Planning Your Way to Publishing Success
Writing and publishing a book has been, and still is, the most effective and documented way individuals can build their personal brand of awareness, credibility, and respect. Books attract new business, pre-sell your credibility, and open doors of opportunity. Books are the ultimate “business card.”
Whether you’ve recently graduated from college, work for someone else, or are entering the private sector after years of corporate employment, a published book provides you with a competitive edge that sets you apart from the competition and positions you as a trusted expert in your field.
But…are you qualified to write a book?
If you’re like most people, you don’t consider yourself a “born writer.” You may not have done well in English or Composition, and you may not consider yourself “creative.”
But, that’s OK!
In this series of articles, I’m going to show you why that your ability to write and publish a nonfiction book that builds your brand and takes your life to the next level actually has little in common with your ability to diagram sentences in grammar school, write essays in high school, and turn in term papers on time in college.
Part 1: Planning your way to publishing and branding success
I’d like to start by emphasizing that planning, not the ability to write, is the key to successfully publishing a personal brand-building book–one that makes a major, positive, contribution to your career and to your business.
Here are some of the ways that the hundreds of successfully published authors I’ve interviewed use planning as their core book publishing strategy:
- Relevance. Planning is the key to writing a relevant book, one that your intended market will want to read. Publishing success is not so much a matter of how well you write or how much you know about your topic. Instead, publishing success is based on (1) identifying your target–the readers you want to buy your book and recognize your expertise (2) analyzing and organizing information they need to solve their problems, and (3) providing enough of a solution to want your book–and any other products or services that you offer.
- Uniqueness. Planning involves analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of existing books in your field. Planning helps you identify the “missing book,” the book that’s wanted, but hasn’t been written yet. No publisher wants to publish a book that duplicates an existing book. Your goal is to create a books that offer a fresh perspective, new information, delivered in a concise, organized, and easily-implemented fashion.
- Efficiency. There are two ways that planning contributes to efficient writing and efficient book marketing & promotion. A detailed content plan makes books easier to write by providing a road map to each day’s writing progress. Instead of the stress of beginning with a blank screen, a content plan provides you with the framework, or jump start, you need to begin each writing session. “Easier to write” translates also into “faster to market,” so you book can begin working for you as quickly as possible.
- Profitability. During my recent interview with Michael Port, author of the best-selling Book Yourself Solid, Michael described how he knew–before he wrote his book–exactly how he was going to profit from it. Michael–like many other successfully published interview guests–knew that profits from book sales were never going to be a major component of his income stream. So, he planned his back-end first–he prepared a business plan for his book–identifying how he was going to profit from audios, videos, consulting, mastermind mentoring, speaking–and wrote a book that would drive, and still drives, prospects and readers to his website.
- Marketing. Planning also saves you time after your book is published; your marketing content plan will help you recycle, re-use, and re-purpose ideas for your newsletters, blog posts, podcasts, social marketing, videos and weekly tips. In his interview, Michael reported that his book proposals are–basically–marketing plans for his books. Book publishers are naturally risk adverse. They are looking for as much security and reinforcement as possible that they will not be saddled with a lot of unsold books. By describing, in detail, how he will promote each new title, Michael provides the necessary proof that his book will be a “safe investment.” And, because he’s always done what he’s promised in the past, getting published gets easier and easier because of the trust factor.
- Time management. Finding the time to write is the final way that planning contributes to a branded author’s success. On a recent interview, Keith Rosen, one of America’s top executive coaches, made the statement that “Time management plays a crucial role in an authors.” Time management spells the difference between writing a book, or just dreaming about getting published. Time management–planning your day around your priorities– translates to the habits of daily writing, consistent marketing, and profitable prospect follow-up.
Roger C. Parker, as a “writer who understands design,” and a “designer who understands copy,” can help you create a marketing program based on these skills. Roger has a 20 year record of helping others successfully master and apply the latest technology to marketing challenges.