I used to offer two free email consultations for authors and aspiring authors, about 100 email consultations per month.
Back when I first started, I noticed an interesting trend. The trend has very little to do with books themselves. In fact, almost every single person who has taken me up on the email consultations has asked pretty much the same question, just in their own words. The questions in their raw form look something like this:
- How do I get my book in the hands of influencers?
- How do I build a new audience for my book?
- How do I write to multiple target audiences?
- How do I build a following for a web series?
- How do I build a following for a a blog?
- What should I do to get ready for a book in terms of building an audience?
- How should I drive more traffic to my blog?
- … and so on.
But to me, all these questions can be summed up as:
How do I make sure my book does well in the marketplace when I finally release it?
The answer is to “purchase” some Fear Insurance. Fear Insurance is something you do to “guarantee” success at a project where success is not guaranteed. It’s a way to help you manage your fears so you are not paralyzed by them.
For example, before I published my first novel I paid an exorbitant amount of money to hire three editors for it. I figured most people only had one editor—so between the three, I’d end up with a near-perfect novel that could crush the competition. It didn’t actually matter if my reasoning was true or not (and in many respects, it wasn’t); all that mattered was that I *believed* I could control my own success. This helped me get over the fear of publishing fiction.
So I know a book is a huge undertaking for anyone. In the consultations, many of you also noted that you are worried you will finish your book only to find that no one will read it or buy it. It’s a smart concern to have. Luckily, there’s a simple answer, a simple way to purchase some Fear Insurance of your own.
The simple answer is Build Your Audience Now.
- Because building an audience takes time. Neil Patel from QuickSprout, who is probably partially responsible for the success of about 20% of the Top 100 blogs in the world, estimated that his time-to-100k visitors per month on a new blog/audience is about 1.5 years. And he’s an expert! That means if you’re just starting out, building your audience may take a bit longer. The best way to combat this is to start now!
- Because building an audience takes resources and commitment. The truth is that writing a book is just the beginning of your journey. If you really want to make a difference with your words, you’ve got to get those ideas out there in any format you can manage. And you’ve got to be committed to finding your audience—which means you need to dedicate a small portion of your energy and resources to finding them.
- Because building an audience takes some major brainstorming and some major strategizing. Even if you knew exactly the steps you need to take to build your audience, it will probably take 1-2 years. But what if you don’t know the exact steps? What if you’re only beginner or intermediate and know that you’ll have a few things to learn, or a few bumps on the way? Okay—so you’re going to want to leave room for “wading,” in addition to the 2+ years that it will take. An extra 6 months to a year so that you can do it right, train properly, and establish a true connection with others.
- Because if you have an engaged, targeted audience, it’s safe to say at least 10% will buy what you have to offer. This is an industry average. It’s something you can have if you work for it.
- Because you never have a big enough audience. There are always more people who need to hear your message.
- Because you could always use more people interested in your work. It’s not selfish, because you’re changing their lives, right?
So even if you don’t plan to publish a book for several years, NOW is the time to start building an audience.
And if you have published a book already, but haven’t built your audience, NOW is the time to start building an audience.
Funny how that works, isn’t it?
If you are ready to build your audience, I encourage you to grab my free 7-Day Get Your Book Selling Quickstart. There are several tips to help you build your audience, and several more that will help you get your book selling now, if you have one. Plus, did I mention it’s free?
Here’s the two-step process: