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Smart Book Publishing and Promotion – Strategies and Tips from John Willig

How would it benefit your book launch and sales if you had an insider’s perspective on book publishing?

What kind of changes could that information make in the way you approach your writing, book creation, and marketing?

If you take some time to think it through, you’ll see that insights like that could directly inform not only the topics you write about, but also the industry niches you interact with, how you build your author platform, and the way you go about engaging with your audience through social media, mailing lists, and other means. In short, those sorts insights could change everything.

Get those book publishing secrets and many more, on this episode of Bookpreneur.

John Willig

Today, Melissa G. Wilson introduces you to her agent, John Willig, of Literary Services, Inc. John’s years of experience successfully representing authors to publishers, coupled with his real world insights into the current trends within the publishing industry, are the unique blend of qualities that are going to give you some key insights into not only “what” you should write about, but also “how” to go about building the platform that can fuel your book promotion and sales.

Melissa and John chat about the many authors he’s represented, the successes he’s seen most recently, and where he feels things are heading in the publishing industry as we enter the new year. But their chat gets to the good stuff when they begin to talk about the current trends John sees in the publishing industry and what those trends say about the approach authors should take to writing, platform building, and promotion of their books.

John reveals the kinds of books that are experiencing publishing success right now and tells how you can do a bit of research to discover niches and genres that are underrepresented in the market that you may be able to speak into. That piece alone is worth the time it will take you to listen to this engaging conversation.

Authors tend to think too broadly, and it’s a BIG mistake.

A powerful point John makes early in the conversation is that the natural tendency potential authors have is to think in broad terms when coming up with book ideas. The belief is that appealing to a broader audience will result in more book sales.

But that kind of thinking is actually the direct opposite of what the stats reveal. Reality is that the more narrow your niche, the more successful your book launch and ongoing sales tend to be. Not only is that what the stats show, it’s also what John’s years of experience have shown him to be true. Be sure to listen to the conversation to find out why that is the case and how you can capitalize on it as it relates to your areas of expertise and knowledge.

Building an author platform the right way.

But you need something practical, and John doesn’t disappoint in that regard. You’re going to get some of the most practical advice available about what it really means to have and build an author platform, why it’s important to do it, and how to go about it in ways that are credible and effective. Taking the steps John shares in this section could be the difference between a poor book launch and an incredibly successful one. It’s a very practically based aspect of the conversation that you won’t want to miss. And for your own sake, be sure you put his advice to work in your own platform and community building efforts so you can experience the kind of success John’s authors have seen.


  • Introducing this great episode with John Willig, book agent.
  • Melissa’s experience with John and the background that led to his love of books.
  • Current trends in the non-fiction market: categories and genres.
  • The commonalities to current trends in publishing, regardless of genre.
  • 2 questions John asks authors who approach him:
    • Why is someone going to spend $25 on your book?
    • What is your platform? Do you have an audience to help you?
  • Why potential authors are thinking too broadly and what they should be doing instead.
  • Using tools to research the niches where topic holes might exist.
  • Platform and audience: How they impact the pursuit of an agent or publisher?
  • What kind of presence does a prospective author need to have to successfully publish?
  • Developing strategic alliances and how to pursue them.
  • How social media can be used to build alliances and community ahead of time.
  • John’s final points: Be careful to avoid the traps that cost you money.
  • Get in touch with John.


Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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