Now that you have activated your dream of writing a book, you need to create the steps to making the book real.
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Writing the book is of course the first step, and writing it well is the second.
There is no question that the quality of writing is an essential part of what sells a book.
Today, however, writing the book doesn’t make the dream real.
Knowing who we are writing for and who we are to our readers makes the book more saleable.
And in the publishing world, the marketability of a book makes it real.
If all you want to do is write the book, you may do well without having to know your market.
But if you want to create a business around your book you do need to begin to create a marketing plan while you are still writing.
Because the competition for shelf space, Amazon numbers, or dollars for books is fierce we have to know who we are writing for.
We have to be clear about our target audience.
There are 4 steps involved:
1. Who is your ideal reader?
No book is right for everyone, and assuming that your book is for everyone is an amateur mistake.
While you are writing imagine your ideal reader with your book. What do your readers look like?
Be specific. Are your readers older women who like to share their books in book clubs?
Is your parenting book a better fit for single parents, single moms or blended families?
What are your reader’s biggest frustrations, needs, or sought for outcomes?
How do you cover your reader’s needs in your book? How will they carry around your book?
With the answers to these questions you can devise a better marketing plan.
2. What books have been published that are similar to yours?
Maybe you have heard the cliché’ “there is nothing new under the sun”?
No matter how unique your material may be there is still someone who has written something similar.
Your readers may have already purchased your competitions book.
You can learn more about your competition by going to your local bookstore, to Amazon, or to conferences that relate to your topic.
What is the genre and category of your book? Look at their table of contents and compare it to the topics you cover.
Study their bibliography for comparison.
Once you have zeroed in on a few authors research their websites, read their blogs, learn what events they are doing.
Conclude your research with a short phrase that discerns the similarities and differences between your books.
3. What is the market for your material?
Knowing your market will help with your marketing plan, with determining whether you are publishing this yourself, and how you will publish the book.
Research will be your main activity both while writing and then marketing your book.
What are the demographics for similar books? Are they women under the age of thirty?
Or men who are redefining what it means to be a father.
Libraries, Google and business schools will help you research the demographics.
And if you are submitting your book to a publisher this will be one of their first questions.
4. How are you an expert in this market and with your material?
Ask yourself, who are you to your readers? Will they respect you as an expert?
The next question is whether you are an expert in the field.
What is in your background that led you to write the book? What qualifications do you have that will bolster you being an expert?
If you are writing a book about being a stay-at-home mother then being a stay-at-home mother becomes your qualifications.
If you are writing a business book, you must have experience being in business.
Another way of recognizing your expertise is whether you are authentic in writing your book, that authenticity creates another level of validation for you being an expert.
Dreams of writing a book are lovely. And just having a dream is a wonderful thing.
Bringing that book to life takes work, and understanding the publishing world.
Today we do have to sell ourselves, along with our book.
We start with being a writer, then we become an author, and finally we can take the step to become an entrepreneur and expert.