First of all, you can do it! How can I say that? Because a few years ago I didn’t think I could write a book either. The thought had crossed my mind but I dismissed it, thinking you had to be some kind of genius to write a book. Absolutely not true! Anyone can write a book. You simply write about your own experiences or your own philosophy. My philosophy is that if you can write a letter you can write a book its simply an extended version. I believe that everyone has a book inside of them waiting to come out. But I will say this; you need to be absolutely clear from the start what you want to write about. You need to be clear in your own mind about the message you want to impart. If its not clear in your mind it wont be clear on paper.
I can only tell you what I did and I began with the end in mind. By that I mean I began with the title first, then began to work in reverse. I came up with the title “You Are The Problem, You Are The Solution” even before I knew what the chapter titles were. Yes, I had loads of pages of notes and I was clear in my mind what I wanted to say, and clear about the message I wanted to give to people, but none of the notes were organized. Then I began to come up with chapter titles; for example, a chapter on ‘money’, a chapter on ‘persistence’ etc etc. If I had a lot to say about something I would make a chapter out of it. If I didn’t have much to say, I didn’t bother and I would simply put it in with another chapter. Then I began to categorize all the notes into folders for each corresponding chapter. Once this had been done, I began to sort all the notes into some kind of order. Then I put pen to paper. Each day I would write a little bit, and eventually after doing this for a while, the book wrote itself.
Don’t try too hard to write. You shouldn’t have to try it should come naturally. If you find yourself trying too hard, stop and take a break and go do something else completely like listen to music or wash the car or something. You will find that as you are doing this, ideas will start to come and when they do write them down now! Keep a notebook with you at all times even when you are washing the car (keep it in something waterproof of course!) otherwise you will forget these ideas and they will be gone forever. If you are involved in marketing your own books, you absolutely must get a copy of John Kremer’s “1001 Ways To Market Your Books” This book completely changed my strategy and the way I was marketing my books. I would even go as far as to say that if you are marketing your own books, this book could mean the difference between success and failure. You cant afford not to have it! Buy it today! This book will pay for itself many times over!
Why not get yourself a large notebook and start writing a complete manuscript for your book? What have you got to lose? If you feel you aren’t getting anywhere, you don’t have to go any further. Simply bin it. On the other hand, you may find out as I did that you had a lot more to say than you thought and you might really enjoy writing. If so, you can always take the next step and get it published. Whatever you decide, don’t let anyone put you off or steal your dream! I wish you well.
Once your book is published you need to be committed to spending time and possibly money marketing it on an ongoing basis. For how long? As long as it takes. This will be different for everyone, as everyone’s situation is different. I can only speak for myself, but in my opinion, the hardest part of becoming an author wasn’t writing the book, neither was it finding a publisher, although neither of these things were easy. The hardest part in my opinion is marketing the book once it is published especially if you are a first time author. This isn’t meant to be negative, it is supposed to serve more as a warning not to make the same mistake I did which was to sit back and do nothing. I thought that because I had written a book, the rest would take care of itself. Wrong! As a result, I wasted years doing nothing, when I could have started marketing it a lot earlier and also had this website up and running a lot earlier too. The general rule of thumb? Work as though it all depends on you because it might! Why put massive effort into writing the book, massive effort into getting the book published, then slack off on the last part?
To make it clearer, I found the letters GAAS helpful in making this point.
G is for good enough. Obviously this speaks for itself. The book has to be good enough in the first place otherwise the rest is a waste of time.
A The first A is for ‘available’. It doesn’t matter how good the book is, if its not available to buy anywhere you’re not going to make any sales.
A The second A is for ‘awareness’. You might have the best book in the world (even a potential bestseller) and it might also be available in a lot of places, but if people don’t know about it, they’re not going to buy it. There’s probably a lot of books right now that I don’t know about that I would I would probably love and buy if only I knew they were there. This is where marketing comes in and why it is so vital.
S The final letter ‘S’ is for sales. Notice how this comes last! Theres a reason for that. You cannot skip any of the first three steps and hope to go straight to sales. It doesn’t work that way. If you take care of the first three steps, (GAA) the ‘S’ will take care of itself.
Marketing your books could also be looked upon as the follow through. All successful business people and sales people know the importance of follow through. This is where the vast majority of all sales are made. Just as a golfer has to follow through with his swing, so must you follow through with marketing your book(s). Imagine how silly it would be if the golfer suddenly stopped his club exactly where the ball was? Yet that’s what some of us do when it comes to marketing and promoting. Whether you follow through or not will have an enormous effect on the amount of sales you make. We were told in the multi level marketing business (MLM) when we were out showing presentations to people that if you’re not going to follow through, you may as well stay at home and watch TV (often referred to as the electronic income reducer), because you’ve really just become a professional visitor. Often people would get a good response on the initial presentation but were afraid to go back incase the person had changed their mind, and they didn’t want to hear the word NO. But let me tell you, hearing the word ‘no’ is a word you’re going to have to get used to if you want to be successful and that goes for anything not just sales. The more ‘no’s the better, because it means you’re doing something, and you’re closer to the next ‘yes’. A person who doesn’t ever hear ‘no’ is the person who isn’t doing anything and wont be successful. But because of the law of averages, the more ‘no’s you go through the more yes’es you will get because its all in proportion. Its all about numbers.