If you want to write a better selling book or even a best selling book, there are seven things I’ve learned along the way to help you. These seven things can make a significant difference in your approach, results, success and overall reach when it comes time to sell the book.
I once heard New York Times Best Selling Author (and a mentor of mine) say that 95% of authors never sell more than 200 copies of their book. That’s a shame in my opinion because writing a book requires a tremendous amount of time, energy, and effort. As a first time author, I’ve not made any bestseller lists yet, but this is what my plan is – feel free to borrow!
I followed all of these seven things when I wrote my Amazon International best-selling book Pilot to Profit: Navigating Modern Entrepreneurship to Build Your Business Using Online Marketing, Social Media, Content Marketing and Sales.
1. Have a SOLID Outline
When you write your book, if you don’t have a clear picture of what your book is supposed to do, you will get stuck. I know this to be true because I was stuck for MANY years before I finally was able to write my book. The thing that made the difference for me was having an outline of my book that showed me all the parts. Once I was able to see all the different parts, I was able to then take that outline and map out a plan from start to finish of what I wanted to have happen inside my book.
This outline changed as the book progressed, but the act of writing the outline inspired me to take creative action on a regular basis and not to get stuck.
You can access a copy of my personal outline, and a word template I created to help you build your own book outline here.
2. Know Your Objective
I have worked with countless Authors who have missed this step. They end up with a book, no list, and no end game associated with their book. It’s a recipe for disaster and one sure-fire way to ensure you won’t be selling any books.
When you create objectives for your book, they should be measurable. You should be able to clearly see whether or not your book helped you reach your business objectives. Writing a book is a creative process and it’s easy to get caught up in all that creativity without actually thinking about how this all ties to your business strategy. Setting objectives will help you write your book and hit your goals.
Some of my objectives were:
-> Make my book a best seller to build credibility for myself as an author
-> Build my list by offering resources and tools inside my book that people can download
-> Acquire new clients through online programs, and or coaching because of my book
Each of these is measurable and I can qualify the measurement even more by making adding quantitative data. For example, become an Amazon best-selling author in 5 different countries, add 5000 names to my list, and acquire $100,000 in new revenue from those new people who are now part of my community.
When you crystallize your objectives, writing your book becomes a bigger priority. You start to think in terms of, “How can I serve my audience so well that all of these objectives happen?”
3. Hire Support To Write A Better Selling Book
When you write your first book, you will bounce up against resistance and analysis paralysis. The best way to ensure you move forward is to hire a team to help you with your mindset, marketing, and overall architecture of the book.
I hired a book coach to help me through the process of writing my book, a photographer to capture the perfect photo (had to hire 4 to get the look I wanted), an editor, and another best-selling author to share with me everything she did to make her book such a success.
It is very challenging to write a book all by yourself. I tried for years and the only way I was able to gain momentum was to hire a team of skilled professionals to help me do it. Now that I’ve written my first book, I doubt I will need as much help on the second because I have experience, but for my first book, I needed help.
4. Decide on a Publisher
You have many options when it comes to publishing. You can write a book proposal and go the traditional route, you can self-publish or you can hire a hybrid publisher like I did to work in partnership with you.
My publisher is Morgan James. They only publish 150 books a year and have worked with some incredible authors like Brendon Burchard, Jeff Walker, Melonie Dodaro and Kim Garst. When you partner with Morgan James, they do the heavy lifting on how to get distribution, they do your cover design, get you your ISBN and more. It was totally worth it to me to work with a company who had done what I wanted to do, especially for my first book.
I chose Morgan James because they can bring your book to market faster than a traditional publisher, and they eliminate some of the roadblocks new self-published authors face when they are trying to get distribution.
5. Get a Great Photo
I worked with four different photographers to get the photo for the cover of my book. It cost me a LOT of money to work with these individuals but at the end of the day, if your face is on the cover of your book, you want to love the photo, otherwise, you’ll hate selling the book.
Many first time authors are advised NOT to put their photo on the cover of their book. It has been said that Reid Tracy from HayHouse advises strongly against it but I wanted my photo on the cover because of my social media presence. I felt that my face is a core part of my brand and that not having my photo on the cover might actually hinder book sales.
6. Work Through Resistance
Read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield when you are writing your book. You will soon realize most authors face resistance when writing and that your book is never really done. You will most likely want to make edits after the final manuscript is submitted. You’ll read things when your book is in your hands and wish you hadn’t written that. Writing a book brings up all kinds of resistance and if you suffer from any type of perfectionism it’s hard to get through.
This is when a book coach is a big help. Your coach can guide you, encourage you and help you to understand how you feel is normal. Try and find a coach you like and trust so when they are explaining these things to you, you know they are telling you the truth because in my case, I honestly felt like my coach was “just saying that” when she said my book was good.
7. Have a Stellar Marketing Plan
Your publisher is a publisher, not a marketer. It is the Author’s responsibility to market and sell books and if you don’t have a plan, you are pretty much planning to fail. Your marketing plan should help you to strategize on the best ways to sell your book, not only at launch so you can try and be a best (or better) seller, but also how to sell your book on an ongoing basis. Writing and selling your book is not one and done. You need to keep marketing your book and selling your book until there is no one left to buy your book.
You need a plan to build and engage your audience PRE book, a plan to market and sell the book during your launch, and a strategy for ongoing book sales. Your book is a body of work that keeps on working long after it is published. If you stop telling people about your book, guaranteed, they’ll stop buying.
If you are a first time author and you are not comfortable at selling, you should consider some type of business coach who understands sales and marketing to help you through this process otherwise, your book may become a loss leader in your business – something that cost you a lot to do, and generated very little in return. You don’t want that.
When I got my book, I wanted to jump directly into sales mode because that’s what I do. The truth is, jumping in could hinder my #1 objective, which is to become a best-selling author so I had to press pause. You become a best-selling author when you sell a large volume of books during a short period of time. Now that I’ve got my book, I am working on the best way to make that happen.
If you’re ready to take the first step to making it happen for you too, get the FREE Book Outline Template here —> lisalarter.com/outline
Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.