Top Ten Tips on Becoming an Author
While the world may not throw rose pedals at your feet wherever you roam, it's still fun being an author. Last year a $60K piece of consulting came at me because my book was sitting on a bookshelf in England. Having a book also validates you to the press. Speaking engagements happen much more frequently. Book-signings are a gas. In short, there's nothing like a book to burnish your reputation and personal brand.
So here are some tips to get on the road to getting published:
1. Spend less time talking about the book inside you and more time making it happen. Getting a book proposal together is the actionable item on this point.
2. Look at everything else that addresses your niche. Whenever someone tells me their book or product or whatever has no competition, I run away.
3. Be your own worst critic when assessing if you've got the creds for writing this book. If you're not your own worst critic, someone else will be glad to fill the role.
4. Get articles published. Book Publishers understandably feel much more comfortable knowing you can write consistently and that other media have thought enough of you to publish your work.
5. Put everything you have into the book. Don't hold back. Come from a universe of abundance not scarcity, as Steven Covy puts it.
6. Think about what "platform" you bring to this project. What audiences will say "Oh wow, he/she's got a book! I've got to read that." Publishers are particularly keen on this point as it helps book sales. If you don't have such a franchise in place it doesn't mean it's a deal- breaker, but it's a good idea to start thinking of getting one in place. Having such a sphere of influence will serve you far beyond the marketing of your book.
7. Figure out how else the book will make you money. Public speaking (visit www.nsaspeaker.org), consulting and writing columns, are all revenue streams you'll want to bird-dog. Don't count on getting rich off the book itself. That's just not a likely scenario.
8. Be a lunatic about marketing your book. Don't be the typical author who whines about how their publisher isn't marketing the book. Whether that is or isn't the case, it is **your** book, your career, your rep, your life. Matt Lederman calls a book a $30 business card.
9. Stretch your day and get help. Writing a book takes loads of time. So much so you need to extend each day dramatically so you can write your opus and still do the rest of your life, or be independently wealthy in which case you don't have to work for nine months. On the second edition of my book I am fortunate to be sharing the authorship with WDFM's Managing Editor Eileen Shulock.
10. Make excerpts available to trade pubs. Lots of folks buy books after reading a free sample. Good luck. LC