Category Archives: Best Seller Strategies for Nonfiction Authors

If you want to write a best seller, then it is important to know, understand and develop strategies for your writing and publishing process that put you in the big leagues. This blog is devoted to studying that course.

We Need Your Book -Please Find a Way to Make it Happen

My 91-year-old mother is in her last days. About 20 years ago she decided to write about her life the way she lived it. She intended that it not be read until she was gone – not wanting to account for mistakes or be questioned for further explanations. She abandoned the project at some point and shredded the paper she wrote it on. What did we miss by not having her thoughts? I didn’t really understand my mother and I was looking forward to what she would say. This would have been a book for limited audience – her family.
But it makes me think about the wider tragedy of thinkers not sharing their gifts with the rest of us. Grace comes in helping others understand themselves and their gifts better. If you have the capacity to do that, then it is your responsibility to society not to keep your gifts to yourself.
I have been working for the past 15 years in helping women publish their books. I love words, I love books, I love writers and authors and a book that speaks your truth is the most precious gift you can give the world. If you consult, coach, teach as part of your current work, as hard as you try, you can’t personally reach all the people who need you and need what you know that they don’t.
My gift, as well as my joy, has been to be the connector – unlocking the blocks to people who want to write books and can’t seem to make it happen. Fifteen years ago the big hill to climb was to get published and into distribution so people could find your book. The Internet, Amazon and personal computers have changed the entire publishing world and publishing has become much more accessible.
I’ve come to realize that my goal, now that publishing is easier, is to entice the real thought leaders to let us all experience what you know that will inspire your readers to their own success. Writing in a way that is true to yourself and true to your audience is not easy to do and takes a tremendous amount of time and energy.
When I work with writers who want to be authors and they procrastinate working on their books, I know one of several things might be involved. Procrastination is resistance and resistance is fear. Especially if you love reading and words, your fear might be that your writing skills aren’t enough to write the book you really want to represent you.
Another fear is that people will think your book is weak, unintelligible or unintelligent, that people will think less of you after reading your thoughts or strategies. What if you get bad reviews from people you’ve never met or worse yet, from your best clients or peer group.
Despite the fact that it seems writing a book is a solo pursuit, consider opening that up to be a collaboration with people who have been through this writing and publishing process with new writers many times. Is it more important to do it all yourself (not very realistic) or to make your book everything you want it to be? You probably don’t expect yourself to design the cover, but you may expect yourself to be able to write the book without help. Why? Where do go to learn, not just to write well, but to write a book?
After years of working with writers this is my recommendation: Find an experienced book coach to work with you on solidifying your book, its direction and organization and its marketing appeal. Ideally, you do this before you begin writing, but you can do it anywhere you are with your book – ideas on napkins, a partial outline, a few chapters written or a completed manuscript.
I want to challenge you if you think about taking time out one of these days, go to an island and write the perfect book. This is on the bucket list of many successful people. But the truth is the world is changing daily and if you have thoughts and strategies that would help the world today then please don’t make us wait.
If you’ve read my last blog post you know that I’ve had a recent epiphany: You can’t get published and read until you get written. Some people have a gift for the written word. Some don’t. But even if you don’t have the gift of creating great sentences and paragraphs, I don’t want you to deprive the world of your thoughts and experiences. I want you to consider getting past your blocks and get help. Get help writing, positioning your work to communicate to the audience you want to reach, making your words come alive by formatting the page and creating a “oh, I really want to read that book” inspiring title and cover.
The best books express the thoughts of the author and become a gift you give to the world. It doesn’t matter to your readers if you personally designed the cover, indexed the book, came up with all the funny headings yourself or even compiled every single word and sentence. Your reader only cares what he or she can get from your book. As an author, your job is to solve the problems of your readers because you have been there.
Unburden yourself of the “but I have to do it all myself.” If you don’t the chances that it will ever come together are not good. Just as important, we need to hear from you now, not on your time.
The most successful authors know it takes a village to create a book. If you are stuck before you’ve even started, reach out. Let me help you find your path for creating your book and get through the blocks that are keeping you from your destiny in starting or finishing your book. I’ve done it for hundreds of people and seen amazing changes in their confidence and self-discovery and ultimately in getting life-changing messages out to the world.

Advertisements

The Year of Ghostwriting

Maybe this is you:  I’ve wanted to write my book for years and although I start the year by calendaring time to do it, it never happens.  Clients call, employees or contractors need assistance, a new opportunity comes up – all generating income I can’t afford to lose.  But if I don’t get to my book I can’t get the reach to potential clients I want.  Publishing a book would do so much for my business.  If only there were more hours in a day!

