You've Written a Book. Now You Need a Tribe to Read It.

Getting a book published these days is a lot different than it used to be. With the rise of blogs and social media, before you release your book, you've got to build an audience.

Publishers expect authors to come with built-in audiences.

And your friends and family won't be enough. But whether you're self-publishing or going through a traditional publishing house, you'll still need to build up an audience first. People who think you've got something worthwhile to say. People who will be ready and waiting to buy your book hot off the presses (hot off the Macbooks? anyway...). People who will tell their friends. Who will tell their friends. And so on.

Maybe you're thinking yeah, yeah, yeah, Rachel. I know all of this. I'm familiar with Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery. But if you're not convinced, here are six bloggers who turned their audiences into a book deal.

OK. Ready now? Sure - go build your own website. Start a blog. Start a movement. Publish a book. Easy-peasy, right? 

Of course not. Creating your own blog is easier than it used to be, but not always quite as easy as all those Squarespace ads might have you believe {And I know - I built my first website and this one on Squarespace}.

And once you build that blog, the readers will come, right? Of course not. Once you build that blog, you have to promote the heck out of it. All while continuing to actually write your blog

all of this is why writers need marketers.

Because today, artists have to also be marketers. If this makes you squirm, don't think of it as self-promotion. Think of it as amplifying your art. You've got something worthwhile to say. The people need to hear it. So you need to lead the people to it. After all, marketing is just leadership.

Here are some tips for being a blogger-turned-author from some of the best in the business:

  1. Persistence, passion, hard work, discipline, and talent.
    Cathy Presland, editor-in-chief over at Author Unlimited, boiled the success stories of 4 stellar bloggers-turned-authors into this simple recipe:. Basically: You build an audience by persisting at your craft, noticing what works, being disciplined in your efforts, and of course a bit of talent doesn't hurt.

  2. Connect with other bloggers -- think of them as a subset of your target audience.
    A mention from a top blogger can influence thrice the sales of a TV appearance. This is just one of the nuggets in the case study by Tim Ferriss, "How Does a Bestseller Happen?"
  3. Build your own path.
    Building your tribe - not just for authors but for all artists - is as unique to you as your art is. This Smartblogger piece tells the stories of nearly 50 artists of all types, including many authors, who have followed their own paths to creating art that is real and is connecting people to each other and to them.

{Authors -- I've noticed that most of the bloggers-turned-authors seem to fall into the business, self-help, humor, or cooking genres. Memoirs and fiction seem to still follow the traditional path as much as they might follow the bloggers' path. What do you think? Is that true?}