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Sunday, August 1, 2021

Does Every Author Have What It Takes?

 



After recently reading a book, Everyone Has What It Takes: A Writer’s Guide to the End of Self-Doubt, I felt inspired by author William Kenower’s words. It sparks a question: Does every writer really have what it takes to write, publish, and promote a book?

 

He talks about how writing is rewarding, that the very act of creating and sharing is fulfilling. It’s an art and every writer enjoys creating. They also enjoy an audience and compensation. So, how does an author overcome fear, insecurity, and self-doubt? 

 

Kenower claims: “Ability alone has little to do with what we call success.”  But he says the key to your success: “Is your curiosity – the unique, inherent, ceaseless mechanism of your interest.”

 

He says: “The time to write is now.” He’s correct. Don’t let today’s opportunities pass you by. Seize the moment to create, publish, and market your work.

 

Sure, the craft of writing is filled with obstacles and challenges, so you burdening yourself with crazy expectations, unnecessary comparisons, unrealistic standards, or unusual pressures will not force you to be successful. Remove the albatross and let your writing flow freely to wherever it is destined to take you. 

 

Writers have many sit in judgment of them, starting with themselves, friends, and loved ones. Then you have the judgment of:

 

·         Readers

·         Bookstore owners

·         Publishers

·         Libraries

·         Literary agents

·         Editors

·         Reviewers

 

Forget about all of that. Just write what feels natural and important and enjoyable to you. Those who judge will judge, but do your part by taking practical steps to make your book the best it can be.

 

Below are several excerpts from Kenower’s insightful look at the world of writing and writers:


Excerpt 1

“How do you write a book? First, you find an idea you’re interested in. Without that, you have nothing. Without that character that speaks to you, without that “What if”, without the idea that wakes you up at night, you have no seed to plant from which the story grows. For me that idea was the relationship between creativity and happiness, that these two things were inexorably linked for everyone, whether they were writers or plumbers.”

 

Excerpt 2

“What if everyone has what it takes? So much of writing and creativity is about asking yourself compelling questions. What if I could fly? Why does my hero love that girl? Why did I feel estranged from my father? These are the kinds of questions from which stories are born, the kinds of questions we ask and answer and ask and answer as we wind our way sentence by sentence or stanza by stanza through our day’s work. The better and more interesting the question and the more clearly the question is framed the better the answer, the better the work.”

 

Excerpt 3

“And if you’re writer, you live for acceptance in some way. Practically speaking, you must. You can’t have a writing career without it. Someone out there has to like your stuff, from agents, to editors, to reviewers, to readers. That acceptance from others is an experience that begins at home. The only way to write a story that will find a publisher or a readership is for the writer to first value the experience of writing that story, to value the experience of discovering the idea, and of giving that idea shape, of finding the right words and removing the wrong ones. If the writer does not accept that this experience matters, that it is worthy of his full attention, then he will not find the full story. Instead, he’ll offer up some half-written, pre-rejected version of it.  In other words, you must first decide an experience you enjoy, you find interesting, you find meaningful, is valuable simply because you find it interesting and meaningful.”

 

Excerpt 4

“Every writer wants, in theory, to share his or her work, to publish and get paid and experience the unique magic of seeing something we created in the sovereignty of our imagination inspire or entertain or inform a perfect stranger. But a great many writers worry that what seems so lovely and interesting and valuable in their imagination will be seen as dull and flat and valueless when exposed to the unforgiving attention of those same perfect strangers. Our stories, like children, are safe in our minds; the world of public opinion can seem far less safe. Anything can happen to a story when someone else reads it. It can be loved or ridiculed, embraced or rejected.”

 

Excerpt 5

“Every job, every relationship, every story we will tell begins within us, in a realm only we can possibly perceive. The only difference between retreating from life and full engagement with life is understanding that our imaginations are not a refuge from an unfriendly world, but the source for creating the world in which we would most like to live.”

 

Excerpt 6

“What we call failure is really just resistance. We are resisting what comes next. We are resisting our natural selves, our natural ability to receive new ideas and take new directions. Resistance is uncomfortable and depressing and hopeless. But it also takes effort. Most of the time, we drop our resistance eventually. Sometimes, however, we don’t. There are people who hold on to their resistance right up until their death. This does not mean they were incapable of dropping that resistance, just that they didn’t. I reject the notion anyone is incapable of dropping their resistance. If I am the one holding it, I can drop it. New ideas, new stories, new life will come.”

