Have you ever caught yourself wondering:
Will my book be successful?
However, there is one thing that is killing authors that many don’t realize they are missing out on.
For most, they write their book and after publishing, they then ask “will this succeed?”
However, I challenge all of you to start asking yourself and your market that very question immediately before you invest time, money and energy into writing that book – not after it's been published.
Now, the methodology for such a question almost feels as daunting as the question itself. However, thanks to Pat Flynn and his latest book Will It Fly, we book marketers now have a straightforward blueprint to help us on this quest for ebook validation.
Although, when Pat wrote this book with the general entrepreneur in mind, I’d like to dissect it for the perspective of a self-publisher, and see how we can use such a process to validate our own book ideas and set ourselves up for success.
What You’ll Learn in this Post
- How a self-publisher should approach the question of whether or not their book idea is good
- The process laid out by Pat Flynn in his latest book Will it Fly
- Why authors need this book and mentality
Although I'll be covering some of the material in this book, I assure you, I'm only scratching the surface. The beauty of this book is the way in which it's written, the examples presented, and exercises given so as to draw better results.
Many years ago, a young man watched an epic match and quickly had an idea. The next day, he immediately started penning a screen play for a sports movie in hopes that it would be picked up. But it wasn't easy. This young man was extremely poor….poor enough that he had sell his own dog to make ends meet.
However, after being rejected multiple times, this young man finally got his break. A movie executive loved his screen play and offered in a pretty large sum of money for it. However, the young man had one stipulation before he would sell it: he needed to be the main character in the movie.
But, this was too much of a demand and so the executive walked away. Let's think about that for a second. The young man was just offered a hefty monetary value but that wasn't what he was looking for.
Finally after some back and forth, the executive came and acquiesced to the young man's request but at a much lower monetary value, giving him the lead role as Rocky.
Because Sylvester Stallone knew what his definition of success was, and his strong points, he knew exactly what needed to be done and he didn't back down.
As an author, can you list your definition of success? Your goals? Your strengths?
Understanding these sorts of things will be instrumental in keeping you moving forward, even when you receive that inevitable 1-star review.
So, ensure you understand your “why”, and you’ll be ahead of the pack.
Pat's book will help you not only figure this out, but create a definition of success, and ensure it aligns with your skills and capability. It's already helped me to figure out my “why” and set my scope better…and I've already been at this for four years!
When Andy Weir wrote the super fly, uber popular book, The Martian, he didn’t just publish it on the market. Oh no…Andy Weir had over 10 years of free short/long stories, and webcomics posted online before he ever made anything that took off.
So, why did he finally decide to publish The Martian?
Because his fans and readers made him publish it….no, really they metaphorically twisted his arm to publish his free web story The Martian.
You see, Andy was the perfect example of someone who had, without fully knowing it, been testing his ideas and style with people for over 10 years.
And finally, when one of his ideas resonated with his target crowd, it was an incredible turn of events. Nowadays, there isn’t a sci-fi nerd that doesn’t know Andy and his insane detail-oriented but ever so entertaining writing style.
So, the moral of this story: Ask you fans and test your ideas with them. You’d be surprised what ends up resonating and what doesn’t.
I especially love this part of the book where Pat takes you through some mind maps to help “mine” those ideas out, segregate them, and even weed out the bad ones before you even move into testing. Jam packed with some amazing resources, I now have a couple new tricks up my sleeve.
PS: If you think The Martian was awesome, you NEED to check out his free 1000 word short story called The Egg. Let's twist his arm again to expand that and publish it asap!
In 1985, Orson Scott Card wrote the prolific book called Ender’s Game. Even though Card won both a Hugo and Nebula award, and, later on, won my literary heart, Card and his publisher made one of the biggest mistakes of their professional life.
A couple of years after publishing the book, Card noticed that most of the people in line for a book signature were teenagers, not grown adults. After doing a little digging, he realized that while he had intended Ender’s Game to be for the older generation, it was actually better received by the YA crowd.
Realizing their folly, they made some changes to the book cover, and the sales immediately picked up to the next level.
And, I can also attest to this, considering that the first time I read it, I was 13-years old. And the second time I read it, was to my then 13-year-old daughter. So, circle of life THAT Disney!
“Baaaaaaaaaahhh Sowhenyaaaaaaaahhhh Mamabeatsebabaaaaahhh! Someboda haaaaa!”
But my point is that Card failed to perform this 3rd step of Pat’s book which was the audience validation process and just assumed that his story of a 13-year old boy being special in a military school full of fraternity laden rituals would appeal to grown adults….um, wait…did he really?
Sometimes we authors have a hard time see the forest when we are so engrained in our own writing…that's what this process is for. So, take the time and test your audience out. See how they take it. Knowledge of whom your target demographic is can be the MOST important aspect of creating a successful book marketing plan.
Shoot…about 80% of Kindlepreneur is all about how you can use that information for your book marketing advantage!
There are over 4.5 million Kindle books on the market, meaning you have 4.5 million competitors. Furthermore, to write, edit, publish and market a book properly, you’re looking at a lot of time, money, and wine.
So, its probably a MAJOR understatement to say that validating your book idea is probably a good idea.
But how does one actually do that?
By doing Kindle Keyword research of course!
Remember, good kindle keyword research should validate whether or not your search term is has market demand, but isn't too competitive.
Now, if you're scratching your head thinking:
So, how do I figure this out?
Then you'll want to read this.
But I'm actually going to take this a step further. If you liked my Amazon Best Seller Rank Calculator and my Amazon Book Description Generator, then you're going to love my next project called Kindle Rocket.
This easy to use software is being designed so as to not only test your ideas, but also present other ideas to help validate whether or not your book will perform well in the Amazon market.
Just imagine, before you even start working on your book, you can have a good idea as to whether or not there is a demand for your book and whether or not the competition is too much…I like my odds.
If you interested to know more about this project, check it out here.
Side note: I was fortunate to be able to work with Pat’s team and helped to develop a list of Keywords for his book as well as select his final categories. Yay! However, in the end, my main keyword choice wasn’t accepted. Through my research, I found that the word “validation” would increase his book’s natural reach on Amazon. But, like a true artist, part knew his fans better than me (thanks to step 2 and 3) and kept the subtitle of “How to Test” rather than my suggestion of “How to Validate”.
Will It Fly Book Review: In a Nutshell Made by a Nut
Okay, so you've seen how the four steps can flow together in a beautiful series.
Well in the below video, I do a quick four-minute recap of the book, Will it Fly and why we authors need this kind of literature in our lives. So, sit back, grab a nice Latte, Red Bull, glass of wine, or whatever and enjoy.
Want more videos like this? Then click HERE to subscribe to my YouTube channel
As you can see, Pat and his team, to include the uber-talented “author whisperer” Azul Terronez, did an excellent job in creating an easy to read, but truly challenging book. It speaks dear to me on a subject I really believe authors need to take heed.
First, know thyself and understand your definition of success. Structure your author business to fit your goals.
Second, develop your ideas, group them, challenge them and prepare. Then talk it over with your readers. Let them help weed out the bad from good.
Third, make sure you know your readers and ensure your idea is the right fit. Figure out where they hang out and test their thoughts.
Fourth, validate your book ideas! Don't leave it to chance.
Truly a great book, process, and guide. Something I will reference multiple times as I reassess my authorship moving forward.