As a writing and publishing coach at AuthorAssist.com, I am struck by the passion and vision writers bring to their books and their words. The power of the word has been long known. As Lord Byron wrote: "But words are things, and a small drop of ink, Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think."
Jeremy Brown of No Limit Publishing Group coined the term "missionary author" as "a person who originates or creates a novel, poem, literary work, etc; who strongly favors a program or set of principles who is sent on a mission and is completely devoted to persuading others or sharing their work with the world."
Taking Jeremy's lead, and not wanting to plagiarize, I'm using the term "visionary author" to describe the drive that propels these special writers. Their passions begin in the earliest stages, seeded by forceful experiences they are compelled to share.
You find obvious examples in the expanding self-help book market. From 2006 to 2008 the self-help industry grew from $9 billion to $11 billion. So, if you are a visionary writer, there's a market for your wisdom and your words. But how do you become a successful visionary author?
Think Dale Carnegie whose book How to Win Friends and Influence People purportedly started the self-help industry and sold more than 50 million copies. Think Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen whose Chicken Soup franchise has sold more than 125 million books. Think Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, and Arianna Huffington. They all are successful visionary authors intent on making a difference in the world. And they did it.
How? Below are five key factors that propel visionary writers toward success. As you begin your journey in the publishing world, here's what to keep in mind:
A Dedicated Purpose: Know why you are writing the book and what you hope to achieve for your career in the future. Envision how it will bring you success in terms of recognition and professional advancement. Write it down and keep it in a handy place to re-read often-especially during those dark days when things don't seem to be going in the right direction.
A Sincere Message: Relate your philosophy in definite terms. Encapsulate the series of principles and beliefs that guide your life and/or business practice. Share how you "walk the talk" and therefore can "teach the talk" through your book, confident of the solutions you bring to specific problems. Be aware of others who have similar messages and strategize how to position your book to meet your goals.
An Audience Focus: Have a definite idea of your target audience -- who your message is designed to reach. Identify the audience early in the process, since it dictates how the book will be positioned, titled, written, formatted, designed, and marketed. Determine how you want readers to feel and what you want readers to do when they've finished your book.
Determination: It takes many years to become an overnight success -- and a thick skin to survive the rejection and criticism. For inspiration, read the "failure stories" of successful authors. You will realize they have an important characteristic in common: They did not give up.
A Backstage Team: Read the acknowledgments in any book to see the supporting people behind successful visionary authors: the coaches, editors, publishers, book designers, web designers, publicists, reviewers, marketers, distributors, etc. Be sure to identify competent professionals for your team. Get the "backstage" support you deserve and need to move from a visionary writer to a successful visionary author.
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