Writing A Book Was Hard, But That Was The Easy Part

I spent close to two years writing my first book. When it was done, I breathed a sigh of relief thinking the hardest part was over. I was wrong. I still had to market the book; that's when I realized that writing was the easy part. One good piece of advice I got when I started down the author/speaker path was that to succeed, I have to treat writing as a business. Good thing I'd owned a few small businesses in the past. This was not going to be easy.

As part of pouring myself into the process, I joined the Atlanta Writers club. I attended my first writing workshop a few weeks after I joined; it was for fiction writers, but I got so much material on how to tell a great story. I paid $30, for this event but the real nugget I got was my brief conversation with the owner of a bookstore. Being naive about this industry, I walked up to him, introduced myself and told him I just self-published my first book. He gave me the polite nod which pretty much said (another one of those.) I then proceeded to show him the book. I am glad I was looking at him as I brought out the book or else I would have missed the transformation of his eyes. It was obvious that what came out of my bag was not what he expected to see. Lucy, my wife, is a graphic designer, and she worked on the book cover design; she would have been so proud of that moment. Hmm, in that moment I realized we achieved what we set out to achieve with our design; not to look self-published. We nailed it. Well, almost. The bookstore owner grabbed the book and looked through it with keen interest, and later in our conversation complemented me on the design and layout.

The first thing he did when he got the book was turn it over and look at the price.$19.95. "Too expensive" he said. "Uhm...." I said. My publisher had told me it was priced right. The book seller now tells me it wasn't. Who would be more accurate? The one who sells the book or the one who prints the book? Needless to say, I asked him to help me price it correctly. $14.95. Done. My book will now be sold for $14.95. No questions asked, this is part of the education I want as I go into the business of writing and speaking.

Lesson: Seek and be open to feedback from the sources that actually get your product to the market. Don't get hooked on your product, but stay focused on the reason why you wrote the book, and those who need to get your product. My goal is to get any obstacles out of the way so that I can get the book out there and build the speaking track. Figure out your objectives and be very clear about it. Stick to it and don't sweat the small stuff.

Marketing: The Key to Success:

Invest in learning how to market. I've heard many people say that marketing is not their forte; it's not mine either but I need to get my book into the readers hands. You've spent time writing a book, learn and do all you can to get it to readers. As much as you love your book, nobody really cares about it as much as you do. You have to care more about getting it to the right reader than they do about finding out about you. That's the key. When you care this much, you'll be a voracious learner of marketing strategies.

Figure out the 3 or 4 strategies that you can use, and then work them hard. You may be tempted to pay others to do it for you initially, don't. Do it yourself first. Get into the grind and feel the pressure and joy of making the sales. This is part of the process, don't miss out on it. It'll help you as you write more books, and put you in a better position to outsource and manage the marketing process.

 

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