How to be a Best-Selling Author

Last week, I sponsored and attended an outstanding workshop offered through eWomenNetwork called “How to be a Best-Selling Author & Treat Your Book as a Business.” Advising nearly 50 aspiring and published authors were best-selling Canadian authors, professional speakers, and marketing powerhouses Teresa De Grosbois and Charmaine Hammond.

Both were down to earth, gracious, and down-right frank about what it takes to make a living as an author and what one should expect. The following are 10 highlights I gathered from these two very experienced best-selling authors and marketing gurus:

1. Build your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Blog followers, e-newsletter contacts, personal contacts) to include 20,000 followers. That gives you a strong base of support for selling and recommending your book, and if you approach a publisher, this tells them you have a strong network to help market your book.
2. Blog about your book to get feedback (eg. on chapter topics), hone your book based on the feedback, and leverage this to develop a following, who will in turn be the 1st to buy your book.
3. It doesn’t feel good when someone stands up and tries to sell themselves, so surround yourself with others who will sing your praises and trust them to do that.
4. The bigger the problem you solve in a book, the bigger the reach, buzz and payoff.
5. Start with publishing an e-book.
6. Move forward powerfully and you will get to where you need to go.
7. The average successful author can expect to earn $20,000 from their book, but the true earning potential is from the wrap-around products and services associated with marketing your book (eg. speaking tours, sponsorships, course fees, merchandise sales, movie deals, calendars, etc.)
8. Systemize everything: contacts, signing books, media, speaking events, sales, follow up promotion, etc. so that you aren’t trying to reinvent these things every time you visit a new city on a book tour.
9. When using social media, be purposeful, congruent and consistent with your posts.
10. Do not try to do everything yourself. Two recommended organizations that provide great assistance to authors/speakers are: and the Canadian Authors Association and the Canadian Association of Public Speakers.

While these are simply brush strokes of what one can learn from Teresa de Grosbois and Charmaine Hammond, I would highly recommend that anyone serious about becoming a successful author take courses from these two talented ladies through Wildfire Academy.

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