 

Excerpt 7

“The only way to understand someone is to see yourself in them, to see where you overlap, which is always in love and fear and grief and happiness. It’s not so hard; it’s always there. Which is why writers and actors can seem to become other people because they weren’t ever really themselves in the first place.”

 

Excerpt 8

“So write the story you love. If you love it, you have what it takes to write it. Period. You may think you need more than that, but you don’t. Love will teach you how to write it, will teach you the craft, will teach you how it begins and ends. Let that story be filled with drama and problems and conflicts. You’re the author and you love those conflicts and problems. You love them because they teach your hero what he or she needs to learn and because you know they’re not real. The reality is the ending, when the problem is solved, when the conflict is over, and now the hero is ready to live life as it was meant to be lived.”

 

Need Book PR Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at brianfeinblum@gmail.com He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in helping thousands of authors in all genres.

 

Catch Up With These Posts

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Will You Send 25 Book Marketing Emails Today?

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How Should Authors Spend Their Book Marketing Dollars?

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Why Great Writing Doesn’t Get You A Book Deal, But Great Marketing Does

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https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/04/great-book-marketing-podcast-interview.html

 

About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum. 

Saturday, July 31, 2021

How Can Authors Follow The 80/20 Principle?

  


Authors wonder what the secret sauce to book marketing success is. Is it some combination of time, money, luck, savvy, and initiative? Most definitely, but what it really comes down to is how well authors follow and live by Pareto’s Law.

Pareto who? you say.

In 1897, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto discovered that 80% of the economy comes from 20% of the people. Essentially, he saw a consistent mathematical connection between money and the population. Since then, other experts in a variety of industries, decided the same thing, and applied it to their business model. They believe 80% of the productivity comes from 20% of their employees.

Now, carry it a step further. Perhaps authors need to examine their efforts, connections, investments, and activities and book to see where their 80/20 fault line exists.

Richard Koch, who penned The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More With Less, Third Edition, writes:

“There are two routes to achieving this. One is to reallocate the resources from unproductive to productive uses, the secret of all entrepreneurs down the ages. Find a round hole for a round peg, a square hole for a square peg, and a perfect fit for any shape in between. Experience suggests that every resource has its ideal arena, where the resource can be tens or hundreds of times more effective than in most other arenas. The other route to progress-the method of scientists, doctors, preachers, computer systems designers, educationalists, and trainers-is to find ways to make the unproductive resources more effective, even in their existing applications; to make the weak resources behave as though they were their more productive cousins; to mimic, if necessary by intricate rote-learning procedures, the highly productive resources. The few things that work fantastically well should be identified, cultivated, nurtured, and multiplied. At the same time, the waste-the majority of things that will always prove to be of low value to man and beast-should be abandoned or severely cut back.”

It all boils down to authors realizing that the majority of their efforts have little impact, while a small minority have a dominant effect.  

So how can you figure out what actions or investments produce the greatest yield? 

1.    Stop making assumptions or guesses. Look at the date. Track things. Make charts. See reality.  

2.    Avoid making predictions of what should work. Look at what actually works for other authors and for yourself. Don’t envision ideal scenarios. Dreaming up results won’t yield them. 

What will make you more effective?

1.    Do what advances you to your goals, whatever they may be.

2.    Look to innovate, not just cut corners and maximize efficiency on the margins.

3.    Be bold and take a risk to deliver the biggest potential pay-off.

4.    Collaborate with those who can perform at a high level, connect you to bigger markets, or show you how to grow.

5.    Hire others to do what you can’t -- and hire others to do what you could do, but that frees you up to do bigger and better things. 

“Employ as many value creators as possible,” says Koch. 

He also writes: 


“You will not escape from the tyranny of 80/20- the likelihood that 80 percent of your time is spent on low-priority activities-by adopting conventional behavior or solutions. A good exercise is to work out the most unconventional or eccentric ways in which you could spend your time: how far you could deviate from the norm without being thrown out of your world. Not all eccentric ways of spending time will multiply your effectiveness, but some or at least one of them could. Draw up several scenarios and adopt the one that allows you the most time on high-value activities that you enjoy. 

