Once the creative process of dreaming up and plotting out your book has been completed, the rest of the aspects of writing, publishing, and distributing your book functions quite similarly to selling a product or running a business.
While it initially may be difficult to think of the written work you’ve taken so much time to write and which you’re so passionate about in such mercenary or commercial terms, consider that many products created throughout time were built from the same passion and creativity!
For a book to succeed, there are basic steps involved:
- Start with a great book (well-written, edited, visually appealing)
- Identify your target audience (beyond “everyone,” narrow the focus)
- Figure out how to reach your target audience (what marketing strategies will get their attention?)
- Show them that your book meets a need (understand their needs so that you can properly position your book as a solution)
- Convince them to get out their wallets and make a purchase (make it easy by providing a way to purchase and making the process simple)
These steps are similar to any other entrepreneurial venture. If you’re selling a product or service, you’ve got to take the necessary steps to generate sales. With this in mind, consider the steps above along with the following questions:
- Have you properly identified one or more ideal target audience for your book?
- What are their needs/wants/desires and how does your book fit into that equation?
- Where does your target audience spend time? What websites do they visit? What trade associations do they belong to? What magazines do they read? Identify at least ten ways you can reach them with marketing activities.
- How is your book positioned for sale? Does it draw your audience in? Does your sales copy need to be revised? It’s a good idea to have some others look over your sales copy and give you feedback.
When you treat your book like a business and develop a focused plan for generating sales, you transform your book project from a hobby into a serious venture—something that will have a far better chance of success.