I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a snippet:
We spend a lot of time on this blog giving you tips on becoming a successful author. But what if you have a few… shall we say… weaknesses? Can you have a few bad habits and still succeed?
The truth is, we’re all just muddling along. Even the most successful of us have habits or traits we know we shouldn’t. Nobody is doing everything exactly right.
So below are what I think are the most common foibles to which many writers fall prey… and somehow they are still able to succeed. I give you this list not so you can gloat and feel superior (not for more than a minute anyway) but so that, if you happen to have any of these particular traits, you now know, unequivocally, that you can no longer use it as an excuse for not reaching your goals. Accept your weaknesses, and carry on.
Herewith, 7 bad habits of highly successful authors:
1. They’re impatient.
Everyone knows that it can take time to build a platform, time to get an agent, time to sell your book. It takes time for agents and editors to respond to you. It takes time to write a good book. Even self-published authors have to take the time to build their readership.
Everyone knows this, but it doesn’t matter. Once a person adds the word “writer” behind their name, it’s all over. Any patience they enjoyed heretofore in their non-writerly life flies out the window. Almost all writers are, shall we say, less patient than they wish they were. But still, somehow, they make it through.
The upside: Patience may be a virtue, but impatience can be a motivator: Write another book. Build your platform. Do something different.
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview. You may have noticed that there are now far more books available to readers than ever before in history. The rise of digital publishing has led to a tenfold increase in the number of books published each year, from about 300,000 to more than 3 […][ Read More → ]
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: I frequently field phone calls from clients who are going through a rough patch in their frame of mind. It turns out being a contracted and published author doesn’t automatically fill you with self-confidence and unending affection for your own work. Who knew? The reality […][ Read More → ]
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: As a writer, you’re always going to find it necessary to “sell your stuff.” To do that, you need to create those all important sales materials for your book: The one-sentence summary. The query. The pitch paragraph. The elevator pitch. The proposal. I want to focus on fiction here today […][ Read More → ]
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: A couple of weeks ago I told you what the editorial process typically looks like inside a publishing house. Sometimes the editing is smooth and wonderful, but not always. Today I wanted to talk about what to do when it gets rocky. As a writer, you […][ Read More → ]
Over at Books & Such, we’re running the 2014 Books & Such Reader Survey. If you’d like to chime in, please click through to share your thoughts. Click here to take the survey. The survey is anonymous, but if you leave a comment on today’s post on the Books & Such blog, you’ll be entered […][ Read More → ]
Today over at Books & Such, I’ve got an overview of the standard editorial process that many publishers use. Here’s a snippet: When you’re thinking about getting your first book contract, you might be curious about what the editing process will be like. Every publisher has their own process, and they may call each […][ Read More → ]
“The report of my death was an exaggeration.” So said Mark Twain in 1897, and I’m wondering if Barnes & Noble might be saying the same thing right about now. Over the last week, an article by Michael Levin has been making the rounds, causing fear and trembling among certain groups of authors and […][ Read More → ]
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: Earlier this month at PubSmart, I co-taught a workshop on “setting yourself up for success” at the conference. I offered the idea that the participants’ most important connections would be with their fellow writers, not the agents, editors, or other professionals. Other writers are your fellow […][ Read More → ]
I’ve been taking a brief hiatus from writing this blog, but will resume regular posts shortly. Meanwhile, I’ve got a post up at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: Don’t you love it when you send someone an email, only to receive the dreaded auto-reply saying they’re out of the office? It can […][ Read More → ]
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview. Classic wisdom for unpublished authors seeking traditional publication has been that if you’re writing a novel (fiction), you need a complete manuscript. If you’re writing non-fiction, you need a book proposal plus two or three sample chapters. If you’re writing a memoir, who knows — everybody […][ Read More → ]
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: I began blogging as an agent in January of 2008, and it’s remarkable to look back over my past posts and notice how much has changed in six years. When I started, I didn’t even have a Kindle. Now my family owns five Kindles […][ Read More → ]
I have a post up at PubSmart today. In case you haven’t heard, PubSmart is a new writers’ conference debuting this April in Charleston, SC, with the goal of bringing together self publishing, traditional, small press and hybrid. PubSmart is about introducing new models that lead to smart decisions about how to seize opportunities in […][ Read More → ]
Tomorrow (Friday 2/28) I’m participating in a fun online event in which authors of 16 e-books specifically for writers are discounting their books to 99 cents, and will be hanging out on a special Facebook page to chat and answer questions from writers. The graphic below shows all the books available, and each one is individually […][ Read More → ]