We regularly cover topics related to marketing your novel. But in the past several years, many authors have discovered that good marketing helps a bad book fail faster.
If good marketing helps bad books fail, it can also help great books become bestsellers.
Before you implement a marketing strategy, you must write a great book. And if you want to be a bestselling career author, you must write one great book after another.
How do you write a bestselling book?
It doesn’t begin with the marketing. It beings with mastering the craft of storytelling and writing.
To help authors write better books, James L. Rubart and I created an online course, The Five-Year Plan to Becoming a Bestselling Author.
The Five-Year Plan is a path to becoming a bestselling author.
Five years seems like a long time. Most authors spend the first five years of their careers making mistakes. By year ten, they may attain bestseller status.
But ten years is a very long time. Some authors get discouraged before then and begin taking shortcuts that short-change their success. In desperation, some seek out hybrid publishers and spend loads of money buying promises a hybrid publisher can never keep.
You can easily get printed and published, but selling books requires work. A sustainable sales strategy requires you to master the fundamentals of writing.
The Five-Year Plan is one way to learn from someone else’s mistakes, save yourself time and money, and write books that will sell for a long time. You’ll know what to tackle each quarter for five years.
What does The Five-Year Plan cover?
Year 1: The Fundamentals of Writing
You’ll learn how to write paragraphs that compel people to read the next paragraph and the next. If you do it right, you will ruin people’s evenings. They will try to read for 30 minutes, and two hours later, they will curse you as they buy your next book.
Year 2: The Discipline of Writing
You’ll learn how to become a disciplined writer who writes even on your bad days. The second-year content is the least sexy and the most skipped, but it’s also the most important for establishing a career.
A daily writing habit separates good authors from great authors. You’ll receive encouragement and tips for writing on the days when you don’t want to write or feel as if you can’t.
- What sacrifices you’re willing to make. What can you quit doing?
- How to write even if you’re working a full-time job or have children in the house.
Most bestsellers are written among the distractions of real life.
Year 3: How to Become an Excellent Writer
After you’ve learned writing fundamentals and established a daily writing habit, you’re ready for year three.
In the third year, we’ll focus on refining your craft and helping you become an excellent writer.
To use a cooking analogy, you’ve learned to create several solid meals so far. Nothing is burned, and everything is edible. Some of it even tastes good, but you probably wouldn’t serve it in a five-star restaurant where people pay a lot of money for their dinners.
This third year will focus on preparing mouth-watering writing that displays an expert’s touch. In other words, you’ll advance from good cook to master chef. Or, in publishing parlance, you’ll go from writer to author. People don’t want to pay for good writing. They want to buy books by an excellent author.
Your first three years will lay the foundation for the marketing that will come later.
Year 4: How to Become an Industry Insider
To become an insider in any industry, you must learn the language, best practices, and protocol. You’ll get lost in the industry if you don’t understand those things.
In year four, we’ll pull back the curtain and guide you into the nuts and bolts of the industry. We’ll point you to resources that will help you shine in front of agents and editors and position you to get an agent (and a publisher). You’ll learn what to do when attending a writers conference and how to make the most of your time there. We’ll also discuss the best indie publishing route if that’s the path you choose.
You’ll begin to work on marketing, including creating your website and branding.
Year 5: Take Your Book to Market and Become a Bestselling Author
Year five covers everything you need to know about marketing your book in a one-year plan. If you feel like your writing is already excellent and you have years of writing and selling under your belt, you might want to buy this course just for the marketing material presented in this final year.
Most authors don’t realize that 80% of book sales come from word-of-mouth marketing. The other 20% of sales come from marketing promotions. We’re going to teach you how to have a significant impact on that 20%
Don’t panic if marketing still gives you a severe case of spine-shiver. You can learn this skill, which has become essential for every aspect of an author’s career.
- Pitching your novel at a conference
- Getting an agent and publisher via good marketing
- Retaining a publisher via good marketing
- Selling books if you’re an indie author via good marketing
Who should take this course?
- Discouraged authors who don’t know how to get unstuck
- Indie authors who haven’t seen significant sales
- Authors who have struggled for years to break into traditional publishing and can’t seem to crack the code
- People who are finally ready to follow their long-standing dream to write
- Authors tired of finding themselves on a dead-end road
- Authors willing to work hard if they know exactly what to work on
Who should NOT take this course?
- Write’s looking for a shortcut
- Writers who simply want to see their words in a book and aren’t concerned about whether it sells
In the book Grit, author Angela Duckworth says that most people believe success is a formula:
Success = talent + GRIT + talent
Success requires more grit than talent. Most people are surprised to learn the real formula for success:
Success = GRIT + talent + GRIT
This plan will work for you if you’re willing to work hard.
What’s in the course?
The course is a road map, but it’s not comprehensive training.
We will introduce you to some of the best books on writing and marketing written by experts in the field. We’ve read over 100 books on these subjects, and we’re happy to recommend the best of the best.
We’ll also draw from our personal experience in writing and publishing independently and traditionally.
Each quarter of each year includes audio teaching, recommended reading and exercises, and a checklist for the quarter.
- A list of the essential, must-read craft books
- An overview of the Hollywood formula to create bestsellers
- Specific episodes of Novel Marketing bundled together
- The best writing exercise we’ve found
- Tips for choosing your genre
- Recommendations on where to find the best writing groups
- Guidelines on how to approach writing conferences
- A specific plan for what you should be writing, when you should be writing it, and how you should submit it
- Tips, encouragement, and warnings for social media
- Tips on how to become an industry insider
- Instructions for polishing your writing until it gleams
The Novel Marketing Five-Year Plan to Becoming a Bestselling Author is a step-by-step course that will guide you every month for the next five years. You’ll learn exactly what you must study each quarter to publish your first bestselling novel.
How much does it cost?
One cup of coffee per week for five years would be $1,300, but we’re not going to charge that much. We decided to charge only one cup of coffee per year, which comes out to $24 per year.
If you follow this plan, it will absolutely work for you.
If you start the course and find out it’s not for you, we have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you finish the course in five years, complete all the reading and exercises, and do not become a bestselling author, we will also refund your money.