1. You haven’t finished writing it.
Really? Of all the authors I spoke with about their “in-process” manuscript, a year, or two years ago, you’d be surprised how many of those manuscripts are still “in-process” today. I know there is a time and season for everything, but one day you’ll run out of times and seasons … and that manuscript will still be “in-process.” Set a finish date for your manuscript, and then tell someone you trust who is willing to hold you accountable. If no one comes to mind, you can tell me your finish date. I’ll write it down, and I’ll 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.
Again, you’d be surprised at the authors who have a finished manuscript sitting in a drawer, safe from the world ever seeing it. Afraid some people won’t 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. No one knows 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 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 share your story with others before they know or care if your book exists. The relationship between author and reader is just that – a relationship. Your job as an author doesn’t end when your manuscript is written and your book is published; it’s just beginning.
4. No one knows what’s inside.
Sometimes authors (and publishers) focus so much on selling their books, they forget to share the story inside. When you’ve invested so much time, effort and money into making your book a reality, it’s tough to remember that people aren’t interested in buying books. They are interested, however, in stories that will touch their spirits, expand their world, improve their lives or increase their happiness. Readers don’t buy books, they buy what books offer. Share your story, share it freely, share it often. And don’t worry about giving your story away “for free.” Books are an odd commodity; you don’t loose customers by sharing your story, you find them.
5. People don’t have the opportunity to purchase it.
I don’t mean you forgot to say, “Buy my book!” A lot of authors try that approach and wonder why it doesn’t work. I mean, when someone is ready, do they have an easy, obvious way to purchase your book? 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 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 website, is there an easy, obvious path to “learn more” that eventually gives your potential reader the opportunity to buy your book?
Being an author isn’t just about writing a book; 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 and published your book, and shared your story, your world – the audience meant for your story – if given the opportunity, will buy your book. 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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