In Conversation with Sonal Chhibber on Authorpreneurship: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”
Authorpreneurship: all the whats, whys, hows and ifs associated with the profession
We are In Conversation with Sonal B Chhibber, award-winning writer, model and authorpreneur based in Dubai and she talk about being an authorpreneur . Authorpreneur is one who turns his or her passion for writing into profit by launching add-ons to the published books. Authorpreneur can add varied dimensions to his or her writing like coaching, courses, speaking, training and development.
When I took my writing career to the next level and became a risk-taker, go-getter, brave, bold in my pursuits, then I officially became an Authorpreneur. Along with publishing my books, I started conducting writing workshops, online courses, public speaking lessons, training sessions, organising by events; which made me take a giant leap and transform from an Author to Authorpreneur. But believe me this transition wasn’t an easy one & it took me a long time to reach this stage, so even though I started small but eventually reached big heights with my diligence & visionary spirit. From being an expat mother of three kids, I became a multi Award-winning Author & Entrepreneur! The Journey was hard but a memorable one; I moved from Delhi to Dubai and transited from being Banker to Blogger, Mum to Mumpreneur and most importantly from an Author to Authorpreneur and ended up achieving my dreams & inspiring women all over the world with my success story!
To succeed these days, Authors must be more businesslike than ever. Standing out as a book writer today requires more than a bright idea and content. Authors need to become business people as well, thinking strategically about their own brand, positioning themselves well and marketing their products effectively. There is a lot of competition to retain readers’ and reviewers’ attention nowadays, and fewer avenues are there to promote new books & titles. Publishers are very choosy & focus on a few selective titles they think will sell, neglecting less well-known authors and less popular themes.
Writing can be a viable hobby, powerful tool, and even a lucrative full-time pursuit if approached with a lot of determination, grit & fighting spirit. It can open doors you never knew existed. But more importantly, it can bring you fulfilment, satisfaction & respect that you’ve ever felt before. That’s exactly what it did for me.
If you have entrepreneurial spirit and are dedicated, then you can use books not only to spread awareness & positivism, but to earn meaningful passive income, gain leverage as an expert in your field, leave behind a noteworthy legacy, grow a sustainable business, and enrich the world with your thought-provoking views & unfiltered opinions. This not only benefits you but is vital for betterment of the society at large.
And for this, you don’t need anyone’s permission, You can do it yourself!
Build your brand
- Book Brand: As an Author, you need to recognise your niche & genre and think about the audience you want to cater to. Then you have to think about mediums to promote your books.
- Author Brand: As an Author, you need to build your own unique brand. and attract the target market over time through content marketing, word of mouth, reviews, social media, and advertising. Authors these days find a particular niche and then end up building an empire in that genre.
Remember, the most important journey is the one you take on with your eyes wide open to the risks and rewards. The challenges you will face and overcome as an author will stretch you and help you grow as a person eventually. You will discover how the publishing & printing process works and how readers taste change overtime. Usual themes don’t work, instead out of the box themes work these days. Presenting your work with authenticity & and new ideas, will fetch new collaborators, and expand your world. Releasing your book to the audience is just the beginning of your new identity as authorpreneur.
The business of creativity & writing is changing rapidly, not just in the formats in which ideas are presented regionally & internationally, but in how authors perceive themselves as an entity.
‘Author’ is the brand which can be overwhelming if there’s just you. Today a writer needs to be an ‘Authorpreneur’: an originator and an entrepreneur. Apart from creating words or images for niche audiences, this means learning the ropes of the trade…publicity, marketing, sales, technological, legal and entrepreneurial skills to establish and maintain self-employment & stability in the business of creating & actualizing ideas. Even if it is a quite small business, with just you at the helm of affairs.
Established Authorpreneurs open forums to discuss strategies for beginners, mid-list and highly experienced creators needing guidance to adapt to a fast-changing, digital, global industry. It’s about sharing ideas & views, so you can work effectively at what you most enjoy doing – creating and providing ways to help sell your work for longer, in varied new formats and to larger audiences. Great ideas won’t reach audiences globally unless the creators can stay in business and survive financially.
For the past five years, I have studied the writing industry and the need for true mastery of the authorship process. Here is the advice I’d like to offer aspiring authors. Writing is serious business and requires true dedication, resilience & perseverance! The goal of this article is to make you aware of the importance of handling the business side of writing, “authorpreneurship.”
Often writers seek advice and delegate their business to other skilled “experts,” like PR agencies, book reviewers & editors, virtual assistants, ghostwriters, publishers, etc. Experts cost a lot of money. Prudent business owners wish to get the best value for their investment. It is an unfortunate experience if you don’t do your research to identify credible & authentic people, especially the publishers, as you may end up enduring a big loss. In my initial days, I had a hard time pitching my books to agencies & publishers, so took the self-publishing route to establish myself as an exemplary Author. The “do-it-yourself” path can hamper your chances of success if you are not well versed in authorpreneurship. But whether you choose the “do-it-yourself” path or pay for help from external sources, you can still achieve your goal, but you first must master the art of authorpreneurship.
Tips to help you move forward with confidence
- Don’t waste time. Get started, the time is NOW! There are tons of complementary resources available, just do a search via Google for what you need.
- Start with your “why.” It will make you motivated when everything goes haywire.
- Decide your publishing route. Envision your end product.
- Set a viable timeline, one that balances your existing work commitments.
- Look out for books that are similar to your book in mind and research appropriate covers, layout, marketing & sales strategy, writing style, etc. Maintain your unique style & authenticity, but study the market well so that you can have the best results possible. Be Original but search enough.
The idea is if authors take care of their business, the business will take care of them! Writing is a business, it’s called authorpreneurship. Whether you have self-published or are traditionally published books, you need to put it all together and take ownership & responsibility of the process. Otherwise, you are blindly trying to market a book in an industry you are not equipped to handle.
All authors and writers should aspire for blending of the entrepreneurial spirit with their writing talent to create a successful business achieving the personal and professional goals they aim for. I may have struggled with my writing & deadlines, but the books I have out currently are relatable & thought-provoking because of my passion for books and authorpreneurship. I want aspiring writers, poets & authors to be successful, and after years of working as Editor-in-chief with a team of writers & authors, I have realised that there are many out there that need guidance about where to start. I decided to fill that gap from a business standpoint with my writings, articles & lectures.
You can choose a platform apt to your sensibilities. It should define your visibility with your readers. Some questions you need to ponder upon: Are people aware of your existence & your books? What channels would you choose to keep people informed about you and your book? Is what you’re offering credible and understandable enough for people to grasp? Are you influential enough to convince people that your books are worthwhile? Are you targeting the right audience or viewers for your work?
As an authorpreneur who is building a platform online, the first thing you need to think of is your unique selling point & image. What do you want readers to know about you & your work? Platform/ Medium is not about selling your books but about being respected in your field. What impression do you want to leave with your readers and your fans?
Please note that building a platform doesn’t happen instantly. It takes months to build. Once you’ve built your platform, you have to continue growing it to reach a wider audience. You need to have authority & responsibility towards your work & audience. Be consistent in your endeavours.