When I published my first book, which became a #1 Amazon bestseller many times over, I had an edge over most other authors. My advantage wasn’t because I’m a better writer. It wasn’t even because I’m better at promotion than other authors. It was because I had developed relationships with two very important groups of people. In this Foundations of Publishing review, I'll share how you can do the same.
It certainly helped that my book was good (as of now, it has received over 200 reviews, most of which are five stars). It also helped that it wasn’t technically my first book, since I had co-written and ghostwritten two other books with other authors by the time I published it (one of which also became a bestseller). But honestly, there’s a good chance it would have become a bestseller even if it wasn’t good.
Before I ever started writing that book, I had built a huge audience. In fact, over 100,000 people a month were reading my writing. On top of that, I had developed strong relationships with many of the world’s top online writers. Most importantly, I had been mentored by a NY Times bestselling author as well as a USA Today bestselling author. By asking for help from my friends, when I was launching my book, I was able to reach bestseller status fairly easily.
I don’t say any of this to brag or make myself seem more important than I am. I freely admit I got really lucky. But I also helped make my own luck. And more importantly, I truly believe that anyone with the right mindset and strategies can do the same.
How did I do it? How did I become a bestselling author before I ever published my first book?
Foundations of Publishing Review
In Foundations of Publishing, my program that teaches you the foundation you need to become a bestselling author, I share the timeless strategies that I learned on my way to becoming a bestselling author myself.
How does the program work? And does it actually help people become published, bestselling authors?
In this Foundations of Publishing review, I’ll share the two most important rules that changed my life as an aspiring writer, and I’ll share the three most important relationships you need to make as an author. I’ll also answer frequently asked questions.
The Disappointed Writer: Why I Started Foundations of Publishing
Over the years, I’ve worked with thousands of authors, many of whom were publishing their first books. Often, what would happen is they would finish their book. Then, in their enthusiasm to finally get to share what they’d been working on for so long with the world, and more importantly finally become a published author, they would quickly self-publish their book and get it on Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, and the other online retailers.
And then they would wait for all the praise, adulation, and best of all, money to come streaming in.
Except it didn’t come in. In fact, most people didn’t notice. Even their friends and family were hard pressed to buy their books.
The author would come away completely disappointed, having invested countless hours and sometimes thousands of dollars with very little to show for it.
The worst part was, all of this disappointment was completely avoidable. My own experience was proof that there was a method of publishing your books not to the disinterest and reluctant purchases of friends and family, but to the genuine excitement that leads to bestseller status.
And all it took was two simple but powerful rules.
The Two Rules to a Bestselling Book
My path to becoming a bestseller, which isn’t the only path by the way but is one of the most common, started with one important realization that I had as a teenager from reading What Color Is My Parachute. The realization was this:
Professional success comes from relationship.
Relationship is the most important part of life. It’s essential to happiness, health, and even career success. And despite the myth that great writers should be solitary creatures who work in remote cabins in the woods, relationship is especially important to the success of writers.
Specifically, writers who aspire to become bestsellers need to develop relationships with two groups, and if you have these relationships, it’s very easy to become a bestselling author. These are the two groups:
1. Bestselling Writers Have a Relationship With an Audience
Established authors like J.K. Rowling and Stephen King could publish just about anything and have it become a bestselling book.
Why? Because their audience trusts them.
Their audience loves their writing, has had amazing, sometimes life-changing experiences with their books, and would happily read anything by the author.
For example, when a relatively low-selling book called The Cuckoo’s Calling by unknown author Robert Galbraith turned out to be written by J.K. Rowling under a penname, the book became an overnight NY Times bestseller. Why? Because many fans would read anything by J.K. Rowling, even if it was a completely different book than the kinds of books that made her famous.
But to succeed, writers who aren’t established must develop a relationship with an audience too, and they have to do it before they publish their “future bestselling book” if they want to avoid becoming another disappointed author. It’s not easy, it requires more effort, but it’s essential.
2. Bestselling Authors Have a Relationship with a Cartel
A Cartel sounds like a sinister thing, but it’s not (for writers, at least). A Cartel simply means “an agreement amongst competitors.”
