How will you judge your book’s success? Writing Question #3

Posted July 11th @ 6:34 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Before starting to write a nonfiction book, ask yourself, How will I judge my book’s success?

That’s the 3rd in a series of 99 questions for you to ask yourself before starting to write and self-publish a brand-building book.

Answer all 99 questions, and you’ll have created a content plan and business plan for the success of your book and the world of new opportunities it will generate.

Defining the success you hope to achieve writing a book helps you quantify your goals, making them easier to achieve them. It also helps you track your success after your book is published and set even higher goals for your follow-up books.

Initial considerations

It doesn’t matter which of the goals described in the first 2 posts in this series, Why Do You Want to Write a book? and How Do You Intend to Profit From Writing a Book? is most important.

What matters most, of course, are your publishing goals and how you can measure your progress towards your goals. The mind map example, above, displays some of the metrics you can use to judge the success of your book. Here are some options:

  • Sales. Although an author’s profits from book sales are rarely enough to provide a full-time income, it’s always instructive to track gross (i.e., total) and net (i.e., profit left after deducting costs) book sales. Having a record of monthly sales can also help you quantify the value of your book marketing and promotion efforts.
  • Mentions. One of the best measures of your book’s success includes editorial reviews, reviews in blog posts, Reader Reviews on Amazon.com. Mentions also includes comments on blog posts and Facebook, Tweets about your book, and social media Likes.
  • Visits. In addition to monitoring your website’s traffic, one of the best ways to measure your book’s contribution to your online success is to create a special landing page promoted only in your book. You could offer special bonus content on the landing page, like the downloadable worksheets described here. That way, you’d know for certain that visitors to that page were book buyers.
  • Sign-ups. An even better idea is to offer a special bonus, or sign-up incentive, that you could include in all of your book marketing materials and mention on your virtual book tour and whenever you were interviewed about your book.
  • Inquiries. If you are writing a book to promote your service business, you can gauge your book’s success by the number of coaching and consulting inquiries you receive. By tracking inquiries on a weekly basis, you can also relate them to specific book reviews, speeches, and interviews.
  • Invitations. If you’re writing a book to develop paid speaking and presenting opportunities, you can measure your success by the number of invitations you get to speak from event organizers and speaker bureaus.
  • Up-sells. In most cases, of course, the bottom line is profit dollars, or conversions, when a reader who discovered you through your book hires you for coaching or consulting, purchases an information product (like a video, template package, or set of worksheets), or hires you to deliver a keynote address at a conference or corporate retreat.

Getting started

Start your journey to a published book by downloading my free workbook, 99 Questions to Ask Before You Write and Self-Publish a Brand-Building Book.

It’s short on words, long on space for you to record your answers to all 99 questions, making it easy to make informed decisions to guide you on your journey to writing and publishing success.

What’s your biggest question about writing a book? Share your writing and publishing experiences and concerns as comments, below, or ask me a question using my online form.

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