Monday, November 29, 2010

What Have I Learned 6 Months Into Authorhood?

Six years ago in college, Penny and the Polka Dot Shoes came to life. This May, my children's book was officially published...and it was a long way from the stapled masterpiece I made the librarian put in the school's library during the 2nd grade.

Although I've been writing since I can remember, I'm still new at this "author thing." And have I learned anything so far?

You betcha.
1) To borrow a quote, "Marketing a book is a marathon, not a sprint." The shelf life of a book is dependent upon a few factors - one being your desire to promote it. Also, it's very rare for a one's book to sell millions, even thousands, of copies over night. It takes time. Lots of time and gusto. Below is a great example of this.

On his blog, Terry Cordingley wrote, "A couple of years ago, I remember seeing an ad in a publishing trade magazine in which the publisher was congratulating one of their children's book authors for selling 100,000 copies of their book. Wow, I thought, that's pretty good! Out of curiosity, I checked to see when the book had been released. I was shocked to discover it had been released almost 20 years ago. It had taken two decades for the author to sell 100,000 copies of their book, but they were still promoting it, and they were still selling copies of their book every year."

2) Royalty checks aren't so royal. There's a middle man, no? And don't forget about the government. Click here to read one New York Times bestselling author actually break down her royalty check. Wow!!

3) It takes more than just your time to promote a book. It also takes energy and resources like mileage, office supplies, postage, phone minutes, etc. Don't forget a little thing called creativity - something you can't put a price on, but you always, always use.

4) Connecting with other writers and illustrators is essential. When you surround yourself with talented, like-minded people, you evolve, become inspired and make valuable connections. Plus, it's nice to know there are individuals out there like you who share your same passion and struggles.

5) There are no small presentations, speeches, gigs or events. Everything you do related to your passion matters. It's all instrumental in moving you forward.

6) You really DO make a difference. If you believe in your book and truly work to help the audience it relates to, you can impact too many to count.

Thought For the Day: No matter where you are in your authorhood, celebrate even the smallest successes, as the long road ahead will always be there. For, there will always be more books to sell, more stories to write and more ways to be your most fabulous self.

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If you liked this post, you might like: What Does SCBWI Stand For?


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Meredith Garrett said...

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