Tag s | Marketing

Six Easy Steps to Publishing Success

Success in publishing is actually quite simple. Honestly I am surprised more people aren’t more successful financially as an author. So many conference workshops are making this entire publishing thing far more complicated than it needs to be.

Today, here are six fast, easy, no risk steps to being a successful author in any type of writing. We will all be shaking our heads at the end for missing these simple actions.

I also want to apologize on behalf of this agency for making success at publishing sound difficult and complicated.  We have been misleading you for a long time and this blog post today is about to set the record straight.

So, here are six fast, easy, no risk steps to being a successful author:

  1. Quit your day job today and live off your savings for the three weeks necessary to accomplish steps 2-6.
  2. Become a good writer while writing your first book. (Ten days max.)
  3. Establish your author platform (Three days.)
  4. Develop a creative voice and style like none other to stun and create awe in the hearts of readers. (Two days.)
  5. Get an agent. (Another two days.)
  6. Get published and start making money (Four days.)

I almost feel embarrassed we haven’t covered this earlier. Of course, we have a vested interest as agents to make it sound more difficult than it really is, to justify our jobs and careers. But now, the cat is out the bag.

Yes, this was written tongue-in-cheek (keyboard-in-cheek?). If career success at writing were easy, then anyone could do it and of course, everyone cannot do this.

In fact, the six steps above happen approximately in years, not days. Ten years (or more) to work on writing, several years each on platform building, style development, getting an agent and getting published.

Even success at self-publishing, while skipping some of the steps, requires working on the craft, the platform and years of marketing yourself through the platform.

By the way, if you think author platform is important only for the traditional publishers, just try to be successful at self-publishing without it. Your opinion will change in a hurry when sales of your book don’t meet expectations because your book goes unnoticed amidst the avalanche of new books from traditional and other self-published authors.

About two thousand new books release every day in the US, including weekends. (Traditional and self-published combined.)

Really, it is pretty easy to be published. But it is very difficult to be published well.

Those two things, being published and being published well are often entirely different paths.

So you want a quick list of things on becoming a successful author? Things that don’t take years? Try this list on for size:

  1. Care deeply about what you write, but not so deeply you reject editing or suggestions.
  2. Treat deadlines as important, even those self-imposed. They aren’t set just for fun. Deadlines make things happen.
  3. Recommend books to others, which are not written by you. They’ll believe you more when you tell them about your new book.
  4. Care about other people more than yourself…or a copy of your new book.
  5. Give courage to other aspiring authors. Courage is currency given one to another. (Where do you think “encourage” came from?)
  6. Decide how you want to be remembered. Conduct yourself accordingly.

I’ve always liked lists. Making them, reading them, using them or having fun with them.  And sometimes they may even make me think.

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Be Published? or Be Read?

Is your goal “being published” or “being read?” What pieces of writing and publishing advice do professional agents and editors wish would go away…forever? I asked that question of some of my friends in the industry (yes, I have friends, and most are much smarter than me). The last two …

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What Makes a Great Hook?

Lately, smart publishing professionals have been saying “it needs a great hook” to describe  books they seek. Recently I wrote about the all-important first page, which of course should seize the reader and not let go. However, that’s not the same as the story hook itself. The hook must make …

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Marketing vs. Publicity

by Steve Laube

Recent I have run into a common misunderstanding. Some writers use the words “marketing” and “publicity” (or P.R. “public relations”) as synonyms when actually one is a subset of the other.

There are marketing departments that have a publicity division or a marketing department that outsources their publicity. The two go hand in hand and should compliment each other.

The best way I can define it is to say that:

Marketing is all about creating multiple impressions.

This can be through ad placement, in-store displays, banner ads, reviews, contests, etc.

Publicity is all about meeting the author.

This is done through radio and television as well as through all forms of social media.

The difference is that author “feels” publicity because they are involved. They do not “feel” marketing, per se.

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Why I Use That Dirty Word … PLATFORM

It’s a dirty word to aspiring writers. It is even unpopular among many agents and editors. It elicits snarls and sneers from people who just want to write great stuff and get their writing published. I’m talking, of course, about the word “Platform.” It refers to the extent of a …

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Books are Not Mass Media

A hundred years ago, the most powerful media in the world were newspapers. Newspaper writers and editors were society’s thought-leaders and political kingmakers. The day-to-day influence of a major newspaper was unchallenged, no matter what city or country. They were the first truly mass media, defined as broadly available to …

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We Need More Reader Segments

In the bookselling world, books are categorized with a coding system developed by a collaborative industry organization called the Book Industry Study Group (BISG). They own and manage the BISAC codes, an acronym for “Book Industry Standards and Communications.” No matter how you are published, you will be required to …

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Create Videos Based on Your Blog Posts

Check out Lumen 5, (www.lumen5.com) a wonderful resource that can help you create videos out of your blog posts. As a test I took my post from July 31st, “Should You Hire a Freelance Editor?” and within 45 minutes the following video was complete. (Read more below the embedded video) …

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Overselling Yourself

When I was a kid, if you really wanted to let people know you in the area, you took a couple garden-variety clothespins (the spring-loaded kind) and two of your lowest-value baseball cards, and attached them to the frame of your bike in contact with the spokes of your wheels. …

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Overselling Your Book

I recall a television advertisement a few years ago touting a company as “#1 in Chicago.” After seeing the ad a few times, I focused on the fine print at the bottom of the screen and noted the claim was based on a “company conducted internet survey.” I started to …

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