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Founded by Debbie Weil, author of The Corporate Blogging Book

Wake up and write for your existing readers (don’t look for readers later)

Seth Godin reminds us – again – of the new way to think about writing a business book. You are writing for the fans and followers you already have. Your tribe. They are the ones who will celebrate with you and kick off word-of-mouth sales if you set your launch price on Kindle at $0.00.

As Seth puts it: “Wake up in the morning thinking about what (you) can write for (your) readers.” Not the other way around. The old mindset went like this: write your book, get it edited, get blurbs from big names, design a great cover, print, distribute, launch and hold your breath for sales. In other words, write first and then look for readers.

That model is at the heart of legacy publishing. And it is broken.  Now anyone can be an entrepreneurial author: a writer and a publisher with a direct link to your readers. And also, as it happens, get a much bigger cut of each sale. If you price your eBook at $2.99 or higher on Amazon, you get 70% of each sale. That is a whopping increase from the 25% (or less) that authors with legacy publishers are currently getting for eBook sales.

This new model is hugely provocative. And perhaps a little daunting. But it does NOT mean you need 10k followers on Twitter. It could be the 300 people on your email list who follow what you do. Start small. Cultivate your readers. Think of them as your tribe. And keep writing.

  • http://www.itsunderstood.com/ Sue Johnston

    The inverted approach to publishing is asking authors to think like marketers. Not only are they likely to sell more books, they will probably find it easier to write them. Context (who and why) drives content (what).

    I coached a would-be writer, today, who was stuck and doubtful. We discovered she hadn’t identified WHO she wants to write for and WHY she wants to write for them. She just knew she wants to write. Once she got clear on that, she knew WHAT to write, and the ideas just flowed.

    • http://www.debbieweil.com Debbie Weil

      Sue, thanks hugely for your comment. This fits right in with Voxie Media’s idea that a nonfiction/business author needs to think like an entrepreneur and a publisher. Writing and publishing a book is akin to launching a new product. The word product makes it sound generic and not very special. But that is not the case. A beautifully-written book clarifies an important topic and calls the reader to action. A book can change the world.

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