Monday, November 11, 2013

Is There A Formula To Be A Successful Writer?

How does one become a successful author?

It’s a question worth exploring, but not one that can be answered with any definitiveness.  Otherwise, if I knew the exact formula, I’d just go out and publish a best-seller.

It seems that certain elements need to be in play.  Here is what I think are the different ways to succeed:

1.      Write a good book, promote and market like crazy, charge a fair to low price, and have solid distribution.  This could work, but certainly not always.

2.      Write a great book, promote and market like crazy, charge a fair price, have solid distribution, have an attractive cover and a catchy title, get a few good testimonials, and publish on a subject that is being covered in the media.  This has a better chance at success, but still, no guarantees.

You can go on and on and add in new factors to increase your odds of success.  But then there will be other books that catch fire out of nowhere, capitalizing on some lucky break or benefitting from a favor.

But success is not so random.  There are definitely do's and don’ts to the process of trying to have a winning book.  There are probably several stages to the process.

First, you need a breakthrough moment; something that gets you noticed and provides a boost.  You’ll need to capitalize on this magical moment and build on it.

Second, you’ll need to replicate that moment.  For instance, if you find that a reviewer loves the book, you’ll need to find more reviewers who will generate the same reaction.  Or, if you find that speaking before a certain type of group moves the needle, find more such groups.  Whatever works, do more of it.

Third, you’ll need to diversify your approach and experiment.  See what works, what doesn’t.  Shift resources to what works.

Fourth, you’ll need to make adjustments, tweaks, and changes in what you do or say.  Flexibility is key.  Don’t be so rigid in your marketing or PR.

Fifth, work longer, smarter, and riskier than your competition.  Playing it safe gets you safe results.  Take a leap and you have the chance to succeed or fail on a larger scale.

Sixth, you need to find a convincing story to tell about who you are and why your book offers something unique, desired, needed, or valuable. You need a brand.

Lastly, you need to use social media to spread the word. Then pray!

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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