The never-ending quest to get more readers, and their hard-earned money, is more competitive now than it has ever been before. And as you might have already surmised from your efforts to sell your own books, in order to become a financially successful author, you must learn how to differentiate and position yourself and your book as the go-to person and book that will help the reader solve their problems. And fortunately for you and me, this is not a difficult or overly sophisticated thing to accomplish. And luckily for us, it is something that most other authors do not bother to achieve.
What Is “Differentiation”?
The definition of “differentiation” is as simple and straightforward as it sounds. What attributes do you and your book have that the readers will see as different and desirable? How are you and your book different from other authors and their books? What makes you a better expert in your subject matter? Why should the reader believe that you and your book can do a better job of helping them solve their problems? Why should the reader listen to you over the thousands of other authors? You need to take a hard introspective look at yourself and answer these questions as honestly as possible. If there is any hint of dishonesty in your answers, the reader will see right though it, and NEVER trust you again. This is not a time to be slick or boastful – just speak from your heart. Readers will immediately know and appreciate the difference.
For example, if you write about nursing, perhaps your unique value is that you have been a nursing instructor and director of nursing education for nurses and nursing students for over thirty-five years. And you have extensive experience in critical care, informatics, and policy-and-procedures. You have also won several awards for your teaching from different hospitals and nursing organizations. You have been a medical consultant and advisor to a popular video game. You have been teaching nurses about several different aspects of nursing, as well as teaching other nurses how to become nursing teachers. All of this helps differentiate you from the other nursing authors.
What Is “Positioning”?
The definition of “positioning” is also as simple and straightforward as it sounds. Where are you and your book positioned within your niche? For example, your general subject matter might be nursing, but your particular niche might be “critical-care nursing”. Then you might also have a “micro-niche” of an even more specific topic within critical-care. You might also position yourself as, for example, the author who speaks at those big critical-care nursing conferences, or the one that makes all the critical-care videos. So, with all of this in mind, how do you, as well as your audience, see you? What is your audience’s perception of you? What do they see as your expertise? What do you see as your expertise? What position in the market are you occupying, or trying to occupy, that makes you unique?
How Do They Relate To Each Other?
Differentiation and positioning go hand-in-hand together – just like you and your book. Once you have decided how best to differentiate yourself and your book from your competition, you can then determine how best to position yourself for your audience – based on their wants and needs, and also on what the other authors are not doing a good job of covering. It will now be your job to communicate and show your audience how you differentiate yourself from the other authors, and how you are positioning yourself within your particular niche.
Once you decide how you want to differentiate and position yourself and your book, you will start to build a bigger and more devoted audience. You will become the go-to person for your particular niche. Now go to the authors that you like and admire the most, and determine how they are differentiating and positioning themselves and their books. You most likely already know how to differentiate and position yourself – but have simply been afraid to make such a commitment. But by exploring how other authors are doing it, you will quickly see how simple a process it can be.