Books Open Insights #13: What Every Author Needs to Know Before They Can Write a Bestseller with Ellen Violette

February 23, 2021

In this episode, Ellen Violette, award-winning book coach & strategist, and Grammy-nominated songwriter, breaks down the preliminary process every author must go through if they want to write a bestseller. This includes getting clarity on who their audience is, what they want, and what it will take to connect with them so they hear your message and want to buy your book!

Resources mentioned

The 5 Day Bestseller Breakthrough Challenge, Taking Your Book from Idea to Outline
(To Make it Quick and Easy to Write a Bestseller)

3 Key Points

If you want to sell books and make the process as easy as possible, you have to know who your ideal client (i.e. book buyer) is, what they want to know and if you serve more than one audience, which one this book is for.

Write for an audience you understand and connect with.

Talk to your audience to find out what they want and the language they use to describe their pain and what they want and then parrot it back to them in your copy. Don’t guess.


Ellen: Hi, it’s Ellen Violette here. And this is Training 13 of the Books Business Abundance Podcast. And today I want to talk about the bigger picture in your business, because if you want to write books that are going to sell, you have to know who you’re selling them to and what they want to know. And you have to have people to sell to.

Too many authors, start writing their book, and they write a book that they want to write, and they don’t take these other things into consideration. Plus, there’s another factor which is which people do you want to sell them to? Because oftentimes, there’s more than one audience that you could be writing for. And maybe you’ve heard the saying though, that if you try to sell to everyone, you’re not going to sell to anyone. You have no audience. And that is true.

[0:47]: So, the narrower, the niche, the more specialized, as long as you’re established that there is a market there, then the more lucrative it’s going to be, but there has to be a market. And so, when I hear somebody say, “Oh, I found this great niche because nobody’s there.” Usually, at this point, there’s a reason nobody’s there. And it’s because nobody’s buying because it’s pretty, in that sense, it’s pretty saturated in Amazon. And so, there aren’t a lot of places you can go where nobody’s heard of it yet. So, just be aware of that. But when you’re starting out, it might be hard to figure out who you want to sell to. Plus, as you grow and you learn more, you may be able to teach in different markets, or you may be able to expand the market that you’re in and teach more to that market.

[1:36]: So, for instance, like The E-Myth that series started with a single book, The E-Myth and now there’s The E-Myth for Accountants. There’s The E-Myth HVAC Contractors, The E-Myth Real Estate Agents, Real Estate Investors. And if you listen to what I just said, all of those were sort of connected; they’re in the same arena. So, people who are interested in one might be interested in another, or at least they would know a lot of people who were, and then but then, like he got so well-known and he did so well that he was able to branch out even more. So, he’s got E-Myth Mastery, The Seven Essential Disciplines for Building a World-class Company (not necessarily in that order) and also, The E-Myth for Dentists, which is really different, but he could now do that because he knows that his model works for anything. And he’s had so much success in related areas that he’s been able to branch out even more.

[2:32]: So, sometimes, there is no limit to how far you can branch out, but you still need to start with one. So now, since the purpose of the book is to get people to know you, like you, and trust you, and want to take the next step, and ultimately work with you as well as buy books from you, the goal is to market and sell to the people who want what you have to offer that you want to work with so that they’re your ideal clients. And if you can start with that one first, I mean, that’s awesome. You know, people don’t always know what that is when they’re starting. When I started, I had no idea who my ideal market was, but the Internet was quite different, and we didn’t have groups, and we didn’t have social media. And also, when the Internet was a lot younger, people were more hungry to get my information.

[3:21]: So, I was able to work with a lot of people and figure it out from there. But how do you know who your market is in this market? For some markets, it’s easier to figure out then for other markets. So, for instance, if you were trying to sell swimming pools that you have to go into areas where people can afford to have swimming pools. And once you know that, then it’s pretty easy to find out the demographics and the psychographics of those neighborhoods and the people who have the pools, and then start marketing from there. There also could be different ethnic groups in different areas, but they’re all in the same income bracket and can afford pools. And then, you would break that down into the marketing for each ethnic group. And maybe you would pick the one that you understood the most, maybe it’s your own, and maybe it’s not.

[4:07]: But you know, you would break it down that way and start with one that way, and then move to other ones. But it’s not always easy to figure it out. So, what do you do? A good place to start is looking at who is a natural fit for you. Who are you comfortable with? Who do you understand? Who speaks your language? In other words, who do you have an affinity for? Shared beliefs and values? You know, it’s a lot easier to understand your market and speak to them if you’re like them, if you have shared experiences. So, what I asked my students to do is look at the groups that they belong to. So, for instance, I belong to a lot of different groups. Like I am part of a childless couple, I’m a songwriter. I relate to other songwriters. And it’s interesting because I have found in coaching that a lot of the people that seem to be attracted to me are also musicians or were musicians before they became coaches as a podcast, or I relate to other podcasters, an author, a speaker,  so I relate to those groups.

[5:00] And so, whatever that is for you, I mean, it could be dog training. It could be dancing; it can be hobbies;  it can be whatever, but it’s just something that you either have a passion for, you understand well, or maybe you have a kid who’s in a group that you relate with the other parents-whatever it is. And then, once you know who those groups are, then you have to look at what problems do they have that you can solve? But really, if you’ve got a problem to solve, but you’re marketing to the wrong group, it can be really hard.

