Infinite patience and a good sense of humour

Dennis has always said that if you want to build a house and live on Bequia – successfully – what you really require are infinite patience and a good sense of humour. And we’ve discovered over these past 20 years that he’s correct.

Since ePublishing and printing my own novel, and after many years spent working with authors and publishers on promoting and selling their books, I’ve come to the realization that these are precisely the same qualities we all need in order to be able to write and publish – successfully. Especially lots of that first bit, I find, goes a long way towards achieving some of the ultra-success part in our careers.

I can’t count the number of writers who have deep-sixed all their writing and publishing efforts by being too impatient with the entire process. The world does not care that you have a personal deadline to meet, that you feel an urgency to see your own work published, or that you feel nothing about publishing will be a success for you (especially regarding book sales) if you don’t see immediate-immediate results.

Remember, folks, this publishing business has always been/likely always will be galacial in the speed that it moves. Just because we now have Internet and expect instant positive results for everything else we do in our lives does not mean to say there will be instant results with every contact we make, every marketing approach we utilize, every method of sales we seek for our book (both e-and-print) – and we should never expect those results, especially those we hope for from posting to various social media, to garner huge sales and untold wealth – even during the first 12 months after publication. Slow and steady wins the race, as far as I’m concerned.

My novel has been available as an eBook for a year (six months for print) and I feel I’m just getting into my stride now with promotion, marketing, and sales – AND I’VE BEEN IN THIS BOOK BUSINESS MY ENTIRE LIFE!!! It was never my intention to try to take the world by storm with this book. I had it in mind that by self-publishing I would have the opportunity to test some of the ideas I had developed as to where this book business is heading and how I might harness that new movement, not only to promote my own book but to encourage reading books in general, thereby promoting books by other authors – my colleagues – at the same time. I’m in the process right now of looking back over what I have accomplished this past year, which ideas worked and which didn’t, all to see if I can develop an even better strategy for promoting the next novel I’m currently writing – and which methods will help me continue selling the one novel that’s already available.

I plan to eventually rewrite and re-post a talk I delivered at Calgary Public Library’ Writer’s Weekend in 2012 – 10 Ways to Kill Your Writing – because I realize I didn’t include this most important rule of all: Kill your writing by being too impatient! As I’ve said above, I’ve seen this happen too-too many times. Please don’t let it happen to you!

So, take your time, listen to, and heed, advice from the experts, relax, enjoy the process of publishing and promoting your book, don’t be in such a rush to take the world by storm … And don’t expect you’re going to make a million dollars immediately – or ever, as a matter of fact – because if you did get into this writing/publishing gig thinking you were going to make a lot – or any! – money then I have a nice bridge I’d like to sell to you.

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4 responses

  1. It is hard to be patient with the slow process of writing/revision/publication in a world of ‘instant’ everything. We have to accept the fact that something that is worth doing well, will take longer than the average attention span of a teenager. I am hesitant to tell anyone when I’ve finished a project or submitted a story because they don’t understand the long timelines involved and their expectations put extra strain on me, in addition to my own impatience. I always feel like I’m making excuses when I tell someone, “no I haven’t heard back about that story I sent out last month.”

  2. Such an important message … reblogged and tweeted for my writing pals. Thanks.

  3. Reblogged this on Cheryl Andrews and commented:
    Don’t kill your writing by being too impatient! Insightful words steeped in personal experience from Susan M. Toy, author of “Island in the Clouds”.

    1. Thanks for reblogging and commenting, Cheryl!

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