Your Book Is Not for Everyone (Why That’s a Good Thing)

your book is not for everyone - Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash

Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash

This blog post is not for everyone. It’s for writers who are just beginning to create books–specifically, nonfiction books (health, how-to, business, etc.). The message is:

Think about your audience before you start writing.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that many authors write books with a “field of dreams” mentality: “If I write this, they will come.” Often, these authors, when asked, “What’s your target audience?” respond, “Everyone,” or “All women,” or “Women over the age of 35, because those are the ones buying books.”

To the people faced with the prospect of selling your book, this response sounds like you have unrealistic expectations. In a best case scenario, your PR and sales team may under-deliver on your expectations, and you may part ways feeling unsatisfied. More worrisome than bad feelings, though, is bad product; “My book is for everyone” often means the writer hasn’t thought about audience while writing. The result can be an unsalable book–well-written, maybe, but without a clear angle that can be pitched effectively to media and, more importantly, to consumers.

Read moreYour Book Is Not for Everyone (Why That’s a Good Thing)

Platform Building Done Right

platform building - Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

As a writer and consultant, part of what I do professionally is advise authors how to use the Internet to build their platforms. In publishing parlance, “platform” means the total number of people you can reach about your book. It’s the sum total of readers, TV viewers, podcast listeners, email and blog subscribers, Twitter followers, Facebook friends, attendees at public speaking events and readings, stalkers, and so forth.

The theory is, the bigger your platform, the more buyers you’ll have. Also, your friends will have friends, and they’ll have friends, and so forth, kicking off a word-of-mouth effect and reinforcing your relative influence (because the more people who appear to be talking about you, the more popular and important you must be).

Read morePlatform Building Done Right