Take these 11 Steps and You Too Can Be a Published Author

  1. Journal about your book and expertise. 
    In other words, write like crazy about your book idea and your expertise. Ask yourself, what gifts of knowledge and wisdom do I have to share with the world? 
  2. Locate your tribe. 
    Research your audience. Who are your readers? Where are they? What do they need? How can you help them with the problems they face? Can you help them increase their income or live a more fulfilling life? 
  3. Launch a blog. Publish once per week.
    Create a website with a blog--and then write weekly blog posts directed at the future readers of your book. In your blog posts, aim to solve your readers' pain points. Lead with an anecdote that shows how you or one of your customers faced and overcame a problem. Pivot to explain how your readers can overcome similar problems in their own lives. End with a call to action, i.e. to read more on your website, schedule a free consult with you, or buy a product or service.
  4. Start an email list and grow it. 
    Make sure your website has an opt-in mechanism for collecting visitor emails.  For example, offer a free e-book in exchange for their email address.
  5. Publish 10 articles and guest blog posts and promote them on social media. 
    Don't stop at blogging. Submit articles to magazines and websites that cover topics similar to yours. 
  6. Write an annotated table of contents.
    Now that you're building a following and collecting email addresses of potential book buyers, it's finally time to work on your book. Map out your book's structure and then write table of contents. Add brief one-paragraph chapter summaries.
  7. Write first 50 pages of book. You'll never know if you really want or can write your book unless you begin writing. So now's the time to try out being a writer for real. Don't stop till you get to page 50.
  8. Turn annotated table of contents into a full book proposal. Or, if you don't desire a traditional publisher, finish writing your book.
    If you want your book to be published by a traditional publisher, then you must write a book proposal. A book proposal is a complex sales document and business plan intended to persuade book publishers that there's a market for your book and that, if they publish it, they will make money. If you don't want to jump through traditional publishing's many hoops, then finish writing your book.
  9. If you do desire a traditional publisher, research publishers and agents. Gather names of agents who might be interested in your book by scanning the acknowledgements section of books you love that are similar in subject matter or voice. Create a dream list of agencies and publishers. 
  10. Submit your book proposal to your dream list of agents or publishers. Or, if you don't want a traditional publisher, finish your book and self-publish.
  11. Continue Growing Your Tribe. Keep up with your blog. Continue publishing articles and guest blog posts. Give speeches and talks to groups. Promote yourself, your book, and your ideas on social media. 
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