Basically, for the 80/20 Principle to work for you, please do as follows: 

 

  • Acknowledge this principle and recognize how you can apply it to all aspects of your life, particularly your writing career and book marketing approach.
  • In order to target where your 20% exists, be aware of what results from what you do.
  • Be prepared to let go of the things that lack huge pay-offs. Remove any emotional ties and just look at things realistically.
  • Think of each area and where you benefit most from: What you spend your money on, what you spend your time on, the people who work for you, anyone that you partner with, and took or resources used to execute your book marketing campaign.
  • Set goals visualize attainment, analyze progress, make adjustments in your efforts and goals, and see what actually keeps you busy but not productive. 

Koch also suggests that you:

 

  • “Look for the shortcut, rather than the full course.
  • Strive for excellence in few things, rather than good performance in many. 
  • Delegate or outsource as much as possible in our daily lives. 
  • Only do the thing we are best at doing and enjoy most.
  • In every important sphere, work out where 20% of effort can lead to 80% of returns. 
  • Make the most of those few “lucky streaks’ in our life where we are at our creative peak and the stars line up to guarantee success.”

Bottom line: 20% of your time/money leads to 80% of your success. Figure out what works and do more of it.

 

Need Book PR Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at brianfeinblum@gmail.com He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in helping thousands of authors in all genres.

 

Catch Up With These Posts

How Should Authors Spend Their Book Marketing Dollars?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/07/how-should-authors-spend-their-book.html

 

Top 100 Book PR Blog Posts

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2019/10/the-best-100-book-marketing-pr-blog.html

 

How Do Authors Recharge A Stalled Book Marketing Campaign?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/07/how-do-authors-recharge-stalled-book.html

 

How Will You Manage Your Book Marketing To Do List?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/07/how-will-you-manage-your-book-marketing.html

 

Will You Send 25 Book Marketing Emails Today?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/07/did-you-send-25-book-marketing-emails.html

 

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Why Great Writing Doesn’t Get You A Book Deal, But Great Marketing Does

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Can You Get Other People To Sell Your book? https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2018/05/can-you-get-other-people-to-sell-your.html

 

Great Book Marketing Podcast Interview With Savvy Book PR Pro Brian Feinblum

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/04/great-book-marketing-podcast-interview.html

 

About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum. 




 

Friday, July 30, 2021

What Really Makes Authors Productive — and Happy?

 


Productive authors position themselves to be successful. In addition to their raw ability to create or write, they also learn to be better at the skills needed to gain an edge in editing, researching, marketing, etc. But they also need to be grounded, working from a foundation of which they can build on.

Their foundation can start with a guiding principle, a supportive group or individual, a helpful resource, a healthy body and mind, or a cushion of funds, time, or opportunities.

What will help an author be more productive and successful? They need to build their foundation — and rise from there.

Here are 24 steps to creating an atmosphere for authors to be more productive, happy, and successful:

1. Do a quick audit of your writing career.

Ask yourself:
Are you writing at a consistent pace?
Are you marketing your writings?
Are you actively seeking a publisher or literary agent?

If not, why not? What would help you excel in any and all of these areas?

2. Can you identify who can help you?  

Figure out what your needs are, how your workload can be made lighter, and what level of help is needed. Would a college intern work? An experienced professional? A part-timer or temp?

3. Are you operating out of a physically healthy state?


Are you in pain?
Is a body part out of commission?
Are you sick?
Do you suffer from a chronic condition?
Is one or more addiction weighing you down?

Seek out help. Don’t give up. Are there traditional or experimental drugs, therapies, procedures, or rehabilitation available to you? Will you make use of them?

4. Are you financially stable?

I don’t mean are you wealthy or even comfortably middle class. But are you able to write without financial pressures influencing your activities? Can you remake your budget, lean on others, or grow your income without sacrificing what you need to do when it comes to writing?

5. Are you tech savvy?

You know what the answer is. So, what will you do about it? Find free online tutorials, read up on it, seek paid help, and explore until you gain tech proficiency.

