The Fear That Stops Most Would-be Authors Dead!

How do I get myself to believe it”s worth the time and pressure to make myself write a book when there are so many books that go nowhere?

The short answer: do what most authors DON”T do. That means focusing on your audience, what they want, and operate proactively to get your book sold!

Know Your Audience

“Know your audience” means you understand who they are, what they want, and why they would buy your book in the first place. Now, when it comes to fiction, why they buy really comes down to the topic, the genre, and how they expect to be entertained by any book they”re going to read. When it comes to non-fiction, and specifically how-to books, the best way you can ensure success is to target the topics people will typically pay for, and that usually means problems, questions, or roadblocks.


Problems are just that, problems! People have always paid money for information in the form of books, DVDs, and live training to solve their problems. If you solve a problem – and solve it well – then you have a fighting chance to be very successful with your book.


Questions follow right along with problems. When someone gets stuck on a question in their mind about how to do something, especially if it”s stopping them from getting a very important result, they tend to pay for the answers. The more pressing the issue around the question, or the more they see the answer to the question as just within their grasp to get them what they want, the more likely they will pay for the answer. Questions make for excellent book topics and you can often combine 7 to 10 questions (or more) to create the content for a very successful book, especially on Amazon Kindle.


Roadblocks are really the twin brother of problems! Roadblocks are where people just come to a dead end and don”t know where to go next. They”re stuck and they know it! They feel trapped. And when someone gets stuck, they”ll pay to get un stuck! And, depending on how severe the roadblock is, or how big the goal they see at the finish line just the other side of the roadblock, will all dictate how much they will pay for a book (your book) on the topic.

Define Success Ahead Of Time

Most authors never define success. For most authors it”s some amorphous goal of “sell a lot of books” which could mean just about anything (but almost always means disappointment)! Chances are I will never attain New York Times bestseller status, but that”s okay. If your objective is to make a really good living as a writer, or even just to make your car payment each month as a result of your e-books and writing, that”s a very successful goal when you achieve it. And if you string together several books, each of which pays a different bill each month, I count that as online casino major-league success because you can build from that strong foundation.

One Book Lottery Mentality

One of the biggest misconceptions people believe, and still believe despite evidence to the contrary, is that it”s possible to write one book, sell it, and get rich by collecting royalty checks every month for the rest of your life. This is at best a myth, and at worst a lie because people get sucked into it, get disappointed, and give up. A book can serve many purposes in your business, but it should always serve as a stepping stone to the next book, speaking engagement, webinar, or something else that makes you money. A single book in and of itself will not make you rich!

What is a “Best-Selling Author” Really?

It”s been said that if you want to be a best-selling author, you need to be an author who is best at selling! That means you write really good content people want to read, and when you finish writing, you put on your salesperson hat and start selling. Selling separates the “wannabe” authors from those who are serious about writing as a business. And, it doesn”t make any difference whether you publish your book on Kindle, as a print book you publish yourself on CreateSpace, or you go the traditional publisher route. If you want your book sold, you will sell it… and if anyone tries to convince you otherwise, they are lying to you!

So, how can you have confidence your book will sell when so many do not? It”s simple. Write a good book. Sell the hell out of it using proven methods. Wash-rinse-repeat!

And, one last thought on “belief.” In general, if you think you can, you will and if you think you can”t, you won”t! That”s true with just about anything, but absolutely true when it comes to self-publishing your own books.

  • Jim Edwards is the author of way too many books to try listing here! You can learn his secrets for writing and publishing your own outrageously successful ebook here at

2 thoughts on “The Fear That Stops Most Would-be Authors Dead!

  1. Great advice! Having a goal in mind is really important. You won’t know you are successful unless you know what that means to you.

    • Deb… I couldn’t agree more! Purpose is key!