It takes more than just a good idea and good writing to produce a successful book. It also takes more than the ability to develop a large and engaged fan base—an author platform. And it takes more than an Author Attitude. To become a successful author you need to produce a marketable book.
That means you can blog until doomsday, or you can blog an entire book, but if you book your blog or turn your blogged book into an ebook or print book and it isn’t marketable, your book will fail. If you produce a book of any sort and not enough people need or want it, or it isn’t unique or necessary in its category, there is no way for you to succeed as an author.
In How to Blog a Book, I discuss using the “proposal process” to evaluate your book idea for success. This entails using the nine steps involved in writing a book proposal, or business plan, for your book to evaluate the viability of your book idea. In my new book, The Author Training Manual, I expand on that one topic and claim that using this process trains you to produce a marketable book. It also trains you to become a successful author.
How to Train to Become a Successful Author
Athletes train to build muscle, endurance and facility in their chosen sport. Musicians and dancers train to achieve skill and artistry. Whether they use a personal trainer, coach, teacher, or manual to help them learn or refine their abilities, in the end, the result is the same: the time and hard work typically pay off. They become accomplished at their chosen endeavor.
In the same way you can train to become a successful published author. The nine unique steps required for a book proposal teach you to see yourself and your work from a publishing professional’s perspective. This means from both a creative and a business perspective. If you use the process diligently, you develop successful author muscle, skill and proficiency. You also produce a business plan for your book.
The nine steps of the Author Training Process are:
- Step #1: Develop an “Author Attitude” and Plan Your Success
- Step #2: Know What Your Book is About and Why Someone Would Want to Read (Buy) It
- Step #3: Analyze How Many People Really Might Buy Your Book
- Step #4: Compare the Competition, and Discover if Your Idea is Unique and Necessary
- Step #5: Examine the Structure of Your Book
- Step #6: Decide if Your Book’s Content Matches Your Initial Vision
- Step #7: Discover Ways to Brand Yourself and Earn More Money
- Step #8: Weigh Whether You Are the Best Person to Write This Book…Now
- Step #9: Gauge if You Make a Good Publishing Partner or Indie Publisher
Evaluate Your Idea and Yourself from Publishing Pro’s Viewpoint
Each step requires that you evaluate yourself and/or your book idea, but not just from your own perspective, which is biased. You do so from the viewpoint of an acquisitions editor or literary agent—even if you plan to self publish. These publishing pros know what ideas represent viable products, which means books that will actually sell in the marketplace. If you go through what I now call the Author Training Process, you discover the necessary information, skills, activities, mindsets, and behaviors that help you and your book become more salable, which means publishable and successful. By the time you have finished all nine steps, you will have trained yourself to have a mindset that supports moving from aspiring to successful published author. You’ll also create a business plan for your book and know how to write a book that sells.
As you go through the nine steps of the Author Training Process, you compile information about yourself and your book project. Each step in the process corresponds with a section in a book’s business plan. This constant evaluation from a publishing professional’s perspective—that of an acquisition editor or literary agent—supports the development of your ability to “see” your book project from their perspective. You can use the information you glean to improve your idea and make it more marketable. This means, once written and published, it will appeal (sell) to more potential readers in your target market.
Many writers don’t want to take the time or make the effort to create a business plan for their books, especially if they plan to self-publish. If you want to succeed, this is the first thing you need to do—before you ever write a word. When I work with book coaching clients, this is where we start—with an evaluation of the idea and the creation of a plan. In this way, the client and I can both determine if the idea has the potential to succeed.