Five Things I’ve Learned from Writing a Book

My book, The Five Habits of Prayerful People, debuted earlier this month. It’s been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life, creating something and then inviting others into that creative process. The book, while not particularly long, represents something of value- to me and to those who choose to read it. 

How I Invited Others Into the Process

  • Book Launch Team: I simply invited anyone I knew on Twitter and Facebook to be a part of the Launch Team. I then kept them up to speed on the book’s progress and shared pre-made social media images that they could use on their platforms. This was reasonably successful but I would probably make some changes the next time around.
  • Pre-Orders: By creating some simple bonus materials, readers were incentivized to purchase the book ahead of its launch. Amazon likes this and so does the publisher. This not only promoted sales but generated buzz. In addition, most authors don’t do this (I’m not sure why!) so it made the process feel unique to many readers. 

 

How Others Have Surprised Me

  Here is reader and friend Lisa Hendey with her copy of the book.

 Here is reader and friend Lisa Hendey with her copy of the book.

The neatest thing, by far, has been when readers share with me a copy of the book in their hands. I’ve had unboxing videos, selfies with the book and just plain “in the wild” photos. I guess people like supporting people when they make something. It’s been a wonderful surprise. 

 

What I’ve Learned To Date

  1. Selling books isn’t easy.  My first few weeks have been good but hardly blowing the doors off. To get to a second edition, it will be a marathon rather than a sprint.
  2. Speaking events promote book sales.  My friend Allan Wright estimates that he can sell books to about 30% of those that attend one of his talks. This has been true for me as well.
  3. Even if on a Launch Team, many don’t understand social media. Even when you spoon-feed pre-designed images for folks, many still don’t share them on their own platforms. Kind of frustrating.
  4. Writing keeps you humble. I’m proud of my book but even as a published author, there is a level of nervousness when someone buys the book. I wonder what they think of it, whether they like it, how it’s helping them, etc.
  5. You’ve got to be your biggest salesperson. While my publisher, Ave Maria Press, has been spectacular, I’m the horse most in the race. Working my email list and being public about the book is never going to be someone else’s job.

Creating a book has been lots of fun. It makes me anticipate my next book and the ways I can learn how to better promote it. While we’re talking about the book, I wouldn’t be doing my job without reminding you that you can purchase it here.

 

Mike StPierre