You always wanted to publish your own book, but the thought of it terrifies you. Perhaps you played with the idea for some time now, but you don’t know where to start. If writing is your passion, thinking about writing and publishing your own book for the first time can be extremely overwhelming.
Writing a book takes an incredible amount of time, energy, and skill. You probably did your homework and explored the do’s and don’ts of publishing a book, but all the different advice and tips can be confusing. How do you decide what makes sense for you?
While learning how to get your ideas out into the world is easier than it ever was before, figuring out what ideas to get out is a little harder. The truth is, you can write a book easily, but writing a successful book is more difficult. You can publish your own book easily too, but you have to be strategic about reaching the right audience.
To help you avoid some of the most common pitfalls of first-time authors, we will share with you helpful tips for finding the right formula for a successful book.
Why Publish Your Own Book?
There might be a number of reasons why you would want to publish your own book. Regardless of what reason moves you most, one of the main purposes of your writing should be to establish yourself as an authority in your field.
Think about it, when someone says “I am an author” or “I wrote a book” what are the thoughts that come to your mind?
“Oh! She must be an expert in that field!”,
“She has a lot to say about the subject! That means she’s good at it!”,
“I know celebrities who have written books, maybe she is a celebrity too.”
“It would be great to work with her.”
“I want to know more about her.”
These thoughts label someone as an expert in your mind immediately. If you publish your own book, you will also be perceived as an expert almost instantly.
It’s a bit like when you go see a doctor. Without seeing his qualifications, you already perceive him as an expert. And you trust him instantly. This is the power a book can create for you.
Like many successful doctors, writing smaller pieces prior to writing a book helps establish that authority you want. If you start with blogs, copywriting, and videos, you create a following. Dan Lok developed his career with short pieces before launching his successful books.
Now, let’s look at the key steps for writing and publishing your own book for the first time.
1. Write With Purpose
“Successful people write a book with an end in mind.” Click To Tweet
This is one of the first principles of copywriting that Dan Lok teaches all his students – have a clear goal for your written piece, and your message will be heard. If you send a sales email to someone without a clear purpose, do you think it will prompt them to action? Probably not.
The same is true for a book. If you publish your own book, that’s an achievement in itself, but it’s not enough. If you write a book with no purpose, you are going to fail. As a matter of fact, you might even fail at finishing the writing itself if you don’t have a clear purpose.
If your purpose is to use your book as a marketing tool, then it would be a different type of book. This goal might affect not just the content but also things like the length of your writing. To start the marketing process, you might want to write a short book.
Students in Dan Lok’s High Income Copywriter® Program always learn how to research the audience before writing even a single word. If you miss this step, you risk writing something that your ideal reader won’t notice. Pay attention to the type of writing they read and think about your purpose to determine the length.
So before you even set out to begin writing, make sure you are clear on the purpose of your book. Setting a clear purpose and intention for it will allow you to define the type of book you should write.
2. Keep Your Reader in Mind
Have you ever heard of the term “Psychographics”?
This is a concept that Dan Lok teaches all his students in the High Income Copywriter® Program. It is one of the most important things that successful writers implement in their work consistently. Dan Lok team relies on it to get all our messages across.
In short, psychographics is about understanding the personality of your audience. It’s about understanding what your audience does, how they do it, and why they do it.
Most first time authors tend to write based on their own perspective. They write books based on their understanding of the subject. But successful writers write with their audience in mind. What do we mean by this?
Let’s suppose you are writing a book about getting a six-pack. You start writing your book and provide 10 very effective exercises that helped you get your six-pack. Let’s suppose that your book only included these exercises.
What do you think will happen? Well, by only writing about the exercises, your book would miss 2 very important steps to getting a six-pack: strong mindset and good diet.
You see, all copywriters know that writing from your personal perspective and about yourself doesn’t resonate with people. If you do this, you make a lot of assumptions. In the example above, the author assumes that the readers have the same mindset, making the method in the book unsuccessful for those with a weak mindset and a bad diet.
So if you want to write about getting a six-pack, it would make more sense to first research and think about the people who would want a six-pack. Think as a copywriter:
What do they struggle with?
Can you identify their needs and desires?
How can you really help them?
Thinking like this helps you focus on your audience’s needs, which will lead to more sales.
Meet Your Readers Where They Are
As you think about your audience, think about where they are on their personal journey. If your book does not meet your readers where they are, they will not benefit from it. They might try your exercises, but they will also give up quickly because they are not seeing results fast enough. Unless you educate them on the importance of having the right mindset and pushing through the pain, they will not see value in your book.
This is why it’s important that you use the right language. In his High Income Copywriter® Program, Dan Lok teaches all his students how to research their audience and find the best way to speak to them. Without this, your book could go entirely unnoticed.
Your book should match the language that your audience will understand. Using complicated words that might look good to fitness experts will do a disservice to your readers. They will not understand your points and won’t take the right actions.
