How Books Really Make Their Authors Successful

In this day and age, where 4,000 new e-books are published on Amazon every day, and it seems like everyone and their mother is writing a book, how do authors become successful? 

Writing a New York Times best-seller is a huge dream for many people, and while some will actually get there, many won't. It's just a fact. 

But that doesn't mean their books aren't successful. 

You see, it all depends on how you define "success" for your book, and what you're really writing your book to accomplish. 

If you're writing a novel, it makes sense that a ton of book sales should be your goal. After all, your novel is a standalone piece, and probably doesn't have any other revenue streams attached to it. 

But for the authors I work with—changemakers, thought leaders, and conscious entrepreneurs—books are a different animal altogether. They're part of a whole-business strategy. They're the foundation pieces for multiple streams of income, and exist to help their authors take their powerful message to the people who most need to hear it: their ideal clients.

Because they are non-fiction, instructional books based on their authors' signature processes and strategies, and because they are written with reader results in mind, these books can potentially create 6+ figures of income for their authors every year ... without the need to sell hundreds of thousands of copies. 

For the authors I work with, a book often serves as their business card, a bridge through which to approach media outlets, and a low-priced or tripwire offering in their funnel stream that creates amazing leads. They sell their books, or even give them away, at events. They use them to generate interest from podcasters, media, TEDx, and other high-visibility outlets. And they strategically place them in the hands of potential clients so that, when they do pitch their products or services, those clients know exactly what they're getting and are super-excited to click "buy."  

At this point, you may be thinking, "Oh, I get it. She's talking about lead gen books." 

Not at all. To me, lead gen books aren't really books, but long-form marketing copy, and they fall into their own category. (If you want to know why, read this post from February 5.)  No, I'm talking about real, full-bodied, results-oriented books that can stand in the company of any world-changing book out there. 

So, if you're writing a book that will make you stand out as an expert in your niche; if you're writing a book that will create real results for readers using your signature process; if you're writing a book that will open doors in media and take you to the next level of visibility, stop treating book sales as your sole metric for success. Instead, look at all the ways you can use your book to reach, teach, and serve the people who need what you are offering—and how you can leverage your world-changing book to create a world-changing business. 

How will YOU use your book to uplevel your business? I want to know! Share your plans and wins in the comments below!


Bryna Haynes is a word alchemist, book strategist, and the founder and President of The Heart of Writing. She's also the chief editor for Inspired Living Publishing and the best-selling author of the multiple-award-winning book, The Art of Inspiration: An Editor's Guide to Writing Powerful, Effective Inspirational and Personal Development Books. In over a decade as a book coach, editor, ghostwriter, and publishing consultant, she has helped hundreds of authors find their authentic voices and create powerful, memorable, successful works. She lives outside of Providence, RI, with her husband, Matthew, their Moonbeam, Áine, and their Little Star, Aelyn.