Succeding in the book world

Things to do to succeed in the book world: Many of these items require years to complete and involve multiple, complicated steps. They also may require some kind of charisma or voodoo.

  1. Learn to write. You can do this while writing your book. Lots of ways to do it: writing groups and courses, working with coaches on and off-line, working with an editor. However you do it, do it.
  2. Finish your book. Then get it edited and  proofed and tricked out for publication.
  3. Sign on with a literary agent, if you can. If not, investigate self publishing or creating an Indie Press. Note that this step requires lots of work, either querying or otherwise connecting with agents or doing research on the publishing world.
  4. Publish your manuscript, either traditionally via a publisher or by yourself. If you do it yourself, make sure you have a killer book cover and that the interior is done by a pro. Don’t pollute the universe of self-published books with another badly produced book.
  5. Get the book listed everywhere in print and ebook forms.
  6. Create a web site. Make it search engine optimized and everything else. Bells! Whistles! Contests! Newsletters!
  7. Start a blog. Write on it all the time about stuff people care about and want to hear about.
  8. Make everything search engine optimized “sticky.”
  9. Do everything you can to make your book stand out, including winning book contests, and everything laid out below.
  10. Go on-line and establish a presence on the major forums for writers/readers. That means entering conversations and making friends on-line.
  11. Don’t pimp your book. Which is, cruise around the forums, pick a few do a dive and drop: show up once, dump four pages of info about your book and then leave forever.
  12. Always use good on-line etiquette. Just Google “on-line etiquette”; tons of sources on this topic exist. Here’s a good site with a quiz.
  13. Hire a publicist. A good idea if you can afford it.
  14. Brand yourself!
  15. Target your market, define your niche, figure out who you’re writing for and write to them.


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