3. Write About What You Love
One thing is for sure, writing your first book is going to be hard.
For that reason, we suggest that you choose something that you are passionate about. There are a few reasons for this.
A. Never Give Up
Like anything in life, everything you do for the first time is hard. If you are not passionate about the subject of your book, you will give up quickly.
Think back to the first time you drove a car. Or the first time you skied. It was hard. If you did not like these activities, you would have given up. In the same way, if you don’t love what you are writing about, you will give up quickly because it is too hard.
However, if you are passionate about your subject, you will push through the pain phase. You might even complain about it. But because you love this subject, you will push through and complete the book. And when you write about something you are passionate about, it does not feel like work.
This is why Dan Lok says that he never feels like he’s working: his life and work are perfectly integrated because he does what he loves. This is what your book should be to you too – pleasure. Publish your own book by making sure you love working on it.
B. Become an Expert
When you are passionate about your subject, you will most likely be an expert at it. This is because you most likely consume countless videos, articles, and books about your subject. In the process, you will most likely learn a lot that you can share with others.
As more and more people read your book and get value from it, your status in your field elevates. You become someone people recognize for their knowledge and expertise.
When you write a book as an expert, you will do so faster too as you already know your subject matter inside and out. The words will flow to you naturally and it will be a more enjoyable experience overall.
C. You Know Your Audience
When you write something that you are passionate about, you are your audience. So you know exactly what they’ve been through as you’ve been through the same journey. For example, if you achieved a six-pack after years and years of trying various things, you know the frustrations that your audience is going through because you are that audience.
You will know your ideal readers’ psychographics. You could simply look back a few years, remember what you used to do wrong, and what you had to change to achieve your results. This will allow you to create a book that your audience will want to read and that they will benefit from the most.
This is one of the most valuable things that Dan Lok offers through his High Income Copywriter® Program – the lessons he learned on his own journey. The lessons resonate with his students because he was once an inexperienced beginner in copywriting. He knows exactly how to motivate and move them in the right direction.
4. Use the Power of Persuasion
If you want to write a book, you must do so in a way that allows you to sell your ideas. But no matter what your book is about, your reader needs to be persuaded by you. They need to believe in your ideas and concepts for the book to really resonate with them.
Dan Lok always teaches his copywriting students – what you think and feel transports to paper. If you don’t fully believe what you write – your audience will sense that.
Going back to our exercise example, your readers need to be sold on your ideas and concepts in order to implement them. Once they are sold on these new ideas, they can take the right action and finally get the results they want. Therefore, if you are not selling your ideas in your book, you just wasted your time writing.
Dan Lok teaches all his students about the importance of selling through written words.“No matter what the goal of your writing is, being able to persuade your readers is the key.” Click To Tweet
Here are 3 ways that can help you better sell your ideas and concepts to your audience.
A. Sell Your Main Concept – The Hook
The reason we suggest that you make sure you understand the purpose of your book first is to be able to write a good hook. You see if you already know your ideal reader and you have a clear purpose in mind, then you have to have a hook to attract your reader too
Without the hook, people will walk past your book at the bookstore without stopping. Without the hook, your book will be invisible. No one will pay attention to it, and it will be lost in the sea of books lined up on shelves.
However, with the right hook, your audience will feel attracted by your book, even if they are not looking for it. The hook is what gets the reader interested. People will feel the urge to share it with their friends and family even before reading the first page.
To achieve this effect, make sure the hook mentions the most important benefit that the reader will get from reading your whole book. It must be so compelling that it draws your audience’s attention from afar.
The hook is usually in the title of the book. Let’s take for example the book The 4-Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferriss. This book has such a compelling message and value that it sold more than 2.1 million copies worldwide in 40 languages.
As for Tim Ferriss’s book, the main goal his audience is after is working 4 hours a week. This is why this is such a successful book.
Similarly, if you want to write a book that will sell, you want your title to be as compelling. Determine the purpose of the book as discussed in step 1. Then, identify the keywords that will relate most to your audience as discussed in step 2. Use these to create your title.
B. Sell Your Chapters
The same way you create a hook for the title of your book, you want to create a hook for each chapter. Having compelling titles for each chapter will keep the reader wanting more.
Here are a few examples of chapter titles used in another bestselling book, How to Win Friends And Influence People, by Dale Carnegie.
– “The Big Secret of Dealing with People”
– “Do This and You’ll Be Welcome Anywhere”
– “A Simple Way to Make A Good First Impression”
– “If You Don’t Do This, You Are Headed for Trouble”
As you can see, these titles are all offering very compelling promises. Many of them are digging into people’s desire to learn “a secret” or giving them “a simple way” to achieve something they need.
Even though you don’t know what is in these chapters, you want to read them. Wouldn’t you agree? This is the same feeling you want your readers to experience when going through your table of contents.
C. Sell With Stories
Even if you’re not writing novels, you should always have compelling stories in your book. The fact that you write about something technical or business oriented doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be relatable and memorable. Quite to the contrary actually.