In 2013 as a book coach I’ve decided it is this year I want to help more highly successful people to connect with ghostwriters.  Working with a world-class ghostwriter is a great experience.  They capture your voice, they listen to what you want your book to be like and they actually make it happen.

It bothers me that some of our most successful businesspeople and professionals with stories and ideas that could benefit us all haven’t the written books which we would all have access to. It isn’t that they don’t want to have books out, it is only that their time is better spent innovating, creating, impacting client businesses and doing good for the world. But the rest of us who need to be inspired by their work are missing the chance to meet them via their words. I want this to change.  We need them.

Ghostwriters are the answer. The best ones take a minimal amount of your time.  They know how to use your files, notes, speaking videos or transcripts, webinars, seminars, client proposals and other pieces of intellectual property you have already produced to get your message out.

Just like any other aspect of publishing (or life) your success will depend on your choices.  Talk to someone you trust to get great ghostwriter recommendations.  You might also want to talk to a book coach like me to see if your topic is marketable to a wide audience.

Imagine how you would feel if you could see your book completed.  And I will let you in on a little secret.  I can’t name names of course because ghostwriters promise to keep their involvement confidential, but more authors than you might think rely on ghostwriters.  In fact, there is prestige in working with a well-known and experienced ghostwriter or ghostwriting team who have made many into stars.

I would like to dispel the myths about ghostwriting.  Ghostwriters sign confidentiality agreements and YOU are the named author on the book.  The ghostwriter is not the author.  You maintain all the rights.  You pay a ghostwriter and after that they don’t maintain any rights or expect to be paid royalties. You can publish independently or find an established commercial publisher once the book is finished.  The ghostwriter can write your book proposal (and someone like me can make introductions to publishers).

I would encourage you to consider the value of the ghostwriter.  While ghostwriters seem pricey to some they are worth every penny when you work with a talented writer who can set your thoughts to music in way, frankly, few of us have the ability to do.

If you are at the peak of your game and want your message, your story, your ability to help others, your thinking or ideas to benefit the world, think how working with a ghostwriter could make that happen – fast. Think about this as part of your marketing and branding.  Hiring a ghostwriter is a smart strategy for success.

To learn more about how to find, choose and retain the right ghostwriter, see my website at http://www.JanBKing.com/publishing-strategies/ghostwriting.

I am not a ghostwriter, but I’ve seen some magic happen over the past year or so for sophisticated business people who decide they don’t want to wait and want their book out now.  The great ghostwriters are worth their weight in gold.  Let me help you pick the right one for you.  You will be a happy author in a few months, doing interviews, getting great reviews and media attention for you and your business.

Reinvent Yourself for 2013

This is the time we start thinking about the New Year and what we want to accomplish in 2013. There is a book and a workbook which I’ve found tremendously helpful in overcoming planning challenges for those of us who are more creative than mathematical.

Not only that, this same book and workbook (created by one of my clients) is a great model for what you can do after you publish your nonfiction book.

The book is The Right-Brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Map for Success by Jennifer Lee. You can buy both the book and the companion workbook/notebook at www.levenger.com

If you aren’t familiar with Levenger.com, it is a site (and a catalog) dedicated to “readers”. Not only is Jennifer’s book and workbook a great planning tool that I purchased myself and am working through right now, but selling through Levenger is a great marketing strategy. Does this give you any ideas about where your book or potential book could be sold?

Jennifer is also a tremendous success story in getting her book published with a wonderful publisher – New World Press. She was one of the members of a group I put together to meet at the Book Expo America (BEA) in May/June in New York City a few years back and she met her ultimate publisher there.

As you look at 2013, it isn’t easy to write a book, but well worth doing. It isn’t easy to get a book published (whether you self publish or find an established commercial publisher), but well worth doing. And after you’ve climbed those two mountains, you need to constantly and consistently market your book which may be the hardest part of all.

Jennifer’s book came out in early 2011, but she has never stopped looking for ways to use it to brand her seminars and develop additional products based on the book, like the workbook she did with Levenger.

I hope Jennifer’s story will inspire you to put writing and publishing that book you’ve dreamed about for so long on your list of things to do in 2013.

If you’d like to read about another author who is just finishing up self publishing, go to a wonderful blog that gives you a window on the experience at www.AssistedSelfPublishing.com.

The publishing world continues to change rapidly.  If you’d like to work with someone dedicated to your success, email me at jan@janbking.com or visit my website at www.janbking.com.  Looking forward to making it happen for you in 2013.  Happy Holidays!