Having either co-authored or ghostwritten three books for clients, I can attest to the hard work that’s involved in developing a good manuscript. But writing a book is only half the battle; some would say the hardest part is marketing it, especially if the author is not well known and doesn’t have a strong platform.
Several weeks ago, I delivered the manuscript for my latest ghostwriting project to the publisher. I’m excited about the prospects for this book because it chronicles the story of a woman who overcame a great deal of adversity to reach the top echelon of one of America’s best known, best loved beauty organizations.
Sue’s transformation from a shy, insecure young lady to into a confident, successful businesswoman who reached the top of her profession will encourage, motivate and inspire women of all ages. Throughout her book she reveals the success principles and life lessons that changed the way she thought and lived.
Women interested in running their own direct-sales businesses in particular can learn a lot from Sue’s expertise and experience.
But beyond its compelling content, I’m encouraged about the prospects for this book’s success once it’s released because of Sue’s marketing savvy, her people skills and her built-in network.
As she speaks to various groups, she weaves in snippets from her book and “pre-sells” it by generating interest and collecting contact information so that she can get in touch with prospective buyers as soon as the book is released.
Sue has also learned how to use social media effectively to network and talk about principles she’s learned over the years, which she describes more fully in her book.
Once it’s published, her book will become a “calling card” that opens doors to additional speaking engagements, media interviews, blog tours, etc.
And that’s one of the strongest reasons for ad agency principles and small and medium business owners with expertise in a particular niche to write a book: they can use it as a calling card that establishes instant credibility. A book differentiates them from competitors, positions them as an expert and opens doors to new opportunities that may not otherwise be available.
But, like Sue, they have to be willing put in the time necessary to make their book a success. Otherwise, it might not be worth the effort or financial investment.
“It is easier than ever to get a book into print, but it is more difficult than ever to sell it,” says Michael Hyatt, chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest Christian publishing company in the world and the seventh largest trade book publishing company in the U.S. “As a result, marketing is not something you can afford to leave to others. You must take responsibility for it yourself.”
That’s even more the case for a self-published author who is relatively unknown and lacks a significant platform. Getting attention is a big challenge, and it requires patient and persistence. On-and-off or half-hearted marketing simply won’t cut it.
Want to learn more? Here are some helpful publishing resources:
Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to advertising agencies and businesses.