One thing that Dan Lok always teaches his students is that stories sell. Why? Because they are memorable and pull people in. This is especially true for well-crafted stories. The guiding principle behind copywriting is to establish an emotional connection because people act on their emotions.
So whatever your book focus might be, make sure you include memorable stories. Stories are filled with emotions. Using a story, you can explain your concepts and ideas and make them relatable and interesting to the reader too.
Why are stories so important?
It is rather simple. From the start of time, humans have always loved a good story. Even in ancient times, people assembled around a fire to tell stories to entertain each other. Stories are also great ways to share wisdom or to teach a concept while keeping the audience engaged.
Simply including some stories in your book will bring life to your ideas and concepts. Stories are also key to allow the reader to feel present and part of the journey you share through your book.
Stories also help the reader experience some of the concepts and ideas that may seem vague or abstract. They allow the reader to visualize the scene and feel the emotions. A story can inspire a new decision that can be life-changing.
5. How to Publish?
So you wrote a book – what now? You finally accomplished your life long dream of becoming an author and finished your manuscript. But where do you go next?
A few years ago, the most popular way to publish a book was through a publishing company. That has changed
For this to happen, the aspiring author had to call as many publishing companies as possible. And their chance of being published was minimal. For example, the original Harry Potter book was rejected 12 times by publishing companies.
Apart from the fact that it might take weeks to a year before you get an accepted offer, there is a lot more that happens after a publishing company accepts to publish your book. From drafting and negotiating contracts, to royalty conversations, there is a lot more behind publishing a book than meets the eye.
Fortunately, things have dramatically changed. Amazon has given the ability to anyone to write and publish their own books.
Self-publishing means publishing one’s work independently and at one’s own expense.
The cost of publishing your own book varies greatly from $100 to $2,500. The potential costs you might want to incur include editing, cover design, formatting, marketing, and more. One of the most popular self-publishing companies for authors is Kindle Direct Publishing.
By following the steps on the platform, you could publish your book within days. This includes providing you with the right book template to use based on the purpose of your book. Kindle Direct Publishing also gives you ideas of cover design you might want to use.
Most importantly, Kindle Direct Publishing shows you the step-by-step process to have your book listed on Amazon so you can start selling your book online.
6. Promote Your Work
Listing your book on Amazon will increase your chances of having your book read by more people. However, just having your book out there is not enough. You still need to sell your book.
Most authors who self-publish think that their book will sell just by being available. Unfortunately, it does not take long for them to realize that no one is interested in paying to read their book unless they are convinced this is a good investment.
What these authors are doing wrong is this – they are not proactive. It is true that they have done a great job to finish their book and get it published. However, the work does not end there. They have to sell the book. This is why it’s important to have a copywriting mindset and a sales strategy.
There are 2 main ways to effectively sell your book at a minimum cost.
Become An Amazon Best Seller
This method involves good planning. Usually you start the book launch 14 days before the date of the actual launch. At this point, you want to start building the intrigue about this new book that you have written, and it’s the launch date.
Over the 2 weeks period, prepare a series of content about your book, ready to go out to your social media audience. Make sure you use all the networks you have at your disposition from email lists, customers, business partners and even friends and family. You want to make sure as many people as possible are aware of your great book launch.
It is relatively easy to become a bestseller on Amazon. The bestseller award is given based on a 2-hour window. If your book is sold more than other books in the same category within the first 2 hours after launching, your ranking improves and could be ranked #1.
Testimonials and Endorsements
Another great strategy is to perform interviews with various influencers where you get the chance to promote your new book. Throughout the 2 weeks process, you want to spread out content about your book. You want to keep the intrigue around the content, while also selling the benefits the book will bring to your audience’s lives.
Grow Your Book Sales
Now, another very important step to take to make sure you have a successful book launch is to create a highly converting sales page.
What does “sales page” mean?
The sales page of your book is the description of your book. The reason some books do not sell as well as others is that authors of successful books use all possible ways to promote.
As you can see in The 4-Hour Work Week book example, Tim Ferriss successfully used the description of his book as the sales page.
To create a highly converting sales page you want to use all the strategies we shared in this article and those that Dan Lok shares in his High Income Copywriter® Program.
Write Your Way To Success
As you can see, the process of writing your first book and getting it published is rather simple. What is hard is to make sure as many people as possible get their hands on your book and benefit from your work. This process involves a lot of selling in print. Unfortunately, this highly valuable skill is not taught at school or at university. Still, it is the most important skill for every writer and entrepreneur.
Knowing how to “read” your audience, persuade your reader, and promote your writing is the key to a successful book. If you want to discover all the secrets of influencing and selling in print, then you might want to check out Dan Lok’s High Income Copywriter® Program.
As the author of 13 bestselling books, Dan Lok decided to put together this webinar that teaches you how to take your writing skills to the next level and generate reliable income with any writing project you chose. Register to the webinar for this free webinar by clicking here now.