Michael Drew - How to Publish a Bestselling Book

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Our guest today is publishing industry veteran Michael Drew. Michael is the founder of PromoteaBook.com and with 17 years of experience under his belt, he knows the book business inside and out.

During our chat Michael offers up valuable insights into the publishing industry that you’ll want to know if you’ve ever thought about writing your own book, including:

  • The crucial connection between business objectives and books
  • Tips for getting started on your book
  • Key questions to answer to create a successful book marketing campaign
  • Some little know facts about the New York Times Bestseller List

Michael has also generously shared with us his white paper entitled How to Publish a Bestselling Book.

Your Book as a Business Objective

In the publishing industry, success always circles back to business objectives. Don’t write a book for the sake of writing a book. Start with a business objective and see how you can integrate your book the platform for your objective. As you work through the process, focus more on your desired objective or outcome rather than on becoming a bestselling author.

The Myth Behind Becoming a Bestseller

New York Times Bestseller List is not an accurate reflection of real-time book sales. Some companies offer authors a way to get on bestseller lists by buying and warehousing their own books, selling the false hope that achieving bestseller status will lead to business opportunities.

If the process of becoming a bestseller is like making a cake, the status of being a bestseller would be the cherry on top of the cake. While the cherry certainly has value, nobody buys a piece of cake for the cherry.

The real benefit of becoming a bestseller is going through the work involved in pre-selling books that help build your platform.

Getting Started on Your Book

Before putting pen to paper, you need to first have a good understanding of your objectives or outcomes for your book. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your outcome?
  • What is your customer’s outcome?
  • What are the currencies that are being exchanged between you and your customer?
  • What is necessary to create a delightful experience with your customer within that?


To help guide you through this process, Michael has come up with The Creation Method, which will not only help you create content for your book, but will also help you build the platform you need to engage with your audience.

The Secrets Behind Book Marketing

Once again, everything circles back to your core business objective. Michael recommends working your way through the following steps and questions. Identify a business objective. What are the resources you have to leverage? What is the best way to leverage these resources in order to not only sell book, but to draw people to my business?

“It’s not about the book. You need to able to align your objective with the objective of your customer and knowing what that is will dictate what the campaign will be.”

There are four currencies we exchange with customers: Time, Energy, Information, and Money.

Asking someone to invest hours of their time to read your book requires an intimate relationship with your customer. If you want your book to change lives, you have to respect your customers; you have to know who they are and you have to know how to engage with them.

Getting Your Book on Bookstore Shelves

A majority of books (63%) are still being sold through brick and mortar stores. The only problem is that one million books are published in the US every year, but only 20k - 30k ever make it into bookstores.

When deciding which titles to stock, book buyers ask themselves the following questions:

  • How well did this author’s last book sell at my stores?
  • How well did this publisher’s last book [in this category] sell at my store(s)?
  • How well does the average book in this category sell?

Based on the answers to these questions, the buyer gives books a grade of A, B, C, D or F. This grade dictates the number of books that make it onto shelves.

This is why so few self-published books are available in bookstores and why it is important for authors to work with the right publisher.

Make sure to check out…

Promote a Book

Get Intentional Now

The Creation Method

Book - Buyer Legends: The Executive Storyteller’s Guide

Beneath the Cover

Pendulum in Action

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