Nonfiction Book Writing, Self Publishing, & Marketing Coach

Don’t Write That Next Book Yet - 10 Questions to Ask Yourself

Don't Write That Next eBook Yet!

Many authors start writing their second and third book, ink barely dry on their first one. Coming from a veteran book coach, understand this decision works against your best interests.

Why? Because you need to learn the proven online book promotion techniques and apply them to your original book first. Just because your first book isn’t selling well doesn’t mean you should write another one. If you didn’t give your first book the attention it needed to be a success, your new book will not sell well either.

Before you Write Another Book, Ask Yourself These Questions

1. Will it be cost effective and a good use of my time?

Think of the time spent writing and editing your first book. These activities make you no money. Your book will only earn for you when you promote it.

2. Did I follow through with successful marketing for my first book?

After spending months getting your first book done, you feel worn out and whipped, but you need to push yourself further. You need to market your new book and get known before you write another. You need to know your first book’s audience, connect with them, and listen to their feedback.

Once your first book succeeds, then start the second book that addresses your audience’s other concerns.

Your book coach says a good ratio is write 50% of the time and market 50% of the time. If you spent 5-15 hours a week writing your book, then you need to spend at least that much promoting it.

Writing a book doesn’t bring you an audience or money. If your audience doesn’t know about your book, they can’t read or buy it, can they? Invest your time and resources marketing and your costs come back to you 10-fold.

3. Will my next book make me more money, make me more well-known?

Probably not. The #1 branding product is either a single print or ebook. It’s worth the money to make your first book more profitable and done right. A book not written with sales in mind does not sell well. It turns out to be a big waste of time and money for the author. Make sure you already wrote the best and most successful book to brand you before you start on a second.

4. Why do I feel I need to write another book now?

Think of your reasons. Is it inner passion to investigate a new topic or because you really don’t want to think about promoting the first book?

5. Will this new book sustain my business message for my target market?

Does it add anything to your message your first book did not address? Did you even clearly convey the message in your original book?

6. Will this new book directly connect to the last one so that my book is treated as a business to position my company well?

Maybe your niche is romance fiction. Then make sure you next book fits that category. For myself, my niche is book coaching. Every book, teleseminar, and social media marketing activity I engage in are connected to business people who want to brand their business with a book. That includes how to write a desirable book the first time. That includes how to promote online. That includes how to set up a website that sells, even before hiring a
web designer.

7. If I write and publish a new book, will my audience still want my first book?

Think about your business. You already have a viable title and book. Then get it out to your targeted audience before you write its sequel or update. One thing I know for sure, only the top three titles of my 13 books sell well.

8. Will I have the time to put 3-9 hours a week into promoting the first book and the second book?

From my experience, you can only promote one book at a time in any email promotion you send your lists. Your audience will only focus on one offer. Ask yourself - are you just replacing an older book with a new one?

Are you willing to do two to three High Level Activities each day to get your books into the hands of your readers?

Do you have a ready to go sound bite or tell and sell for your new book to help people buy?

9. Do I want to spend a lot more money and time on a project that may not fit into my overall plans yet?

It’s a shame that authors get tired of their book before giving the public a chance to read it. Your top High Level Activity for today is always to focus on what brings you business or book sales. Your book project is more than just writing, so be sure to follow through well on your first book, then see if you should produce another one.

10. Does my target audience really want this second book title I’m thinking about now?

Conduct a market survey first to your present audience. Ask them if they would buy a new book with your planned benefits and features? Knowing each book’s benefits and features (why should your audience buy) and sharing them in your back cover, web sales letter or emails is all important to give your prospective readers a reason to buy. But, if no one is interested in your proposed new book, why bother writing it?

Promotion. Promotion. Promotion.

You want to market your first book at least a year with active online promotion. If you don’t know social media and article marketing, get some education on it. Take teleseminars and read books. If you want to triple your results, get one-on one tailored help from an experienced coach.

Make sure that when you write another book, you have time to market it. That it serves your business purpose - to get known, get liked and trusted - so it’s worth your time and money.

Sharing is Caring!

How is your first book doing? What can be done to make it a success? Why do you feel now is the time to start on another book?

Judy Cullins

Book Coach at
Judy Cullins, MA, is a book coach extraordinaire with 30 years of expertise.In her VIP packages, she offers entrepreneurs, leaders, and upper management shortcuts to complete their ebook and print book fast. She teaches the essential skills to self-publish and market your book and services online with powerful results.
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  • Jay

    great post Judy!~

    the "5 W's" def apply to publishing and writing… starting with… "Why?"

  • Judy Cullins

    Thanks Jay, Many writers feel that must keep writing no matter if they don't make money for their efforts.

  • Eric

    How well do books by the same author, even if those books are not related to each other, help the other books sell?

    In other words, if Dickens were alive today, would the sale of his Oliver Twist help sell a Christmas Carol and vice versa? And if Dickens wrote a cookbook, would that help sell Oliver Twist, etc?

    Just curious…..


  • Judy Cullins

    Hi Eric,

    This article refers to writers that keep writing without ever getting their precious word in the readers' hands. So while Dickens is already a big name, he shoudn't read this post! haha.
    And if you are writing a second or third book, I hope you got the first one well-promoted.

    Eric, What is this book's title of yours?

  • Eric

    Hey, Judy.

    I have loved reading your site.

    My book is "Mastering Multiple Position Sex" and I have followed your 50/50 rule.

    If I write for an hour, I advertise for an hour. If I spend two hours addressing postcards and press kits, I'll write for two as well.

    If I am interviewed by a national magazine, paper, or TV program, I count that as my 50% for the day, then spend that same amount of time writing.

    It's all about balance (while still working on my next book).



