How to Successfully Publish Your Book by Turning the Book Process Upside Down
The traditional book publishing process goes a bit like this:
- write a book
- seek out an agent or publisher
- publish the book
- create and execute a marketing plan
- sell the book
- receive feedback by means of learning what needs to be improved the next time around, and…
I’m here to tell you that you can expect better results by turning this entire process upside down. That’s right — you can literally implement the book publishing process from the bottom up!
10 Unexpected Benefits of Publishing Upside Down
Publishing upside down is a highly effective, proven way to launch a successful book project — I can attest to this based on my personal experience in helping hundreds of authors with their projects. And I have to admit: the upside down process works like a gem, and delivers better than the traditional process, every single time.
There are multiple benefits associated with the upside down process:
- It does not require that you “learn as you go” but rather that you are already familiar and equipped with the best practices of your craft before making any big moves.
- The process is in and of itself entirely low-risk, as you have already monitored and analyzed the market and understood most, if not all, aspects of it. The risk of book launch failure is minute.
- You produce books of a higher quality (think of all the effort put into them to get them just right).
- Your focus is on top-level books success factors. You can’t go wrong with learning from the best.
- The whole process is incredibly cost-effective.
- You have an increased book-market fit. Your readers are a perfect match for the book you will be offering them (no lukewarm, unenthusiastic readers).
- You’re in tune with your target audience from the get-go, knowing exactly what they want and successfully delivering it to them.
- You know where your readers-to-be are before even publishing your book. You can thus easily request their opinion, preferences and overall feedback whenever you want you.
- Because you are interacting with your target readers early on, they will appreciate this and support you more fervently. They will even be anticipating your book launch.
- There is a higher satisfaction rate to be had by all stakeholders. The publisher you will be pitching to will be relieved by how little work his company would have to carry out for you (after all, this is what publishers are really looking for). If you elect to self-publish, you can expect a greater payoff with little effort, particularly if you collaborate with other writers, designers, editors, etc. In the end, everyone’s happy.
And now you may be wondering: how can someone actually follow this upside down process and achieve all these benefits?
How to Publish Upside Down Step by Step
This is the exact process to publishing upside down which you too can follow, even if you’ve never written a book before and even if you presently have no book content whatsoever:
Step 1 — Idea
Start your new book project. This is more of a brainstorming phase than actual writing. What is the book about? What message will it convey? If a fiction title, what is the general premise, plot and conflict? You don’t need to be able to answer every single question and you don’t need to jot down any notes, but do envision an initial raw concept of your book.
Step 2 — Education
Become acquainted with the best practices related to publishing, writing and improving your book. What do other authors have to say about improving their craft? What are the bestselling titles known for? Are there any particular strategies that publishers recommend? There are so many resources all over the web these days that you’ll have surely stumbled across a few.
Step 3 — Communication
Receive feedback from your target audience and know what it wants. To do this, you will have to go to where your prospect readers are (social media, Goodreads, Reddit, etc) and garner opinions. You don’t even have to disclose your book idea, but rather simply heed your audience’s preferences.
Step 4 — Raw Concept Marketing
This is the phase where you will begin to market your book — yes, even though the book has not even been written yet! Take that initial raw concept and start adding form to it: create its title, its blurb, and any descriptions or marketing material that will accompany it once it’s published.
Step 5 — Market Fit
Now it’s time to create your book marketing plan. How will you place your book in front of your ideal target readers? Will you buy ads or opt for organic sources of traffic? Will you be capturing leads for a mailing list and, if so, how? If you have no idea what organic traffic or leads are, then you may need a marketing expert to assist you with this step.
Step 6 — First Draft/Lean Publishing
Publish a few sample chapters of your book in a Lean way (step by step with feedback and supportive target reader groups). Do not get carried away and publish the whole book just yet. Do not also fret about whether or not the few chapters you already have are good enough to be disclosed to the public eye. Think of this as simply a first draft that is subject to change and improvements.
Step 7 — Proven Concept Pitching
Pitch the book to an agent or publisher. That’s right, you still do not have the full book, which is perfectly fine as publishers usually only request the first 3 chapters. You will know which agent/publisher to pick based on your growing tribe and positive target reader feedback.
Step 8 — Writing
Write your book! Alternatively, you can have another writer (ghostwriter) do the work for you. In fact, you could hire several. The potential is limitless and all the important work (learning, communication, market monitoring, planning, marketing, etc) is already done. Phew!
When you compare this concept with the traditional one we mentioned earlier, you’ll notice that they are 100% identical, except they are switched the other way around!
Publishing upside down is the opposite of the traditional book publishing process and does, in my experience, produce better and faster results. While it may seem daunting for first-time publishers and authors, there’s always the option of hiring a team to help you get things done or learning the ropes of things like marketing and how to write the book all by yourself. No matter how you choose to do it, be prepared for an exciting, “upside down” journey!
Our guest blogger is Albert Griesmayr, MBA, founder & CEO of the book publishing industry monitoring company Scribando | Novelify. As a book marketing consultant for more than 100 publishers and authors, he has worked on projects resulting in more than 2 million copies combined sold worldwide.