You and Your Book Will Succeed–With Patience

Posted: November 1, 2011 in Writing
Tags: , , , , , ,

This…will…not…be…easy.  I’m going to admit something to you all.  I didn’t think it’d be this hard.  Call it naivete.  Call it optimism.  Call it the sheer ridiculousness of thinking, dammit, that what I wrote would take off, like a rocket ship to Planet Lottery Ticket.  Anddddd, yeah. Four months after the release of Enemy in Blue, let me give ya some thoughts and insights into what this process entails.  The hope is that this will help some understand what’s coming their way if they publish, and help others who have done so realize, “I’m not alone.”

  1. Writing was the easy part.  Huh?  I just finished 80k, 90, 120k words!  It took me 2 years to write my baby.  What you mean that was the easy part?  Writing is a joy, in my opinion.  I hardly ever had a day where I cussed and wished I was doing something else.  And, if those days came along, I just didn’t write.  No sense forcing something crappy onto paper.  On the other hand, once you’re published (by whatever means), the marketing, sales and promotion begins.  And, I can assure you of one thing–once you start those ghastly machines up, they don’t allow breaks.  You’ll be tweeting, updating your website, updating your status on Facebook, trying to get signings, trying to get your books on brick and mortar shelves, etc. etc. etc., NONSTOP.  Be prepared to work your ass off in the name of promotion.
  2. This will undoubtedly be a long, strange trip.  Do a Wikipedia on your favorite band.  Most likely, they spent years toiling in small venues.  They pumped out album after album before one hit song took off.  Realize that your journey will probably be the same–with the superstar ending, we all hope.
  3. There are tens of thousands of people trying to do what we’re doing.  Okay, not trying to be Captain Downer here, but this post is a small dose of reality, if anything.  Look at the sheer number of books on Amazon.  Look at all the authors Tweeting about their books on a daily basis.  This is a SEA, not a stream.  You’ve got to tread water, then build a super attractive yacht for people to hop onto.
  4. The hard work will make it worth it.  Growth does not come through constant success.  When you get the first review of your book from someone you don’t know, and it’s a positive review, you will glow.  When someone asks you for a signature on their copy of your book, you’ll glow.  When you see your book on a bookshelf in a bookstore, you’ll glow.  But, each one of those things will take a tremendous amount of effort to achieve.
  5. Patience is a virtue…and will be key to your sanity.  Seemingly, nothing in the book publishing world moves quicker than a snail’s pace.  You building your empire of words isn’t gonna be any different.  Just like when you wrote your book, do your best to recognize the small steps, otherwise the pace of the whole venture will make you mad!
In short, if you’re just starting out, please, please recognize that your success is commensurate with your effort.  And, if you’ve been playing the game, know that you aren’t alone!  Success has started to come to me and Enemy in Blue, but only with a tremendous amount of hard work. Best wishes to you and your fantastic book!
  1. hey derek…u made me smile with this post…

    u and i need to connect, email me andyholloman AT gmail

    got a promo idea, and u have the experience!!

  2. Zoe says:

    Loved this post 🙂

  3. zencherry says:

    Fantastic advice. So glad to hear that Enemy in Blue is taking off! 😀

  4. zencherry says:

    Gave you the Versatile Blogger Award. 😀

  5. Thanks for the great advice. I’m trying to learn all this while waiting for my edits to return.

  6. Elise Stokes says:

    Thanks for being so honest, Derek. Good thing we all don’t know what we’re heading into, otherwise some of our books might not be in print now. Most days I ask myself what have I gotten myself into? Love the writing, hate selling it. One reward from the endless toil of branding and driving awareness is meeting cool and talented writers like you. I look forward to the next post.

  7. Julie Duck says:

    God, you have this right! It’s a constant promote-a-thon. You simply cannot write, publish and sit back with a latte while sales roll in! Nope! It took a few months before I got the first review and then the sales increased. This doesn’t mean I’m on the way to being famous for my stories… it is a sign that tenacity wins the day when it comes to this writing game.

    – Julie

  8. What can I say, Derek? You’re a good man. The posts I’ve read of yours lift people up – this is actually really inspiring because we no longer feel alone. It’s easier to go through stuff when you know that you are not alone. We’ll get there and then it’s going to be one helluva party, right?

    Thanks for your honesty.

  9. Derek Blass says:

    Kathy, Julie, and Elise, thanks for the comments. It’s fun for me to go back and read things I posted weeks and months ago. As you all know, this is an ever-changing environment!

    Elise, many congratulations on the success your Cassidy Jones series is experiencing!

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