4-2 Identify Authors as Business Prospects

It is important that you begin finding great author clients as soon as possible. It is easy to start doubting and asking, “Can I really do this?” if you do not put your new skills into practice right away.

You may already have author clients or potential clients, but if you do not, then that will be your first order of business.

Personal Prospect Lists

The more possible clients, called prospects, that you can identify, the more you can begin a marketing campaign to interest them in working with you. You will talk to many people who may become an author in the future and who will remember to call you. You will talk to others who will wish they had known about your services two years ago when they were working on their first book. The more people you talk to, the more likely they will know people who could use someone like you, even if the person you are talking to is not a likely client.

Sit in a quiet place and think of everyone you know who is an author or aspiring author or who might be in a place to refer author or aspiring author clients to you as you read the next section. If you have an entrepreneurial friend or business associate, get their help in brainstorming all your possible connections as well.

Aspiring Author Prospects

You may not realize it right now, but you already know people who are authors or who are thinking about authors. And those people know other aspiring or successful authors. Think about each family member, friend, neighbor, club member, school parent and professional you work with: Are any of them authors or have any of them considered writing a book?

There is no sign-up list that people register on when they start thinking of writing a book. Many people are shy about talking about these thoughts, doubting that they can really ever be published. It becomes your job to get these people talking because YOU ask the question: Do you know anyone who is writing a book? I have recently become a certified professional author’s assistant and I can help them speed up and enjoy the process of becoming a successfully published author.

You will be surprised how often you get a resounding, “Me!”

It is estimated that half or more of the adult population actively considers writing a book. Most of us do not know that others are writing until they find a publisher and are willing to talk about it.

Here are some great places to find aspiring authors or be recommended to them:

  • Writer’s groups
  • Professional organizations
  • Networking groups
  • Women’s organizations (groups and clubs)
  • Book fairs
  • Online training classes for writers
  • Writing/Publishing conferences
  • Book designers
  • Editors
  • Publishing services firms
  • Other virtual or virtual author’s assistants

Get on the Internet and do a search on www.Google.com with any of these words or phrases and look for those in your area.

Author Prospects

If you have decided to specialize in book marketing, the clients you are looking for are published authors.

Quite different from aspiring authors, we know who is an author because he or she has a book and usually an author web site. Authors never get tired of hearing someone compliment their books, so you can generally introduce yourself in person or send an email by saying: I read and enjoyed your book. (OR, I am so interested in the topic of your book and can’t wait to read it.) If you are ever interested in working with someone to increase your book sales through a virtual book tour, an Amazon campaign or submitting articles, I am a certified Professional Virtual Author’s Assistant and I would love to help you promote this important book.

Here are some great places to find authors or be recommended to authors:

  • Publishers, large and small
  • Literary agents
  • Book publicists
  • Book fairs
  • Bookstores
  • Amazon
  • Speaker conferences
  • Trade shows/conferences

Business Professional Referral Sources

Besides individuals who might be writing books themselves, there are many people who, as part of their professional work, work with authors. Anyone with a large contact list is likely to know authors.

The next time you see the professional at a Chamber of Commerce or networking meeting you might say: Do you have any author clients or know anyone who is writing a book? I have recently become a certified professional author’s assistant and I can help them speed up and enjoy the process of becoming a successfully published author. I work on all aspects of the book publishing process, including preparing manuscripts, finding professional resources and book marketing.

Here are some great places to find professional referral sources who can recommend you to author clients:

  • Attorneys
  • Accountants
  • Business managers
  • Business coaches
  • Publicists
  • Marketing consultants
  • Librarians
  • Bookstore managers
  • Event planners
  • Real estate agents
  • Other VAs with different niche specialties

Communicating with Prospects

Once you have a prospect on your radar, or have been referred to a prospect from a business professional, it is important to create a great first impression. Sending a simple email can be a wonderful, no-pressure way to offer your services.

Interviewing Potential Author Clients

It is just as important that you feel a connection with the author as that the author want to hire you. You should interview the author asking some of the questions on the Author Prospect Interview Worksheet (you can download this below).

Success Mindset

I know that I am learning what I need to in order to be successful and I know I can help many other people by sharing what I know. I also know that there are a lot of people on my team who will help and support me every step of the way and who are confident about my success, sometimes before I am. I am at the beginning of a very exciting time for my own personal development!

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Next Steps

Download material for your notebook

Button - how to guide

Button - 3 to a page slides

Download the Author Prospect Interview worksheet

Download a PDF version of the Prospect Contact Collection Worksheet

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