Build a Platform

Mary's husband has written historical novels, but they don't know how to go market the books and obtain an agent or editor. Dave recommends continuing to self-publish until he's sold thousands of copies.

QUESTION: Mary in New York City says her husband has written historical novels, but they aren’t sure how to go about marketing the books and obtaining an agent or editor. He’s self-published and has sold about 100 copies so far. Dave recommends continuing to self-publish until he’s sold several thousand copies.

ANSWER: What I would do is continue to work the book clubs, continue to work the libraries, continue to work the word-of-mouth. Get on the internet and poke around. Make sure he’s got a Facebook page and a Twitter presence. Get into some of the things that are unique to that particular history. For instance, if it’s a Civil War book, get it in with the Civil War re-enactors and those kinds of guys.

I would continue to print them and publish them yourselves until you can get your sales up in the thousands. If you can sell a few thousand of them, you’ll be able to get somebody’s attention if you want a publisher.

That’s how I started. Financial Peace, our first book, I carried around in the trunk of my car. Anybody who would listen, I would go talk about it. He needs to try to get some speaking engagements where he goes and speaks to history classes and gets some of the history professors in the area interested in helping him. Just keep stirring and stirring and stirring. A great book to read is by Mike Hyatt. The book is called Platform, and it’s a great book about marketing and launching things from your platform and building a platform. That’s exactly how I did it. I just scratched and clawed until I got there.