6 Things to Know Before Writing Your Next Book

Aug 10, 2017 | Books, Communications

I hope to write another book soon. I don’t have official plans, but I have some ideas forming.

And this time, I’m doing it differently.

I learned a lot last time about the publishing industry, how books are bought and sold, what actually sells books, and how to use the books you’ve already written to have leverage for writing the next one.

When I wrote Rewired, I was just so happy that a publisher had approached me, I said “yes” and plunged into the work without a lot of research. I’ve made a bit of a list in the last three years of things I want to do differently next time. Off the cuff, here it is…

1. I’m going to write something I’m passionate about.

I was asked to write Rewired because I had a lot of knowledge about marketing and social media and the church. I had the ability to share about that topic with pastors and leaders. It was a hot topic at the time, and not many other books were being written about it.

The problem is, it wasn’t my first choice. It was my second, but we thought it would sell better. And now I know that passionate writing spreads further than timely writing.

2. I’m going to retain more creative control.

I didn’t design my cover. I wasn’t a big fan of the finished product, but was assured it would sell better than what I had in mind. I also didn’t like the typefaces used in the book.

I should have pushed harder on the creative side of things. Now I know.

3. I’m still going to rely heavily on help from experts.

My editor, Jevon, was absolutely awesome! She encouraged me. She offered advice and correction that was often challenging to me, but she always gave good reasons. In 95% of the cases, I listened and agreed. I think the book was much better than it would have been without her.

I also want to talk to people who have discovered ways to write and market books successfully in the current marketplace. I’ve been learning from guys like Jeff Goins, Nick Stephenson, and Chandler Bolt.

Self Publishing SuccessBy the way, if you are even thinking about writing a book, check out Chandler Bolt’s Self-Publishing School before he closes the doors. Whether you self-publish or not, you’ll learn how to write, promote, and build a brand around a book from a guy who has done it and has helped a lot of other people!

4. I’m going to have a very thorough understanding of how Amazon works.

I totally underestimated the need for this knowledge three years ago.

Frankly, I don’t really care much about what it takes to sell books in brick-and-mortar establishments. I visit bookstores often, but rarely make purchases. What I do is make a list of things I want to order later online, and I usually order in digital format.

Amazon isn’t a bookstore. It’s a search engine. And it isn’t just a search engine for books. It’s a search engine for everything a human being could possibly want to buy. And after Google and Youtube, it’s the third most-used search engine in the western hemisphere.

See where I’m going? Learn how the Amazon search engine works and you’ll understand what it takes to list high in results, work your way up in specific categories, and get more attention, which drives more sales, which gets you on more lists.

5. I’m going to focus on longer term objectives than mere sales numbers.

Writing a book isn’t about getting sales. It might be about sales for the publisher, or for big name authors like Stephen King. But it’s not about volume for most authors. It’s about other things.

  • Like building a brand as an expert on a topic.
  • Like building a community who will look forward to future releases.
  • Like developing the discipline of writing.

Obviously, sales are great, but there are bigger things that can happen that are of far greater value.

I wish I’d known these things a few years ago.

6. I’m going to promote it across various overlapping networks.

I thought having a lot of blog readers and a large social media following would help me sell a lot of books. And it did help, but I missed out on the power of thinking exponentially about tapping into overlapping networks.

So next time, I’ll know to offer some amazing, high-value bonuses to people who pre-order. And I’ll give the opportunity for others to promote pre-orders as affiliates. And I have other ideas up my sleeve, most of which I’ve learned by reading the guys I mentioned above, especially Chandler.

I wish I’d known all of this a few years ago. But don’t we always wish we’d known what we know now “back then”?

Maybe my experiences and observations can help you! Let’s get started writing!

Photo by Oliver Thomas Klein on Unsplash.

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