Can You—Will You—Write A Best Seller?

Last week, habits maven James Clear published his first book: Atomic Habits.

About a week after the release, it’s the #1 best seller in Amazon’s Organizational Behavior category.

For the first week, it was in Amazon’s Top 10 for ALL books.

Quite a feat for a first-time author, don’t you think?

But it wasn’t because all the stars magically aligned in his favor.

James wrote and published his book while building an enormous (and enormously engaged) audience from his deep, thoughtful articles on habits (for more on this listen to our Business of Authority podcast interview with him here).

And for the record, James isn’t a “me, me, me” master of hype. He’s the real deal—a low key, thoughtful authority consistently serving his audience.

His belief that the right habits—small incremental shifts over time—bring remarkable results is baked into every aspect of his work.

Literally everything James does—writing, emails, social media—is centered on his big idea: “How can we live better?”

In terms of book success, he approached his business in the most efficient order for an authority:

Pick a topic you’re entranced with and focus on how you can serve a specific slice of your world.

Develop a distinct point of view so your tribe will recognize you and engage.

Deliver content—blog posts, articles, podcasts, videos—that sincerely serves your ideal audience.

Build an email list sharing your content, adjusting as you discover what most serves your tribe.

Write the book they want and need in your voice.


I can almost hear your voice in my head: “But I don’t have 400,000+ email subscribers like James—what about me?”

The process is EXACTLY the same.

Do you imagine James just woke up one morning with 428,000 subscribers?

Of course not—he built them, one at a time at first until he found his rhythm, just like the rest of us.

And that rhythm starts with picking the right big idea for yourself and your ideal audience.

An idea that intrigues you enough to spend years creating content that helps your audience transform (because it’s hard damn work if you’re not passionately committed).

You have to keep creating AND engaging. There is no substitute. There are no shortcuts.

Every time you engage, you’ll learn something new and find deeper ways to serve and provide value.

And the great news is you don’t need a James Clear-sized tribe to be successful.

Your audience can be dramatically smaller while still producing enough raving fans to make your book hit the best seller list for your niche.

And let’s not forget that books drive other revenue for your business—from consulting projects to speaking gigs to productized services.

So the question isn’t CAN you write a best seller in your category. The question is WILL you?

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