Three Biggest Mistakes New Authors Make Before Writing a Best Selling Book.

by Stephany

Lately I’ve enjoyed writing and working with a handful of book author clients, content editing and planning a book launch campaign.  Since I’ve found myself asking the same questions over and over in my initial interview, it seemed time to discuss the one most important thing authors can do to write and promote a best seller. 

So you want to write a book, why bother?

Great. You have a topic, area of expertise and you’ve done your research. If you’re lucky the ideas are just simply flowing onto paper effortlessly and you can’t help yourself.  Voilà, you’re an author and it feels great right?  Too bad you’re probably writing a book that few people will buy or read it. In fact, if you’ve neglected to remember the one cardinal rule of marketing and publicity, your book may even be unpromotable.

Rule #1: Who are you writing for and speaking to?

Most authors get inspired and start writing their pearls of wisdom to share with the world. The challenge is that not everyone likes pearls. So you have to keep in mind who you are speaking to while writing your book, or your audience may never hear about your book, let alone connect with it.  I hear author’s say “everyone can benefit from my book”, “it has very broad appeal.” They mistakenly think it’s better to have a wide target audience so they write as generic or broad as possible to “appeal to the masses.”  Sadly, just the opposite is true, if you don’t appeal to a specific target market you risk appealing to no one. So write with a specific person in mind and write as if you are speaking to them.

Rule #2 ~ Narrow Your Target. You’re writing a book, who cares?

If you as an author can’t picture or describe in detail exactly who your writing this book for, then how do you expect a publicist to help your book stand out in a crowd of millions of books and deafening advertising noise. Think of it this way. It’s like standing at a book convention with a blowhorn crying, “Hey look at me, I wrote a great book.”  A kind response may be, “Good for you!”  While the more important question is, “Who cares?!”  In order to sell anything, anywhere, to anyone, people want to know one thing, “What’s in it for me?”  If you cannot tell me who it’s written for, then I’ll bet you can’t tell me why they would want it and what they’ll get from it. Until those questions are answered, your book is unpromotable.

Rule #3 ~ Don’t write a book that’s UN-PROMOTABLE. Write clear key messages first.

These are the fundamental questions ever author must answer before they start writing.  If you are crystal clear about who you are writing this book for, what’s in it for them, and why they want or need your book, then you can write with a specific person in mind. The final rule is to know your key messages. What do you want that person to walk away understanding when they finished your book? If you draft your key messages first, I guarantee your chapters will be easier to write. Your book will feel like more of a conversation and your audience will be better able to connect with what you are saying.  Better still, you’ve done half the job for a  great publicist to grab your book, create a brilliant marketing campaign to help you become a best seller.


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