You're passionate about your message. Whether it's about frogs, women business owners, or creating financial stability, you have this burning desire to get your message out and help people (or frog lovers). The best way to do that is to write a book, right? Reach more people (and frog lovers) and, at the same time, become an expert in your field.
Writing and publishing a book isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's work. If you're a new author, you might think that the majority of the work is in writing the damn book. Not so. That's the easy part. It's in the post-final-manuscript stage that the real work begins. You might be thinking that you just have to find an agent or a publisher, and then you can sit back and relax, watch the publisher work its tail off to market your book, and wait for your royalty checks to arrive.
Whether you self-publish or go with a traditional publishing house, YOU are going to be instrumental to the publishing, marketing, and selling of your book. And that means that you have to shift your mindset around your book. While your book is fundamentally your passion, you have to start looking at it as a business.
First, publishers and agents look at your book that way. Their job is to sell books. They're only going to bring on books that will sell. They don't really care how passionate you are about frogs, women entrepreneurs, and financial stability. They have revenues and return on investment to worry about. Each book is a product for them. Can they sell it? What is the market? Is the author marketable? Will there be other ancillary books (products)? What are the other competing books?
For you to have a shot, you need to be thinking like a business owner, not just a writer. Here are some things to consider.
1.) Platform. What kind of audience and following do you have right now? Do you publish an Ezine and have a database to which you send your Ezine? Do you speak? At what kinds of events? How many people attend your events? Do you collaborate with any other organizations and companies? Can you depend on them to help you get the word out? If you don't have a platform, what do you need to do to get one?
2.) Target Market. Who is your book written for? The answer is NOT "everyone." You really have to think about the person who will read the book. Male or female? How old? Where does she work? Or does she work? Does she have kids? What's her annual income? What are her fears? What are her goals? What keeps her up at night? What is her passion?