With this post I thought I’d focus on why some authors fail. Don’t let the bleak tone of the title sway you, because a post like this can actually help quite significantly if you really consider these points and take massive action.
They give up too early
The idea of launching a book or website and having it become an instant success with a mass following is a romantic and unrealistic one. After a couple of months once all the friends and family have bought the book or visited the website, they find themselves in a huge slump. Now few people mention the book and no one is visiting the website. After another month or two their confidence is shattered. If some authors don’t get instant gratification in the way of feedback from people they take it personally and recline in defeat.
Anything worth doing requires hard work, dedication and unabashed persistence. When things get a little tough, it’s life testing you how much you really want it. It’s life’s way of separating the two camps of those who like the idea of succeeding and those who are hungry and driven, deserving of success.
Most author platforms and book sales are slow going for the first few months, even first year after launch. I didn’t have an instant audience offering feedback in the first couple of months out the gate for Book Cover Cafe. It’s would be an unrealistic view. The site was new and people and Google were yet to discover it. Now seven months in, there’s literally thousands of people every month coming to the site for advice and services.
As an author if you get past the twelve month mark and still have a burning desire to see more books in the hands of readers and get more visitors to your website, you’ll be ahead of thousands of authors out there, who have given up or are no longer investing in their pursuits, which is better odds for you.
They don’t ask questions
Some authors don’t ask the important questions they need to with regards to publishing and marketing. They have pride get in the way, or they are shy and have a fear of rejection or feeling inferior for asking the questions.
The only bad question is a question not asked. Writers and authors have to get curious. Asking questions is the key to learning from other people mistakes, saving time and money. Ultimately fast tracking your progress.
They don’t know their market
Misdirecting and not focusing on specific audiences that would be interested in their book. If I received one dollar for every upcoming author who couldn’t directly answer ‘who is your target reader and where do they hang out?’, I’d be on a plane to Fiji.
You need to answer this question before you finishing writing your manuscript. There’s no such thing as thinking about this too early. It should be at the forefront of any authors mind when planning a new marketing strategy, preparing a press release and the cover design.
How do you find out? You ask questions! Seek advice from industry professionals, ask other authors in your same genre and of course, ask readers!
They are lazy
Nothing in life worth doing happens instantly. It requires some effort. if you don’t have the time, it’s because you haven’t made it a priority. As Tony Robbins would say, “You’ve not made it a must for you to succeed“. Simple as that.
Stop with all the excuses. A client of mine at 65 years of age, takes time for children, cooks, writes a book every year, overcomes cancer and is still thinking about marketing efforts this year. Just turn off the TV or get one less hour of sleep a night.
They don’t have a strategy / plan
The manuscript is finished and the book is at the printer. Break open the wine. Then it’s “So how do I start marketing now?”. It’s late, you’ve missed the boat to build pre-launch anticipation.
You need to have a plan of attack and start putting it into action as early as you can, before you’ve written the last chapter. There’s thousands of books every year that never see the light of day and this is largely the cause of it. Start by asking questions, get curious, attend events, get come consulting advice and building your marketing plan. A little investment now, can save a helluva lot of time and heart ache later.
They don’t treat publishing and marketing books as a business
Creative’s are not naturally business savvy. Unfortunately for upcoming authors publishing and book selling is a business. That’s why there’s publishers, distributors and book retailers in the first place.
You need to know what your print costs are, marketing budget and the value of a quality product and what it looks like. Where’s the best places to spend your valuable time and money? Hopefully you’ve started by true self publishing the right way, which will position you for the best chance of financial success.
They don’t surround themselves with the right people
This is huge for mindset. The old saying of ‘You are who you surround yourself with’, couldn’t be more true. Colleagues of mine who are online entreprenuers all have mentors and motivated people surrounding them. They chose their friends wisely, no tall-poppy naysayers in sight. It’s a large part of why they are successful.
You’ve got to be pumped up and passionate in the pursuit of publishing success. Much of this is derived from interactions of those in our social circles. You probably have a select couple of friends you talk to for different reasons. Anyone that’s miserable or complaining about the job they hate, is not going to give you the best feedback on your new marketing plan for success.
Definitely look to have a person in your circles that is paving their own success, someone you can learn off or have as a mentor. It will fuel your progress like you won’t believe!
There’s really just two camps
You’ll notice a trend throughout these points. The reasons why some authors fail, is not due to external, uncontrollable circumstances, but comes down to the individual author’s actions, mindset or lack their of.
You are either remaining in the same place with nothing driving you to fulfil your goals, doing the same things day in and day out with a new excuse everyday. Or you get the hell out there and hustle your pants off, put in the investment required and feel that sense of fulfillment. Become one of the few successful authors in the second camp that actually sells books.
What do you think is the main reason authors fail?
Onwards and upwards!