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What You Need to Know When Setting up an Author Business

Written a book?

Want to sell enough copies to earn additional income or make a living?

As a professional book marketer, I’ve coached countless authors to think more like entrepreneurs. I’m here to reveal three things you should know when you set up an author business and highlight proven marketing strategies you can use to reach more readers:

3 things to know when you set up an author business

3 things to know when you set up an author business

If you’re self-publishing and want to set up an author business to sell your books, here are three points to keep in mind:

1. Think of yourself as a business owner

Writers often pen and publish books as personal milestones. But if your goal is consistent book sales and perhaps even making a living as an author, it's time for a change in perspective. Start thinking of yourself not just as a writer but also as a business owner and a brand. And your product? Your book(s).

2. Consider a legal structure

Do you anticipate serious annual earnings from your book sales or aim to establish yourself as a well-known author? If so, you might set up your business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). You can go with your name, like Imogen Adams LLC, or get creative and use a publisher name, such as Book Rockstar Publishing.

But, hey, full disclosure - while I'm your go-to for book marketing tips and tricks, I'm no legal advisor. So, when it comes to figuring out the best legal structure for your business, it's wise to have a chat with a lawyer or an accountant. They're the pros when it comes to this stuff, and they'll help you pick the perfect setup for your unique situation.

3. You’ll have to promote your product if you want it to sell

Launching a book is a lot like introducing a new product. Imagine you've opened a shiny new bagel shop right down the street. You wouldn't expect a line out the door on day one without any advertising, right? Building a successful author business works the same way; it takes time and effort to get noticed.

When new businesses start, they plaster flyers around town, shout from the rooftops on social media, and even invest in eye-catching ads to let people know they exist. As a new author, you're in a similar boat. Don't expect to sell a book just because you list on Amazon. You’ll need to roll up your sleeves and actively promote your bagels, erm, books!

Marketing strategies to promote your book

To effectively promote your book and grow your author business, consider these marketing strategies:

Utilizing social media

To kickstart your book promotion on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, consider two essential strategies:

  • Create engaging organic posts about your book. Share sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes stories, and connect with your readers authentically. These genuine interactions can generate buzz and foster a loyal following.

  • Don't underestimate the impact of social media ads. When you run ads on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, you can target a broader audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. These ads can significantly extend your book's reach beyond your immediate followers and get it in front of readers who are more likely to purchase it.

Growing an email list

One of the best tools in an author's promotional toolkit is a well-cultivated email list. To grow your list, offer a lead magnet. Consider a lead magnet as an irresistible incentive to join your email list. For example, you might offer a free e-book, an exclusive prequel, or a book club guide. As your email list grows, you'll have a direct line to your readers, and it becomes easier to keep them engaged, informed, and excited about your upcoming book releases.

Advertising with relevant organizations

If your book fits snugly into a specific genre or category—think young adult fiction or entrepreneurship—consider forging partnerships with local libraries or organizations that cater to your ideal readership. These collaborations can help you reach your target reader, who’s enthusiastic about your niche. Inquire about hosting book readings, workshops, or discussions to promote your book and build a community of passionate readers.

Leveraging your network

Think of influencers or individuals within your circle who share an interest in your book's genre or topic. For example, you might ask a friend in a book club if they’d suggest your book or an influencer to share it in their Instagram story. Another option is assembling a dedicated launch team to drum up excitement and support for its release.


As you embark on your journey to becoming a successful author, remember to:

  • Change your perspective to see yourself as a business owner

  • Choose the proper legal structure with professional advice

  • Promote your work to build your reader community

With dedication and the right approach, you're well on your way to making your mark in the literary world. And in case you need some help along the way, I’m always here to help!

Whether you’re in the midst of the writing process or have already finished your book, now is the perfect time to consider a marketing strategy. To help you get started, I’m offering a FREE download of my guide, 10 Things You Need For A Successful Book Launch. This valuable resource is packed with expert tips and strategies to empower you to craft an effective book launch and connect with a larger audience of eager readers.

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