Why authors have to be optimists

Good morning!

It’s been an interesting day already. Bit of a shuffle this morning…lots of things to do with work, etc.

Part of my job includes talking with authors who aren’t getting sales. Or, rather, the sales they expected. This problem is more widespread than you might think. I say that only because so many authors give up too soon. They don’t get the instant fame they expected, and aren’t willing to put in the work necessary to reach the top of the heap. They get discouraged, stop promoting, and their book falls to the bottom of the pile. Just one more book on Amazon that isn’t getting any notice.

To be successful in this business, you have to change your outlook. You can’t see one bad day/week/month as the end of your dreams. You need to adopt the Scarlett O’Hara philosophy: “Tomorrow is another day”.

Because you never really know what will happen the next day. It’s possible, yes, that sales will be bad again. Likely, even. But what if they’re not? What if someone leaves a rave review? The six friends they told finally decide to read your book that someone else wouldn’t shut up about?

This part of the year is, unless you’re someone with a huge following, always slow for book sales. You need to shift your outlook, start promoting your books as being the ‘perfect gift’ for the lover of fantasy/romance/suspense on a Christmas list. Make it less about reviews and more about ‘imagine the joy they’ll get with a new Kindle loaded with some of the very books you’ve been raving about’.

And, above all, remain optimistic.

There is no magic formula for writing success. It’s patience, promotion, remaining optimistic even when you haven’t sold a single book for six months. It’s starting with a story you can believe in, but being willing to make improvements as suggested by your editor. It’s changing up promos, reworking web presence, making cold calls, and sitting for hours behind a table at a craft fair only to hear time and time again that your genre isn’t what someone reads.

It’s taking risks, learning what’s worth trying again and what was a total bust. And trying some more.


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