“Write. Publish. Repeat.” by Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant, David Wright #takeaways

A book read by a thousand different people is a thousand different books.”Andrei Tarkovsky

In the book “Write. Publish. Repeat” authors Sean Platt, David Wright and Johnny B. Truant explained how to build a thriving international publishing empire with no luck required… In two words – you have to work your ass off, never give up and see your “writing” as a business. 

My rate is 3 – you can find a lot of useful information, BUT… personally, I’d cut 80% of the content and left only 15-20 (useful) pages. Or, lucky you, just read this post with the most important #takeaways.

1. Use #CTA (call to action) at the end of your book, for example for another purchase –  either the next book or a bundle of multiple books. Or ask people who read the book to join your e-mail list in order to get upcoming books free or at a discount. Use a link to a web page with that e-mail list. #CTA should be short and contain a very clear reader benefit: give a reason to join your e-mail list. 

2. #USP (unique selling proposition) – what differentiates you from everyone else? How are you unique in a way that makes what you’re selling more attractive to your target market?

3. Understand that you will have to work your ass off and endure many ups and downs if you want to make a full-time living from your writing. The chance that you are going to be THE ONE in a million to hit a home run the first few times you step up to bat is …so slim, it’s practically see-through. If you have only a few, or only one (PUBLISHED) books and aren’t planning to write more – you are doomed. 

…and so on. That’s the only WAY!

If you don’t like the idea – producing 10, 50, or a 100 QUALITY (shouldn’t be crap, for quantity) and strategically arrayed books before you make more than SODA MONEY – then, hey… go ahead, show us how you do it!

“Oh, hell, this book isn’t telling us what we want to hear. I don’t want to work that hard. And I want publish only one, truly AWESOME book and became a best seller or a second Hemingway.”

If that’s you… stop reading right now!

4. Don’t let anyone tell you that people don’t judge a book by its cover. They absolutely do. You need an amazing title and a cover to make reader want to spend more than 1 minute reading on your synopsis.

5. When you release your first book, all you need is to get a few people to love it. When you release the second book – let the people who already loved your first book know – it’s available. Repeat, then repeat again. 

6. Edit meticulously (to avoid looking like an amateur). Double-check everything. 

7. Among fiction writers, there’re 2 main groups: “plotters” and “pansters”. Plotters like to create plots for their novels in advance. Panters like to fly by the seat of their pants, never knowing what comes next until it happens on the page. The authors of the book suggest to work with a flexible BEATS. 

8. Write your first draft FAST (as fast as you can). The authors of this book are writing first draft in 30 hours (= during a week). 

Vomit onto that keyboard.
Keep things moving.
Don’t worry about getting it right.
Go faster. Faster. FASTER…

9. Focus on developmental editing – line editing – proofreading. Don’t OVER-EDIT!

10. Lighting Source’s books are simply better than CreateSpaces’s. Their paperbacks (called “perfect bound”) are tighter and feel more professional. In addition, Lighting Source offers the option to print hardback books. 

11. Get ISBN for print. You’ll need a separate ISBN for each format (even if it is a version of the same book). 

12. If you have a print version, making sure it is linked to your e-book version. If you do, your e-book’s price will show as if it’s been discounted from the price of your print book. 

13. Build your own platforms that you control. Authors suggests – Facebook, Twitter (it is primary for the authors of this book), Goodreads, podcasting, YouTube.  Blog takes too much time from the writing (but you can use it to build some audience or as your website, to share your work).

Your axis of connection to readers should ultimately be your own website and mailing list. Doesn’t matter what’s going to happen in the future with Facebook or Twitter – you still have access to your readers. 

Authors of this book moved away from blogging when they started to write a lot of fiction. They decided it was more important to complete funnels and put more words up for sale.

Use a rule of 80/20.
20% – for blogging, 80% – for writing.

14. Your books = your brand. Brand has a feel. Done well, it conveys 1 or a few primary ideas. Volvo’s brand is about safety. Dan Brown’s book are about highly plotted, fast-paced adventure (religious-themed thrillers). What’s the ideas of your brand? 

What are you that nobody else is? = your brand.
And what can you offer a reader that no-one else can? = your USP

15. 4,5 stars on Amazon more or less equivalent to 3,5 stars on Goodreads.

16. Print out your first book and handle it out like a business card. You never know who knows whom, and who’s interested in what. Make friends and love (plus listen!) your reader.

17. The authors of “Write. Publish. Repeat” advise to check Joanna’s Penn guide “How to Market a Book”.

18. Understand what a FUNNEL is. In general it is a way of organising your works so that one product (book 1) leads logically into another (book 2,3,6,19). You’ll do this by setting up a series of pointers – in the backs of your books, in product descriptions – in order to steer readers to the place you want them. 

A good funnel isn’t a straight chain, where product A simply leads to product B. It’s like a kitchen funnel – wider at the top and narrower at the  bottom. Your goal to scoop as many people into the top of your funnel as possible. 

Let’s say you have book A, book B and book C. You can’t sell all 3 to the best price and you can’t sell your last book C for 9,99 because it is a lot to pay for an e-book by an unknown author. What you can do? Product A should ideally be free so that there’s no barrier to entry for anyone interested in what you eventually want to sell.Product B can be a bit more expensive. Product C – actual price of 9,99. It’s easier to sell product C if people already read (for free) product A and paid to read product B. Tv – show “Friends” is a good example of a good funnel. 

Note: Funnels require multiple products. Write – Repeat. Write – Repeat.

An average writer with a tight funnel will always beat a brilliant writer with a poor funnel!

To be appreciated, brilliance must be seen. Have you ever heard that koan about how a tree falls and nobody’s around to hear it, does it make a sound? Yeah… THAT. 

19. Make your book free for a few days time to time. 

20. You can upload your free funnel – starter to wattpad.com to expand your reach, then include a link at the end of the chapters (to get the rest of the series or link to your website).

21. How to get a review on your book? Give away free copies. Don’t fake reviews and don’t buy reviews. Ask… and you’ll receive. 

22. How much money you’ll make? You can stop worrying: NOT MUCH… at first. You’ll work hard for months and months, and won’t make money at all. Keep at it, it takes time. Or better – get over it and move on. The issue of money does matter, but “HOW MUCH” is the wrong question to ask. Think about creating books that are truly worth buying, doing it OVER and OVER, and getting it into as many hands as possible. 

In this book you can also find the info about:

  • why e-mail marketing is so important for any author and how to do it the right way 
  • how to set up and use your list (use it to make your readers happy)
  • weekly newsletters – a #must. A newsletter’s job is to build attention and habit. You want people to get used to seeing your e-mails on a regular basis, and want people habituated to opening them. 15% of opening is a very good result.
  • how to deal with negative reviews
  • the most effective paid advertising options require you to discount your book to 99 cents for at least a few days. 
  • anything is a good idea. An idea is a concept. It’s what you do with that idea – that fill it out and put meat on it’s bones. 

There’s a principle in advertising that says that a customer needs to be exposed to your message 7 times (!!!) on average before they actually notice it. One book by an author is easy to ignore, but if you see that authors books everywhere, something is going to click…

Everything you need is 1000 TRUE fans who’d buy any book you’ll write.

Note: Writing is a business, not a hobby, and you need to treat it that way!

Writing is about you. Publishing is about the book. Marketing is about the reader. Joanna Penn

Have guts! Courage comes from knowing you could fail…

P.S. from authors of the book: Nothing in this book works if you don’t have at least a few books and/or keep producing more. Always be writing “THE NEXT BOOK”. That’s your best move… 

Next post – “The Pearl Territory” chapter 4

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