[5:32] And I know that from experience because I was once in a…I was asked to be on a call with these two women, and they were coming from corporate.  And I’m totally not corporate; I’ve never been in corporate, never would be in corporate. And I found the way they were trying to explain the same thing I was trying to explain in totally different way, and I found their way very confusing, very hard to understand. And when it was all over, they said to me, “God, you make it so easy. You make it so simple.” I’m like, “It’s not hard.” You know, you can use language to make things hard, but you can also use language to make things easy. And it’s up to you to try to find the people who speak your language so that they can easily understand you, and that makes it a lot easier. And you know, the best way to find out what problems that you solve for a certain group, once you know who the group is that you’d like to work with, is to ask them.

People love to talk about themselves. They’re happy to tell you if you just give them the opportunity to do that, so you just have to give them the opportunity. So, if you have an email list, ask them, if you don’t, you can go into groups and you can ask in groups, even if you do have an email list. And of course, the best way is if you have clients, because if you have clients and you ask the ones, especially that you’ve enjoyed working with in the past, I was really surprised at some of the things that they said, but they gave me some great ideas for what else I could teach them that they want to learn. So, it can be a wealth of information. And then, you want to take notes on the language that they use and use that language, because it makes sense to use that language because that’s what they relate to a and that’s what they want to hear; you may even use it in your title, in your marketing, whatever.

[7:21] I remember I was working with one client and when we did the research, the same phrase kept coming up in all these different titles. And I said to her, “You know, you’ve got to look at this because there’s a reason this is being used over and over.” And she said, “Well, I don’t like that phrase.” And I was like, “Well, it doesn’t matter if you like it, your audience evidently does because it’s selling.” And so, if that is the case, you either want to make it a keyword phrase or you want to put it somewhere in your title or in your marketing somewhere; you want to use it.

[7:52]: So, there’s always a reason. There’s always a reason when you see things being used. And you can also use it in a sub-subtitle on Kindle, but you don’t want to ignore it just because you don’t like it, it’s like don’t get caught up in your personal likes and dislikes-they don’t really matter. What really matters at that point is “What is the language that your audience uses?” and you parrot it back to them.

[8:18] But to get back to my point, what I find is too many authors guess at the answers, rather than just asking. And it’s so easy to ask. And when you ask, it’s going to help you make much better marketing decisions and book -writing decisions, because again, depending on what people tell you could actually help you to decide maybe how you’re going to approach your subject, or maybe you are going to take your niche and kind of go one way and after speaking to your audience, you find out, “Well, maybe it’d be better to go this other way. Maybe I’ll sell more books if I go this other way.”

[8:53] So, you want to be open to that at that stage of your book writing before you get started. So, when I started, we didn’t have social media, we didn’t have groups and it was a lot harder, and I just had to put it out there and see what stuck. And I don’t recommend doing that today because there are so many easier and more intentional ways to do it.

[9:14] And so, you can do a Customer Appreciation Day, you can offer free sessions; there’s so many ways to do it. And if there are already people who want to work with you, great, you know,  you’re going to get more information and narrow down your ideal clients even more from that, because I can tell you from working with a lot of people, you really start to see who you enjoy working with and who you don’t enjoy working with.

[09:39]: Maybe you enjoy working with men and not women or women and not men, or maybe you enjoy Type A personalities, or maybe you like creative types, or maybe you don’t like working with corporates and accountants or whatever it is for you. So, you have to decide. And then, once you determine who’s the best fit for you, then you have to figure out who can afford to pay you. This is important-not just who has the money, but who wants what you have so badly that they are willing to spend the money, to get what you have, number one, and number two, you want to be really careful not to go into niches and put a lot of time, money and energy into topics where people don’t spend money.

[10:28]  If you’re doing something where maybe the point of view is that to be spiritual means you can’t have money, well, they’re not going to have money. Or, if it’s about being frugal, they’re trying to be frugal; they’re not going to spend a lot of money with you. You want people who have an abundant mindset. Those are people who are going to be willing to spend the money with you, or people who are really passionate about, for instance, their sport. And some sports they spend a lot more money than other sports-golfing. If you think about golfing, it’s kind of a… there’s a little bit of a stereotype, but it’s kind of upper class, white male boys’ club that has money. And they’ll spend a lot of money on it. There are other ones that aren’t like that, you know, you don’t need to spend a ton of money on bowling; you don’t need to spend a ton of money on tennis and tennis players generally don’t.

[11:19]: So, you have to know who the audience is. And then, is it easy to reach your audience? Are they online? Are they in groups? Are there groups on the topic? Do they get together and talk about whatever the topic is? Do they want to learn more? Are they curious?

And then, once you’ve gone through that process, then you’ll have a much clearer idea of who to write your book for and how to write your book.

[11:43] So, if you want to go deeper into what I’ve talked about on today’s training, I want to invite you to get on the notice list for the next 5 Day Bestseller Breakthrough Challenge, Taking you from Idea to Outline at www. that’s And that is coming up in April.

Also, be sure to tune in next week when my guest will be Drew Berman, and we’ll be talking about network marketing and additional streams of income every entrepreneur needs.

So, that’s it for today. To get the transcripts go to And you’re welcome to join our Facebook group. It’s on the page there. And if you’re new to the group and you haven’t gotten the guide yet, you can get that as well. It’s Book Planning Secrets, A Simple 4-Step Guide to Writing a Bestseller. And so, that’s it for now till next time. Bye-bye.


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About the Author

Ellen Violette

Ellen is an 3X award-winning book, including being named one of the Top 20 Book Coaches of 2022 by Coach Foundation. She's also a multiple #1 bestselling author, a 3-time eLit award winner, podcast host, and a Grammy-nominated songwriter. She has been helping entrepreneurs increase their credibility and expert status, become #1 bestselling authors, and make a bigger impact in the world since 2004. Her mission is to make the world a better place one author and one book at a time!



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