09/17/2010 11:13 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Why Are We Addicted to Fast, Easy, Simple and Free?

In nearly every interview I do regarding the world of non-fiction publishing I am asked some version of the same question:

What is the #1 (or top 3 things, or fastest, easiest) way to become a bestselling author?

Answer: There is no easy, fast, or simple way to becoming a bestselling author.

Imagine asking that question before beginning graduate school with a goal to obtain a Masters in Clinical Psychology and eventually a Ph.D. Just as you know this goal will require a huge amount of study, work, determination, expense and commitment so does becoming a bestselling author.

Yet people are soooo disappointed when I explain to them becoming a bestselling author takes the same amount of determination as any other big, professional career.

The better question is this: What are the necessary steps to becoming a bestselling author?

Here's the big picture in 7 "easy" steps:

  1. Become an expert in your field. Yes, you actually need to have a true skill set or be an excellent journalist before researching and writing a book (memoirs are the exception here).

  • Begin building your platform. Start by writing a blog. Re-purpose your blog into a newsletter and again into articles and sprinkle generously throughout the internet. (This part is as close to "free" as you will come) Be sure to capture email addresses of the people who interact with you.
  • Get active with social media. Facebook, Twitter, etc. (some say that in order to be successful on Twitter you need to tweet 30 times or more per day).
  • Become an amazing communicator. Most of us mere mortals need copious amounts of media training for TV, radio and print interviews as well as training in platform speaking.
  • Start securing speaking gigs and media interviews. Wherever and whenever, paid or unpaid; consider it great practice for the bigger opportunities.
  • Attend book-marketing conferences and learn how to be the president of your own marketing efforts. These are great places to network and make connections because authors love to support each other. I highly recommend my own event which is coming up in a couple of weeks.
  • Write and publish a great book (or hire an excellent ghost writer). Write a book that is interesting, useful, relevant and remarkable. By the way, writing the book is generally the easiest part of the process and represents about ten percent of the effort involved in becoming a bestselling author. Sorry, but it is true! Over the years the one thing I found to be consistently true about all the bestselling authors I have worked with is this: They are on a mission. They are driven to share their wisdom and knowledge. While fame and fortune may come their way, it isn't the reason they are doing this.
  • We have been conditioned to want and need fast, easy, simple and free but what most of us really need is clarity, purpose, intention, experience and time to grow into the role of author/expert/speaker.

    Once you accept that there is no fast, easy, simple way to becoming a bestselling author, you can begin to embrace the steps to success... which for many of us is fun, exciting, adventurous and fulfilling.

    I look forward to seeing some of you on September 25th and 26th at the 21st Century Book Marketing Event. You will learn the newest most innovative book and product marketing techniques while networking with an amazing group of authors and publishers. Learn from the best and apply it to your journey!

    Arielle Ford has launched the careers of many New York Times bestselling authors including Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Neale Donald Walsch & Debbie Ford. She is a former book publicist, literary agent and the author of seven books. To learn how to get started writing a book please visit: