Ever since I was a kid, I’ve absolutely loved the act of writing. To many people, a blank sheet of paper is a frightening sight, but for me it has always been a place to vent my feelings and make sense of my thoughts. Having written hundreds of articles for the web, and now working as a copywriter coach to help others up their game, I can say with confidence that few things compare to the sensation of publishing your own book. In this piece, I’m going to share my learnings from the experience of structuring, writing and getting my book into the hands of my target audience. Let’s dig in!
Why publish your own book?
Before I share my tips with you, let me explain why writing your own book is a good idea. If you run a service-based business, perhaps as a designer, photographer or as a copywriter, nothing states your expertise like having your own book. My book focuses on helping charities to make the most of digital technology. At the time I was supporting them with their websites and digital strategy. In prospective meetings I could literally say I wrote the book on this topic. This gave me an edge, a credibility that my peers simply did not have. Prospects knew that I was in it to seriously help them, not just make a quick buck (pun intended). The whole process was enjoyable, and it helped grow my business by tens of thousands of dollars.
So without further ado, here are five lessons and tips that I can share having successfully self-published my own book.
1) Know your audience really, really well
So many people start writing a book without having a clear idea of their audience. You need to know two things: their problems and their goals. Marketing teaches us to focus on people’s problems, so that you can slide into their world with a solution. But to me that’s only half the job; you need to inspire them, and that comes from knowing what their goals are too.
For example, a reader might be confused about which hosting company to choose to host their website (I cover this in my book). Instead of simply offering up potential answers, try to see things from their perspective: they want good hosting so they can have a fast, reliable website that will bring them results! That is their aspiration, so focus on that.
2) Write first, edit later
This sage writing advice should not be understated. I wrote for 4 months before I began to seriously edit the book. I then spent several days organising my content into sections, deleting the stuff I had repeated elsewhere and expanding where needed. This was by far the most challenging part of the work. Whilst the writing took much longer, it came more naturally to me than editing. If you have trouble with this, hire somebody with experience to help you. Don’t risk letting a potentially great book slip away by ignoring the editing process.
3) Invest in the cover art
There are a number of ways to effectively promote your romance book, and one of the most important is to make sure your cover is eye-catching and engaging. A great way to do this is to hire a professional romance book cover designers who are specializes in romance books cover designing. They will be able to create a beautiful cover that will grab attention and make potential readers want to learn more about your book. In addition, it’s important to use social media and other online tools to get the word out about your book. Make sure you have an active presence on Goodreads, Twitter, and other platforms where romance readers are likely to congregate.!
4) Know your main marketing channel
It’s common for writers to get overwhelmed by marketing, because frankly there are just too many options out there. The worst thing that you can do is spread yourself too thinly across all the channels. My advice is to pick just one or two channels and invest heavily in them. This could be Twitter and SEO, or LinkedIn and email marketing. If the thought of this breaks you out in a cold sweat, consider hiring a professional or taking a course to learn more about this. There’s no point in writing a great book if you don’t have a plan to get it into your reader’s hands!
5) Let go of the need for results (at least while you’re writing it)
If you’re writing a book because you hope it will land you a million dollar writing contract, or you’ll become a bestseller, be very wary of your internal motivators. It is wonderful to have ambition, and visualising your success can be key to actually being successful, but if your actual goal is to make money the chances are you’ll make none. Your goals should be to share your knowledge and make an impact in other people’s lives. Whilst the end result might mean money, fame and success, it is best not to focus too heavily on this during the writing process and instead, work to deliver value.
I absolutely loved writing my book, and I can’t wait to write my next one. I hope these tips help you on your writing and publishing journey.
I do sincerely believe that everyone has a book in them. But unlike Hitchens, I think you should write yours. Your experiences, your unique angle, will have value to others in the world. There is an audience out there, right now, just waiting to read what you have to say. So get writing!
Matt Saunders is a business coach for creative people. He works with freelancers and founders to help them reach their next level. He believes that the creative sector will produce better work with more empowered, business-savvy founders.
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