Ever heard of the Pareto Principle? Also known as the 80:20 Rule, the theory was developed over a century ago by a famous economist named Vilfredo Pareto.
He came up with his theory when he noticed a recurring pattern, in which 80 percent of the results of any particular situation could be directly attributed to 20 percent of the cause.
For example, he noticed that 80 percent of the peas produced by his vegetable garden came from only 20 percent of the pods. He also noticed that approximately 20 percent of the people in every country owned approximately 80 percent of its wealth.
Since this discovery, the Pareto Principle has been applied to countless areas and proven to not only be true, but also an incredible tool for helping individuals to quickly identify and make the most of the core 20 percent of activities that lead to 80 percent of the results they want to achieve.
If you are an author who wants to achieve massive success with writing, marketing and selling your books, you can take advantage of the knowledge surrounding Pareto’s Principle and apply it to your journey towards becoming a successful self-publisher.
Remember, It’s a Numbers Game
If you apply Pareto’s Principle to your eventual book sales numbers you can reasonably expect approximately 20 percent of all the books you write to generate approximately 80 percent of the income you earn.
This means that by having more books available for purchase, you increase the chances of earning more from the 20 percent that eventually lead to consistent and substantial sales.
Use this knowledge to your advantage and make an effort to release as many quality books as quickly you can.
This could mean creating a schedule where you aim to produce at least ten books a year using proper niche selection. Do this, and within a year you can expect to have two of those books selling well and bringing in a decent income.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
In the self-publishing world, it’s very easy to become wrapped up in the mundane aspects of creating a new book. However, if your goal is to create quality and marketable books quickly and consistently, it is important to know how to filter out the unnecessary and focus on the aspects of publishing your work that truly matter.
For example, one of the most important factors for success is producing a quality manuscript.
It doesn’t matter how intriguing the title of your book is, if the reader cracks it open and there’s nothing inside worth reading and raving about, you have a big problem on your hands.
On the other hand, a well-written and intriguing book could have the most boring title known to man and it will often inevitably become popular because of the exceptional care and creativity that went into its creation.
Other essential areas that you should focus on include creating an alluring cover for your books, gathering quality reviews once it’s published, selecting the right keywords for marketing and figuring out the best marketing methods for connecting your book with its ideal readers.
Think Quality vs Quantity
In the writing realm, many authors tend to get caught up in page and word counts.
The truth is that while the length of your book is somewhat important, it’s the quality of that writing that will ultimately set you apart from all the other creators in your space and what you should focus most of your efforts on.
Quality can be applied to other areas associated with book publishing as well. Boos reviews, for example.
If you have recently released a new title, one of the most important things to do is to get a few good reviews for the book to further encourage its purchase by members of your target audience.
In theory, you could run out and get 10’s or even 100’s of shallow and rushed reviews that state generic things about your book like:
- “Great purchase!”
- “Cool story.”
However, if you manage to get even a small handful of truly thoughtful reviews it goes a much longer way than amassing a huge pile of largely meaningless feedback.
Don’t be a Perfectionist
Because of the nature of self-publishing, many authors end up become a jack of all trades at some point. This often involves being a writer, editor, graphic artist, marketer and copywriter, among other things.
Whereas you may feel justified in taking great pains to write your novel or non-fiction book (you are a writer after all) it completely goes against the Pareto Principle to apply that same level of perfectionism to other areas of your book publishing activities.
When it comes to creating a reliable stream of income for your book publishing business, being able to create new offers quickly and consistently is extremely important.
So, instead of nitpicking during every single aspect of publishing your new book, make as much effort as possible to swiftly move through the activities that are not the most important in order to get to your goals quickly.
Don’t be afraid to outsource tasks that you either don’t know how to do efficiently or that don’t make up whatever you determine to be part of the 20 percent of core efforts that create the all-important 80 percent of your results.
Make the Most of the Marketing Channels that Work
When it comes to marketing your books, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the options available for putting your offers in front of the right people.
However, when you apply the Pareto Principle, you start to realize that it is not necessary to be on every single social media channel, to write endless blog posts and articles or to spread yourself too thin with your marketing efforts.
Take the time to figure out which 20 percent of your marketing activities lead to the best return on your time, money and effort. The next step is to focus your resources on exploiting those pathways until you achieve the success you want.
So, for example, let’s say you figure out that many of your potential readers hang out on a specific popular niche blog where you are able to guest post once a month.
If you also determine that you can consistently get 1000 new email list signups a month and convert on approximately 20 percent of them, it would be in your best interest to keep on doing more of that, because it works and it works well.
Focus on What Really Matters
Many aspiring self-publishers get caught up in the things that they think they should be doing, instead of actually doing the things that matter and that get real results.
For example, having an author website is very important for creating a space online where prospects can find out more about you and your books, read compelling marketing content and sign up for your mailing list.
The truth is that a very simple 3 to 5-page author website is all that’s needed when you’re just starting out.
Aside from the fact that you will receive very little traffic to that page at first anyway, there are much better ways to invest your time towards moving your self-publishing career in the right direction, like actually writing.
Always hand over unfamiliar and unimportant tasks like HTML coding to a professional in that space while you focus on developing your latest manuscripts.
Remember to focus on the 20 percent that truly matters and you will find your self-publishing success much sooner than you could ever imagine.
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