In this blog, I am sharing how I am mentoring a group of high school science students to write and publish a book about their science research experiences by April 2015 with the goal of selling 500 copies by the end of the school year.
“Who are you? Why should I read your book?” That is what any potential reader is going to ask a new author. With hundreds of thousands of new titles coming out each year, over half of which are self-published, the new author’s book can be lost in the sea of books flooding the market. If you self-publish, the challenge is even greater, as you have to establish credibility, along with marketing your book, all of which you do on your own. This is similar to the challenge faced by any new small business–establishing a customer base out of thin air.
To meet the challenge, a new author needs to start reaching out and attracting readers well before publication–months before the book’s release. Author and consultant Tim Grahl’s Your First 1000 Copies is a great resource that lays out a clear plan to do this. What we are doing in our science author group is to start blogging and reaching out to groups in our target audience beginning this fall, as we go through the editing and revising of our books. Our planned book release date is in April 2015, so if we start reaching out to potential readers in September 2014, that’s eight months before publication. The goal I set for each author is to sell 500 copies of his or her book by July 2015. The only way this is achievable is if we have hundreds, if not thousands, of people following our blog by the publication date–these people will know us, will be interested in what we are doing, and will be the most likely people to buy our books. We appreciate their support and plan to give them a high quality book in return.
Next week, my post will have a tip on how to draft a book.
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