6. Is your mental mindset strong?

Seek out a therapist, massage, sex, or something that will put your mind at ease. Or simply sleep more and get the rest needed to be up to the task of performing at your optimal level.

7. Do you have control over your writing environment and feel inspired?

Too noisy? Messy? Dirty? Fix that!
Find your den of zen. Rent a space if needed. Move if necessary. Redecorate, play music, rearrange your surroundings, and get those who disrupt you to get lost.

8. Have you set goals, for the short- and long-term?
 

By knowing what you are seeking to achieve, you will take steps to achieve it. By measuring progress, you will see improvement. Rally around your goals.

9. Do you have a plan?
 

No plan to succeed is a plan to fail. Have a plan that identifies specific actionable steps to take for achieving your writing, publishing, and marketing goals.

10. Do you schedule your time in a disciplined way?
 

Time is your asset. Don’t waste it or let it be your enemy.

11. Do you live in a safe community?
 

It certainly is easier to write and focus on your craft when you don’t have to stress out over navigating a dangerous neighborhood.

12. Are you energized by your diet and exercise regimen?
 

Get the energy you need from the right quantity and quality of foods and exercise. This will help you function at a higher level.

13. Do you seek renewal with a change of scenery, from vacations to getting out and seeing plays, concerts, sporting events, museums, or parks/beaches/lakes? 
 

Everyone needs time away from home to be entertained. Take yours.

14. Do you interact with a good network of friends, family, or a significant other?
 

The people in our life can inspire, support, stimulate, and help us. Engage them often.


15. Do you allow for free time to dream, play, be curious, or enjoy a hobby?
 

By letting yourself play, explore, and experiment, you stimulate your mind in so many ways.

16. Are you learning to be a better writer by reading books voraciously?
 

The best writers read the works of others.

17. Are you spiritually nurtured?
 

Pray or meditate. Attend a communal service and feel bonded to others.

18. Are you active in good organizations, particularly non-profits, giving back to others while making yourself feel real good? 

Donate your time to help make the world better.

19. Is something driving you to write to the point you define your day based on your writing or marketing output? 
 

Do you feel a sense of urgency? Do you thrive under pressure, deadlines, and challenges? Is writing your priority?

20. Are you an emotional person, someone who may excel or fizzle in response to what others say or do? Do you cry or laugh easily? 
 

Can you harness your emotions to inform and push your writing and marketing, or will they undermine everything that you do?

21. Always be networking.
 

Who you know is as important as what you know.

22. Get along with people — colleagues, employees, or competitors.
 

Manage and lead others, finding ways to cooperate with anyone who can help you.

23. Do you reward your successes and treat yourself well? 
 

Celebrate your milestone achievements.

24. Do you take time to reflect, measure, and analyze where you are at — and devise a new plan to get you where you need or want to be? 
 

Honestly scrutinizing yourself periodically can be a huge benefit to your growth.

 

Need Book PR Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at brianfeinblum@gmail.com He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in helping thousands of authors in all genres.

 

Catch Up With These Posts

How Should Authors Spend Their Book Marketing Dollars?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/07/how-should-authors-spend-their-book.html

 

Top 100 Book PR Blog Posts

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2019/10/the-best-100-book-marketing-pr-blog.html

 

How Do Authors Recharge A Stalled Book Marketing Campaign?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/07/how-do-authors-recharge-stalled-book.html

 

How Will You Manage Your Book Marketing To Do List?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/07/how-will-you-manage-your-book-marketing.html

 

Will You Send 25 Book Marketing Emails Today?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/07/did-you-send-25-book-marketing-emails.html

 

How Should Authors Spend Their Book Marketing Dollars?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/07/how-should-authors-spend-their-book.html

 

Why Great Writing Doesn’t Get You A Book Deal, But Great Marketing Does

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/06/why-great-writing-doesnt-get-you-book.html

 

Can You Get Other People To Sell Your book? https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2018/05/can-you-get-other-people-to-sell-your.html

 

Great Book Marketing Podcast Interview With Savvy Book PR Pro Brian Feinblum

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/04/great-book-marketing-podcast-interview.html

 

About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.