Good writing and ideas represent the only necessities for a career as an author, right? Wrong. You need the ability to work hard, because hard work precedes successful authorship every time.
Many people today want to become authors. Like them, you’ve been told that it’s easier to publish a book today than ever before. And you want the easy way. Who wouldn’t?
It’s true that the ways to self-publish a book have increased, which does make it easier to take a manuscript and share it with the world. However, it’s harder than ever to get that self-published book in front of your target market and get them to read (purchase) it.
Traditional publishing has become increasingly more competitive as well. Publishers are less likely to take a risk on a new writer who hasn’t done or doesn’t plan to do the work necessary to help a book succeed once published.
Successful authors often possess writing skill but not always. Sometimes they have a good idea—a marketable one that will sell, but they can’t write. These non-writers, who might be coaches, trainers, speakers, or entrepreneurs, can hire a ghostwriter or an editor to polish their prose. Book editors and doctors also can fix structure and content issues for writing and publishing newbies.
Without an idea that contains the potential to sell, hiring an editor or book doctor can prove a waste of money and time even for great writers. That’s why it’s important to evaluate an idea for marketability and then hone it until it becomes something salable before writing a word.
Doing the Work Makes Successful Publishing Easy
If you are a nonfiction writer with a salable idea and excellent writing skills, you can succeed as either a self-published or traditionally published author—if you are willing to do the work to write and publish you book, as well as to help your book sell, which means building platform and doing the promotion.
All of this takes work.
The publishing industry has given aspiring authors, and nonfiction authors, in particular, a huge opportunity to realize their dreams of authorship. As New York Times bestselling author Brendon Burchard says, “When you knock on the door of opportunity, it is work who answers.”
Will you embrace work and walk through the door? Are you willing to do what is necessary to succeed as an author? Will you make the most of this opportunity?
How to Do the Work
You may think the real work of becoming an author comes in writing the manuscript. It’s true, writing can be hard work. For some people, that’s the easy part, though. For them, building platform and promotion are hard. For others, learning technology or managing a team prove difficult.
Anything difficult can feel like work. And if you are like most people, when something feels like work, you may not want to do it. If you don’t, though, you won’t reach your goal of authorship…or successful authorship.
To do the work, you need five things.
1. Clarity of Vision
Do you ever wonder why you decided to become an author? When you have no idea of the underlying reason you want to write and publish a nonfiction book, you’ll lack motivation and find it difficult to reach your goal. When you possess clarity about why you want to become an author, you will find yourself more committed to the process—even if that process feels difficult.
Additionally, if you can determine what you need to do to get from “here” to the “there,” or the result you desire (successful authorship), it becomes easier to take steps and create forward movement. If you lack this vision, you will wander around feeling lost and making many U-turns.
2. Bold enthusiasm
Becoming an author means putting yourself out there in a big way. That means you and your work could get rejected or judged. If you let that fear enter your mind and body daily, you will find yourself stuck in place.
However, if you are passionate about your nonfiction book project and enthusiastic about the writing and publishing process, you won’t let a bit of fear stop you from taking bold action. You’ll take action despite your fear, and doing so will feel exciting.
3. Sustained Stamina
Becoming a successful published author is a bit like running a marathon. Platform building starts years before your book ever hits the market. While you create that built-in readership for your work, you must also produce the work. And once the work is done—your book is published, you have to promote for months and even years.
Then, it’s time to create a new manuscript. As you run the race to successful authorship, you may reach a milestone only to discover another one lies ahead, which means you have to keep running.
To keep up that pace, you need sustained energy! Strengthen you body, mind, and spirit so you cross the finish line. Create the mental, physical, and emotional energy to write and publish your book (or books) and to create a career as a successful author.
4. Focused Attention
If you feel you don’t have enough hours in the day to complete your work—to write, build platform, blog, manage a team, or promote, look at how you focus your attention. You might suffer from the Bright, Shiny Object Syndrome, which means that even though you sat down to write you easily become distracted by the three webinars happening, the email or Facebook message that just came in, the cat’s antics, or the laundry.
Stop trying to manage time; you only have so much of it daily. Instead, manage your attention in the time you have. You’ll get more done, and, if you reduce distractions, you’ll get it done more quickly. You will become a productive writer and author when you learn to focus your attention.
5. Attract Your Tribe
Do you avoid social media, speaking, blogging, or speaking? You know you have to do these things to build an author platform, but you just don’t understand why writers and authors should take time and attention off what matters: producing the book manuscript. In fact, these activities are important to your success as an author.
If no one knows you and your book exist, you’ll find it difficult to sell books. After all, to whom will you announce its release—your friends and family? That won’t create a successful book.
Someone needs to purchase and read your book to achieve any success. For instance, if you care more about transforming lives than making money, you won’t make a positive and meaningful impact in any lives if no one reads your book.
That’s why publishers of nonfiction books (and fiction) require author platform. Without a platform, you don’t have an audience in your target market to whom you can promote. Your promotion falls on no ears rather than deaf ears!
If you create a following in your target market of people who know, like, and trust you, you have potential readers, buyers, clients, and customers. And you have a group of people to whom you can market your book. Not only that, these people consider you an influential authority. They are likely to do what you say, including “Buy my book.”
Couple clarity, energy, courage, productivity, and influence with a marketable idea and writing skill and you will attain the goal of successful authorship more easily and quickly. The process may still seem challenging at times. Some tasks may feel difficult, but you will be equipped to do the work—all the work. That means you can take advantage of the publishing opportunities before you.
Don’t wait! It’s your time…now…to level up so you can achieve your potential, fulfill your purpose and live your life fully.
Copyright: agenturfotografin / 123RF Stock Photo