Doesn’t it seem like these days everyone has a book? If they don’t have one, they are working on it. Unfortunately, only a small percentage will ever see that book in print or have it pay their bills. Too many people are just writing, and not strategizing. There’s this ugly little secret that mixing business and art is a bad thing. If you are a writer, you need money and business sense to make it a career. As much as you want to see your book in print, if readers can’t find it or don’t know about it, it can’t do anything for you. Being an author is more than just writing a good story, but connecting to others, and if you’re lucky have them think you’re a pretty cool, too. All of that takes more than pretty words.

There are 5 things that can set you apart from any writer, make you stand out in an agent’s in-box, and make your publisher partner with you to sell, sell, sell.

Platform–Fiction and nonfiction authors all need an issue or a cause that they write about and address. Are all your novels about single women with children? Or all your books about living debt free? A platform is built on real-life issues that are addressed in the media or a personal cause you have. A platform is the springboard for your brand.

A Gift Of Gab–You have to know how to talk and spin. You have to be ready for the media and give great sound bites. When asked about your book, discuss it like it’s the second coming. Readers don’t want to read “humble” they want to read “hot”. Don’t discuss your book in terms of what it’s about, but discuss it in terms of what it does. A book about single mothers is about single mothers, but what it does is inspire, make readers laugh and cry, and encourages a dialogue about the real issues those women face. Now, isn’t that more interesting!? Plan for greatness.

Twist–Every book needs a twist. That “thing” that makes your Jackie Collins-like story stand out from Jackie Collins. It’s the age-old mystery novel with a catch, the coming of age story with a bite. The better the “the twist” the better the story.

Agent–You need one. Even a self published author should have one in their back pocket in case they get a call from a major one day and for solid advice. Agents not only sell books, they find you ghost writing projects, movie and TV interest, publicity opportunities and more.

Fans–A social media network is your best friend. You need to connect to causes that reflect your platform, start a blog, get a mailing list, and start building your fan base–yesterday.

The path to getting published should begin before the book is even finished. Think big. Gather your resources, and start mapping out a plan about how you’re going to be the next best seller. If it can happen to them, it can happen to you.

To find out more join the Write Book Get Paid Bootcamp by author Maryann Reid (St. Martin’s Press) that starts on September 16th. Mention “Shon Bacon” for 15% off. Visit www.writebookgetpaid.com.

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