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Writing an appealing book is 90% of the marketing battle. No amount of marketing ingenuity will help an unappealing book succeed. On the other hand, I’ve seen great books succeed with little or no marketing push, but that is the exception rather than the rule.

Bottom line: Good “word-of-mouth” is the best advertising.

In addition to writing good book, the next best marketing tactic is to write more good books.

In order to be successful in publishing (and book marketing!) you need to have more than one book. Additional books do not have to be full-length books, but they do need to be published works. You can do shorter books (eBooks work great for this), workbooks, journals, and even white papers work if they’re long enough.

How long is long enough? Fifty pages at a minimum and the content needs to be good, entertaining or helpful.

Why do you need more books? Because more books are actually, and surprisingly, easier to sell than just one.

When you market one book (this is especially true for books in a series), you drive attention to all the books in your library, not just one – and this helps you sell more books. It’s sort of like having multiple storefronts, same theory, only with books. And if you plan your investment right, you don’t have to spend a ton of each book. Editing yes, excellent cover yes, but none of this has to cost you a fortune.

Remember, publishing is a business and you simply must treat your books as a business. Plan to make an investment before you see a return on this investment. Having multiple books will help you reach that book sales and book marketing goal much quicker.

Each new title will broaden your name recognition and generate more sales for all your previous ones. That’s because many readers are “binge readers.” They find an author they like, and they then seek out and scoop up every single title that the author has written previously.

Even better, write a series. Books linked together by some connecting theme such as John Gray’s “Mars and Venus” books, or by some appealing character lik Harry Potter, will foster a virtual addiction in your fans, who will then eagerly await the publication date for every new installment in the series. Better yet, each new book released will attract new fans, prompting them to go back and buy all the prior books in the series. That’s how bestselling authors expand their audience over time.

As a publishing expert, helping well over 200 authors become #1 bestsellers, I know that unless the author is willing to go the extra mile in their marketing efforts, publishing a book can be dissappointing.

Every successful author I know agrees: The single best “marketing tactic” that you can employ, is to write and publish your next book. In fact, many of them feel that you shouldn’t even bother to begin doing any promotions until you’ve written and published at least three books. Success as a self-published author is a marathon, not a sprint.

Stories of books—especially self-published books—succeeding without any marketing, are rare, in fact, we do not recommend it. At best, you will be disappointed! Most books, even good ones, will be virtually invisible among millions of available titles unless you do something to make them stand out and become visible—discoverable—to some target audience. With over a million books being published each year in the U.S. alone, how do you keep your book from getting "lost in the cobwebs of cyberspace?"

So, let’s assume that you have written a good book. Now, your pre-publication job is to enhance its “discoverability.” Stay tuned to our next blog in our series to learn some key tips before you publish your first book.