There are three ten-year-old boys on my son’s baseball team that are so afraid of getting hit by a pitch thrown from another kid that they back out of the batter’s box as the ball comes to the plate. They fail to move the bat off their shoulders. They have nothing to do with their own fate. By luck, they may get to first base on a walk, purely due to the pitcher lacking the ability to throw the ball over the plate. Perhaps the pitcher doesn’t realize the batter is a statue, with no intention of letting the bat hit the ball, as if two polar-opposite magnets were near each other, repelling one another. As the team’s manager, I find it frustrating to watch and discouraging to experience. I so badly want to help them, but it’s a psychological barrier that they must cross. I can encourage them and support them and give them all kinds of reasons to swing, but in the end, it’s up to them to realize that being scared serves no purpose, that they deprive themselves of potential rewards, that they dictate their destiny.
The same can be said with authors and book promoters. Plenty of authors fear media attention or even the effort and process to contact the media to seek out exposure that will sell books, establish their brand and spread the word about their words. This is to every writer out there: get in the batter’s box and swing. The worst you could do is miss, but at least you try. And the more you try, the more likely you’ll get a few hits, and start scoring.
However, I realize I can’t just give you a pep talk and go rah rah rah and all of a sudden see you on the Today Show. I know it doesn’t work that way, just as talking to eager boys about overcoming their fears won't immediately produce a bat-wielding masher.
Maybe it takes failure to build up to a level of frustration, shame, and desperation, that the ballplayers decide the rejection and lost opportunities hurt more than the fear. Then, out of exhaustion and exasperation, they start hacking away. Before you know it, the ball meets the bat. Is this what will be needed for authors? Will they have to publish several books that bomb due to a lack of PR before they muster the courage, resources, and right frame of mind to approach the media and start chatting their books up?
I can tell you that fear is worse than the things you fear, and that once you try for the thing you want it will move closer to you. I can say that you’ll feel a great satisfaction once you start to get media attention for your book. I can also say that once you get going, you may find you like it and are very good at it. Life’s too short to box yourself in and limit your growth potential.
No one’s a loser for losing or failing. They are losers for not trying, for giving up before they ever got going. It’s not too late. Take a step in the direction you want to end up in, but if you don’t step anywhere, you get nowhere.
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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 email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015
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