Quick! What’s the number one reason authors fail to make a full-time income at their craft? You have five seconds…
…three, two, one, ZERO!
Did you say, “They don’t market their books?” Then, you were close. For most authors, it’s the second biggest reason for not being able to make a full-time income. As a matter of fact, for some authors this will actually be the number one reason.
However, for most authors, the reason comes down to production. A while a back, I wrote a post on the fact that if you want to succeed at anything, you have to create more than you consume. I was preaching it, so you would think I was practicing it, right?
Well, at the time I was. But then, I let the negative voices come in. It could be that I wasn’t getting enough magnesium. It could be that my lowering estrogen levels generally affected my brain chemistry.
Whatever it was, I broke The Cardinal Rule for success: I said, “I can’t.”
My “can’t” list
If you don’t believe I could be so negative, just ask my husband. He’s heard them all during the past few weeks.
- “I would love to write more novels, but I just can’t think of any good story lines.”
- “I can’t write like those awesome authors, so I might as well not try.”
- “I can’t come up with interesting plot twists.”
- “I can’t think of any other non-fiction topics to write about.”
Just dig a six-foot-deep hole and toss me in right now! I mean, seriously, if I am going to convince myself that I can’t do what God has called and gifted me to do, I might as well not be here.
Okay, and I will admit this: I had gotten totally discouraged about my plummeting royalties. For that, I had an “I won’t”: “I won’t put money into advertising if I’m not absolutely positive it will be worth it.”
Another thank you to Mimi
In this post, I talked about Mimi Emmanuel’s book on book-launching. Since publishing that post a few days ago, I’ve discovered that some of the strategies she suggests are either not effective or not necessary. However, I still am grateful that she wrote the book and put it in a BookGorilla promo so I would know that it was available for free.
Because I realize now that I didn’t just get excited about the possibilities for my future as an author. I wasn’t happy just because I had a solid plan on how to promote a book so that it does well long-term.
I got stirred up about my calling again. That got my brain in gear, which re-awakened my creativity, which helped me to shoot down each of the “can’ts”.
It also helped me to see that I MUST invest into advertising – and more than my cheapskate self is comfortable with – if I’m going to get my books in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
Yes, I CAN!
Just before sitting down to jot down these thoughts, I realized that I CAN think of new stories to write. The fact is, I constantly have a barrage of characters, basic plot lines, settings, and scenes floating around inside my head (yes, it sometimes gets crowded up there!). What I need is to give everything time to settle in its place. Taking time to actually sit down and brainstorm might help just a little bitty bit, too. Ya think?
Maybe I really CAN’T write as well as some authors, but I have to remember two things: first of all, the more I write, the more I will improve; and second, many of these authors pay editors to help them brush up on their style. And the fact is, too, that I can write better than or as well as many traditionally- published authors and bestselling Indie authors. Why don’t people know my work, then? Marketing.
But I gotta write something before I can market it!
As for non-fiction ideas, good grief, they’re a dime a dozen! I have forty-seven years experience with other people, myself, and a variety of books on a variety of topics. What I need to do in that realm is think outside the box and come up with a fresh way to approach the different subject areas in which I have an interest.
You can, too!
You may not be a writer. But you have other gifts, skills, and interests. And you may want to turn those into an income so that you can…
- Begin living closer to your dream life.
- Reduce your stress.
- Be able to wake up excited every Monday morning.
So the question is, why aren’t you going for it? It may be that right now isn’t the right season in your life. But much more probably, it’s because you’ve been listening to the “I can’ts.”
Do yourself a favor and shut them up. Grab a piece of paper and rewrite the “I can’ts” into “I cans.” Because if I can, you can.