Now is the time to get writing, speaking, and publishing


In October I had several opportunities to converse at length with folks like us: writers, publishers, speakers, empire-building types. This was mostly before and after seminars I gave, and at professional gatherings of published writers.

I shared most of what I’m saying here in my (free) empire-building newsletter that month, with a slightly different title. Now it’s early December and the economy seems to be easing up a fraction, and I feel even more strongly that it’s an ideal time to get empire building.

Maybe I’m asking the wrong questions (or the others feel it is none of my business, a feeling we newspaper folk know well), but it seems to me that the present economic malaise has otherwise productive people stopped dead, or at least tiptoeing much more cautiously. Like they are waiting to see (what?) before digging into new projects or expanding their visibility.

Granted, these are fretful times in which to sell nonfiction books, even those published digitally (despite the rosy ebook news). On the other hand, it’s an ideal time to get long-term, major projects going; to strategize, and to put information-dissemination plans in motion.

Books are the core of empire-building, with speaking the logical next step (to share the book)—or, occasionally, the reverse. Then from both, the spin-offs emerge as related needs pop to the surface, like workbooks, guides, CDs, videos, podcasts, blogs, newsletters, booklets, articles, and much more…

The hardest thing about books is the time they require. The printing and publishing are much quicker and less expensive in 2011, but to make the book worth an empire still requires at least many months to give it substance and to arrange it properly. That’s where faith, vision, and a strategic plan fuel the research, writing, and editing during times of distress. Like now.

Yet I’m not seeing much of that happening. Too many people with good ideas, skill, and a clearly defined purpose are whining and shuffling and waiting for a sign or for money to flow down the street or something. I want to shake them lovingly and shout “COURAGE” in their ear.

This is where my bias toward niche markets shouts loudest—or for general themes that could easily be nichified. Niche publishing is faster, safer, and promises far more profits sooner. I just presented a 12-step way to pre-test a niche book at this blog (see earlier blogs beginning with “Blog Bundle…” or related products). The pre-test quantifies the risk before one invests their effort and tightly-marketed brilliance. That way you know that when the financial structure improves (as it always does) you are ready to step up with tested products in hand—or you can market them now, to niche buyers far less resistant to buy.

If all of that still draws a blank, then find a need that others will pay right now to get met, or a frustration so aggravating they will run to buy the cure, and create and share (or sell) the solution.

Maybe I’m too impatient. I may over-presume that many people want to empire build, or at least publish something (especially since it’s very fast and almost free now).

If some of this describes your frame of mind (and inaction), let me lovingly and anonymously byte-whisper: “COURAGE!”

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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