Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Book Marketing Pep Talk

If there are two books I had to recommend to someone out of the universe of books it would be As A Man Thinketh and Unlimited Power.  Some of the most inspiring and motivational writers of the 20th century were Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, James Allen, and Anthony Robbins.  There are many others who inspire us—Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard, Mark Victor Hansen and dozens of other best-selling authors.  But the one that stands the test of time for my adult life is Anthony Robbins.

Maybe it was the time he entered my life that has shaped me; it could be if I read some other author when I was 20 I’d be praising him or her now.  But it was Robbins who shaped my life in my early 20’s with his one-two punch of Unlimited Power and Awaken The Giant Within.

Robbins, like most motivational speakers are, labeled nothing more than the sellers of hopes and dreams.  They are rah-rah guys who see the ideal in everything and tell us we cannot only improve immensely, but attain near perfection while living a life of freedom, wealth, and inner peace.  But sometimes you need an injection of positive thinking, of having a blueprint to realize a dream, of hearing anything’s possible even when the odds don’t favor you.  These motivational coaches give us hope.  They are like a parent who will say “I love you” and hug you even when they know you aren’t so special.  We all need to believe in ourselves, to even lie to ourselves if we are to have a chance at becoming even one-tenth of what we desire to be.

The world is filled with too many negatives, too many doubters, too many whiners.  More than ever, people seek the get-rich-quick easy way to everything.  They want to live The Secret, a book that I don’t really favor because it only focuses on one thing: believe and your dream shall come true.  I think that is only one part of the success equation.

Today, people believe they can social network their way to the top, that they are one witty tweet or one viral video away from making millions.  They want to be on a reality show, they want to blog their way to fame, they want to create the next Facebook—but they fail to put in the hard work that is needed.

Those involved in book publishing seek to cash in their lottery ticket.  Everyone who writes a book has the hope—even the expectation—that they will have a best-seller on their hands.  Who is there to give them a tissue box when their Book Scan numbers don’t register beyond a blip of sales?  But, reality aside, here’s the pep talk all writers will need at some point in their careers.  Put aside the need for hard work, luck, connections, great writing, hiring professional help, etc., you also need to:   

·         Always believe in yourself.  You have something to offer others, something worth sharing, something unique and special.

·         Know the experts are not always right.  There is rarely one singular way to do anything.  Find your own style and way to do what you need to do to succeed.

·         Never accept defeat.  Change course, yes.  Give up, no.  Admit you made an error or mistake but don’t throw in the towel.

·         Learn from others.  Copy the habits of successful people when it suits you but don’t be just like them.  The world needs you—not a replica of someone else.

·         Realize you can improve every aspect of your writing, editing, publicity, marketing, sales, distribution, etc.  Push the bar higher and keep reaching beyond your comfort zone.

·         Stop making excuses or looking for reasons why you fall short. 

·         Find ways to overcome challenges or setbacks.  If you just want to sulk about the unfairness of life go see a therapist, but take your passion, vision, energy, and talent and pour it into your efforts to be a successful writer.

·         Understand those around you don’t always believe in you the way you do.  In fact, some friends, family members, or colleagues would be jealous or feel threatened by your success.  Don’t look for them to inspire you—it happens from within you. 

·         Exploit your strength, sacrifice your weakness.  Don’t worry if you suck at something—play up where you can excel.  But, do realize, you are the sum of your weakness and strengths, so where ever you can improve or grow, you should. 

·         Remember your successes, forget your failures.  Repeat the good, dismiss the bad.  We’re all too quick to focus on one’s criticism while forgetting all the praise.  Filter out the negative and just build on what worked for you in the past. 

·         Wipe the slate clean -- and often.  Sometimes you just need a fresh start.  Each day can bring new opportunity.  You are not living one long day for life—we experience life in increments and your goal is to keep coming out on top, one day at a time.

·         Change something.  Sometimes you need to reshuffle the cards in order to draw the one you want.  If you feel stuck or living below your potential, make a change.  It may involve adding or deleting something or someone.  It may involve taking the opposite approach to something.  It may involve taking a risk or experimenting.  Have the mindset that you have nothing to lose and you may just win big.

·         Keep a positive, confident, sharing attitude present in all of your interactions.  You will rub off on others and they in turn will mirror your smile, energy, and infectious good will.  It costs nothing to project a winning approach and the payoff can be immense.

·         Go back to the basics when you’re struggling.  Remind yourself of what you’re looking to accomplish and reflect on prior successes. 

·         Treat yourself like a winner.  Reward yourself now and make yourself feel worthy of the fruits of your labor.

·         Act as if—as if you succeeded, as if you are great, as if you are who you strive to be.

My last bit of advice is this—and it’s something I struggle with.  Don’t overthink and don’t ignore the help of others that’s available to you, in whatever form it may come.  Sometimes you need to take a simple, easy path to what you want; other times you have to fight hard just to march in place.  Alter your tactics to meet the circumstances at hand. 

But above all, remain positive.  You are already the great writer, the great editor, the great marketer, the great salesperson.  Soon others will come to know this too. 

Is Your Business Card Costing You Business?

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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