Now that my second book is published and ‘Your Next Shift‘ is making huge waves, I’ve been getting lots of questions from nurse authors like me who want to get their work out there in a really big way.
I’ve got a secret guys… I didn’t make this stuff up on my own. There’s a wonderful little thing called the Internet that helped me along my journey. That and a great business coach who continues to turn me on to some really great resources.
Much of what I have learned has been through listening to podcasts, going through training, and reading books on my own. One book I can highly recommend about self-publishing (if you choose to go that route) is by Peter Bowerman. His book, ‘The Well-Fed Self-Publisher‘ has WAY more information than any one person can wrap their head around. But if you implement even a quarter of what is recommended in Peter’s book… you’ll be on your way.
But what about the steps? The real-life action plan that I used to get from here-to-there. With four print books, three eBooks, and loads of published articles on guest sites, in magazines, and the blog-world as a whole… I guess I can finally call myself ‘Nurse Author’. And a successful one at that- as last year my book, ‘Nursing from Within‘ reached #1 on Amazon’s hottest new releases in nursing book list.
OK, OK… enough tooting of my horn. But guess what? You’ll need to get used to doing that if you want to be a successful nurse author who is actually selling books. It’s like I was telling the other nurse entrepreneurs in our online AHNA Chapter… if you’re not making money, then you’re not in business. Hard, but true. Money is the lifeline of your business- the blood of your company. Without it, you’ve got nada.
Back to the point- so let me share with you my top 5 do’s and don’ts of getting your book out there and selling in a successful way. Ready? Here we go…
- Do Your Research. First of all, know your reader. Ask your tribe questions. And then listen to the answers. Listen quietly and observe. Follow the trends. Take polls. Send surveys. Do whatever you have to do to find out what your reader actually wants and needs. And then give it to them. With my first book (and second really), I didn’t really do this. I just sat in my house and came up with a great idea and wrote a book. OK, fun for me… but did it help other people? Well, they’re telling me (through the reviews I get on Amazon) that it is… but that’s a shot in the dark. Know your reader and do the research to find out what they actually want to read about. Then deliver that in the way that highlights your authentic self.
- Create a Calendar. I do this (now) with all of my books. In fact, I have kept the calendars for the last two books I have written so that I know what I am doing in the future with upcoming work. Yes, I will probably write again. But it’s good to have a timeline before you start so that way you can keep yourself on track. I’ve heard of authors who take 10, 12, even 20 years to write books. Great, if a book’s not a priority for you… but as a nurse entrepreneur you can use the book for so many things. Your book becomes our platform which you can build your business around. Keep yourself on track by following a timeline.
- Write Daily. This (and the next tips) seems to be some of the hardest parts for nurse authors. Sure, they can write when there isn’t anything important laying on the line. But now you want me to write a book? What!!??!? So, to ward off any writer’s block- simply write daily. Whether you are writing your book or not. Writing each day allows the creative juices to continue to flow. And even with your book- I recommend writing a short section each day. Sure, you’ll go back and re-write, edit, and proof things… but if you can bang out a short chapter or so a day- you’re golden!
- Grow a Support System. This is HUGELY, dare I say it again… hugely important. I was just telling someone about this the other day. Sure, I can tell people about my book. But what if I only know 1,000 people? If I get 10 other people to tell their 1,000 people about my book… then- well, you do the math. It grows, right? Exponentially! I have done things like virtual book tours, offering affiliate programs, putting out a white paper, and getting on radio shows. There’s social media, your email list, and word-of-mouth through speaking. Share a free copy in a contest. Do whatever you can to get the book out there. Not just to who you know… but to who all of the people you know… who they know too (did that make sense?).
- Market. Market. And Did I Say, Market? This is the NUMBER ONE way (in my eyes) to sell a book successfully. Cause guess what? You write the book and slap it up on Amazon and then think.. sell, baby… sell. Well, if you don’t consistently (and continuously) market it… it ain’t gonna sell and that book will collect virtual cobwebs on the book shelf. You have got to continue this step as long as you want your book to sell. Unless you are done with that book and don’t really care about it anymore (doubt anyone has that going on), you need to market it all of the time. Put it in your author byline on your blog post; offer a free teleconference that points people to the book; write and submit articles to online directories. Continue to market it and make it a part of your long-term plan.
Who else is a nurse author out there? Who is interested in becoming one? If you are an author, what would you add to the above? If you’re not yet one, what other questions do you have? Leave your comments below and thanks for reading!
About the Author: As a speaker, workshop facilitator, and Reiki Master, Elizabeth partners with hospitals, organizations, associations, and nursing groups to help transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the host of the Your Next Shift Workshop, Elizabeth guides nurses and nursing students to a change in perspective, helping them make the inner shift needed to better maneuver the sometimes challenging realities of being a caregiver.