There’s nothing like an inspiring quote or a motivating speech to propel us to action.
You could probably rattle off one or two of your favorites from people like Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa, or Oprah Winfrey. And it’s likely you have that quote written on an index card and placed somewhere you can see it regularly to remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing or to boost your spirits when you begin to question yourself.
And that’s great! We all need something to keep us going.
One quote we especially love at The Author’s Write Hand is from James Clear, author of Atomic Habits. We’ve seen so many authors struggle and it seemed as if Clear was specifically talking about - and possibly to - them when he wrote these words:
“Many people are not ready for their lucky break when it comes to them. Develop your skills. Study your craft. Save some money. Build a network before you need it. Lay the groundwork. The prepared person is positioned to benefit from unexpected opportunities.”
So often, authors aren’t ready when “the call” for a book contract comes their way. Yes, their manuscripts are complete, but many of the other areas of their author life - particularly marketing - aren’t. They don’t have a newsletter, they haven’t posted on social media in months, or they have no clue how to connect with readers. All of which are necessary components for selling their books.
So they panic.
But they don’t have to. Why? Because there’s wisdom in Clear’s words:
Develop your skills. Read up on how to market your book and develop a consistent plan of posting so that you become better at social media. While it may not come naturally to you, it is something that can be learned.
Study your craft. Just like you spend hours learning how to develop your plots and characters to write a compelling story, you may need to study what works well and what doesn’t when it comes to marketing yourself and your books. You will probably make a lot of mistakes along the way, but keep trying and eventually, you’ll find something that clicks.
Save some money. Yes, it takes money to market yourself and your book. Just as you invest money to attend conferences or buy educational tools to strengthen your writing muscle, you’ll also need to invest in your marketing. You’ll need a website, business cards, and money for ads. The list goes on and on. Start looking for ways to save money sooner rather than later.
Build a network before you need it. Connect with other authors and ask them what they’re doing to market to their audience. Discover how you can partner with other writers to reach more people. Writing your book may be a solo task, but marketing doesn’t have to be.
Lay the groundwork. Build a solid marketing foundation from the get-go so you can make the most of your time. Have all your writer information in one, easy-to-access place, or create templates to send to your launch team that you reuse for each new book that releases. In doing so, you won’t be so overwhelmed when a need arises because you already have all your ducks in a row.
Although we love Clear’s quote, it can still be a lot to absorb and complete on your own!
That’s why we established The Author’s Write Hand. We can help you with ALL of these things (Yes, even the money part as we have tons of free marketing resources we can recommend). So if you’re encouraged by the quote but find that it’s not something you can handle by yourself, contact us. We’d love to help you.
It may not seem like it right now, but your unexpected opportunity may just be around the corner. Don’t let it catch you off guard. Make preparations now! Not only for your manuscript but for the marketing that’s necessary to share your words with the world.
Whether you believe it or not, it’s coming.
Mark 13:22-23 (MSG) “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen ... And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert!