There’s a cartoon showing two scarecrows standing in a field and one is saying to the other:
“English lit. How about you?”
Becoming a successful author requires you to change your thinking from artist to merchant, from being a writer with something to say into an author with something to sell. More than eighty percent of the books that are published fail. Majoring in English lit and using the keys to write salable books described in my previous post won’t be enough to ensure their success. You need these six keys to unlock the door to publishing success:
1. Clarity: Understand the options you have for getting your book published. Learn how publishing works so you can choose the right option for you now, based on your visibility, your idea, and your ability to write about it and promote your book
2. Flexibility: Balance writing for free and writing for fees. But focus on writing what will enable you to reach your financial goals.
3. Community: Use events, personal contacts, and social media to create communities of fans and people to help you.
4. Visibility: Use as many media as you can to build your platform, to become as visible as you can be, online and off.
5. Promotability: Have a promotion plan that shows a publisher how you will use your platform to make your book as successful as you both want it to be. When the competition for consumers’ time and money continues to grow, how effectively you leverage your visibility will determine your sales.
6. Durability: Take the long view as well as the short view about your career. Have a strong enough belief in your books and yourself to be gracefully relentless about achieving your goals.
Welcome to the publishing world of accelerating change and new opportunities! Your future is in your hands and at your fingertips. May you make the most of it!
The Third San Francisco Writing for Change Conference: Writing to Make a Difference / November 13-14, Hilton Financial/Chinatown / www.sfwritingforchange.org / Keynoters: million-copy selling authors Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior) and John Robbins (Diet for a New America) / blog: sfwriters.info/blog