The idea is that you and I, as writers, are actually competitors, competing for the limited attention and money of readers. Knowing this, we have two options:
We could become really competitive with each other, refusing to help each other and even hoping that things will go badly for the other.
Or we could do something different, we could work together so that both of us could become more successful.
One of the remarkable things that I’ve learned as I’ve studied the lives of great writers is that nearly all of them had a Cartel. J.R.R. Tolkien had the Inklings. Ernest Hemingway had the Lost Generation. Virginia Woolf had the Bloomsbury Group. Mary Shelley had P.B. Shelley and Lord Byron. Far from recluses, these writers were successful because of their communities.
And the same is true for up-and-coming writers. Writers who aspire to be bestsellers need to build relationships with other writers who are at the same level or even a little ahead of them, people who can help them “up the rungs of a career,” as Hemingway said.
Foundations of Publishing Teaches You How to Develop These Relationships
In Foundations of Publishing, we teach exactly how to build relationships with these two all-important groups.
Through the power of generosity and also occasional being honest enough to ask for help, writers learn how to build an audience.
And throughout the program, as writers share their best writing, give feedback, and connect on a personal and professional level, writers can connect with their fellow Cartelistas and begin to form friendships that will lead to success in all of their careers.
The 50+ video lessons and interviews with bestselling authors guide writers through a range of important publishing topics. But best of all, the community of fellow writers pushes each other’s success.
You can see more about the details of the course on the Foundations of Publishing enrollment page. This program has laid the foundation for hundreds of writers to publish their books without becoming disappointed writers. Foundations of Publishing, formerly called Write to Publish, has helped authors publish dozens of books, and several of its alumni have become bestsellers.
Most importantly, it has helped hundreds of writers publish writing that has connected with hundreds of thousands of people.
Frequently Asked Questions
This Foundations of Publishing review wouldn't be complete without answering the biggest questions writers are asking.
When does Foundations of Publishing begin?
Foundations of Publishing is a self-guided course, and you can start it as soon as you sign up. One of the best parts of this program is that you will be building connections with other writers as you go through the program with them.
How many hours per week does Foundations of Publishing require?
Writers usually spend between three to six hours per week going through the course material, completing assignments, and connecting with their fellow writers. Compared to our 100 Day Book Program, that’s less than half of the time requirement.
Every Monday, you’ll receive a set of lessons and an assignment. You’ll spend about four to six hours throughout the week reviewing the lessons and completing the assignment. After eight weeks at this pace, you’ll have published your writing.
I haven’t finished a book yet. Is this course open to people who are just getting started?
If you’re in the middle of a book—or even still at the beginning—that’s great! You are the perfect person to join this program and get the tools you need to be successful as a writer.
What if I write nonfiction?
This program is available to both fiction AND nonfiction writers. We’ve helped thousands of authors of both fiction and nonfiction publish their writing. We would love to help you too!
What if don’t live in the United States?
This course is open to all authors and aspiring authors, whether in the United States, Europe, Australia, India, or elsewhere. If you want to write a book, this course is for you.
Foundations of Publishing Review: Ready to Lay Your Bestselling Foundation?
I can’t guarantee you’ll become a bestselling author if you sign up for Foundations of Publishing. In fact, if anyone promises that in your publishing career, they’re probably either lying or using unscrupulous methods.
However, I can guarantee that if you sign up and do the work, you will grow as a writer and learn what it takes to improve your writing career. I can also tell you that many of our students have had huge success. Besides, if Foundations of Publishiing helps you sell just 100 books, it will have paid for itself.
Most importantly, you’ll have learned what it takes to finally live out your calling as a writer, to write and publish books that connect with your readers. And what's better than that?
Now that you've read this Foundations of Publishing review, I hope you’ll give joining Foundations of Publishing serious consideration. If you don’t have a relationship with an audience, if you don’t have a Cartel, we would love to step into that role for you and help you develop one of your own. Who knows? Soon, your book too could become a bestseller before you even publish it.
Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).
Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.