Book Success Recipe

Book Success

Yield: 1 professional and successful book

Ingredients:

  • 1 strong manuscript
  • 1 publishing plan
  • 1 copy editor
  • 1 book designer
  • 1 proofreader
  • 1 killer launch/marketing plan
  • Many book reviews

Directions:

  • Write a strong, compelling manuscript that serves your intended audience.
  • Obtain feedback to revise manuscript to make it even stronger.
  • If self-publishing, have manuscript professionally edited and formatted.
  • If traditionally publishing, create proposal and submit to literary agents/book publishers.

Have you ever made chili but didn’t add enough chili powder? It might have tasted okay, but it wasn’t, you know, chili. Creating a book is similar in that the ingredients are all necessary, and they must work together in order to achieve the final dish (book) that you want. A successful book is equal parts strong manuscript, professional editing and design, and appropriate marketing plan. The best marketing plan in the world, even with the largest of budgets, can't help sell a bad book that is filled with typos or does not adequately cover the book’s subject. (On the flip side, the best book in the world won't sell if no one knows it exists.)

A successful book is equal parts strong manuscript, professional editing and design, and appropriate marketing plan. (Tweet)

Each phase of production and publication needs adequate attention. Early in the process, consider your publishing plan. Are you going to self-publish or publish traditionally? Once that decision is made, focus on writing the strongest manuscript possible. That’s your foundation. If you were making soup, it would be the onion, carrot, and celery base that so many soups start with. This includes drafting, revising, self-editing (get some tips here), gathering and incorporating beta feedback, and having the book professionally edited once the draft is final. When you have pockets of time, such as when the manuscript is with your editor, focus on creating a launch/marketing plan, both short term and long term. You want a lot of fanfare, of course, when the book is released, but book marketing is a long game. The book will be available as long as you allow it to be (even forever), so your marketing efforts need to reflect that.

The best book in the world won't sell if no one knows it exists. (Tweet)

Book ingredients are less concrete than, say, chili ingredients but the idea is the same: The final product doesn’t taste right if it’s missing ingredients. A book won’t be successful if it’s missing these ingredients, so be sure you aren’t forgetting anything. Want a copy of my comprehensive self-publishing checklist so you know exactly what to do each step of the way? Grab it here!

You want a lot of fanfare, of course, when the book is released, but book marketing is a long game. (Tweet)

Happy cooking — I mean, writing and publishing!