Publishing your book doesn’t guarantee that people will buy it.
1. You haven’t finished writing it.
Really? Of all the authors I spoke with who were “working on their manuscript” a year, or two ago, you’d be surprised how many of those authors are still “working on their manuscript” today. King Solomon said that there is a time and season for everything, but if you’re one of those authors, the day will come when you’ve run out of times and seasons and your manuscript will never become a book.
Set a finish date for your manuscript, and then tell someone you trust and is willing to hold you accountable. If no one comes to mind, you can tell me your finish date by leaving a comment at the bottom of this page. I’ll write it down, and remind you as that date approaches. You don’t have to publish your book with True Potential, but you do have to finish your manuscript if you are ever going to have it published.
2. You haven’t published it.
You’d be surprised at how many authors have a finished manuscript sitting in a drawer, safe from the world ever discovering it. Are you afraid that some people may not like your story? I guess we’ll never know. But maybe some people will love it. I guess we’ll never know. Don’t worry about failure at this point. Failure isn’t that some people may not like your book. Failure is letting your story sit in a drawer, never sharing it with the world.
3. Potential readers don’t even know your book exists.
That’s sad. But think about it. Your book is competing with millions of other books (there are more than 49 million book listings on Amazon, not including e-books), and all those books are competing with millions of other things (movies, tv, video games, radio, YouTube, etc.) vying for your potential reader’s attention.
There’s no way to guarantee that your book will sell, but I can guarantee that your book won’t sell if no one knows it exists. You’ve got to build a potential audience for your book now, whenever “now” is in your process at the moment. One very successful author answered the question, “When should I start promoting my book?” His answer was both simple and profound. “Two years ago.” If you didn’t start two years ago, begin today. Tell family, friends, and associates that you’re working on a book. Tell them what the book is about and when you’re planning for it to be published, even if you’re not so sure yourself! By telling others that you’re working on it and that it will happen you not only put your book on their radar, but you’ve also made a public commitment that publishing your book really will happen.
Share your ideas on your Social Media pages. It’s okay to mention that the thoughts and ideas you’re sharing on Social Media will be part of an upcoming book. story with others before they know or care about your book. Again, by sharing with others before the book exists, you’re creating an expectation for your potential audience and you’re creating a public commitment to make your book a reality.
Your relationship with your potential readers begins before your book is published. They will be your first and most important book buyers; your core audience. These will be the first people to become fans and the first to share your story with their friends. Word of mouth from your fans is not only free promotion, it’s more effective than paid promotion.
4. one knows what’s inside.
Sometimes authors (and publishers) focus so much on selling their books, they forget to share what’s inside. When you’ve invested so much time, effort, and money into making your book a reality, you can put yourself under a lot of pressure to sell it. That’s what you’re supposed to do, right? Once the book is published it’s your job, and your publisher’s job, to sell it! But people aren’t interested in buying books. That’s right, people are not interested in buying books. They’re interested in solving their own problems, finding the answer to a question that has been nagging them, searching for hope, inspiration, or even entertainment. They’re looking for something that promises to take away their pain or improve their current situation. People don’t buy books; they buy the promises books make. What promise does your book make? Have you shared that with your potential readers?
5. People don’t have the opportunity to purchase it.
When a potential reader is ready to buy your books, do they have an easy, obvious way to purchase it? Do you keep a box of books in your car just in case you have the opportunity to share your story with someone during your daily routine? Do you bring books to sell with you whenever and wherever you’re asked to speak or share your story with others? When you share your story online via Social Media, your blog, or your website, is there an easy, obvious path to purchase your book?
Being an author isn’t just about writing a book and hoping it will sell. It’s about sharing your story with the world. Your book is just the medium with which you share your story. It’s true, you’ll never sell a book if you never finish your manuscript, and you’ll never sell a book unless it’s published. And others will never know your story unless you share it with them. When you’ve finished your manuscript, published your book, and shared your story, the audience meant for your story – if given the opportunity, will buy it. That’s how it works.
P.S. When you partner with a publisher, be sure they know how it works too.
Successfully publishing your book is too important to leave to chance. And answering these seven questions before you publish could mean the difference between disappointment and success.
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