By George Kittredge
Book1Blog started in March of 2010, and since that time we have published close to 100 articles or posts on various aspects of book writing, publishing and promotion. Combined, these posts offer a wealth of information, guidance and advice from some of the most prominent and successful authors, literary coaches and book writing professionals in the country.
After reading through all of the posts and with acknowledgement to all of our authors and contributors, I have come up with what I believe to be the ten most important rules you need to follow if you want your book to be successful. Here they are:
1. Visit a bookstore. Visiting a bookstore should be your very first step before you begin writing your book. Looking at other books is a great way to obtain ideas as to what you might like your book to look like - things like cover design, binding style, page size, your book's length, page layout, pricing, and much more. Finding a published book that can act as a book model is an excellent way to start.
2. Identify your reading audience. Knowing the type of person who should read your book will guide you in both your writing direction and your book's promotion.
3. Have your manuscript proofread by a professional. Avoid producing a book with flaws and errors. Have an outside, professional pair of eyes review your works before your finalize your manuscript.
4. Have your manuscript professionally edited. A professional editor will review your writing to ensure clarity, consistency and professional presentation. They are worth every penny you pay them.
5. Make your book title short and memorable. Follow the leaders. Take a look at the best sellers. Chances are, most of the book titles in this group will be five words or less.
6. Hire a professional book cover designer. People do judge a book by its cover. If it's not professional looking, attractive and eye-catching, chances are no one will even pick it up.
7. Decide whether you want to self-publish your book or hire a book publisher. And once you have made your decision, research to find the right resources.
8. Create a book marketing plan. To be successful, determining a tactical plan for promoting your book and what you can spend are critical. Without a plan, you risk wasting time, energy and money - and increase the probability of limited sales.
9. Look to non-traditional sales channels. The chances are slim that major book chains will promote your book. Depending on what your book is about, seek out potential sales outlets that are not your mainstream bookstores. For example, if you book is a children's book, a small children's toy or clothing store may be a great venue.
10. Promote your book and yourself through a blog and social media platforms. Sharing your thoughts, expertise and even some of your book's content is a great way to become recognized as an expert and connect you and your book with those who share similar interests.
Although following these ten rules will not guarantee your book will be a success, it will help you avoid making mistakes and improve your chances.
[George Kittredge is the creator of Book1Blog, authored and published his own book in 2005, and can be reached by email at georgek@Book1One.com.]