It's very important that you share your story--your brand story--with your audience. That's when you share some of those embarrassing and not-so-sexy moments that brought you to where you are in life today--the reason why you write what you write and do what you do.
These brand stories can be shared on your website, newsletters, articles, blogs, in speeches, etc.
Today, as a best-selling author and CEO of Path To Publishing, I'd like to share mine with you.
After self-publishing my third book, I remember losing sleep trying to figure out ways to make money with my books. My bank accounts were negative. I’d cry just thinking about all the things I could have done with those NSF charges I was handing over to the banks (or rather that the banks were taking from me). I’d maxed my credit cards out paying for services to produce, market, and promote my books. I’d borrowed and begged from all the friends, family, and strangers that I could. I even found myself in that dark, vicious cycle of going from one check cashing and cash-advance business to the next; paying those outrageous loan fees and interest rates. It got to the point where I was robbing Peter to pay Paul, and when Peter had nothing left for me to take, I found myself drowning in debt...and the feeling of failure.
I was working so hard. I was making money with each book sale, just not a profit. Not only that, but not understanding that although writing may have been my passion, love, ministry, and an art, publishing was a business. And regardless of how passionate I was about writing, my bill collectors didn’t take passion as a form of payment. So, if writing was something I desired to do all day every day, I needed to figure out how to get paid to do it.
I’m proud to say that I ended up selling 12,500 copies of my third self-published book. I’m proud to say that such a buzz was created with my third book that I ended up landing a book deal with both a major publishing house in New York as well as an indie press. All of my advances combined totaled well into six figures. But what I’m embarrassed to say is that even though I was acting like an author—going on book tours, paying for ads, and vending at every literary event I could—I wasn’t thinking like a business. I did not invest the money back into my “book business.”
The money from my self-published book sales and my book deal advances were great...while they lasted. But it wasn’t long before I found myself losing sleep again trying to figure out ways to make more money with my books. The self-published books nor the traditionally published books were generating the sales I’d envisioned; the sales that would allow me to make a living as a writer. As a matter of fact, you know that book deal with the major publishing house? I didn’t even earn my advance back from them.
I’ll be honest; I began to doubt my craft as a writer and gift of storytelling. I even began to doubt God and what initially no one could tell me wasn’t an anointed pen He’d placed in my hand. But why would God have put a dream and passion this heavy in my spirit—something I could not, not do, and something I wanted to do (and did do) all day every day—and then make me struggle like this? It took some time, but I realized that if I was, in fact, a struggling (literary) artist, then it was because I was choosing to be. My struggle was a result of me putting myself in a box as an author instead of maximizing, optimizing, and monetizing my role as an author. So, I had to decide whether to stay in that box or cut myself out of it.
See, I’d been focusing on book sales and royalties alone because that’s what I thought being an author was all about: selling books. I thought selling books was all it took to make a living as a writer. That’s all I thought it took to achieve financial literary success. Therefore, I’d been making my books my entire business instead of building a business with my books; instead of using my books as the foundation for my business and building on it by laying more bricks in the form of multiple streams of cohesive literary income, utilizing my role as an author.
With my role as an author, I turned what started as a side-hustle into a six-figure literary business. From there, I built an entire company. I went from losing sleep trying to figure out ways to make money, to making money in my sleep, again, by maximizing, optimizing, and monetizing my role as an author.
I know there are many other authors out there losing sleep at night trying to figure out how to create that literary legacy for the world, and how to build that literary empire for their family; how to achieve both literary and financial literary success. Well, I figured it out. I made finding solutions for the reasons that keep writers and authors up at night the reason that gets me up in the morning.
For years, I’d been in that box of what I thought being an author was, but now you can just call me the box cutter. Because not only did I cut myself out of that box, but with the Path To Publishing annual “Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business” Conference, my online courses and curriculum, as well as my books, publications, and one-on-one literary consulting, I’m cutting other writers and authors out of the box too!
Visit www.pathtopublishing.com/conferencestore and get the literary blueprint to writing and publishing success by purchasing my self-paced online courses:
“Beyond the Basics of Self-Publishing”
“Build Your Book Business”
“Make a Living as a Writer”
You can choose which course is right for you based on where you currently are on your literary journey. Purchase the bundle if you know where you want to be, which is the finish line of both literary and financial literary success.
P.S. If you need assistance crafting your brand story, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line [BRAND STORY] to receive information on how the amazing experts at Path To Publishing can help.