How to write a book and sell it?
Have you been thinking about writing a book? It is actually a great way to market and even make some money. Writing a book may seem like a gargantuan task, but if you start the process right, with correct inputs from credible research, it can actually be a very rewarding experience.
In this post we are going to answer the question that crosses every marketer’s mind – How to write a book? In the process we are going to talk about how to make money writing and how to write an eBook.
Why You Should Write
There are hundreds and thousands of reasons as to why people write. All writers have their own justifications for their writing. Some do it for their intellectual needs, some do it for their hearts and some do it because they are good at it.
Whatever, the reason may be, writing is a great pursuit. If you want to write here are some of the reasons you might give if someone asks you why:
- Documenting Your Experience: Some people write because they want to document their experiences in life. These documented events are either published to the world or left behind for the loved ones. Documenting experiences is a great way to collect and compile your experiences throughout life and help provide guidance to future generations as well.
- Sharing Your Opinion: The written format is an excellent medium for sharing opinions. For hundreds of years, books have been used to share political, philosophical, and religious opinions. They have been very impactful for society too.
The written word has been responsible for revolutions. From the charged writings of Voltaire to the philosophical thought of Nietzsche, sharing your opinion through the medium of books is an excellent choice.
- Inspiring and Helping Others: A lot of people in the current day and age read to get inspired. Self-help books help millions of people each day to lead better, happier lives.
- Telling a Story: Probably the simplest reason to write a book is to tell a story. Almost 50% of all books are written for entertainment. If you have a story to tell, why not write a full length novel. There are various guides on the Internet that will help you tell your story in the best way possible.
I have divided the process of writing a book into 7 actionable steps which will help you answer the question – how to write a good book.
How to Write a Book and Sell it
Here is a step by step guide on how to write a book and sell it:
- Define your goals
As we discussed right at the start of the post, there are several goals you can achieve by writing a book and putting it up for sale, like:
- Building your brand
- Generating leads
- Making money
It is your goals that determine the steps you need to take for writing a book and the strategies you need to follow.
It is prudent to understand that certain topics are more competitive to write about and sell. Hence, if your chosen goal is to make money, then choosing such a topic is not a great idea. The topic of the book you are writing is critically important when your goal is to make money, but not so much when your goal is to build your brand or generate quality leads.
Know the readers you are targeting
Like every other product out there, the audience or the target market is really important. Defining the audience that you plan to cater, is very important and has a string impact on the steps you take in your path towards writing a book.
If you do not know who you are writing for, it is impossible to know what to write, how to write, what platforms to sell, and how to position the book you just wrote.
The best way to understand or know your readers is by creating a ‘persona’ or an imaginary character that represents your typical target customer. Create a detailed profile of this persona, including the demographics (age, gender, education, religion etc.) and psychographics (aspirations, hobbies and interests, fears etc.).
Here’s an awesome video that tells you a detailed look at the process of listening to your target audience.
Choose a topic
Choosing the right topic for your book is as important as choosing the right business idea. The trick is to balance the demand and supply well. This means you need to pick a topic that your target audience wants to read about, but the competition is not extreme.
Of course, a little competition is good where there is a good demand. It means there is enough opportunity for you to get a good audience. It is the lack of demand that kills businesses and buries books into anonymity.
The topic of the book must also be linked to the goals you have set for your book. For example, if your goal is brand building as an author, a good topic may be “How to be a good writer?”, instead of “How to grow potatoes?”.
Here’s a video that will teach you how to get to your big idea that can be the topic for your new bestseller.
Write your book
How to start writing a book? This question can stump a lot of writers, even after they have been in the profession for a long time. This may seem to be the toughest part of the process, but it is not. With proper planning and organization, you can make the process simple and easy to accomplish. You can’t just sit down and write a book. It actually starts with a sentence, then para, maybe even a chapter (if you are lucky) and that is how it builds. Writing a book is not an activity, it is a process.
Here’s a further breakdown of the process of writing a book:
- Set word count goals
- Fix a time slot
- Set weekly deadlines
- Get feedback
A little goes a long way, when it comes to writing. Set small daily word count goals and stick to them. Even if you are writing one page a day, make sure you are consistent with it. As you progress through the book, set a total word count, so that you can conclude it well.
Set a time slot aside to work on your book so that your inner creativity is conditionally heightened around that time. Apart form that, when you set aside a fixed time slot for writing, you are less likely to skip it and procrastinate.
Deadlines work, period. Set a weekly goal for yourself and treat it as a non-negotiable deadline. You will not only feel the joy of meeting your goals at the end of the week, but also have a clear perspective about all that work that remains to be done.
Get people on board to give you genuine feedback. You may think you have pure gold on your hands, but you are biased. You can either get friends and family or hire editors to do this for you. This step is critical and skipping this may cause you more harm than good.
These steps will cumulatively help you become more productive while teaching you how to write a good story in your book (even when it is non-fiction).
If the goal behind you writing a book is to get the reader to take a particular action and give you a conversion, this video is perfect for you!
Showcase your book
Your book may offer great value to the readers, you may put exceptional efforts in marketing your book, but if you can’t motivate the people looking at it to make the purchase what’s the point?
Whether you are selling your book online or through a physical store, there are multiple elements like the book title, description at the back, cover design, and the reviews that the customers look at before making the purchase.
Self-publish your book
There was a time when authors had to wait endlessly to get a publisher to choose their book. Today, you have the option to self-publish your book. You can choose any of the popular platforms like Kindle for your eBook, CreateSpace for a paperback, and Audible or ACX for your audiobook.
Market your book
Even the best products cannot achieve any success, if you do not have a strong marketing strategy. This is simply because if no one has heard of your book, they won’t go looking for it, let alone read it.
You can list your book on multiple marketplaces, get it reviewed, create an email list, hold book reading sessions, and more. The idea here is that the customer who lands on your book should be inspired to make the purchase.
Writing a book does not happen overnight, or in one sitting. The book doesn’t just pop up in your head and if it does, it is definitely not the best version out there. Like any other product, writing a book also needs a whole lot of planning and strategy.
The step by step process listed here, in the blog can act as your guide through the entire project. It will keep you on track and will help you finish writing the book as per your goals in a focused manner.
We have also created a step by step process that addresses the question – how to write an eBook which is a great guide for both new and experienced authors. The fun thing is that you can even make an eBook online with Appy Pie to expand your readership without burning through your entire budget.
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