Of all of the steps it takes to successfully write a book, these are my top five things you must consider.

1. Clarify why you are writing it

The most important part of writing a book comes long before you’ve penned a single word—finding your why. There are many reasons people write: to gain credibility, establish expertise, express their views, heal, inspire, promote, entertain, among a multitude of other reasons. Your first job is to determine exactly why you are writing it. If your goal is to make sense of your struggles or share a family history, your approach to writing and subsequent marketing efforts will be different than if you are using it as a marketing tool to promote your business. Clarifying your why will determine your budget for the project instead of letting your budget determine the final product.

2. Pinpoint your target readership

The next factor in a successful book project is determining your target reader. Like a successful marketing plan, honing in on your target reader for the book will help readers identify with the message and get more out of it. Your goal is for your reader to feel that you’ve written the book just for them. While you may feel that anyone would like the message in the book or be entertained by the stories you share, closer examination will reveal that your target isn’t everyone. Determine who is at the center of the bullseye. Write to solve their specific problem so they raise their hands and say, “That’s me!”

3. Connect with readers early

Perhaps the biggest issue writers face is obscurity. The time to market your book is not after you publish it. The best time to start building readership for your book is right now. Your first interaction with readers should not be BUY MY BOOK! Give advice, information, inspiration, or entertain your audience. Spend time connecting with readers on social media, on sites like Goodreads, and in your community. Take them through the journey with you so by the time you publish, they will cheer for you and be your crucial first readers and reviewers. Let them help you sell your book by telling their friends and followers how you solved their problem.

4. Learn the craft of writing

Of course, your success is only possible if your book is well written. A poorly constructed book fails to brand you as an expert. In fact, it could do the opposite. If you aren’t a fan of reading books on grammar and writing, there are LOTS of websites which provide you nuggets of information just at your point of need. For an all-in-one spot for fabulous writing blogs, check out 100 Websites for Writers. It’s compiled each year with the best writing and publishing information on the web. Click Here to Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly tips, tools, and information to keep you informed about the latest trends in writing, publishing, and book marketing.

5. Seek out professionals if you aren’t an expert

If you’ve set your sights on commercial success, a professional product is essential. If you aren’t an expert in writing, editing, design, publicity, events, or book marketing, there are people who have your back. No one is great at everything! Create a budget for preparing and marketing your book. It’s important to factor your return on investment, not just the investment itself. Would you buy your book? If the answer is no or maybe, seek out professionals to make it a definitive YES!

The most successful authors invest in themselves and their books. Through increased knowledge, effort, and expert assistance you create a book you can be proud to bear your name. Readers, in turn, will seek it out and share with their friends.

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