Tossing and turning at night, troubled by that one issue that you have no way of knowing, no way to control, and no absolute certainty of the outcome?
Through the years, I’ve had plenty of things to worry about. There were months of unemployment, wondering if we’d be able to pay the rent, keep the lights on, life -threatening family health issues, sudden deaths of friends and loved ones, etc. Lean times, scary times with which I’m sure many can relate. It was stressing the heck out of me and I could easily lose sleep over it. After all, what else could I do but my best?
Then I realized, I had a choice.
Have you ever felt tired, no matter how much sleep you get? How about focus, do you ever find yourself standing in a room, trying to remember what it was you came looking for, or sitting in front of the computer wondering what you’re supposed to do next?
In the past year or so, I’d been having some trouble with these issues and more, resulting in stress. It would lead to exhaustion and even a sense of depression. So about a year ago, I decided to to heart the advice I’d receive
So, a good friend of mine who is a bestselling author, brilliant entrepreneur, and publishing/marketing genius named Aaron Patterson posted the following today on facebook:
I know asking advice on Facebook is asking for trouble but I am not sure what to do so maybe some of you have something to say that I can use. My problem is with my 7 year old daughter. She is a slob and almost a hoarder. She keeps everything and packs it away in her room…
I was trying to encourage a fellow writer today who was feeling down because of mean-spirited Amazon customer reviewers. We’ve all read a few doozies that made us shake our heads, haven’t we? The struggle is not unique to writers, as Stephen King states. It applies to just about anything you do publicly, or that becomes public knowledge. We will always have detractors, critics, and naysayers. It’s a sign that you’re doing something that matters.
Anyway, I came upon some sage advice from some fairly well-known writers on the topic:
Some of you already know from my bio that prior to my work as an IT Professional, which preceded my career as a writer, I was a professional musician. That’s right. I was a cellist who graduated from Juilliard with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, and a doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. I’ve performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Cairo Royal Opera House, and concert halls in Israel, South Africa, Jordan and Israel
Amazon Bestselling author Allan Leverone’s book THE LONELY MILE has just hit the top 5 on 2 Amazon bestseller lists. He’s here to blog today about author promotion.
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Author Promotion: The Holy Grail
by Allan Leverone
I’m like every other author out there. I want you to read my book, and when you’re done with it, I want you to recommend it to a friend, and then go buy another of my books. That’s my goal. And any author who tells you he doesn’t share that goal is either lying or needs to stop writing books immediately and keep a diary instead.
And while I freely admit to trying virtually all of the above promotional methods, plus some others as well—and will undoubtedly continue to try them in the future—I’m coming to grips with the fact that promotion is hit-or-miss, and the best thing I can do for my career is keep writing the highest-quality fiction I can.
Because book-buying is driven by name-recognition, and sooner or later you will pick up one of my books and you will check it out, and I want you to feel like I wrote it specifically for you. And I want you to remember my name and think of me as the guy who wrote the book that spoke directly to you.
Because that’s really the only thing I can control in this strange writing gig.
Allan Leverone is the author of the acclaimed thrillers, FINAL VECTOR (Medallion Press) and THE LONELY MILE (StoneHouse Ink), as well as the horror novellas DARKNESS FALLS and HEARTLESS, both from Delirium Books. He is a three-time Derringer Award finalist for excellence in short mystery fiction and a 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee. Allan lives in Londonderry, NH with his family, where he is hard at work on his next book. Learn more at www.allanleverone.com.
…with each day that passes it’s becoming clearer to me that everything we face in life–be it victories, defeat, challenges, good news or bad–is an opportunity to reveal our character. In fact, it’s a chance to determine our future by our choices. When I look at the “achievement” of having my book published by a major publisher (Simon & Schuster is considered one of the “Big Six”) I find myself at something of a crossroad…
As a writer, we must spend time alone to work, to visualize, to create. But, as human beings? We need people to interact with. And, when we feel the thrumming aversion to social interaction, we humans must put on a character (where without that character we might shrivel) and we must step outside our comfort zone.
The fact is that most writers face many rejections before they make a sale to a publisher. It’s par for the course, and if you’re a writer who can’t handle rejection, or take it to heart as a personal evaluation (or devaluation) of your worth, you’d do best to do like they did in Monty Python: “Run away! Run away!”
Before selling my novel Darkroom to Simon & Schuster’s Howard Books line, I must have gotten close to 40 rejections. That didn’t bother me because I always refer to Dean Koontz’s 75 rejections before his first novel sale. But I also received several requests for full manuscripts, which is always exciting because it’s then just one step closer to a contract offer.
Prior to Darkroom’s sale to S&S, it had been on the desks of about 5 editors from major publishing houses in NY and the UK, and one or two agent’s desks for consideration.
Today, I had to send an email officially withdrawing my book from their consideration. It was an interesting feeling, and I hoped to be very respectful in conveying the information.
Regardless of your life’s pursuit, you need to have two things: 1) Certainty of your calling, and 2) Faith that if you have been called to something, you will accomplish it. The only limiting factors are patience, persistence and hope; hope in things for which we have no tangible evidence.
“hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance”
(Romans 8:24, 25)
So in the words of Cmdr. Peter Quincy Taggart of Galaxy Quest, “Never give up, never surrender!”
As long as you are secure in your calling, it will come to pass. Just position yourself close to the Divine Source and His word, and you’ll be amazed at what He can accomplish through you.
I think the Apostle Paul put it best:
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
BEYOND JUSTICE, winner of the 2011 International Book Awards for Mystery/Suspense!