Guest post from Joanna Penn, from

clip_image002You might not think soccer has much to do with writing, but authors can learn a lot from the World Cup about marketing, branding and creating multiple streams of income.

  • The brand stands even though the players change over time. Each of the national teams in the World Cup have a following from their country, but they also have a character of their own. People debate Brazil, Germany or England as if they are the same team every competition. The brand of the country’s team is what persists. This is key for authors who are concerned about whether to build websites around themselves or their individual books. Think about it. Each of your books will be hyped for a short time and then will fade away and it will become part of your backlist. You do not have the time and energy to build sites around each of the books.Build yourself as the brand and you will persist over time. You do need to market each book but this should feed into your overall author brand.
  • Build merchandise around the key product to create multiple streams of income. Soccer fans don’t just pay to watch games. They also buy millions of dollars worth of merchandise to support their team and show their dedication. Let’s face it, unless you sell a blockbuster, authors don’t make a huge income from book sales. What you need is multiple streams of income that sit around your book and provide extra income. Think online courses teaching people valuable information about writing, genre specific tips for fiction writers, or giving additional information about your niche for non-fiction writers. Think speaking and running seminars, live or on the internet. Think audio products, either straight audio versions of your books, or additional information that people are interested in. This is not selling out to commercialism, this is paying the bills!
  • Create loyal and fanatical followers. Soccer fans are some of the most loyal and crazy fans in the world. They wear the badge of their team, they travel round the world and they are passionate and even violent in support. You want to create loyal fans for your author brand and your books. These are the people that will buy your book on preorder as soon as it is announced, or will buy the whole backlist to make sure they have read every word you have written. How can you encourage followers like this? Firstly, it is a given that you need to write great books that create a marvelous experience or are packed with information. You also need to create relationships by giving people more than they expect. You can blog and reveal some of your writing practices, create audio interviews so people can find out more about you, do live events, be accessible on social media. The new crop of successful authors are out there connecting with people, selling books by creating fans, one person at a time.

So, keep an eye on the World Cup and learn what you can about marketing, brand building and fanatical followers as you do.

Joanna Penn is the author of 3 books, a speaker and blogger at The Creative : Writing, Publishing Options, Internet Sales and Marketing…For Your Book. Click on the following links to get your free article on Author Branding, plus an audio on Book Marketing and theAuthor 2.0 Blueprint: Using Web 2.0 Tools to build your author platform online. Joanna is also on Twitter @thecreativepenn