Shaa Wasmund: Ever wanted to write a bestselling book? Here's how you do it

Ever wanted to write a bestselling book? Here’s how you do it!

I always knew I wanted to write a book, I knew it would be great for my credibility, that it would help me build a much bigger audience and charge more for my time and services. But it STILL took me ages to make it happen because I didn’t know where to start. I knew what I wanted to write, but I didn’t know how to turn my ideas into a book that a publisher would want – let alone one that would sell!

In 2012, I wrote my first book, 'Stop Talking Start Doing' and it became what people like to call ‘an overnight success’ … It hit #1 and stayed there for 14 months in a row and broke all WHSmith records. However, the reality is, there was a formula behind its success that certainly wasn’t overnight; it wasn’t a miracle and it wasn’t by chance.

I’ve always believed the easiest way to create your own success is to learn from those who have been there and done it. Now I want to teach you

In 2011 I went to an extraordinary event called OTK (Open The Kimono) with Tim Ferriss, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller ’The 4 Hour Work Week'. He had a host of other best-selling authors, publishers, self-publishers and experts sharing everything they knew about creating a bestseller. It cost me $10,000 and was worth every penny … many times over. 

I applied everything I learned and within a year, I had created my own bestseller - proving anyone can do it, if you just know how!

Following the success of my book, I was inundated with people asking me how to do it and what was my formula. I had never realised there were so many people who wanted to write a book, but of course, it should have been obvious! Writing a book is one of the greatest marketing tools you can have - it opens doors where otherwise they may have remained closed. It’s arguably the best business card you could have.

Since then, I’ve taught hundreds of people how to write their own bestsellers. I’ve held large conferences with all the big publishers; Wiley, Capstone, Penguin, Random House and held exclusive 2 day workshops helping people turn their book ideas into published reality. I’ve helped authors get publishing deals with Hay House, Wiley and Capstone and when I was knocked off my #1 slot, I was delighted as it was by someone I’d shared my formula with; Jamie Smart, author of #1 bestselling book, ‘Clarity'. I say this a little bit to impress you, but mostly to show you it’s possible.

There are 7 simple steps you need to take to turn your idea into a bestseller (of course, you need to write it too, but Step 4 can help you with that - and even help you find someone who can write it for you!):

1.  Understand the mistakes first-time authors make - and learn how do avoid them!

  • Thinking your book is for everyone - it’s not! You’ve got to understand your audience
  • Telling a publisher ‘no one’s written a book like this before’ - they have and that’s a GOOD thing: it shows there is a market for it
  • Randomly sending manuscripts to publishers without knowing how to do it
  • Not knowing how to write a book proposal - that would be like approaching a bank without a business plan!
  • Not having a clear idea as to the ‘purpose’ behind your book. Is it to drive sales, open doors, build an audience or brand awareness?
  • Thinking you have to write it all yourself - you don’t! 

2.  Know how to find the right publisher for your topic / industry

  • Use online research to find the right publisher for you
  • Learn how to build rapport with a publisher so they will look at your proposal
  • Understand the importance of your online platform (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email lists etc) and how to leverage it

3.  Understand the difference between traditional publishing, self-publishing or hybrid - and which one is right for you?

  • What are the different publishing options (see above). You might think you need a traditional publisher, but for many the first step might be self publishing (where you do everything yourself) or a hybrid model (that helps with editing, design and distribution)
  • How to avoid the pitfalls of predator self-publishers - like any industry, there are good and bad companies. Always go on recommendations

4.  Finding editors, ghost writers, agents and collaborators

  • Understand the differences between a co-author (who has their name on the book), a ghost writer (who writes it all for you in your name) and a collaborator (who works with you to turn your ideas and content into a best-selling book)
  • Do you need an agent? How do you find one?
  • Once you’ve decided what you need (editor, ghost writer or collaborator) how do you make sure they’re the right fit? 

5.  Nail your book idea so publishers say ‘yes!'

  • Learn what book ideas and titles are attractive to publishers and buyers
  • How to write a winning book proposal - that gets publishers attention 

6.  Getting your book to #1

  • How to get your book to the top of the charts
  • How to get your publisher working with you
  • Questions to ask your publisher to build a better relationships

7.  Creating a platform that turns your book into a bestseller 

  • Why it’s important to start building your platform while you’re writing your book
  • Endorsements - why there are important for your book, how they help sell more copies and how to get them!
  • The psychology behind book buying - how people do judge books by their covers and how to use this to your advantage

If you want to learn more then check out my 'How to Write a Bestseller' online course. 

Better still, do this today to take advantage of my frankly ridiculously good value Groupon deal: buy it now for just £19 instead of £297 – that’s a 94% discount! 

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