We talk about writing books, producing books, and marketing books. Successful writers must do all three. Neglect one element and your book will fail to meet expectations and reach its potential.
Even if you find a traditional publisher they will only handle the second requirement: publishing your book. Unless you are an A-list author they will do little marketing for you and expect you to put forth most of the effort.
And if you self-publish you must master all three: write a great book, produce an excellent product, and sell it effectively. Few authors naturally excel at all three. These are learned skills.
What do you shine at? What do you struggle with? Look at your weak area and commit to improving it this year.
The first step is writing a great book. Without compelling words, the rest doesn’t matter. Not really.
However, writing a great book is just the first step. Next is producing it. This includes careful editing by skilled editors and a professional cover by an experienced designer. I’ve seen otherwise good books fail because of sloppy editing or an amateur cover.
Last, and perhaps most critical, is telling others about your book. We call this marketing. And though some artists think of marketing as the dark side of their craft, it is essential if you want to make money from your book and put food on the table.
Marketing starts with a great website, an email list, and an engaged social media following. Then there are ads, promotions, and pricing strategies.
Whether it’s writing, producing, or marketing, look to round out your skillset for this year and make it your best year ever.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.