I have worked so hard to write my book. Done everything, “everybody” says I am supposed to do and I haven’t sold one single copy. Then I hired a publicist and the results got me nowhere. So now I have wasted time and money. I’m done. Does this sound familiar? That is the reality of most authors. If you are an author and it does not sound familiar contact me right away. I will help you package your secret and let’s sell it to the entire author community around the globe. Dealing with the joy of writing and the harsh reality of books that do not sell is difficult to handle. Despite all of the indie success stories, “how to sell” books, and author training courses that populate the Internet, the grim reality of not selling one single copy abounds.
So what do you do about it? – When you face the reality of your joy of writing being impacted by your inability to sell books, you will have hit that critical path to determine if you have what it takes to become a professional writer or a hobbyist. How you react to that harsh circumstance will determine your destiny as a writer. So what do you do about it?
Here are my suggestions:
1. Figure out what you want to do.
2. Settle on a path.
3. Stop looking at other people’s success
4. Structure your own master plan.
5. Get it done.
Figure out what you want to do – I am a professional writer today because I did those 5 things. With my first book I remember how frustrating it was to have written a book and to see boxes of them sitting in my garage. My joy was gone. I was angry with the publisher. You can read the whole story with those two links. But I was determined that there would not be one box of books left in that garage. This was long before print on demand. This was long before online distribution. Those were the days when books sold in bookstores. So I contacted a local bookstore in my area and supplied them books. Everywhere I went I took books. I gave books away. One day, years later I looked in my garage and there were no more books in boxes.
So the very first thing you have to do, is figure out what you want to do. Because figuring it out sets up your resolve. Your resolve becomes your determination. Once determination is in place, there is no force on Earth that can stop it (outside of God) unless you quit yourself. Determination has great power. Quitting is the end result of losing determination. You can get what you want, but what is the price you are willing to pay for it? Pure determination knows no bounds.
Settle on a path – For myself I determined that I did not want to just sell my books because I felt that would be too risky for income stability. I wanted a writing career. I wanted to leave the work force, come home and raise my young children and earn a decent living doing so. I used prayer and determination to set that path in force. I watched God give me what I asked for. It has not been an easy road, but it has been extremely rewarding and fulfilling. When you begin to see how much income can be made from writing your own books and professional writing you will kiss the workplace goodbye.
In order to accomplish my goal I had to diversify. I was not like some authors that sold enough books to make a living off of just the book. I had to incorporate professional writing and ghostwriting for additional layers of income stability. Then I used all my other skill sets to layer my income. Eventually I started my own book marketing company. This gave me the freedom to walk away from the work force and I have never looked back.
Stop looking at other people’s success – The temptation to want what other people have is so great. I read a wonderful blog post from a lady the other day called “Wishing My Life Away.” She stated the frustration of wanting more. I related that to looking at others and wanting what they have.
There is a fine line between looking at other people’s success for inspiration and feeling envy caused by your own frustrations. It is a battle to keep emotions in check. But if you want to succeed as a professional writer you cannot allow room for envy because that depletes the energy you need for constant productivity.
Whenever you feel that inspiration turning to envy, turn away. Tell yourself I am glad that person is doing well. I know there is a path for me to do well too. Only allow yourself to be inspired by someone’s success, and nothing more.
Structure your own master plan – Do you want one book or series of books to sustain your income for life? Then place daily efforts in that direction. Here is where inspiration can help you. Study how one book wonders have done it, and then find out what qualities they used and back engineer your plan around it. Your path will not be exactly the same, but you can glean from their experience. Contact the person that inspired you and ask for pointers. One of the reasons that my life took the entire journalism/professional writing track is because I went to the local newsroom in my hometown, set up an appointment with my favorite newscaster and asked her how she did it. That eventually led me to a career in television. A plan mixed with determination gets results.
Do you want to have a writing career? Then determine what you want to write about. Do you want to write articles? Do you want to write technical books? Do you want to write commercially? Do you want to ghostwrite? Do you want to teach writing? Figure it out.
Once you figure it out, take steps and watch it happen. You have more influence over your destiny than you may realize. There are a lot of work place related headaches that you won’t have to put up with, if you purpose to make a career out of writing.
Get it done – Whoever came up with the Nike logo understood the power of determination. Simply put, Just Do It. That is it. Just Do It. People that have the just do it attitude don’t allow certain things and people in their lives and certain words in their vocabulary. Two words I do not have in my vocabulary are quit and can’t. Take those two words out of your vocabulary and see what it will do for your life.
About the Author: Linda Leon loves helping authors and writers learn to have a writing career and market their books. If this is you and you would like to learn more about what it takes to shift from the role of frustrated writer to writing for income, then check out this new report where she shows you how to get started selling books and start a writing career free of charge.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/chasingmechasingyou/2028124480/”>SiSter PhotograPher</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>