I often hear authors and aspiring authors say things like:
- When I finish my book, I will attend a writer’s conference.
- When my book starts to make some money, I will have money to spend on marketing.
- When I get some reviews for my book, I will begin promoting it.
- When my novel garners attention and sales, I will write another one.
Sadly, this is backwards thinking.
Too many people think “when I arrive” I will take the next step. They have the process reversed. In reality, you must “take the next step” to arrive.
Consider the following truths:
1. Attending a writer’s conference will give you the skills and motivation you need to complete your book.
This summer, I met a woman at a writer’s conference who has slowly been working on a novel. She has many self-doubts. So, each year after the conference, she takes the next step, but then the doubts creep back in. She attends the writer’s conference each year to keep herself motivated and on track. She is now, after three years, in the process of rewriting her novel and plans to have it done in 2017 for publication.
2. Marketing your book is essential to drawing people to purchase your book.
You can’t wait until you make money on your book to start marketing. People can’t purchase a book they don’t know exists. Marketing lets people know your book exists. Funds for marketing should be part of your budget when you decide to publish a book. Don’t neglect this important step.
Sometimes authors and publishers tell me that they will join Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) when they start having success with their books. This is the same backwards thinking as marketing your book once it starts to make money. A professional association helps you become more successful by giving you an appearance of professionalism, providing you the information you need to be more successful, and helping you with affordable marketing opportunities.
3. Promotion for your book should start before you produce it.
Don’t wait until you have a book in hand or until you have some reviews to begin to promote your book. You should start promoting your book six months to a year before it goes on sale. Build interest as you are writing the book. Whet people’s appetites with teasers so that they want more and can’t wait to read your book when it is released.
4. Novelists who write multiple books sell better than those who only pen one book.
The statistics show this to be true. People read books by authors they like. So, if you only pen one book, you lose sales. The more books you write the better. With multiple books, a reader reads your book and likes it will purchase and read your other novels as well. One bestselling Christian author told me that every time she releases a new book, the sales for her other books increase.
If you have been operating under a false belief about writing and selling books, I encourage you to embrace the truth.
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