Recently I was forwarded Michael Hyatt's recent blog post "How to Launch a Bestselling Book", which resonated with me on many fronts. Before I continue, I want to suggest, no, plead with you to follow his blog. For any author (and publisher), Hyatt is a breath of fresh air. With a resume that includes past success as the CEO and Chairman of Thomas Nelson and a wealth of knowledge about writing and marketing, Hyatt delivers candid direction and ideas for anyone aspiring to write and promote a book. His blog goes beyond instructions on how to create a one-hit wonder and gives valuable lessons on how to write consistently well, reach an audience on many levels, and find repeated success in doing so.
As an Elevite (as we've nicknamed team members at Elevate Publishing), I look beyond the traditional sales and promotional channels and do my best to lead the author through the trenches of marketing a book. However, we as the publisher have our own battles to fight. Launching a book takes a team, led by two major beneficiaries of success (or failure): the author and his or her publisher. Victory only comes when both the publisher and author are giving the necessary effort and committed to the same goal. Collaboration is beautiful.
In today's economy, publishers and authors are required to do and create more than ever before–partly because traditional "brick and mortar" style publishing has evolved and will continue to do so. Because we have entered the age of algorithms and short attention spans, publishers like us have to rethink how to enter a market. Sure, there may be authors who always succeed at capturing their audience's attention and breaking the ever-changing algorithmic codes littered throughout search engines. But these celebrity-status authors probably have so many fans that relaxing on a beach in Hawaii without constantly being noticed is tough. Most aren't that lucky.
In reality, it takes a great deal of work and exceptional content to have success in this field, and the author is crucial to the effort. In light of this, here at Elevate, we choose authors based on their quality of work, their personal and professional networks, and their commitment to promoting themselves and their work. As the old saying goes, "Help us help you."
Michael Hyatt states precisely what is so hard for many authors to realize:
"I wasn’t expecting the publishing company to make me famous or make my book successful. I’ve been in this business a long time, and that’s not how it works. If you expect this, you will be disappointed."
It is not a bad thing to expect assistance from your publisher. In fact, we want to give you all the tools to triumph, but tools are only tools. The craftsman (author) must employ those tools to bring his masterpiece to life. So, as Hyatt suggests, assume the role of Chief Marketing Officer and use the tools the publisher gives you to succeed. If your content stands out and you develop your book impeccably, you will see success through a variety of metrics (we'll talk about those soon).