  • Eric

    At every speaking engagement I get, I bring postcards. I also add "author of ________" to my byline for print and online interviews or articles I write.

  • Eric

    And you are SO right - nobody will every walk out of a bookstore with my book in tow.

    One thing I do, Judy, is write a hand-written thank-you note to any online service or mom-and-pop bookstore who does carry my book, who reviews it.

    At my professional conferences, I always make sure I include autographed editions in the auctions, so other therapists can see the book as well and refer it to their clients.

  • Judy Cullins

    Eric, Glad the 50/50 rule is going well for you. I was curious how you market your book about sex positions?
    Do you market on the internet?

    One tip-You are marketing the slow, hard way wih specific hand written letters. WE are all so busy today, we take a shorter, easier way, except for a little learning curve.

    Thanks for you ideas!

  • Bill

    Hello Judy,

    I have a few questions maybe you could help me with. I have written a eBook about 5 years ago titled: How to Talk to Real Estate Sellers: and Negotiate a Fabulous Price. A title I believe i will change, to make it more succinct & dynamic per your advice.

    My delemia, I want to write another book on one of two topics: 1. Negotiating or one along the lines of 2. Listening. In fact I can make them a series you know like the series: XXX for Dummies, XXX Chicken Soup for the Soul.

    Do I work on perfecting and marketing the first book or start another?

    My strengths are negotiating, listening, empathy, and business, and have some formal training as an BSN, Registered Nurse. So understanding and working with people comes pretty natural.

    any thoughts for me?

    Thank you,


  • judy cullins

    Bill, It's good to know your strengths. I do think you should first decide what am I wanting my book to do for me? Get realestate clients? Or ??

    If RE clients, then if you can invest $35, ou should book a 30-minute session with me to get your book's pre-marketing strategies refined including your title.

    When you book with me, I do visit your site and see if it supports your promotion! You must have the 3 Big Marketing skills going well. (best Book, promotion, site)

    Is you second and third book also for Real Estate clients to be? You need to nail that specific audience to move on!

    For the breakthrough book coaching, see

  • Rebecca

    Wow! This post made me stop and think for a moment. I finished a non-fiction book for teens and have been pondering a followup. I think it's best to take it 'one book' at a time, especially when you're a new writer. I have no desire to become overwhelmed with marketing one book while writing a second one.

  • LK Watts

    I'm so glad I waited a while before I started to write my second book after publishing my first. But I think my reasons differ slightly from yours. The main reason I'm glad is because I've learnt so much from my editors professional opinion. If I started to write immediately after finishing my first book and I didn't wait to hear back from my editor, I think I would have made all those same mistakes again. I think some people are so eager to release books, they rush the process far too much. If I had written both books before having the first one published, I wouldn't have given myself the chance to learn from my previous mistakes.

  • Judy Cullins

    Rebecca, I'm so sorry to be so late to answer you. I advise marketing the heaven out of your book for a good year or so-See what works and what doesn't. Then write another one. First books usually sell less than following because of the new marketing youuse. If not subscribed to my weeklygems, do so-at

  • Judy Cullins

    LK Watts, You did with an editor what I do as a book coach-but it goes much further.I help make sure each ch and insides sell the book too. But that's in a my sessions that I charge for.See more value than an editor at….

  • libby555


  • Kim Hillman

    Great article, Judy! It’s nice to see something written by someone else who “gets it!” Promotion is so important. So many writers don’t think of that. And I would add that it’s also important HOW you promote your work. Don’t throw your line into a pond with no fish. You’ve got to go where the fish are biting!

  • Judy Cullins

    Kim, I agree, targeted marketing is a must! Thanks for stopping by :)

  • brisbane_artist

    Hi Judy, I do understand what you are saying. I have a workbook series that has to support the book. But this doesn’t mean I won’t be promoting. I will think it through first myself and then pay for some coaching, Jo

  • brisbane_artist

    I really relate to that. However I was ready to publish and was held up because of some rogue code in the document. In the meantime my mentor kept saying are you sure this is finished. I learned more at that polishing stage then I have ever learned. Jo

  • The Scribbly Bark Poet

    Thanks Judy for some sound advice - you’ve made me rethink publishing my 2nd book - perhaps I need to teach my first chick to fly first



  • judycullins

    Maureen, Sounds like you will educate yourself before you .leap-so sad to see those first books fail.

  • judycullins

    KIm, Good to see you’re on the ball with this. Just choose 1-2 marketing strategies that work-focus on them.

  • judycullins

    Jo, I too remade my workbooks into books that were self contained and much easierer to market. You simply send them to a journal to do the wriring. Readers hate emply lined pages. and they need examples before they will take action!

  • Gina @limitlesscoach

    Thanks for this Judy! I have just published my first career coaching book (Happily Ever After for Grown Ups - available on out of the UK) - and book marketing is a real priority for me at the moment. My career to date has always been in PR but I’m finding it quite different to market my own thing! Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for this post. Really insightful as always and helped to confirm what my priority should be at the moment. I may shelve those book 2 plans for half a year at least! Thanks again Judy.

  • JC Szot

    I agree, but…. Every author needs to keep producing so they can develope a backlist. It’s very hard to juggle the creative part and the business end of publishing but it can be done. I have a shedule. I have certain days devoted to marketing and certain days that I devote to keeping my production moving. Now with 11 releases out I’m making fairly consistent royalties. Like the stock market- don’t put all your eggs into one basket. Promote that first book but get moving on your next project because if readers love your first release they’re going to shop your site and be actively looking for something else that you’ve written. don’t us readers do the same?

  • Judy Cullins

    Great advice! Yes, if your first book is doing well, continue to promote it while writing the next if you can handle doing both :)

  • Judy Cullins

    You’re welcome Gina! Good luck with your first book on Amazon :)

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