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Why Most Non-Fiction Book Authors Fail

Why Most Non-Fiction Book Authors Fail

I’ve been helping authors learn the ropes of book publishing now for 15 years. Ten of these years have been spent working one on one with top thought leaders who are passionate about their books. After all, they put hundreds of hours into writing, publishing, and then launching their books.

After Launch

Sadly, what happens following an author’s launch is quite the opposite of the effort they made to get their book out into the world. I would estimate that more than 90% of the authors I’ve worked with go cold turkey when it comes to promotion. I try my hardest to teach my authors how to launch effectively and then how, keeping their costs down as much as possible, keep promoting their book. So what can you do? Following are suggestions from authors — those few who have been successful:

  1. Create a book discussion guide: After publishing “Better Allies,” these authors worked with their editor to create a one-page book club discussion guide and offer it in a free downloadable bonus booklet. They point people to it when they give talks, encouraging them to form a discussion group at their company. (thanks to Michelle Lederman for this idea.) – Karen Catlin and Sally McGraw – If you would like to see the discussion guide, you can download it at
  2. Author Central Page. Do you have an author central page? If not go to this page: and start to create your account. Don’t forget to put the link to your page in the signature of your email.
  3. Buy 100 of your books and give them to boards in your community. This was a strategy I used. The books were signed and given to people on boards in Chicago. I ended up with a lucrative contract to teach networking at a top bank in the city. The book became the social proof that I could deliver important and useful wisdom on the subject of using networking to bring in new customers for the bank.
  4. Tap into book clubs. We just created an offer for one of our latest clients, Colin Egglesfield. He wrote a powerful new book called “Agile Artist.” His book club page offers a variety of options for buying his books in bulk that also includes 15 minutes that Colin offers to call into a book club session of choice. It’s a great way to get more people not only reading but also sharing your unique content.

Want more?

Check out the links to other relevant articles at the bottom of this page or feel free to reach out to me here. I’m a glutton for helping new authors-to-be. Happy to share my insights to get you moving on the right track . . . sooner rather than later!

To your publishing success!

Melissa G Wilson

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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