Author’s Journey #9 – Cultivating the habits of writing success

by Roger Parker on February 19, 2010

The best way to achieve writing success is to cultivate the habits shared by successfully branded authors. As Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Les Hewitt wrote in their highly-recommended The Power of Focus, “Your daily habits determine your success.”

In previous Author Journey articles, I’ve described several of the habits that contribute to writing a successful book. These have included:

Putting theory into practice

This week, I’d like to describe how the above habits influenced the decisions I made selecting the topic, publisher, and format for my next book, #Book Title Tweet: 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Article, Book, and Event Titles

Hopefully, this installment will help you apply the habits of targeting, positioning, and efficiency when you commit to writing a book to drive your business and career success.


Targeting

I had two goals in writing #Book Title Tweet:

  • Membership incentive. I wanted to create a tangible membership sign-up bonus I could send to new Published & Profitable members.
  • Credibility & Visibility. I also wanted to attract the attention of potential coaching clients who might be having a hard time selecting a topic and title for their book. I enjoy online coaching and brainstorming activities, especially when they involve critical decisions at the start of a project.

A printed book provides an excellent premium for Published & Profitable. It can be used for both member acquisition and member retention. (I can have it sent when members sign-up, or I can send it at the end of the third month.)

As a marketing tool, #Book Title Tweet will attract qualified prospects at the starting point of their journey to a published book. It targets a “pain point” that holds back the success of many authors.

Positioning

#Book Title Tweet was also “right” from the positioning point of view. Although every book (hopefully) has a title, there’s not that much available that focuses specifically on choosing effective book titles.

The closest book I could locate was Sam Horn’s POP!: Create the Perfect Pitch, Title, and Tagline for Anything, [7] which is a very fine book that appeared last year. I really enjoyed it, but it’s not specifically aimed a book titles. It’s more of a guide to memorable expressive names that can be applied to book titles, than a book about choosing a book title.

Sam’s book is also a 256-page book, and I wanted something a more accessible in our current time-strapped environment.

So, a book on book titles made sense from the point of a broad market with little specific competition. (There are, of course, books about titles for fiction books, but I wanted to target business-oriented authors of nonfiction books.)

Efficiency

I’m like everyone else. I don’t have enough time. So, like everyone else, I’m searching for manageable projects that won’t become time traps or energy-draining albatrosses.

I was initially skeptical when I first heard about Rajesh Setty’s #Think Tweet: 140 lessons for a bite-sized world. However, when I read it, I realized that this was exactly the right format for my book. Here’s why:

  • Most books are longer than they need to be. They’re also longer than time-sensitive readers want their books to be. As I read #Think Tweet, I realized that Twitter has shown us all that it’s possible to communicate a lot in just 140 characters.
  • It’s the ideas, the “sparks of recognition,” that count! Books with 140 ideas that can be immediately put to work are more valuable than books that share 10 or 12 ideas in exhausting detail. A concise presentation of options can be more valuable than discussing every detail.

The need for conciseness is not going to go away. It’s a sign of the times. We’re likely to continue to be subjected to greater time demands for years to come.

Note: It’s not that there’s no need for books that offer in-depth analysis and detailed explanation. It’s just that, for this particular project, and for many similar projects, shorter is better!

Existing content

A final reason to write a book in the #Tweet format [8] is that I could leverage my passion as well as my previous research and existing content about the essentials of successful book titles.

To accomplish my goals of creating a tangible membership premium and attracting writers in the early stages of choosing a book title, I could rely on my previously written articles, blogs, newsletters, presentations, and reports. This efficiency would help me get my book into print faster, without taking inappropriate amounts of time from my other projects.

Conclusion

The habits of writing success can be easily stated in terms of targeting, positioning and efficiency, plus, of course, consistent daily progress. After you have committed to writing a book to drive your business and career success, progress writing your book comes quickly when you put the habits of successfully-published authors to work writing your book.

To learn more about the habits of writing success, subscribe to Roger C. Parker’s daily writing tips blog and visit Published & Profitable’s Active Garage Resource Page [9] which offers several writing resources and tips. You can also a downloadable PDF mind map of the Author Journey series








[1] http://www.activegarage.com/authors-journey-2-how-to-target-the-right-readers-for-your-book

[2] http://www.activegarage.com/authors-journey-3-what-should-you-write-about

[3] http://www.activegarage.com/authors-journey-4-how-to-research-your-books-competition

[4] http://www.activegarage.com/authors-journey-5-choosing-the-right-publishing-alternative

[5] http://www.activegarage.com/authors-journey-6-whats-the-best-size-for-your-book

[6] http://www.activegarage.com/authors-journey-8-how-much-of-your-book-have-you-already-written

[7] http://www.amazon.com/POP-Create-Perfect-Tagline-Anything/dp/0399533613/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266248625&sr=8-1

[8] http://www.happyabout.com/thinkaha/

[9] http://www.publishedandprofitable.com/public/564.cfm

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