A few weeks ago, I published my second book on Amazon, which from what readers have told me, is even better than my first book. It’s called The Seven Foundations of a Resilient Livelihood. It’s based more on my experience as a green business coach than on my work with writers.
For this book and others, I’m using a book development and marketing approach that seems to be the opposite to what most non-fiction writers are being advised to do. I’m writing my books first and developing a platform afterwards, organically.
The first reason that I’m using this approach is that I want to create books quickly to use in retreats and workshops as workbooks. There is no cheaper way to create a beautiful, professionally done book for your clients than CreateSpace. This applies for any business.
I just helped an award winning Manufacturing CEO finish his first book, Don’t Go Into Business to Make Money. He’s delighted with his book, so much so that we’re also partnering together on creating a video newsletter. No matter where you live in the world, it is simple and inexpensive to write a book using CreateSpace. Think about publishing one this year!
The second reason that I’m following this course of book development, is because of John Locke’s e-book, How I Sold 1 Million ebooks in 5 months published last year. He’s been very successful at selling his novels on Kindle, and I wanted to know how he did it. To my surprise, he did NOT market his books until he had written several of them. His marketing thinking was that people like to have something else to read by an author, and one book isn’t enough. He churns a new book about every 9 weeks, and doesn’t claim to be a literary giant. He offers a practical reason for not worrying too much about sales of your first book or two. And also shows why ebooks are important. My instincts said follow his approach.
My final reason for writing books and e-books without much of a platform is that not everything in the world worth doing should be done to become popular. We don’t have to wait for someone to approve of our message to share them. My belief is that the people who are meant to read our words find them. I honor this mystical side of myself by writing what I feel is right to share, not simply things that will sell.
This is not to say you shouldn’t create a social media platform before you write your book or create your art. There are many ways to share your writing and make a living with your books and ideas. Keep your options open and follow your instincts. You may be surprised at what type of life you can create for yourself and your books, without a built-in marketing platform before you publish.
So, how about you? Do you feel you must create a social media platform before you start or finish your book or other writing? Have you found a way to create a platform for your work that feels right for you?