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Friday, October 16, 2015

Indie or Tradional? What Matters is Being Relentless

Have you been reading the press lately? Traditionally published authors are earning less than ever. What has increased? The time spent on marketing.

Don't fool yourself. Whether you have a team through your publisher or you are your team as an indie, positioning your work and your brand to find readers is not easy. Even as a trad, at some point the effort to push will fall at your feet, and your feet only. You may have pushed through the top trending Five Steps to Success and wonder why you're not swimming in readers. You've done what the experts have told you to do, but wonder why success hasn't been bestowed upon you yet. What are you doing wrong?

Most likely, you're doing everything right. The only tweak needed is to become relentless.

Applying business development and marketing skills is not easy for many writers and authors. You've swallowed the castor oil of identifying your core identity (brand), crafted a message, targeted an audience, and reached out via your different platforms. Then you wipe the sweat from your brow and sit back, waiting for the readers to come. When they don't flock in the numbers you want, you fear your process was flawed and you thrash about finding and experimenting with another recipe for the magic sauce.

Stop thrashing for the next Big Idea and adopt an athlete's focus. Success comes from repeating the same sprint, or lifting the same weight, over and over again. The mindset needed is not much different from what we writers do when crafting a paragraph. We go over it again and again. We are relentless in our craft. We just have to apply that mindset to our marketing efforts.

Failure or the word "No" are things that most writers shrink from, but business development professionals take in stride. We writers can be a fragile bunch and yearn to be read and liked, but BD folks know that you learn a lot from rejection and a failure. Failures don't stop them in their tracks. Instead, the reasons why something failed are examined and a new or modified approach is taken. BD folks don't let the Big Account get away just because one pitch on one particular day did not succeed. They circle back, reassess, and re-approach with a refined pitch.

Times have changed and a commitment to writing includes acknowledging it takes time to build a following. 

Don't stop. Keep going. Go back to the beginning again and again. Be relentless.