I will admit it, I made a lot of mistakes while writing my first book, FOCUS. Even though FOCUS is an Amazon bestseller, I could have gotten it in front of many more eyes if I had put a little more time and effort into certain areas early in the writing process. Mistakes are ok – when we learn from them. Repeating the same mistakes is foolishness. As I prepare on my next book I am spending a lot more time in these five areas:
1. Building my Platform – A platform is simply a group of people that may be willing to buy your book. On a limited basis this could be family, friends, customers and acquaintances. But to really be successful a platform should reach well beyond these, to a much wider sphere of influence. When you think of your Platform think of a stage where people stop to see what you have to say. You can build a platform on Facebook, Twitter, by starting a Blog or by cultivating a large email list. Michael Hyatt literally wrote the book on building platforms. I encourage you to read his book, Platform, as a starting point for building your own unique platform. Click HERE to see Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform.
2. Researching my Topic – Amazon is a wonderful place to research your topic because it allows you to see what people are buying. Maybe you have a topic in mind, but a little research may help you focus into a slightly different topic that people are more interested in. For example – Maybe you have the desire to write a book about prayer, a great topic but very general. You would probably attract more attention and sell more books by drilling your topic down to; Prayers for women or Prayers during adversity. See what is already selling on Amazon and tap into that need. On their site Amazon keeps track of the top 100 bestselling books in a wide range of categories and updates it hourly. Spend some time looking at what people are buying. If it’s not already selling, then people probably aren’t looking for it. Keep in mind the world and needs change and what is not hot today maybe next year’s best seller.
Another great tool is the Google keyword tool. It will show you what people are searching for on the internet. You can find it in the Keyword Planner section of Google Adwords. You may have to set up an Adwords account to access it, but creating an account is free.
3. Creating a title that sells – I think I could have greatly increased the sales of “FOCUS” if I had titled it “FOCUS for Spiritual Growth”. I have toyed with the idea of relaunching with the new name just to test the theory but right now I am moving forward on another project. One title is just that a title but the other gives you an idea what the book is about ad works better to tap into a need. Think like the book buyer. As they are scanning dozens of books what about your title, and cover, will make them pause and look deeper?
4. Developing a Marketing plan – How are you going to market your book? Guest post on other Blogs? Email marketing? Sphere of influence? Past customers? Some of this will be dictated by the platform you build but it is something to be working on throughout the book writing process.
5. Founding a Launch Team – Ok, this doesn’t have to be done before you start writing but should be part of your marketing plan. A launch team is a group of people who, in exchange for a free preview copy of your book, agree to download another free copy of the book and write a review when the book goes live online. Amazon analytics loves activity and this will “prime the pump” to get your book positioned to be noticed by potential buyers as quickly as possible. Movement creates momentum. Want to be part of my launch team? Let me know in the comment section or send me an email!