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Learning As I Go.
I worked in a large bookstore for almost eight years. As a writer I naturally observed customers, their behavior, their choices, their purchases. As a book seller I took note of what people continuously asked for, which genres were most popular, and what kinds of people go looking for those subjects.
It is truly mind boggling how many books make it to book store shelves that I would deem completely dull, poorly written, and seriously – how the hell did they get published?
I knew I wanted to be a writer very young, I wrote stories all the time growing up. My lengthy stint at the bookstore was supposed to be short lived, just long enough to enjoy working with what I love – books. I realized though that I had an opportunity to learn much more about the book industry (and people) the longer I worked there.
I’ve had the privilege of meeting a few local best-selling authors, who became some of my regular customers for years. I’ve had the experiences of sharing the publication process with co-workers, one who has self-published and another who continues on in the journey as I do.
It’s only been a year and a half since I’ve left that job and the dusty shelves and wonderful books. In this time I’ve learned a few things that I couldn’t learn while working there. The industry has changed (and it continues to change quickly) from hand held books to kindles and e-books. Technology has changed the whole concept and process.
No longer do writers just send out their work and find an agent who sells their books to publishers.
Today, the author has to hold many jobs beyond simply writing. One must learn and develop computer and technology skills such as website building, blogging, and make good use of social media and social marketing. The author today has to promote their unpublished work before finding an agent and gain a solid following just to catch more than ten seconds of a potential agent’s time and mind.
The truth is, even well-established authors are having to quickly learn these new routes of self-promotion, the social media realm, and how to balance it all with their main task of writing and creating new books.
First – I am remaining flexible about my method for getting published. While I prefer the traditional style of publishing (finding an agent, selling to a publisher, having hard copies of my books on store shelves), I am embracing the opportunity to gain readers by sharing excerpts from my books on my website and in my blogging.
I’m learning to expand my mindset and open myself up to the opportunities out there for writers.
Two – Creating success requires an open and willing mindset. I know I have a lot to learn, and a lot of work yet to be done. I am willing and eager to learn as much as I can about the publishing process. I am learning as I go.
Three – I put in focused effort daily. Regardless of where I am in the process, or what project I am working on, or even if I become a seven figure best-selling author; I know and value the concept of showing up daily, focusing in on the current task at hand, and putting in the work required. Success happens one step at a time, one day at a time.
Four – Being humble. I will not ever know all there is to writing, publishing, media promotion, etc. No matter what your field is, someone, somewhere, is going to be able to do some aspect of your field better than you. I am also willing to admit what I do not know and ask for help. What I do know, I share. What I don’t know, I keep a learning mindset and continue improving.
Want to learn more about the publishing process? Visit my Books page to learn more about my books, projects and articles related to writing and blogging.
If you struggle as a writer, I’ve got some great tips for you!
You can check out my EBook Focus & Value – How to Write an EBook to Engage Your Audience.
I also have a few YouTube videos on How to Start Writing a Book, How to Finish Writing a Book (and dealing with writer’s block).
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