Will authoring a book make you happy? With 20,000+ books being published every month so far in 2009, a lot of people must think so.
Imagine your future as a first-time book author. You may enjoy writing, but what happens after that? You must promote your book, whether you have a publisher or not. Book marketing is a wonderful lead-generation opportunity for those who already have a business. But if you don’t have a business, where will your satisfaction come from?
Choose the right form for your content. A form other than a book might be more satisfying for your first authorial effort. Answer these three questions to discover to the form that’s right for you.
1. “How do you see yourself interacting with the people you want to help?” I asked one budding author recently. “I see myself in front of a classroom, presenting the material and helping people apply it,” she replied. “Then wouldn’t you be happier if you created stand-up training materials? Then instead of promoting a book, you could schedule and promote classes, which may be a more profitable place to start.” To create the lifestyle you want, put your content in the form that supports it.
2. “What are your communication strengths?” Most people know they can hire a ghostwriter if their writing skills are weak. But real success comes from making the most of your strongest communication skills. When you’re at your most persuasive, what are you doing? If you’re talking on the phone, consider audio recordings and podcasts. If you’re charming in person, you can probably charm on video too. For many, creating and publishing audio and video products is much easier and more effective than printed materials.
3. “Where are you leading your readers?” Can you tell them everything they need to know in a book? When you’re serious about helping people solve an important problem, you quickly realize they need more guidance than a book alone can provide. Lay out a shining path to your solution through a step-by-step series of products and services. If you’re successful, you’ll have a business that’s worth writing a book to promote.
Start with something small to test your market and promotion skills. Writing a 300-page book is a big investment and a big risk. You’re gambling that it will connect with an audience. Reduce your risk by creating something small, like an audio recording that’s inexpensive to reproduce on CD, and sell it at a low price. If you’re a good writer, create an e-book or special report. If the market responds, you’ll have more confidence in developing more expensive products like training materials, home-study systems, and yes, books!