I’m having a Problem getting Traction with my Book
I got an email that started: “I’m having a problem getting traction with my book”
What that usually means is, there are not the sales the person had hoped for. And yes, that was mentioned in the very next sentence in that email.
So, let’s have a look at what happened here.
The book was already written when this client came to me, not an ideal situation, but he was totally open to adjusting the content, the chapters and the title of his book, or he would not have been the right client for me.
This book was originally written in response to a personal experience and when I asked the writer, what he wanted to achieve with the book, he did not have an answer. He said it was his response to a very negative experience and writing had helped him to get the memory out of his mind and as an after thought he felt it would make a book so the people who had hurt him would see their ‘bad’ behaviour in print and accessible to a global audience, with the book eventually to be published on Amazon.
Writing about a negative experience in the context of ‘punishing’ the people who’ve done you wrong, is never a good idea and does not make for good reading.
Even if you think you are sharing a personal experience you managed to overcome and want to share how you did this, so other people don’t get into a similar situation, is not a great reason for writing.
This also applies when people use a personal experience around health or wealth and feel they overcame an obstacle and learned valuable personal lessons from it. Sharing such lessons in a book and simply starting to write the book without any thought about who exactly is supposed to read that book, is doomed to failure from the start.
Let’s come back to the writer of the email and what exactly he did or did not do to feel he was not getting any ‘traction’ with his book.
While he came to me initially with his book fully written but not yet published, and was open to making substantial changes, it is not as easy to ‘tweak’ or re-work chapters as it is to write a book with a clear outcome in mind, from the very start.
We re-worked the overall direction of the book, renamed each chapter and added information that offered the reader not only a way to avoid such a situation for themselves but also a way to identify if there was behaviour at play that would lead to such a situation for others.
Apologies for not being more specific here, but I’m sure you can appreciate people do not like to have their ‘mistakes’ exposed. And by mistake I mean, the way the book was originally written and its lack of purpose for a reader of the book.
Firstly, we decided who exactly would benefit from reading this book and why and then added this purpose into the chapters of the book.
What stayed somewhat ‘unclear’ was the exact purpose of what the writer wanted to achieve with the book, what the book is to do for him and what exactly the ‘traction’ should look like.
So, when he sent me the email saying: “I’m having a problem getting traction with my book”, he himself had forgotten that we had discussed book sales would likely not be huge.
He had actually said at the time, when I asked him what he wanted to achieve by writing the book, aside from sharing his experience, he wanted to have ‘a book to his name, be an author’ and be seen as the expert in his industry, simply by having written and published a book.
While that’s an outcome you might have in mind, it is not something that will translate into book sales.
The biggest issue in him not getting ‘traction’ though, is that he is NOT promoting the book in a way that makes it attractive, attraction capturing and specific to the reader he said, the book is for.
When a client works with me from the time he/she decides to write a book and they use my specific method to get clear on the outcome they wish to achieve that then is used to lay out the chapters which in turn allows the client to write the entire book in 6-Weeks or less and the entire process of writing, publishing and marketing flows, is simple and logic.
And the client has worked with me through each stage and is clear on each stage.
In a situation where the client has already written the book and starts to become unclear on what exactly he/she needs to do next and then comes to me, everything is much more difficult.
Let’s use an analogy: when you think about building a house, you first make plans as to where which room is to be and for what purpose.
When you have an existing house, and you decide now you need to add additional office space but the original house is built on a very small block of land with no room to add in size to and its structure is not really strong enough to build a second floor, you face a lot more obstacles and may easily agree to something, or suggest something, that later is not really what you wanted or had in mind.
It is exactly like that with tweaking or re-working an already fully written book. Unless you start from scratch, you are always only ever ‘adding to is’ or ‘revising’ it, and in the process missing or not fully matching what you now want to achieve with the book.
This client was happy with the re-vised version of his book but what he now missed that lacked him getting ‘traction’ was the way he wrote his promotional posts and articles.
Because he changed the purpose of what his book was to achieve AFTER he had started and written it on his own, his thinking stayed in his original direction of telling his story about how he had experienced an injustice, instead of the book telling a story of injustice and offering insights into how to see early signs of such an injustice and how to prevent it from happening for the reader of the book.
The big difference in the two scenarios is what makes this book, or any book that was written with one purpose or no purpose in mind and tweaked after it was finished, now difficult for the writer to promote.
The writer has to constantly pull himself or herself back to WHO is to read the book and WHY and therefore needs to address those two elements in the book’s promotional material .
This is not easy and you can compare it to learning a second language. It takes some time to learn a new language and particularly each language’s unique word positioning.
When we translate “Heute geht es mir gut” into English, literally as the words are used in the German, it reads like this: “Today it is well with me”, instead of: “Today I am well”
So, the moral of the story is, yes, I do work with certain clients at certain times, who have already written their book.
They must be open to re-working it, possibly even to completely re-writing it, depending on the outcome they wish to achieve.
BUT the better way is…
If you’d like to get ‘traction’ with your book, from the time you start writing to when it’s published, here is my offer:
It’s a 6-Week Program where I work with you an initial session 1:1 to clearly define the outcome you want to achieve with our book. (You don’t need to know what outcome you want to achieve BEFORE you start with me, we will work this out together!)
Then, getting complete clarity on who you are writing for, how they will read your Book and what they will do in response to reading your Book designs your chapter outline and makes for superfast writing of your book (some people have completed the writing in as little as three days!)
While the first session is 1:1, the following six are small group sessions (max 5 people), which is perfect for everyone in the group to get to know various ways of optimizing their book for marketing.
Good candidates for the Write & Publish a Marketing Optimized Book in 6-Weeks or less Program are people who provide Coaching or Consulting services, are established in their business and achieve great Client outcomes, something to ‘write about’, so to speak!
These candidates might be working in professional areas, like Business Coaching, Leadership Coaching, or they might be doing Health & Wellness work, like Energy Therapy, Pain Relief Work, or it might be work with People on Mindset, like NLP, Trauma Therapy, Money Matters.
Just PM me if interested in this offer. It will be a quick chat to see if you’re a fit (we don’t have to get on a call), and if so, enrollment is fast and easy and we get our first call scheduled within a week or less.
Can’t wait to chat with you!