Publishing a book is one of the best ways to position yourself as an expert in your field. Not only that, but the book demonstrates your expertise in its best and most organized format. And perhaps the biggest advantage of all is that your book allows people to be introduced to your expertise without you doing a thing. Yes, you have to write it and get it published. And you also have to market it. But after that, you can sit back and let people read it on their own time.
So let’s talk about some of the realities behind publishing your own book. The biggest misconception people have about the process is that the publishing company does the marketing. Untrue. Regardless of the publishing company you use, the responsibility falls squarely on the author. And that’s a rude awakening for most aspiring authors.
Marketing is no easy task and the biggest priority of publishers considering your book proposal is NOT the quality of your writing or the brilliance of your idea but your ability to market your own book. Yes, it’s true. The biggest thing publishers look for when they evaluate book proposals is your audience and your following. They call it your platform and it refers to the activities you do everyday that put you in front of potential buyers.
The best thing you can do to increase the odds of your book proposal getting accepted by a publisher is to build your platform. Whether that includes workshops and seminars, press releases and media publicity, interviews and special events, blogging and podcasting or internet marketing, publishers need to know you have a strategy to promote your book and the tools necessary to pull it off. Indeed, they’re looking for a certain amount of star power.
If you don’t have a platform when you submit your book proposal, it won’t even get a second glance. That’s why it’s absolutely imperative to get the process started early. Offer workshops and seminars. Develop a website and build awareness and traffic. Use press releases to announce events or special milestones. Write articles, both online and off. Look for speaking engagements to build credibility and gain exposure. These are the things publishers will favor when evaluating your proposal.
Another misconception about getting a book published is that you’ll make money in the process. Unfortunately, this is rarely true on the first book. As an unproven author, you won’t be able to negotiate a big percentage in the book deal and the marketing campaign will devour most of the profits. The primary objective behind your first book should be to build credibility, gain exposure and validate your abilities as an author, including marketing. If you succeed, you’ll get a much better deal on your second book and that’s where you can start making money.
Publishing a book can be one of the best steps a person can take when developing a business. It sets you apart from the vast majority of others in your field and people will forevermore treat you differently. But you also have to be realistic with the process and that’s what this article is all about.