The Secret Weapon For Ebook Success
I recently read that over 80% of Americans want to write a book…that’s a pretty huge number! I’m sure if I asked 10 random friends if they’ve ever written a book, the result is probably closer to zero. If that 80% stat is true…there are either many people failing in their journey…or perhaps worse, not even starting.
If you’re one of the 80% looking to write a book…how do you make sure you succeed? I think one of the best strategies that helps authors successfully create and launch their book is…collaboration. Here’s a look at 4 critical reasons why you should collaborate with someone on your next book…be it with co-authors or contributors.
Doing anything that requires a great amount of effort requires some sort of accountability. Marathons runners have running partners…entrepreneurs starting businesses have co-founders…people losing weight have workout partners…the list goes on. When you go on a challenging journey alone, you’re basically setting yourself up for failure…and writing a book is such a journey.
This accountability comes in many forms. It can be positive encouragement. When you battle with self-doubt or writer’s block, a collaborator can encourage you with positive words…inspiring you to press on and to keep writing. Often, a collaborator can believe in you more than you believe in yourself. Especially when writing content you have mastery over, topics may seem utterly mundane and worthless to you. A collaborator can remind you of its rich value for others.
Accountability can also come in the form of peer pressure and prodding. Yes, negative reinforcement is frowned on in today’s culture…but it’s hard to argue its efficacy in certain situations. When you have other contributors waiting and relying on your work…you tend to have some sense of peer responsibility and guilt to deliver on your end of the bargain. Generally, people don’t want to be the weakest link, holding up progress. A little pressure from fellow collaborators can be a great way to overcome procrastination, laziness, and giving up.
2. Get a Sounding Board
Have you ever read a book and wondered if the author had anyone else read it before publishing it? Don’t be guilty of that with your book. Escaping from your own head can really help ensure your book is relatable to a wide audience of readers.
Sure, this can be done with writing groups and friends…but I propose it might be more effective to have a consistent set of people, who have domain knowledge in your world, to use as a sounding board and ask for feedback. Taken one step further, if you plan on using this group of people consistently…you might as well consider officially collaborating with them as co-authors and contributors to your book.
One of the big psychological battles I deal with is self-doubt and credibility. If you’re like me…one of the reasons why I’m an avid learner and reader is because I never think I know enough. To many, this is called “the impostor syndrome”…where a person feels inadequate despite their proved competency . This attitude often leads to me wondering if I know enough to author something.
In my journey to write a book about product management, there’s a multitude of topics I’d want to cover. Some of the topics, I have complete mastery over…some of the topics, my knowledge and experience is just average. Collaborating with contributors solves for this impostor syndrome.
When writing instructional books, having specific subject matter experts write certain chapters and topics can greatly add to the credibility of your book. Whether your knowledge gaps are real…or merely a figment of your imagination…it’s likely true that someone with more specific knowledge or experience can add value to your material. Not to mention…it’s often a perceived benefit from readers to see other experts chime in.
4. Marketing Power
One oft overlooked aspect of writing a book is marketing and selling the book. I’m guessing if you’re writing a book and publishing it for public consumption…you’re hoping your words will reach an audience of readers. The sobering reality is…unless you’re a famous author or thought-leader…you’ll need to put a good deal of work into promoting and marketing the book. The book isn’t gonna sell itself. If marketing and selling isn’t your strength…it might be wise to collaborate with co-authors and contributors to share in the marketing work.
By adding collaborators…you now have a team of people invested in the success of your book. Assuming your collaborators are also experts in their field, they may have followers in their respective circles of influence who they can promote the book to. For example…in my Product Management for Startups book, a contributor helping with my chapter on growth hacking would reach out the the growth hacker circles…and another contributor helping with my chapter on sales automation would reach out the the sales circles. You can potentially reach audiences you normally don’t have access to.
What Do You Think?
If you haven’t considered finding collaborators for your book…I hope this post surfaces some reasons why it might be a good idea. If not for anything, imagine how nice it would be to simply split the work with a partner. That in itself would be a pretty good reason for most people to at least consider it. If you read this article and a few people popped into your head…think about taking a baby step and reaching out them to have a conversation about it.
If you totally disagree of have had bad experiences collaborating with other people on books…I’d love to hear your comments below!