Would you like to stand in the shoulders of experts to finally write a book?
Over £13 million was generated in print sales last year. And it’s a known fact that self-publishing drives sales by up to 79% in a year (source: theguardian).
Nice statistics, right? But listen up: if you’re lazy and waste time on social media tweeting, and gossiping, you’ll never have time to write a book.
More than 1000 people search for “steps to writing a book” every month.
This means that most people want to get published. Seriously, they want to have their name on that glossy book cover, and bear the title of an author. The very thought of it sounds heavenly. And fun too. Isn’t it?
I’ve self-published an ebook last year. But I’m no where near the top. So I reached out to 3 bestselling authors and went into close with them, and got the 3 secrets that will take you from having no book idea to finally having your book on the shelf.
More so, you’ll avoid the mistakes that first time authors make.
Whether you want to write and publish a digital book or hard copy book, the steps are similar.
An earlier statistics by Self Publishing Advisor, “Ebooks still trumps print books, comprising 40% of the ISBNs, which were self-published in 2012. This number went up from 11 percent in 2007.”
Without much ado, here are the 3 steps to writing a book that goes viral:
Danny Iny, Founder of FirePoleMarketing.com
STEP ONE: Build An Audience First
The best advice I can offer first time authors is to invest some serious time in building an audience first. It’s one of the core steps to writing a book that sells.
When you write a book without at least a core group of fans ready to help support your launch, then it's much more likely to be a flop – with few sales and little chance of a wide readership.
On the other hand, if you connect with your future readers before you write your book, then they will help you develop the content, and do a large part of the promotion and sales work FOR you.
You can imagine how successful most Kickstarter’s campaigns are, because other people supported it. The same rule goes for self-publishing.
Before I launched my book, “Engagement from Scratch,” I had built up a loyal network of friends and readers. They were the ones who assisted me in promoting the book.
Connecting with potential buyers is inevitable if you want a successful book launch. It also makes it much more likely to be picked up by a major publisher, if traditional publishing is the route you want to go.
As an author you are going to be expected to do a lot of the marketing or your book one way or another, so having a solid audience to help drive your book towards success is one of the best things you can do for your writing career.
ACTION PATH: How do you build an audience first? It’s not enough to advise you to start building relationship with your target audience. Most aspiring authors struggle to do it, which is the major reason why this guide is titled: the steps to writing a book.
There are 3 ways you can connect with blog readers and customers that never fails. Brian Clark used it to build an audience before venturing into software development.
1). Actionable Content: When you consistently write and publish content that people will relate with, you’ll generate 126% more leads.
This type of content is a strong wake-up call for your audience. You’re giving them a reason to follow you, believe in you and tell others about you.
Write blog posts, articles and short reports that people can read and implement immediately. In other words, avoid using generic terms or writing a “5 ways to get traffic….”
Instead, pick one of the 5 ways and explain step by step how it works. You’ll become an influence in your industry, and command authority.
Because people naturally cling to “actionable blog content,” they’ll share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn etc, as well as write a valuable comment to appreciate you.
Interestingly, you’re building an audience that will contribute to your upcoming book, help you promote it and buy from you over and over again. Whether you're writing about weight loss, digital cameras or how to find the best web host, make sure you've an audience that will read it.
Two of the actionable articles that I’ve read this year are below, with screenshots. Take notes of the social shares and comments:
James Richman’s shows: How to Build a Website 10X Faster Using WordPress Premium Tools
If you want to get a book published for the first time, define your audience and do all you can to lead by example. As an author, you’re expected to write useful content.
2). Blogger outreach: 81% of Americans want to write a book. But how many of them are ready to do the work of promotion?
This is where you reach out to other bloggers and social media influencers. You can’t become a successful author all by yourself.
47% of bloggers have generated more than 10,000 monthly visitors just by reaching out to other top bloggers who have what they’re looking for – audience.
Right before you write your first draft, get to connect with other authors and writers who have built a loyal and active community.
You can find other power users on GrowthHackers.com. They’re all looking for one thing – new readers. If you’ve the right idea that would help them attract fresh blog readers and customers, they’ll support you.
When you get to Growth Hacker, you’ll find a lot of other industry experts sharing their best articles. Find the ones that are relevant to you.
Visit the site and contact the site owner. Pitch a guest post topic based on what they person shared, and you’re guaranteed a YES. Ideally, pitch a topic headline that will take his content to the next level.
For example, if the expert shared “How to use facebook to attract customers,” seeing that this headline is not actionable, you could take it a step further like this:
How To Use Facebook To Attract Your First 50 Customers In 90 Days
By the time you reach out to 5 – 10 authority bloggers in your niche, and they accept to publish your guest post. This is good news, because certainly, you’ll drive fresh visitors/qualified readers back to your site.
3). Content curation: Brian Clark believes you can build an audience through content curation.
He’s currently demonstrating exactly how it’s done on Rainmaker.FM, a rare platform where he interviews the cream-of-the-crop when it comes to digital marketing and entrepreneurship.
Jay Baer says you can “build social authority” by curating content. But what exactly is content curation, especially for someone who plans to write a book or publish a book?
Content curation can be defined as the art and science of using tools to find and share quality content on a specific topic. Content marketing statistics inspire curation, because every marketer deserves to build a successful business.
According to Toprankblog, “73% of B2B content marketers are excitedly producing more engaging content than they did one year ago.”
There is a need to curate (organize) useful articles on a particular topic or subject. Purely Branded may be right when he said that “the more content they produce, the more leads they’ll generate.”
That’s the job of a content curator. Remember that you’ll be curating (organizing) other people’s content. The content strategy you’re using is simple: when you curate these content and link back to appropriate blogs and sites, you’ll notify the owners/authors.
As you do that, the law of reciprocity will kick in. In psychology, the law states that when someone treats you nicely or responds to you favorably, you’ll have feel a deep-rooted obligation to reciprocate (or return the kind gestures).
The more content you curate (organize or collate), and the design of the page, the more appealing it’d seem for your target audience. And people will start linking back to you – and you can leverage this relationship to promote your book.
This particular step to writing your book is critical. Make it count. Get to meet other people today, through their content.
So how do you find high-quality content that you can curate and start building relationship with the writers?
Follow this simple steps:
Step #1: Visit BuzzSumo.com. Plug your main keyword (e.g. blog traffic) into the search box. Click the “Go” button.
Note: BuzzSumo is social media tool that helps you find content (articles, infographics) that have been shared the most on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.
Step #2: Curate the most shared content. Make sure the content you want to curate (organize) at your blog had already gone viral.
This would further motivate the owner to share your curated web page – and get more traction and link juice to their page.
Alternatively, you can find relevant blog content that you can curate by tying these string into Google search box:
Drive blog traffic
Generate organic traffic
Get traffic to new blog
Let’s do a search with one of the keywords:
Steve J. Scott, Author of “Bad Habits No More.”
STEP TWO: Spend Time To Edit Your Book
There is no shortcut to writing a valuable and life-changing book. It’s hard work. But you can do it, if you dare to be excellent in your writing.
In the self publishing world, one mistake first-time writers make is not placing enough value on editing.
Editing is an art, it greatly improves the quality of a book. A few simple mistakes can take the reader out of the narrative. Using active voice rather than passive voice makes the reading experience more enjoyable and a lot less boring.
Every new author should (at a minimum) take two passes at editing their books.
ACTIONABLE PATH: Here are the things you can do to make sure your book is well edited, flows naturally and touches the very essence of your readers – the heart.
1). Get Off Your Desk: You’ve to take a few days off after you finish writing, then go back and edit the entire thing. Go out and take some fresh air. Stretch your body. Come back to a cleaner desk, and your visual binoculars will pinpoint every error.
The time off will give you perspective and help you find more mistakes. Making a tighter (and shorter) book. People love economy, the more you can edit out, while still imparting all the information, the better.
2). Ask For Help: Most people are good at writing, but not finding and fixing errors. I think I fall into this category. If that’s the case, ask for help. It pays. Send your book to a professional editor.
This is important for two reasons:
First, it makes sure your work is top notch.
Second, when you get your revised edition back with all the errors displayed it becomes an important teaching lesson. It helps you to write better books in the future. What it would cost to publish a book will be exciting to you, once you’re confident that your new book is up to par.
Appreciate Steve J. Scott for his advice to first time author on his site: stevescottsite.com
You can find an editor on oDesk for less than $70/hour.
Follow these simple steps:
Step #1: Visit oDesk.com. On the homepage, type in “book editor.” Then hit the ‘enter’ button on your keyboard.
Step #2: Choose from the results. You can click on the editor’s image to learn more about the expert. If you care about quality editing, don’t always go for cheaper rates.
Once you click on the editor’s photo, you’ll be taking to the author’s profile page. There you can easily contact the editor and discuss your book further. The profile page looks like this:
John Chow, Author of “Make Money Online.”
STEP THREE: Do The Marketing First
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
-Alexander Graham Bell
Before you write a book or publish one, do the marketing first. Then write the book. It's great to write a book, but if you have no way of selling it, then it's pretty useless. So do the marketing plan first.
You should write an in-depth book with lots of pages and value. According to Publishers Weekly, “Readers like longer e-books. They’ll perceive it as a valuable information even before they read the first page. The study found that bestselling books tend to be more than 100,000 words. It may come as a surprise to you, but it’s true.
Write the sales letter for the book first. Then use the sales letter as your guide when you write the book.
To learn more about the Author, visit Johnchow.com.
ACTION PATH: The sales letter will normally list everything your book talks about it. So you use that as the bullet points for the book and make sure you cover all the points. This way no one can say you advertised falsely.
One of the ways you can promote your book before its release is to:
1). Build a Fanbase: Nothing beats a hungry crowd. People who have indicated interest in what you’re doing. Seth Godin refers to them as “tribe” and Ramsay Taplin calls them “Tyrants” while Steve calls them “nerds.”
Michael Hyatt, Author of “Platform, Get Noticed In A Noisy World” said that He Mobilized His Tribe to drive his flagship Book onto The Bestseller Top List. How powerful is a tribe?
Every author prays to get at least one of his books on the bestsellers’ stand, but you can’t do it all by yourself. Your tribe has the capacity to help you.
whatever you call them, they’re a group of people who will sacrifice everything to see you succeed. They’re confidants.
Here are excerpts from Self Publishing Team, on how to market your book before you release it to the marketplace.
While building your fanbase, which would take a gradual leap, you need to do something else. I see lots of experts do it. What is it?
2). Gather more reviews: Again, you want to get your blog readers, customers and friends involved. And they’ve to start early.
To ensure that you successfully write your book, and sell at least 10,000 copies (average for gauging a successful book launch), you’ve to follow these 3 steps to writing a book.
Having your own book is far better than promoting another person’s book. Because with your name on the book cover and several endorsements, you’ll build a strong personal brand that will funnel clients to your online business.
Remember that this guide is self-publishers. It doesn’t matter whether you plan to publish an ebook or physical book, the adventure begins when you understand and follow these 3 secrets:
Build an audience first
Spend time to edit your book
Market the book before releasing it.
As usual, I’d like to hear from you. Have you self-published before or not? Share your experience anyways.