“Hi, I’m Deidra Romero, author of the best-selling book Parenting Upstream.”
Immediately, you want to learn more, don’t you? You want to learn what the book is about, or what I have to say?
The fact that I’ve published a book says a lot more for my own credibility than just saying “I’m Deidra Romero, and I blog about parenting.”
A book signifies that you are in this for the long haul. Blogs and personalities come and go, but when you put something in print and you market it to the masses, it demonstrates that you are serious about this thing you have to say and that your message is worth someone else’s time and money.
A published book gives you authority, and opens many doors for your platform (such as speaking and coaching opportunities, to say the least).
The only problem is… I haven’t published a book (yet).
For the longest time, I assumed I wasn’t ready to publish a book because my own platform wasn’t “big enough” or I wasn’t “established” (whatever that means).
But then I had an impromptu conversation with a successful publisher. She made a compelling case that I couldn’t stop thinking about. She said that publishing a book can actually be an amazing catalyst for your platform.
Have you ever thought about writing a book, but felt that same way I did? I reached out to several trusted contacts in today’s publishing industry to answer these questions: How do you know you’re ready for a book deal? And how do you know your platform is ready? Here are the top 10 signs you’re ready:
1. You have a message with a unique perspective that you truly believe in. If you are not passionate about your topic, no one else will be. Author Terry Tempest Williams put it this way, and it’s always stuck with me: “To write requires an ego, a belief that what you say matters. Writing also requires an aching curiosity leading you to discover, uncover, what is gnawing at your bones.” Is this message keeping you awake at night? Do you believe in the transformation you can provide to your readers?
2. You have an engaged email list and an email marketing strategy. Size is important, but when you think about your subscriber list, it’s really about quality. If you have 100 to 200 engaged subscribers, that matters. An engaged email list can help you build a launch team of devoted followers who will share your message with their friends and followers. This is something publishers pay attention to.
Furthermore, your email marketing strategy is crucial. Are you intentional and consistent? Email marketing can be a big mystery, but it’s an important part of your platform and it’s why we teach it in-depth inside Platform University. One of our Platform University students, Jevonnah Ellison is also a published author and acquisitions editor. When highlighting the importance of your list, she put it this way. “When you love on your list consistently, you’ll build trust and rapport that is essential for a thriving platform.”
3. You have established social embassies so you are easy to find online. Have you ever read a book you loved and you just had to know more about the author? But when you went online, they were nowhere to be found? Your readers will expect you to be visible. Now, you don’t have to everywhere, but you have to be somewhere.
4. You are willing to have your ideas debated and vetted by editors, reviewers, and readers. Becoming a published author takes a lot of … guts. I don’t know another way to put it. It’s not just courage or bravery, it’s resilience too. Are you prepared to deal with the one-star reviews on Amazon just as much as the five-star reviews? Do you believe in your ideas enough to set them free in the world?
Becoming a published author takes a lot of … guts. I don’t know another way to put it. It’s not just courage or bravery, it’s resilience too.
5. You have a rich network of connections in your industry or niche. This is why we believe so much in the community behind Platform University. Everyone is on the same journey you are. It’s a great chance to meet like-minded individuals who can cheer you on and help you when you hit a roadblock. They can also help you promote your book once it’s published and provide guest blogging opportunities. Jevonnah had this to add: “Having the right network to help you market your book will take you further, faster.”
6. You want to bolster your platform to the next level and unlock new growth. Book deals open doors with literary agents, publishers, editors
7. You’re ready to book speaking engagements and connect in-person with your tribe. Maybe you’ve hit a plateau and you know that if you could just have an opportunity to speak at a live event, that you’d be able to forge valuable connections. That’s why live events and face-to-face meetings are a crucial piece of your platform puzzle. And marketing a book opens those doors.
8. You have a self-hosted website you control 100% (and you know how to edit it). This seems like an odd one, but when you land a book deal, your publisher is going to give you a long list of things they want you to change or add to your website. You’ll need to be able to do these yourself or easily hand them off to someone you trust.
As you promote your book, you’ll also need to update your website frequently by adding to your about page, creating a new landing page for your book, and also creating an area for press inquiries. If you have a self-hosted website that you control completely, this will free you up to manage this yourself with confidence and without red tape.
9. You have other content (or ideas for content) related to your book. A book is really just the beginning. What other products (digital or physical) can you create from your book? Will you have an online course? A workbook for book clubs? PDF downloads? Behind-the-scenes videos? A podcast? What can you offer as a lead-magnet on your site?
10. You know something (or you know someone who knows) about public relations and marketing. Most people think publishers handle this, but beyond a press release and some glowing endorsements, your publisher will rely on you to do the
Once again, this is where we can help you fill in the gaps. If you don’t know anything about pitching yourself or booking yourself for events, that’s all stuff we teach inside Platform University.
QUESTION: Is your platform ready for a book deal? What’s holding you back? Let us know in the comment area below!