Write a Great Book
“Write a great book” might strike you as common sense, but it’s the most common
mistake authors make. Some indie authors – intoxicated by the freedom to self-publish –
rush their book to market before it’s ready to be seen by readers.
Is your book ready? By considering this difficult question, you’ll find the path to a better
With the power to publish comes the responsibility to emulate the best practices of the
most professional authors and publishers.
If your book is poorly-conceived or poorly-edited, readers will reject it. If you write a
great book that satisfies readers, they will reward you with their word of mouth.
Honor your readers with a great read.
Readers value their time more than the money in their wallet or purse. Book marketing
has always been a word of mouth business. Your readers will market your book for you if
the book touches their soul, or inspires mad passion.
Ninety percent of your book’s success will be determined by the quality of your book.
The other ten percent is distribution, marketing and luck.
If you remember nothing else from this book, remember this: The very most important
marketing you can do is to write a great book that markets itself on the wings of reader
word-of-mouth. If you book makes the reader say, “WOW!” then they won’t just
recommend your book to their friends, they’ll command their friends to read it. “Pretty
good” isn’t good enough if you want to spark word-of-mouth.
Smashwords author Sarah Burleton, who spent over 12 weeks on the NY Times ebook
bestseller list in 2011 with her ebook, Why Me?, told me she did no marketing for her
book. The book took off at Amazon and Barnes & Noble thanks to reader word-ofmouth.
It’s not the first time I’ve seen books break out with little to no marketing.
Be fanatical about quality. Revise, revise, revise. Hire a professional editor if necessary,
but only if you can afford it. If you can’t afford a professional editor, seek out other free
alternatives, like bartering editing with your fellow writers. Join a critique group. Utilize beta readers. Beta readers are test readers (see the Glossary at the end of the book for
more on beta readers). Seek out critical, dispassionate feedback from beta readers,
preferably from strangers rather than friends and family. It’s difficult to obtain honest
critical feedback from friends and family because they’ll be awestruck that you wrote a
book, and they won’t want to hurt your feelings.
The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success won’t tell you how to write a great book, but it
will give you tips on how to maximize its commercial success.