Book Publishing Specialists
Five Key Ways to Ensure Your Book Will Be a SuccessJune 01, 2012 by Atilla Vekony, Publishing Information Manager
The first step in ensuring your book’s success is to define for yourself what you consider a book-publishing success. There are many legitimate reasons to publish a book, whether it’s to leave a legacy, inspire others, express yourself, entertain, or grow a business. (My editor made me remove “get rich” from this list, and I have to concur. Becoming rich can be a byproduct of publishing a book, but it won’t be from the direct sale of books.)
Then you want to think about your audience: whom to inspire or entertain, and to what degree. One of my friends is writing a book on wisdom just for his grandkids. His definition of success will be very different than that of another friend who wants to inspire a whole generation of young people. Think about it: Capt. Ahab, of Moby Dick fame, would have considered a single catch a success, whereas most other fishermen aim at catching boatloads of fish.
No matter who your target audience is or how you define success, the following five tips will help you ensure that your book will be successful:
1. Think of your book as a tool instead of a product. A tool that opens up other opportunities for you, and not a product that needs to be peddled. Whether you wrote a novel or a business book, use your book to get the attention of influencers in the media and do interviews. Lots of them. The simplified process is this: You wrote a book about X, or the major theme of your novel is X. The topic of a particular blog or particular radio show next week will be X. You offer your insight or expertise to the blogger or radio host on X, pointing to your book as proof of your expertise. You get the interview and talk about X (instead of specifically talking about your book). You are identified as an author of a book on X. The audience members looking for X can buy your book.
2. Focus on the activity instead of results. If you set a goal to sell three thousand copies by the end of the year or have ten interviews by next month, you set yourself up for failure. There is no (legal, at least) way to make ten radio hosts book you, or make any person buy your book. You do, however, control how many conversations you initiate with people about your book. Decide to call up ten radio shows or approach ten blogs a week to schedule an interview. And track that. Focusing on these activities is so much easier than having to focus on results. You have control over the activity, but not over the results.
3. Have a passion for your message. During the times when it seems like no one is responding to your calls, your passion about your message will be the only thing keeping you going. Without passion, this is when most people give up. When none of the first ten radio hosts book you, your passion will get you to call number eleven. This is probably the easiest for you to identify with, unless someone commissioned you to write a book about something you’re not too excited about.
4. Invest in yourself. A top-notch, superbly written, edited, and produced book with a killer cover is one thing. But what good is it if you—the real and “live” book—appear unprofessional in interviews and speaking engagements, or know nothing about reaching your audience? If you’ve spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars crafting and perfecting your book, which is, no offense, nothing but dry ink on dead wood (and not even that if it’s an ebook), consider investing at least five times that much into turning yourself into a marketing phenomenon with the attitude and mindset of a bestselling author. Improving your marketing skills will last a lifetime. Improving only the book without improving the author (yourself) is a shortsighted pursuit. Hire a marketing coach, or read up on it if you are an autodidact.
5. Get started now and do a little each day. The hardest part of pushing a stalled car is getting it going. Once it’s got momentum, it’s a lot easier to push it far! Start today and start by taking very small steps first. Start attending biweekly Authors Academy webinars and ask questions. No “overnight success” has ever been really and truly an overnight success!
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