacher. So, I leveraged my unique perspective and qualifications to make my book unique.
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3) Only thinking about royalties.
- This is especially true for business owners. When they look at their income, they often just look at the money they make from selling their books.
- They’re overlooking the larger monetary impact their book has made on their business by helping to elevate their authority and credibility.
- Mindset shift: look at the big picture of how your book will help your business financially
- For more, listen to Episode 67 – Why You Need to Think Beyond Royalties
4) Getting Discouraged by Book Sales Numbers
- It’s really tough when your book isn’t doing as well as you hoped it would.
- Often authors will see a big surge of sales during launch and then see them taper off because their core audience has already purchased a copy of the book.
- Don’t get bogged down/discouraged by book sales numbers.
- Mindset shift: Focus on getting your book in front of the right readers.
- The right readers will be excited about your book, and they’ll find it very valuable. They’ll share the book with others who also need your book, which will help spread the word.
- Focus on what you can
- Create a new marketing plan to revitalize your book.
- Find new audiences: partner with other authors in the same genre/niche, find influencers who are willing to share your book, etc.
- Think of other ways that you can make money from your book. For example, can you use your book to leverage a speaking gig? Could you turn your book into a course?
- Ask for reviews! Getting more reviews (especially on Amazon) can help others find your book and buy it.
5) Writing a Book without a Business Plan
- Example: an author-entrepreneur writes a book that has nothing to do with what they want to be known for professionally. The author wants to be known as an expert on building a fitness business but she writes a book on Instagram strategy. It’s tangentially related, but her book isn’t about what she wants to be known for.
- Or, it would be like me writing a book on email marketing. Yes, authors can use email marketing to sell more books and grow a business, but it’s not the main thing I want to be known for.
- If your book has nothing (or very little) to do with your niche, it might be a waste of time to write it. (Caveat: your book is a passion project and you’re writing it to check an item off your bucket list, not to build your business.)
- Writing and actively promoting a book on the wrong topic can also confuse your audience: what are you all about?
- Fiction authors may want to become known in a particular genre. But, if you’re bouncing from historical nonfiction to a fantasy novel, your readers may not know what to expect from you. (And, it can make it hard for them to find more of your books if they love what they’re reading.)
- May not want to spend time writing a book that’s ultimately going to be off-topic.
- Mindset shift: See and understand how your book fits into your larger biz plan. How is your book going to help you grow your business beyond royalties?
- How will your book help you build authority?
- How will your book help you get more publicity for your business?
- How can your book funnel new clients into the rest of your business? (particularly important for service providers and coaches)
- This also helps you stay motivated as you’re working on your book—if you know how your book will help your business grow, you’ll be more likely to prioritize getting it done.
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