Yes, there are millions of books out there … is yours contributing to book pollution … or do you have a unique voice, something new to bring to the party, a twist to something old … in other words, can you break from the pack? Or, will you continue to be a sardine in the vast sea?
Let’s face it, publishing isn’t for sissies. Nor is book marketing. Yet, too-too many authors think that the world will easily discover their book, and them. If you are one of them, you are in for a big disillusioning ride. A big one. It takes work to attract the book-buying public.
And the answer is … yes indeed.
There are a variety of ways to stand out from the crowd. Start with:
1. Decide you want to do it. Always a good idea … It will take some effort on your side to shine above, to create the hook and twist that allows others to see you in a different way. It doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune in the process … what it does mean is that you have to bring some vision and passion to the process. Tis also a good idea to go with what you know … or at least have some expertise in … which leads to the next point.
2. Don’t re-invent the wheel. Yes it’s a cliché … but still, pay attention. Look around you—what is your book, your idea that is already out there that others know about. Do you think Starbucks invented coffee; that McDonald’s invented burgers; or that Dominos invented pizza? Those products have been around for more years than you and I have toes … yet with a twist and a tweak, they scored big time.
Did Stephen King write the first horror novel; JK Rowling the first witches and fantasy novel; or Ken Blanchard the first management book? No to all. But what they did was turn their genres upside down—imagine, a skinny management book with lots of stories—who could have thought of something like that?
Ken Blanchard in his One Minute Manager series. Stephen King’s, The Shinning, took a well-known estate in a Colorado area and turned it into a creep factory. JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone morphed witches, bad guys and good guys on the first page.
3. Create an Experience. When Blanchard wrote his pioneering book for business decades ago, The One Minute Manager, he so connected with his reader—managers are OD’d with things to do, and manage. Here’s a blueprint to do it in a minute—what a concept!
Rowling created the Harry Potter series with her amazing storytelling ability—readers of all ages opened the pages and fell into the books. Experiences up the kazoo that her followers couldn’t get enough of.
Stephen King is just different—a superb writer, but with a spook factor … and if you like spookiness and horror, he’s your guy.
What separates the successful author from the run-of-the-mill author is the experience. When the connection happens, they will continue to come. It’s a wonderful thing.
4. Don’t get stuck on pricing. Yes, you need to pay attention to it; it does make sense to know what other books similar to yours are going for. But, and it’s huge but, don’t price your book because of fear. When my book, Zapping Conflict in the Health Care Workplace was initially published, we priced it at $29. On the second printing, it was increased to $35.
The distributor and bookstores said it was too high. Listening, then choosing to ignore their input, I went with my gut. The product was needed in my niche market—it wasn’t just another book on conflict resolution—there were many of those. It was a book that was based on a survey of healthcare professionals and woven with healthcare stories. In other words, I built it for them—not the distributor or the bookstore.
There was no resistance to the price. Conflict was big in health care (and still is)—I had some solutions with a twist. We sold mega thousands and enjoyed multiple printings.
5. ID your niche. Oh yes … this is a biggie in the author success model. The kiss of death for the author is when he or she thinks their book is for everyone. Get over it—it’s not … create your own community of readers and followers.
With the Zapping Conflict in the Health Care Workplace that was followed by Stabotage! How Deal with the Pit Bulls, Skunks, Snakes, Scorpions & Slugs in the Health Care Workplace, I was able to tap into my financial, number-crunching pedigree and factor in just what toxic behavior cost the health care workplace—quantifying got leadership’s attention. A community was created.
Those two books were initially published in over 18 years ago. Revisions have been make. They are still producing income through 2018. Not bad.
Now, I just focused on authors, writing, publishing my current books under my name. For the fiction books I partner with Brian Barnes, the niche is different—historical and women’s fiction. Different market that will have different book marketing tactics.
You MUST ask yourself and answer: Who needs, really needs/wants your subject? The more you narrow it, the bigger you can become within it.
6. Become an Amazon Bestseller. Yes, having a bestseller claim to your name and book is smart. Add it to your detail pages on both Amazon and IngramSpark. Use the bestseller image. Add stickers at signings.
AND … participate in my Amazon Bestseller program. It’s a 4-week workshop held on Wednesday afternoon with me live coaching you. Space is limited—very limited. When you implement the days you are reaching for, I will partner and push out with and for you. It works.
Will I see you there?
Next dates: February 8, 15, 22, March 1. All details are on TheBookShepherd.com website under the Experiences tab HERE.
7. Build it, they will come. Starting as the sardine is just fine … you’ve got to get some legs in the authoring and publishing sea. When you build it, when you break out, you will no longer be the sardine in the sea … you will be the whale … better, much better.
Seven steps … when will you start?
Dr. Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. Often, she must roll up her writing sleeves and become a Book Doctor, juicing up storylines and author words. She empowers authors and works directly with authors who want to be seriously successful and has been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the ’80s. Judith is the author of 43 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms, Snappy Sassy Salty: Success for Authors and Writers, and How to Create a Million Dollar Speech. Her personal memoir When God Says NO-Revealing the YES When Adversity and Loss Are Present is a #1 bestseller on Amazon and her historical fiction debut Secret Journey. Collectively, her books have earned over 45 book awards. Judith speaks throughout the year at publishing conferences.
Throughout the year, she holds Judith Briles Book Unplugged in-person and online experiences: Publishing, Speaking, Marketing, and Social Media. All are two-day intensives limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. Join Judith live for the “AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing” podcast on the Toginet Radio Network HERE.
Follow @AuthorUYOUBooks and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorYOU, and join the Facebook group Book Publishing with The Book Shepherd. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact her.
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