We've been talking about Success [yes, i'm going to capitalize that word in the blog post], and how to get it, in my critique group. We've been talking about Street Teams--these fan clubs put together by an author that spread the word when new books come out. We've talked about the writing. The promotion and marketing....
So many variables in reaching Success. How do we get it right? Where is Success? WHAT is Success?
The bottom line? Success is different for everyone.
That's it?! That's what you have for us? [the crowd groans in disappointment]
I know, but it's true. Success is personal and it is attained by each author differently.
For me, Success comes in writing a book. I don't care if I never sell it. When I have a completed manuscript in front of me, and I know it's the best I can do, I'm happy. I'm successful. This is a big deal. Do you want to know why? Most writers never finish that manuscript. NEVER. Even when it seems like everyone around me is writing, finishing, and selling manuscripts, in my head, I know that there are just as many and then a lot more people who aren't.
Maybe that makes me too laidback...maybe I should aim higher! But, my other belief maintains that Success is all about the long tail [as one of my crit partners so nicely put it]. Have you ever heard about that writer who worked for years and years and years on the same manuscript? Wrote, rewrote, edited-to-death, and then wrote again? That's just not going to work. We have to keep moving. Start new projects, finish projects, let go of the ones that will never ever sell no matter what we do to them. This isn't easy. I have a Romantic Suspense series. Three books of that series are written, but I have yet to be able to sell the first one. ACK! I love this story! About once a year, I pull this story out and I try to "fix" it. But more and more, I think...maybe it wasn't meant to be. :'( So sad, but truth. And if I don't waste a month every year messing with it, think of all the other stuff I could do.
Authors have to be able to put more books on the market. Every year, another one or two or even three if we're lucky. Persistance. Secondary to that is the promotion and marketing.
Yes, I believe promotion and marketing is important and it works! I know it works. I've seen it work with my own books. But it's short term. You can't promo the hell out of one book for the next ten years. Eventually, you have to have another book to give the readers, or they will forget about you.
Think long-term. Think GREAT writing and stories that capture a heart. People love books. People buy books, and they'll continue doing so until the end of time--even if it does mean digitally. Romance, Horror, Sci-fi, Women's Lit. No matter what you write, writing is the key. Get it down, make it good, and put it out there.
Have a great weekend, friends, and happy writing!