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How to become a successful author

0981454216Writing a book and getting it published with a traditional publisher makes you feel important. If you’re a best seller, it’s a great experience. It’s a solid credential.

But if you want to sell books or reach readers who need to hear your message – it doesn’t work. To sell books, you need to do two things:

1. Write a how-to book. How-to books are universal — everyone needs one, and they last forever. (Don’t write about yourself. Nobody cares about your story. That can be the topic of your second book.)

2. Use an email newsletter and a blog to build a fan base. Sharing a simple story or bit of advice every day is how you get people to want to read your stuff. Making it daily is what keeps them coming back. It’s your sales engine and your relationship-maintainer. Without this, you’re a one-time read.

Mike Piper of Oblivious Investor is a great example. He has 7 books about personal investing. They’re only $5 on the Kindle. I bought one once. I found it because one of his blog posts showed up in a search for an accounting question. It’s the blog that gets you discovered.

Then I subscribed to his email newsletter. Now I hear from him all the time. And every so often, I buy another book. And when a friend or co-worker ask me a finance question, I send them one of his books. It’s the newsletter that keeps you top of mind and keeps the word of mouth going.

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