What You Need To Do Before Writing Your Book (Or Selling Consulting Products)

We all know the publishing world has changed forever.

The author most likely to snag a publishing deal is the one who already has a name brand and an outsized platform.

So what does that mean for YOU?

Digital baby.

Having even a robust real-life client base isn’t enough (unless you’re writing a book as business card in which case sales won’t matter much to you anyway).

Whether you want to aim for a conventional publishing deal or self-publish, you ultimately need an audience to buy your stuff.

The publishers want to see you with an engaged, LARGE list and a healthy Twitter and/or Facebook following (LinkedIn doesn’t really count with publishers when it comes to pushing books). But if you have all that, chances are you don’t need a brand-name publishing house although you might still want the cachet of their brand attached to yours.

So avoid the beginner’s mistake. Don’t worry about your audience AFTER you’ve written your book, start loooooong before.

Or you could wind up like “Alice”, the four-time self-published author who approached me to help her build her book audience. She had an email list of under 50, a handful of Twitter followers and an anemic client base. She’d never sold more than 50—not a typo—copies of any of her books. And yet she continued to devote countless hours to churning them out.

My advice to you is the same as it was to her. Start building your digital email list. Sure Twitter and Facebook are ideal distribution systems for your content, but when it comes to book sales, nothing beats a smoking hot email list.

That’s how you reach your tribe—the people who allow you into their in-boxes and interact with you. These are the folks who will belly up to buy your book and—if you captivate them with your work—be first to spread the word.

Because the key to outsized book sales is two-fold: you have to get about 1,000 or so of your target audience to read it—and you have to hook them. Deep enough so they can’t wait to share it—in-person, on-line. Think about it—how many times have you bought a half-dozen of your favorite books to share with your clients or pals?

By building your digital audience, you can get your books in the right hands yourself at a fraction of the cost of a pricey book publicist.

So isn’t it time to start building YOUR list—your tribe? Doesn’t your message, your big idea—DESERVE the right audience?

Let’s make 2016 the year you go beyond your traditional audience and get your big idea—your core message—out into the world. Imagine an engaged audience primed and ready for the services, books and products you make for them. How many lives could you change then?

Stay tuned—next year I’ll be offering up tips, ideas and hacks to accelerate your list-building. And bring you one giant step closer to your dreams…


  • It’s worth listening to this advice. I am learning the benefits of having an email list. Thanks for the post!

  • Always believed in lists. The advent of social media sometimes makes you think folks see what you post. Certain of my posts I also email to target audiences; some media, some government, some labor; some issue based; in one case many get a column I write via that e-publication’s sends so I do not double (that) up (except by posting the link to social media).
    I also added the ebook to my email signature and include a pic of the title page in certain sends.
    My publisher already pounds me to do book II but for now I prefer to push the current title.

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