Have you ever wondered why there is so much secrecy among authors? Are you upset you can’t break the “glass ceiling”? Are you dying to know the true ways which will make your book an instant bestseller?
When we keep doing things suggested by other authors, and can’t succeed, we start to get angry…
We wonder why the successful authors out there aren’t willing to share their secret know-how which brought them massive success. We ask ourselves if they considered themselves better from us, indies at the end of the literary food chain. We want to know if there is an unwritten rule of not sharing anything so that the caste of the chosen “lucky ones” can remain priviledged forever…
Don’t we all love the idea of magical formulas, ancient rituals, ways proven by everyone, no risk / sure-fire gain scenarios?
But if we look closer at the community of the successful authors, they are not keeping anything secret.
Almost every popular author I know has told the media everything about their writing journey. Or if they didn’t tell the media, they revealed everything in their blog, their podcast, their youtube channel, their book, etc.
Just that, we don’t want to listen.
We don’t want to read.
We don’t want to learn, test different ways, try, fail, try again, fail again and try again. We try one thing, it doesn’t work, we get discouraged and say, “that’s scam, he couldn’t have used this method to succeed”.
The problem is, not everything will work for everyone.
I always spit on Facebook ads, book tours, leaving free copies in the libraries and contacting book bloggers. I tried all of these ways to make my book popular and got nothing. Yet, some authors will point out that those 4 ways worked miracles for them. Maybe they did.
I am somebody who is constantly researching new ways to make my (or my pen name’s) books more popular. And I sometimes get freaking frustrated, you know? I’m tired of listening that I need an author website, that I need to be present of social media, that I need to give out freebies, create a mailing list… blah, blah.
I know it, you know it, they know it, we all know it.
These are basics.
Most authors are going to teach basics because they can’t know that authors who are a little more ahead in their writing journeys are following their blogs as well. They are speaking mostly to writers who are only starting out, trying to write their first book, etc.
The thing is, the writing community is tired of hearing about the basics.
We want concrete techniques that work for everyone… now, not 10 years ago when book bloggers had nothing to read and were grateful for every free book, or when you could message Amazon reviewers directly through Amazon.
However, when everyone in the community follows the same advice, then the target audience becomes immune to it. We install ad blockers, ignore newsletters in our inbox and don’t click on ads for fear of being tricked into buying something we don’t want to buy.
What was supposed to bring success doesn’t bring success anymore, we bump into the glass ceiling, start believing in secrecy among authors, and get angry.
I think that the best solution to this is learning to think outside the box.
- What can I do that other authors usually don’t do, that will give me an advantage?
This is a tough questions, let’s break it into other questions that are easier to digest:
- What unique skills and talents do I have that put me ahead of my competitors in the chosen genre?
- What unique assets and contacts do I have the I haven’t used yet, and that may give me an advantage?
- If I couldn’t use the standard ways of promoting my book, how would I promote it?
I’m going to tell you something shocking now. Not about book publishing. About St. Valentine’s Day in China. Recently, it’s trendy to give bouquets of red roses wrapped in black tulle. I was shocked when I saw it, as in the western world, black is the funeral color. Not in China, however. Here, the funeral color is white. Black tulle is seen as something sexy, because it reminds people of black lingerie and erotica. Suddenly, everyone’s buying red roses decorated with black. It’s the most popular option this year.
Let’s think outside the box and become creative, rather than relaying on other people’s insight all the time.