We’ve all known people who talk about their “acim free resources, is just a life like most other lives, or, at the very least, certainly not some Oprah-worthy existence. They exclaim, “I should write a book; no one would believe it.” Yeah, and no offense, but I’d wager no one would buy it, either. What we think is absolutely fascinating about our life is rarely so for others. So, Rule #1 of the SP game, and part and parcel of the whole Sales and Marketing discussion here is this:
Write a Book People Will Want to Read.
Painfully obvious, right? Total no-brainer? Well, as we’ve all discovered, few things are no-brainers, especially this one. A corollary to this rule is: Don’t let ego or vanity (“Hooowee, I’m going to be an author!”) cloud your judgment and keep you from asking yourself the tough questions to determine if your proposed subject matter is indeed salable. Remember: a garage full of books is an amazingly ego-boosting sight for about two hours. Tops.
Don’t Go “Book Blind”!
Put another way, don’t succumb to what I’ll call “book blindness,” a common affliction of first-time self-publishers and even some more experienced folks: when you become so enamored with the idea that you’ve written a book and you’re so intimately attuned to how much blood, sweat and tears went into its creation (and by extension, how “incredible” you know it is) that you lose sight of the fact that your market doesn’t know any of this and needs to be sold on all of it. That means content, cover, title, subtitle, editing, and everything else that contributes to a successful title – in the market’s opinion, not yours.
What’s the Payoff?
Let’s look at a clear-cut example of a book people want to read: a Top 10 title on The New York Times fiction best-seller list. What makes such a book so popular? With non-fiction titles, the subject is undoubtedly topical and compelling, and the information is sufficiently valuable to enough people to translate to commercial success.
With fiction though, it’s likely the draw of a marquee author. What makes those authors so popular? Well, you could safely say that their books strike a common chord in enough readers with compelling story-telling, rich character development, recurring themes or heroes/heroines (in the case of a series), authentic depictions of human nature, etc.
Simply put, for a book to become a best seller, enough people have to feel there’s a payoff: a feeling that’s pleasurable or familiar, something they can relate to on some fundamental level, etc. Will your book deliver that crucial payoff?
Tune in to WRII-FM
All writing, if it’s to be effective (i.e., get through to your reader), must always consider the audience, as we just discussed. Throughout the entire self-publishing process, you’ll need to keep your reader/listener/viewer constantly in mind. Choosing the right (read marketable) subject matter for your book is just the first time you’ll do that.