I remember an advertising campaign a few years back featuring Rachel Hunter for Pantene. The catchphrase was -with a cool shake of her golden locks -‘It won’t happen overnight, but it WILL happen.
That line became a cliche way faster than it took to work through a bottle of Pantene Shampoo. And it’s one that I often find myself repeating to people I work with in marketing and more specifically in publishing.
It Wont Happen Overnight – but it WILL happen… it takes time, effort, a lot of talking, and the right combinations of online and offline promotion, but your book will eventually become well known, sell copies, and maybe even make you famous or rich. But don’t rely on those last two… fame and fortune for writers is strictly a no-go-zone of thinking for anyone starting out as an author.
What really hit home for me about this last week was a meeting with an old client I worked with about five years ago who did a great book – and I mean every kid leaving school should read it! – he had a fantastic message about perseverance, opportunities, and making your life work for you. But after a few months of limited sales, this man decided that it wasn’t really happening for him and despite a lot of wonderful feedback for his book and some very good speaking engagements, it was just easier to refocus on daily business. And that’s OK. I mean, not everyone wants to ride the horse to the end of the race when it comes to the amount of work and determination required to launch a speaking/writing career.
Many authors I’ve worked with have decided at various points along the way that there really are easier ways to make a living. And mostly they are right. A few have already launched a fantastic career as highly paid experts, coaches, speakers, and consultants even before they wrote their first book and for them the book was ‘the next obvious thing’ to do to keep momentum going, and re-affirm their position in the industry they had chosen to be in.
As I’ve said before, Guru-dom is a fickle and famine riddled place. Not every book is going to make it to the best seller status so yearned for by every author. But some do, and they do because there was a huge amount of planning, focus, and a reasonable amount of luck in the mix.
I’m working with another author at the moment who is hoping to recoup a lot of the money
spent invested into the creation of his work. This is where it will become a matter of was it a cost or investment… the return. You see, he’s devoted a long time and a lot of money into this project, and while his primary desire is to tell his story and open the way for opportunities to consult to others in his industry, the equally strong desire is to use this book to highlight the work he’s done, to shine a bright spotlight on what’s possible, and to recoup his investment through book sales and speaking opportunities.
So here’s what I say to people in these situations.
“It wont’ happen overnight, but it will happen… IF, you do these things…”
Eight Steps to Author Success
- Write and publish a good quality book that has been well drafted, edited, proofed, and designed. Don’t just rush it, and make it an average book – this is your life’s work we’re talking about – make it special.
- Get really busy with your social media management. Build a big following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
- Do pre-sales via your social media networks, and direct people to special options for pre-ordering on Kindle and Amazon.
- Advertise your book via Google, Facebook Ads, boost your posts, create You Tube videos about it… SELL it!
- Sell your books via Kindle and Amazon IF you want to be sure of global options and author status. There’s a lot more to this step, but it’s a big learning curve worth learning.
- Get media savvy – know how to get reviews from peers and media reviewers – get people talking about your book.
- Get busy speaking about your book – speaking and writing go hand in hand – you have to be willing to do both.
- KEEP BUSY redoing and reviewing all of these steps.
And finally – wait… wait for the tipping point to happen. It may not be immediate. It may take a year or more. It may not happen at all, and it may take a second or third book for you to become ‘popular’. But like I already said… it won’t happen overnight.