Authors if you think the life of a scribe is an easy one, please think again. Contrary to many others in the publishing industry I do feel that writing a book is as EASY as writing a paragraph. I plan on putting my theory to the test in another blog, but that’s for another day (coming very soon by the way). And for me that’s where the easiness stops and the commitment, the grind; whatever you chose to call your animal of dedication begins.
The pitfall of many new and 1st time authors is listening to the claims of becoming a bestselling author in just a few easy steps by the latest bestselling guru or how this guru’s proven formula is so easy even YOU can use it. Just replace YOU with a cute monkey if you have grabbed your wallet and whipped out your debit card and purchased that no fail system that oozes easiness because you my friend have fallen for the banana in the tail pipe.
I’m not saying all systems and formulas are meant to take advantage of new and first time authors, hell in a few months I will be launching my very own eCourse aimed at …you guessed it, new and 1st time authors, but I will not be making any claims of easy this and fail proof that. Just proven and effective methods that allows new and 1st time authors not only to compete in the Uber competitive publishing industry, but to thrive.
What’s even worse than being leery of the experts and the gurus and the way they talk of the publishing process being easy? When a first time author launches their first book and success comes easier than they could ever imagine. So how could that be considered a bad thing you have to ask?
If you’re that author who failed to do the same things you did when your first book was launched, than you can all but expect nothing but an epic failure to follow.
I stated earlier that in just a few months I’ll be launching an eCourse designed for 1st time and new authors to be competitive in today’s publishing industry, but today I’m going to share a two principles from that eCourse on how NOT to let early and easy success undermine being successful in the long-term.
In 2010 I self published and released my first book The Ugly Side of Sex and I could do NO wrong marketing wise. From the beauty and barber shops, to online, then onto flea markets, and finally I made it to the shelves of a Borders book store. I stood in front of the above picture you see above and couldn’t stop thinking I made it, I finally made it.
All my efforts paid off; from passing out flyers, to blogging, cultivating meaningful relationship in the publishing industry, doing regular radio and blog radio, landing a magazine interview, getting great write ups and even greater reviews. I was on cloud nine and this was only my first book and I thought if every publishing process I started would net end results like this then let me get started on my next book.
I did. I can honestly say to this day that A Boy & His Joyless Smile is some of my BEST writing to date and yet I was met with the deafening noise of crickets…. Not the barley chirping crickets; I’m talking crickets on steroids washed down with a couple of bottles of 5hr Energy crickets.
So what happened?
Did I pass out flyers for A Boy & His Joyless Smile like I littered the streets with flyers when it came to The Ugly Side of Sex? Not exactly. Did I stop by and show love to all the barber shops and beauty salons that always welcomed me in when I was a young and hungry author? No, but I wished I did though. Did I at least maintain relationships with all the bloggers, blog talk radio shows, magazines, and everyone that brought my 1st book? Well see, what had happen was…
Let me tell you what happened; EASY HAPPENED. Just because my first book was accepted so readily, I believed that everything I would write and release would be met with the same fanfare. That kind of thinking is what kills the literary careers of most new authors and definitely had mine on life support.
So the first principal I want to share with you is that you have to maintain consistent marketing efforts with each book project and not arrogantly think you’ve made it based off of your previous work. Janet Jackson did sing ‘what have you done for me lately’ for a reason you know.
And from the titles of those two book; The Ugly Side of Sex and A Boy & His Joyless Smile, can you guess what else I did wrong? Sure take your time (took me forever to figure it out)…
Ok time’s up. What I did drastically wrong was genre hopping. I jumped from erotica, The Ugly Side Of Sex to a coming of age story with A Boy & His Joyless Smile. I mean who did I think I was James Patterson and I had a following that loved my writing regardless of what I wrote? Ninja please, I was an unknown author writing like I knew my small, but growing following at the time would still keep pace.
Curse you ‘EASY’ and your false securities of effortlessness; luckily I followed up The Ugly Side of Sex with Dirty Secrets of Clean Sheets and Bad Kenny 1st Story to keep my fans of erotica happy. Does this mean an author shouldn’t write in other genres? Of course not. It just means no matter the genre make sure you have clearly identified your target market which is my second principal I want to share with you.
You’re an author and if you’re a good one, the writing ideas that keep you up at night won’t confine you to one specific genre and that’s fine. Writing is about expression and growth right? So when that urge strikes for you to write that Sci-fi Paranormal thriller just make sure you take the time to properly research your target market and keep in mind that the readers that may have supported you in other genres may not be up to following you into something new and that’s ok. Just make sure you don’t forget about them as you embark on your new writing journey. Remember even no matter what James Patterson writes about he always comes back to his Alex Cross series.
So as a new or first time author what are some of the challenges are you facing? Are your book sales lagging? Not sure how to properly identify your target market? Or do you just find it hard to keep the momentum going with your marketing efforts? Whatever obstacles you are facing with your book project(s) I want to help you not only overcome them, but flat out CRUSH THEM.
And I can help you do that just by you leaving exactly what’s stopping you from being the author you see yourself as with your comments and or questions below in the comment section and I promise to answer each and every one.
Thank you for taking the time in reading my blog and if you felt it helped you in any way then please feel free to share it across your social media platform as well. Thanks.