The LAST Word with Louise Harris
Motivational speakers often talk about owning your thoughts so you do not feel trapped. What you say in your mind determines how you act and feel. Often, it determines how successful you can be. For example, if your car breaks down, you can look at the incident in a couple ways. You can moan and complain that you have the worst luck and are inconvenienced, or you can see the bright spot in a mishap. When my car broke down, I thought I was bound to get more exercise because I had to walk more places. I wouldn’t let a situation I can’t control interfere with my attitude. You can do the same.
Authors have to control their thoughts every day. If you write fiction, you have to be in charge of the characters’ thoughts and movements. If you write nonfiction, your thoughts become the book. If you want to be successful, you have to keep out the negativity. People don’t want to read about your complaining unless it’s humorous. Erma Bombeck was successful doing this. I have met other authors who made complaining into a humorous art form and were successful. But, for the most part, nonfiction books are designed to offer advice and provide you information. You don’t want to write a negative book. Therefore, you have to control your thoughts.
Last month, I talked about researching your topic. This column is going to discuss what you want to say. If you are an expert on motivational topics and you want to add a book to your successful coaching business, you need to know what you want to say. Every author has the same problem. How do I make my book different from the millions already on the market?
Find a Niche
To be successful and different, you need to develop a niche for your book. Even if you are talking about owning your thoughts, you need to ensure that your book will not rehash what others talk about regarding owning your thoughts. I read several motivational books. After awhile, they began to sound so similar that I lost interest.
If I were to write a motivational book, I would play to my strengths. I am good at motivating writers and schmoozing with people. Therefore, I would not write a book on motivation topics in general, but those ways that are specific to writers or how to talk with people face to face in a happy hour setting. These two topics are the ones I know the most. I wouldn’t begin to advise people on how to make money investing through motivating speeches because I have never done that.
Therefore, figure out your strengths and write to that. Make the topic narrow enough that you can focus your information but broad enough that you can write a book.
Know Your Market
When you have your niche, you are able to market your book more easily. If you want to use your book as another marketing tool or if you just want it to sell, you need to know your target market. For my motivational book, my target market is budding writers. For the networking book, my target market would be startups and small businesses. I wouldn’t waste my time trying to capture the same people that financial advisers are trying to get with their investment strategy books. I wouldn’t waste my time trying to reach the same audience as best-selling motivational speakers’ books.
Knowing your market allows you to be careful where you spend your marketing dollars, which would ensure greater success in selling your books. At the same time, you will have to be open to marketing avenues you might not have considered. One of my clients has written a book on being successful in marriage. I suggested he try bridal shows as a marketing avenue.
Remember that best-selling books don’t occur overnight. It takes time to build a following and work your market. The key is getting reviews and people to tell other people about the book. But, during the process, you have to be positive and own your thoughts. Keep your thoughts organized and make your book flow like a river to produce the best book you can. That will ensure you have the best start to your marketing.
To read more from Louise Harris visit our Conscious Book Corner