Get Down to Basics
Recently I began reading the Church of the Customer blog entries from Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba. I like their no nonsense, straight forward focus in their entries. Their focus on the customer (or reader for book people) is excellent.
Last week, they sent an entry called 10 things about writing your first business book. They made some excellent points. Many of these points are something the author will have to answer as they write their book proposal. In order to get a publisher interested in a project, the author has to know exactly who they are targeting with their book proposal. No book is for “everyone” but each book is targeted to a particular audience—whether it is a business book or a romance novel.
With the thousands of business books which enter the market every year, Church of the Customer contains some insight with the points about marketing and promotion. I tend to disagree with point eight about the six-month rule. The months right before a book releases and the months immediately after a release are important to the author and the publisher. During this period you will likely receive the greatest help from the staff of your publisher. The flip side is that not every book takes off in those first few months. Some times, the author who has the greatest passion for the book will continue to push the book into the marketplace and months after the release it begins to appear on the bestseller list.
The key rule? There are no rules—just guidelines and experience from the past. If there were rules, then everyone would be successful. Some books make it while others do not. It’s part of the fun and excitement of the journey. I loved the sixth point about not planning to buy a BMW with your book royalties. It’s a new twist on the common saying for new writers: Don’t quit your day job. One of the crucial elements from my perspective is to keep working at building your audience and encouraging people to use your book and give it to others.