For the first time in almost two years we are finally on the up side of business growth. Persistence + pressure = Yippee! What people believe is "overnight success" is really that formula come to fruition. I don't know anyone who can announce from the rooftops they are an overnight success. People see it that way. The media lauds it like lightning in a bottle, but the reality is that's all "bunk" (as Chris says).
So how did I manage to avoid driving Uber as my income supplement LOL? Remember that one? I pondered driving Uber for about a day and a half. Do you know why I put that random thought away? I am about to share the greatest lesson any businessperson or author could ever hear:
If you have a fall-back option you will undoubtedly fall back!
Don't give yourself a safety net! Don't do it. Don't think it. Don't consider it. Don't create it. Once you've launched a business or a book never, ever go backward. Set your sights ahead and move toward your vision without distraction. When you give yourself absolutely no "get-out-of-jail free cards" you won't use them.
Human nature leads us toward the course of least resistance. If you're on a road full of rocks and blocks and it becomes hard to get from point A to point B, chances are that little side road that looks all nice and smooth will become a growing temptation. Once tempted then you know how that story goes, right? Now you're all naked and aware in the Garden of Eden (that's a joke, but an essential truth). If money is involved and your money troubles are suddenly solved (and money is the temptation) it will make it even easier to stay right where you are at - and that's when your dream has "poof" gone!
Staying on the rocky road requires application of aforementioned formula: persistence + pressure = Yippee! I promise you one thing. You will fail if you allow it. You will succeed if you keep going. One way or the other you will earn the payoff. Maybe the payoff won't look exactly like you expected, but it will be without a doubt in the direction you wanted to go. And it won't be on the side road to nowhere.
What do I mean by persistence? Don't stop pushing. Don't stop promoting. Don't stop trying. For authors it means:
Post on social media (all social media) daily. Give yourself goals to post on every relevant social media spot something about your book. Use Goodreads to promote your book. Create fan pages. Tweet. Do something every single day. Send personal messages to individual "friends" and let them know your book is out and where to purchase it. Post links to book reviews and other press mentions.
Use book reviewer lists and give yourself daily goals. Promote minimally to five book reviewers per day. Do it every single day and start over with the follow up.
Connect with independent bookstores to carry your book. Set up book signings and then promote those book signings to the regional press. At the very least you should be able to get on the Calendar of Events. Now promote those signings on your social media.
Create a blog and post on it minimally 3-4 times a week. Post excerpts from your book. Write about the experiences you're having as an author. Share crazy moments. But share and share often. Use Google index to index your blog.
Create a newsletter like this one to promote your book to a mailing list you've built as you've met people interested in the book. Send it out with excerpts or even ideas about literature and maybe even your favorite authors or movies.
Attend book festivals to promote your book. Pitch to be a featured speaker to the organizers. Make bookmarks as business cards to hand out. Leave a sign-up sheet to capture email addresses to promote your newsletter to interested parties.
Offer your book to book clubs at a greatly reduced discount to their members to sweeten the opportunity. Ask them to post their reviews on Amazon.
Give away books to people in exchange for Amazon reviews.
Go through this list and keep doing all of those promotional activities. Don't stop! Combine your efforts with writing another book. So, one book's sales dove tail into another book's sales. Don't ever forget: persistence + pressure = Yippee.
Now go say "Yippee"!