This happens a couple of times a week these days:
An author is telling me her plans, all about the research that’s gone into her book, the way the edit has come together, the great art she found for the cover, that kind of thing.
At some point the question comes.
It might be, “I’m not sure what to charge for the book.”
Or it could be “How do you get those testimonials I see on the back of books?”
Frequently it’s something like, “I don’t know whether to do an ebook first, or a print book as well as an ebook. What about offset, should I think about that?”
And listen, these are all rational and ordinary questions.
But I always have the same questions in response:
What do your readers say?
What kinds of books do your readers like to buy?
What price are your readers paying for books like yours?
Now all this is pretty ordinary market research, but inevitably this discussion leads right to a common subject: your author platform.
That’s because most of these authors have been concentrating so hard on their book—getting the book done, getting it right, looking forward to that magical day when it will be for sale and they will be a “published author.”
Enter the Blog
Frequently the advice that comes out of these talks involves planning for a book launch much, much farther down the road than is strictly necessary.
That’s because there’s a huge difference when you publish a book and you have no author platform, nobody rooting for your success, nobody willing to help you celebrate the publication and help you let other people know about it.
Publishing into a void is depressing, frustrating, and, often, futile.
But there’s a cure for that, and that’s why I’m so enthusiastic about author blogs.
Authors are in a unique position to profit from the incredible potential of a blog.
Hey, we’re all writers, aren’t we?
But what I’ve found is that blogging isn’t so simple.
It’s not so easy to get ahead of the technical stuff, for instance, when you’re starting out.
Not so easy to figure out how to create content that gets people to stop and pay attention, even take an action.
Not so easy to understand why one blog grows and prospers, while another sits fallow and eventually dries up.
Blogging, the Book
With a lot of encouragement, I’ve starting pulling together my articles on blogging and planning a new book to help authors with blogging.
Help to understand the incredible potential in blogging.
Help with turning your content into magnetic blog posts.
With learning how to make search engines your friends and collaborators.
The whole nine yards.
And that’s where you come in.
I’ve been working hard on this book, but the thing that’s missing is your input. You know what problems you’re running into with blogging.
Or maybe you haven’t been able to get started, that’s okay too.
So just below here I’ve posted the entire outline for the book. I would really appreciate if you can take a minute to look it over.
What’s missing? What needs to be covered in detail? What are you most curious about?
Every week I surf dozens, maybe hundreds of blogs. I talk to other bloggers, network with them. Over the years I’ve grown this blog from no traffic at all to the most highly-visited blog in the self-publishing field.
Last month over 50,000 people visited, read articles, left comments, asked questions and otherwise engaged with the community here.
Now I want to show you exactly how I did that, and how you can too.
So help me out and give me your best feedback on this outline.
And don’t hold back. I’m counting on you, and I can take your criticism if you think I’m off base, so go ahead and let me have it.