What makes for a successful book in today’s marketplace?
Well, first you need to define “success.” Is it by sales, profit margins, awards, media exposure, using the book to change society, utilizing the book as a branding tool and calling card for a business or some other product/service?
For now, let’s talk sales. How many is a success? Hitting a best-seller list? If so, which one, and for how long and how high up on the list? At what price did those sales come – how much time, money, and effort was applied to this venture?
However you define success, what will it take to achieve those goals?
For instance, if your goal is to hit a best-seller list you’ll need a number of things to align:
· Well executed, publicity campaign
· Targeted marketing effort that includes advertising, speaking, bulk sales and email blasts
· Concentrated social media posts
· Book would need good distribution
· Catchy title, attractive cover, good price, and quality interior design
· Well-written book
· Strong supportive testimonials from leaders, celebrities, and big names
· Some early, strong book reviews from industry trade publications
· A concerted, timely effort to get on the best-seller list
· Strong pre-order campaign
Today’s marketplace for books impacts how well your book will perform. Here are some key factors to consider:
· Genre trends – how does your book stack up to the competition?
· Popularity – what consumes society at the moment?
· Format – is your book available in multiple formats (trade paper, hardcover, ebook, audiobook)?
· Publisher – though many self-published books can be successful, the overwhelming number of industry-trade book reviews and best-seller slots go to the big publishing house books.
· Rights – can your book be translated into foreign languages or sold to a film company?
· Conversion – can your book’s content be used to produce related products, webinars or seminars?
· Series – does your book have sequel and series possibility?
Authors and publishers make numerous mistakes in determining what to publish. Good idea, wrong book. Great book, wrong time. Right book, right time, but a lack of promised marketing. There are any number of combinations and permutations of what could go wrong on the path to publishing a book.
Usually expectations, promises, or one’s ability to deliver what’s needed fall short or get overstated. Some may lie or mislead others while many just guess wrong or don’t really research and think things through properly. Take some time to define what level of success you are seeking, identify what it would take to achieve it, and then put into place the resources and the necessary steps to execute a plan.
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