Is your book is going to be a success? It would be nice to know, wouldn’t it? I’ve got news. You can know, and, as your publisher, we can help.

Publishing a successful book depends on how you define “success.”


How do you define success for your book?

How do you define success for your book?

The definition of “success” can be different for every author and story.

  • One author lamented to me that his last book had sold fewer than 50,000 copies. In his mind, the book was a disappointment. His first book was a worldwide bestseller, and he had a worldwide television audience. “Success,” for this author, was selling a lot more than 50,000 books.
  • I worked with an organization that didn’t want to sell any books. They gave away close to a half-million books … and raised more than $100 million in public offerings as a result of telling their story through that book. For them, “success” had nothing to do with “selling” books.
  • I know a lady who published three books so that she could leave a legacy of wisdom for her family. She didn’t sell many books, but she gave some away to those who were important to her and to others who crossed her path. Her three books were all “successes” as far as she was concerned.

When to define “success”

  1. As you begin writing ask yourself, “What is my definition of success for this book?”
  2. When your manuscript is complete and you can see your words on the page, ask yourself again, “What is my definition of success for this book?” Has your definition of “success” changed now that your manuscript is complete?
  3. Before you publish, share your definition of “success” with your publisher. A good publisher can not only help you refine your definition of “success,” they can help make it become a reality.

About choosing a publisher

If your publisher doesn’t get it, if they don’t know why you’re sharing your definition of success for your book, or if they’re not really interested in your definition of success, it’s time to find a new publisher. If the publisher does get it, you’ve got a powerful partner and ally in actually achieving “success” for your book.

Word of warningyour publisher may not agree with your definition of “success” for this book.

Your definition of success may be “to sell a million copies.” But your publisher recognizes that you haven’t built a big enough audience, or that the potential market (people who will be interested enough to pay attention and willing buy the book) for this book doesn’t add up to a million books.

Your publisher may suggest some tweaks to the manuscript or some additional content to increase your opportunity for “success.” They may suggest cutting some non-essential material in the manuscript in order for the story to come through better for the reader. Listen to your publisher. Hear them out. They’ve published more books than you have.

Increase the chances of a successful book launch by being sure you and your publisher agree on what “success” looks like for your book. This happens when you submit your manuscript to the publisher, not after your book is published.

Remember: Marketing begins before a book is published, not after.

Here are the steps:

  1. Decide your definition of success for this book as you begin writing.
  2. Revisit your definition of success for this book once your manuscript is complete. Is your definition of success still valid?
  3. Share your definition of “success” for the book with your publisher.
  4. Be sure your publisher is listening, and listen to your publisher until you’ve both agreed on what “success” for this book will look like.
  5. Be sure your book is being built around your shared idea of success throughout the publishing process.
  6. Begin your marketing and launch plans when the publishing contract is signed, not after the book is published. Your (yours and your publisher’s) marketing/launch plan should be built around your definition of success for this book.

Putting it all together

From conception to final product, your book has been planned and built around your definition of “success.” Your publisher agrees with your definition of “success” for the book and has partnered with you during the publishing process to turn that definition of “success” into reality. By the time your book hits its release date, you’ll know that it was built for “success” and that the plan to achieve that success has been working for months. Your audience is waiting. On release day, you simply open the gates.

What is the definition of “success” for your book? If you think you know what it is, or if defining “success” for your book has got you stumped, let’s talk about it. Just complete the simple form below and we’ll schedule a free, no-obligation manuscript consultation.