Everyone wants to be successful – that’s a no-brainer. But my first novel was a great idea, but it was badly written and it flopped. My second novel was a decent idea that was well-written, but still didn’t get published. C’est la vie.
But it appears to be third time lucky as the buzz on LinkedIn and Twitter on my book, Everybody Works in Sales, has been incredible. Here are the mistakes you must avoid if you want to succeed as an author, especially if you go indie:
Successful Secret # 1: Embrace Change
Too many writers don’t use technology. The internet is your friend: embrace it, don’t fight it! It’s not enough to just use Google or slap Amazon links around social media. You need to understand the power of Youtube, Instagram, Facebook author pages, Google ad words and having a good website so you can ENGAGE your readers. This 48 second Youtube video was so difficult to create and upload, yet has been more effective than anything I’ve done to promote my book. Well worth the effort of learning something new.
Successful Secret # 2: Don’t Make Excuses
All these excuses are genuine; I have experienced them as well. But the difference between successful authors and unsuccessful authors is only that successful ones don’t make excuses. Turn off all distractions. Writing for 30 minutes in the morning while everyone is asleep and 30 minutes over lunch is how I write. I have a 9-5 job, a family and do charity work like sponsor kids through Action Aid. If I can find 1 hour a day to write, so can you. Honest!
Successful Secret # 3: Get Help
Most writers try and do it alone. Nobody does it alone. Mark Zuckerberg had a mentor (Steve Jobs); Oprah had a mentor (Maya Angelou) too. So many writers on hit TV shows have people supporting them, plus they hang out with other writers who encourage them. My biggest regret in my 27 year career is that I didn’t invest early enough in a script editor to mentor me and form a writing support group. When I finally did, my writing became more successful. I had featurescreenplays optioned; I got sitcoms commissioned; plus my first movie, Naachle London, came out in 2012. All because I invested in a script editor with EVERY draft and formed a writers’ group where we can help each other through tough times.
Successful Secret # 4: Sell, Sell, Sell
We all have to sell. Most people don’t know how to sell, or don’t want to sell because they associate it with sleazy car salesmen or annoying cold callers. My book, Everybody Works in Sales is designed to help you learn the skills you need. Don’t have time for reading? No problem – unlike most non-fiction books which are 250-350 pages, Everybody Works In Sales is only 160 pages. People have read it in less than a week and have started implementing the rules and changing their lives. One of my readers is an estate agent who struggled to sell properties; he now has customers wanting to do business. Another was a shy writer who came out her shell; she can now holds a conversation with agents. An introvert teacher was promoted to Vice Principal because I was able to coach her to sell herself better and gain more confidence. This book will help you do better in your career, too by helping you FIND the opportunities to sell yourself, your products, services and talents. Because Everyone Works In Sales!!!
Successful Secret # 5: Take Care of Your Health
Most writers I know are not in great shape. We’re hunched over a computer or laptop. We don’t exercise. Since turning 45, my health went downhill quickly. I’ve read so many diet books that tell you different things and had so many doctors gave me wrong advice. Finally, on the advice of a friend who turned her health around, I quit diary, cut back sugar by 50% and started walking 10,000 steps every day. I won’t quite sugar completely, because I’m a human being and life without cake or chocolate isn’t worth living. But now I’m taking better care of my heath, I focus more, achieve more and feel so much better! It’s the small things that help you feel better, so do whatever you can to take care of yourself.