In his book titled Sell Your Book like Wildfire, Rob Eager writes:
Authors who write books as an avocation just to have fun or tell people they’re published rarely succeed. Authors who write books as a vocation and take their work seriously usually achieve their goals.
Let me start with a confession:
Balance is not my forte.
All too often, when it comes to success in the publishing world, I find myself migrating toward the teeter-totter.
On one side sits Thing One.
Thing One is all frantic energy. Do, do, do. Go, go, go. Try harder. Try more. Don’t stop. She obsesses over missed opportunities and Amazon rank and how in the world can she improve her sales?
On the other side sits Thing Two.
Thing Two is chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool (Fresh Prince of Bel Air style) while humming the melody of Que Sera, Sera. Because God will multiply what He plans to multiply. Thing Two wants to give up on the rat race altogether.
Some days, Thing One owns the teeter totter.
Other days, Thing Two is in control.
But here’s the thing.
Neither are correct. Both are extremes.
God calls us to work hard AND trust Him with the harvest of that work.
Jesus asks us to bring our five loaves and two fish before He does the multiplying.
The key is figuring out which is which. What constitutes our part (bringing the loaves and fish) and what constitutes God’s (multiplying)? And how can we do our part and let the rest go?
I’m not entirely sure, but I do have some tips.
1. Write down 1-2 monthly goals
Examples of helpful goals:
- Spread the word locally
- Add (insert number here) subscriptions to my email list
Examples of an unhelpful goal:
- Improve my Amazon rank (unless you plan to buy a bunch of your own books off Amazon)
2. Write down the steps you need to take in order to accomplish your goals
For example, here are some steps that would help me reach the two goals above:
- To spread the word locally, I will donate a copy of my book to every retirement center in the area. I will also visit local bookstores and see if the manager would like me to sign copies in stock.
- To build my email list, I will include a “call to action” at the end of each blog post inviting readers to sign up. I will also create a freebie to send to each subscriber.
3. Evaluate at the month’s end and write 1-2 more goals.
Don’t try to do everything. Don’t overwhelm yourself with ten goals that each encompass five action steps. Remember that for the vast majority of authors, building a readership is a marathon, not a sprint. So pace yourself.
Hard work doesn’t guarantee results, but results are rarely seen without hard work.
So work hard. Write down a couple goals. Follow through with your action plan. And let go of the rest.
Let’s ban Thing One and Thing Two from teeter-totters everywhere.
Let’s Talk: Which Thing do you tend to gravitate toward? How do you stay balanced?
Hey! Now that I’m at it, I’d love to send you a welcome packet if I haven’t already. To sign-up, just click on the sign-up button at the top of the page.