6 things all best-selling business books have in common
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Over 2.2 million business books are published each year, but only a handful of them enjoy bestseller status. Even so, there are some commonalities among business writers who have books that consistently top the charts. Following their proven formula gives any aspiring writer a solid shot at success.
That being said, it is naive to think that there is one easy and unique secret, and what makes or breaks a book’s success is ultimately determined by several factors. Before you put pen to paper, it’s important that writers consider the big picture and follow through with clear guidelines and goals in mind.
A little technical forethought gives a book the best possible shot at finding and connecting with an audience, which is crucial for any writer looking to make a splash. Make sure your book and your publishing and promotion strategy meet these basic needs.
1. Practical advice
When a person picks up a business book, they are looking for something quite different from fiction or leisure reading. While they may be interested in the story and style of the writer, ultimately what readers want is advice that is easily applicable to their professional lives.
It can take almost countless forms – from time management to supply chain philosophy, and most business books live or die on the quality of the advice they give to readers. Before a writer starts a book, he needs to make sure that he has something to say to his audience that deserves his audience’s time and attention. Without it, the ship is doomed to failure before it even sets sail.
It is important to understand that readers seek to gain new perspectives through business books, but they also need to be assured that these solutions are grounded in reality.
Related: How to give good advice
2. Proven solutions
Once a book has established its niche and recommended actions, the writer should make sure that his words are backed up by facts. In business especially, people want to see data packaged and presented in a digestible way.
It is essential to back up their claims with facts, otherwise the words may simply be swept aside as pure conjecture with no basis in reality. In business, there is no room for this kind of fluff, and citing credible sources reinforces your legitimacy.
The best way to justify words and gain your reader’s trust isn’t just to regurgitate studies – connect with them and comment on the trends as a whole. This, together with the first-hand experiences of the writer’s professional past, gives the advice a more comprehensive effect.
Pair it all with a personal touch and the book takes another big step towards success.
3. A polished product
Even the best tips and solutions can be hampered by poor editing and poor writing, and virtually all bestselling books have gone through several rounds of edits before they go on sale.
The importance of editing cannot be understated as it provides a level of sophistication to a book that the writer himself cannot provide. Having an editor smoothing out any overlooked grammatical errors and making sure that the ideas and advice support each other makes the reader much more likely to believe the writer’s post.
Details like font choice and book cover design are easy to navigate, but they need to be consistent and engaging in order for readers to notice the book. Polishing these aspects to a professional standard is an essential job for any writer before embarking on publishing.
4. A clear publication plan
Writers have more choices than ever before when considering publishing options, and decisive selection and completion of a publisher is a strong indicator of any book’s future success. The two main avenues are to go and work with a traditional publisher, whether it is one of the big five or an independent press, or to self-publish.
There is a world of difference between the two, but in short, self-publishing gives a writer more potential profit while traditional publishers offer more support and structure.
Entrepreneurial writers naturally tend to have marketing, production, and distribution skills, which outweighs the major drawbacks of self-publishing.
There is a third option, which is also worth mentioning: the hybrid edition. In theory, hybrid publishing gives copywriters the best of both worlds – speed, control, and ownership – but with the added benefits of editing, design, marketing, and whatever support you might get. from a traditional editor. Writers who choose to work with a hybrid publisher can expect to pay between $ 10,000 and $ 50,000.
Related: Consider this before you self-publish your book
5. Modern marketing campaigns
While quality content is what will keep readers going, a solid marketing campaign is what will grab their attention in the first place. Classic marketing campaigns for a book include reviews and entering a writing contest for recognition, and these will always work for some.
A more modern approach, especially for writers who already have a large following, is promotion through email and social media campaigns. This activates the network they already have that is supportive of them, and through word of mouth and successful ad targeting, finds like-minded people who would love their jobs.
6. Stay active with the audience
Writers aren’t always known as the most social group, but being active and approachable after a book is published can help maintain the crucial momentum for a newly published book. Live question-and-answer sessions with an author engage their audience on a personal level and can also serve as a testing ground for new ideas. Promoting their own work through presence and conversation can help tip the scales in favor of a writer.
Related: 5 proven tips to effectively market your first book
There are no guarantees in the publishing industry, and sometimes a writer needs a little luck on their side to be successful. These proven methods allow a book to succeed regardless of luck and give you a real chance at success.