A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Free speech, literacy, and great books are also discussed. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.
Monday, February 11, 2019
When Authors Go from Their Breaking Point To A Breakthrough
is the breakthrough point for authors? ‘What’s
their breaking point?’ is also a good question.
every author has to confront a moment where they admit failure, where they
believe their book won’t go any further than it has gone. Some authors throw in the towel immediately
upon publication, while others take months or even years before they give up on
any dreams of the book selling a lot of copies, being turned into a movie, or
getting major awards or an avalanche of media praise.
author will need to make that choice, the one where they determine it no longer
pays to promote, market, or advertise a book – not in money and resources, not
in time, and not in mindshare. They simply
walk away from the book they enjoyed writing and believed in so much.
a book dies slowly – and the author is even slower to realize that its death
has occurred. The post-mortem review may
help them make the next book become more successful – or it may just frustrate
the author who thinks the world is against him unfairly.
what about the breakthrough point – what is it and how does one get there? How many books must be sold over what time
period – and how many awards, positive reviews, or social media views
constitute a real success?
might say you’ll know when you’ve broken through -- you’ll know it when you see it
– or would you? Exactly how many books
do you need to sell to feel you “made it”?
How many positive book reviews or clicks on your website will
necessitate you to believe you have crossed a threshold of success? Is there a metric to hit – or is it just a
gut feeling that one gets to indicate success?
things will be obvious.
you hit a best-seller list, you broke through.
you got a positive review in several major publications, you broke through.
you sold 10,000 copies in the first six months of publication, you broke
your website traffic is getting tens of thousands of hits each month, you broke
there is breaking through the clutter – and then there’s really “making it.”
made it when people say your book impacted them, when strangers contact you
looking to have you speak before their company or group, when major media outlets
seek you out for interviews, when you sell 50,000 + copies in a year, when
people start to recognize you, when your book is published in foreign
languages, when the right to your story gets sold to Hollywood, and when
publishers bid on your next book.
from breaking point to a breakthrough is seemingly broad and wide, but
sometimes it comes down to a little extra hard work, a little more creativity,
a little more persuasion, and a few lucky breaks -- and one goes from being an
also-ran, maybe even a bust, to a winner.
no formula for any of this. Some things
that authors do or fail to do seem to almost assure them of failure or success,
but the truth is that so many different things have to happen for a book’s
direction to be clear.
starts with the writer’s attitude and energy to relentlessly market. It has to do with the savvy and connected people
a writer hires or collaborates with. It
has to do with the quality of a book, its price, distribution, competition, and
timeliness. It has to do with stuff that
makes no sense, is contradictory to all that we know or believe, and just
surprises us. You control what you can,
for as long as you can, and the rest is up to fate.
on your assets. Is it time? Money?
Creativity? Energy? Your power to
persuade? Connections who owe you
favors? Your ability to borrow or
trade? To have a breakthrough you must
assert yourself and go beyond your means to live your dream. Most people discover their breaking point,
but fewer find out how to break through.
Where will you end up?