“Where are we going from here?”
If you depend on a little thing called “money” to survive and thrive – it’s a necessary question.
If you’re an entrepreneur in any sense of the word – authors included – it can be a question that provokes curiosity, fascination, even creative opportunity!
Rather than what feels like a call to prediction though, “Where are we going from here?” reframed through the lens of opportunity, the question becomes – “What can I DO from here?”
What’s next for authors?
I’ve never been particularly talented at looking into entrepreneurial eight balls and predicting the next big thing, the next disruption, or the next unicorn tech stock. What HAS been in my power though, and dating back to the founding of my business in 2003, is identifying my own current set of strengths and weaknesses, which weaknesses might be vulnerable to which threats, and which strengths can potentially be enhanced by new opportunities.
In other words, a good ol’ fashioned SWOT analysis (typically done as a 4 square grid) – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. Why not do one for your business of being an author (your author brand) now? If not now, when? (Please don’t wait until New Year’s Eve 2021!)
Be A Human
I’ll even get you started with an entry for the “O” square. Moving forward, the opportunity I see for authors, is our ability to create human conversations with human beings. Especially coming out of a time when we’re inundated by an onslaught of corporate copycatting – “in these uncertain times, we care about you on a personal and intimate level that surpasses the meaning of the word “caring” itself” (except if you’re a micro business needing a bank loan – oops, we took it all, no soup for you!).
What if, as a result of the shades of B.S. that have been a byproduct of this time, the thirst for honesty and authenticity becomes even stronger than it was before?
In the world of books and the people who buy and read them, I’m banking on book readers continuing to be the real-ist of the real people on the planet. They can sniff out in-authenticity a mile away.
On the other side of this, when corporations and big brands no longer find it lucrative to care so intensely and constantly about our feelings of uncertainty, book readers will still have the same priorities they always have: being told the truth, being moved and affected in some way, and being inspired to expand their point of view of the world around them.
Your readers don’t know who you think you’re supposed to be or who you think others think you’re supposed to be. They’re not aware of your fears and insecurities. All they know is that you’ve put words on the page just for them. And they’re grateful for it since they know your words come from the heart, not a think tank.
Your Mission Now
This is the time to go all in on your commitment as an author. To stop holding back. To trust yourself (and your readers). To be seen and heard, not just in your books but in all the places you speak to your readers.
“What can I do from here?” What’s next for authors?
You can develop your voice as an author and then use it. Because if there’s one thing we’re all going to need around here – and soon – it’s real people who sound like real people.
P.S. Hey, here’s some help being seen and heard by your readers… Earlier this week I launched my 10 Day Content Challenge Workbook for authors. If you’ve been looking for some guidance on the social media and online content aspect of being an author, this workbook is designed especially for you!
Don’t Be a Content One Trick Pony
3 Things Working for Authors in 2020