It’s amazing how much writing, marketing and publicizing a book can be compared to working out. When we first have the fabulous book idea, or we finally decide to drop that that extra 15 pounds, it creates desire, momentum and enthusiasm that fuels action. We set up a time to write every day. We decide we’re going to do five things each and every day to publicize our book. We’re going to go to the gym 4 or 5 times a week. Hooray!
This works beautifully for awhile, and then reality sets in. “You mean this isn’t going to be fun each and every step along the way?” The energy and momentum begin to ebb and flow and eventfully slow down. We start to miss our all-important sessions. It’s a funny thing about human beings; somewhere along the way we’re going to run into obstacles and we don’t always deal with that well. Some get frustrated at the lack of media attention for their books. Some begin to wonder why on Earth they decided to get on this fitness craze in the middle of a particularly grueling run or boot camp class.
This is a very critical moment. This is when it gets real. This is when, I believe, you are about to create some magic or you’re going to fizzle out.
It’s called choice point.
Are you going to quit? Are you going to distract yourself by posting on Facebook rather than getting that next chapter written? If you’re promoting your book, do you start complaining that your publicist isn’t getting enough coverage for you? Are you going to allow your body to rest because your mind says it’s too hard, when it most likely doesn’t need to rest yet?
Following our dreams isn’t easy. It take persistence, hard work, and a willingness to fail. That’s right. I said fail. In fact, when working out, success is taking your muscles to total failure:
Failure = success. The ultimate paradox.
So my curiosity was piqued when my friend Ana Melikian shared with me about a book called “Go for No! Yes is the destination, No is how you get there,” by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz. In it, the authors claim that you will have more success if you set failure goals rather than success goals. Sounds counter intuitive , doesn’t it? Failure goals? Are you kidding me? But hang in there….
The book centers around a salesman who learns to focus on getting lots of no’s, rather than a yes. You see, what some refer to as failure is really feedback, and that allows us to make the necessary adjustments to go forward again. “OK, that didn’t work, what now? I’ll try this.”
As a publicist, I go through this all the time. I hear no a lot. So, I go back to the drawing board. How else can we say this? How else can we make this an interesting story? What else can I do to grab their attention?
One of the great myths out there when it comes to getting media attention is that you will write your book and they will magically come. It doesn’t work that way.
I’m not sharing this to wet blanket your enthusiasm but to actually give you hope. Is your book worth it? Yes. Are you worth it? Yes. It is easy to get everyone to understand that all at once? No.
Plan on running a marathon. Book publicity is not a sprint.
Being OK with failure and seeing it as feedback is critical to your success. It allows you to try new things and try them quickly. If you know that for every 20 no’s, you’ll get a yes, then get through the no’s quickly.
Make the calls. Send the emails. Set up the meetings. Yes, you will hear no, but when you get a yes, you will do a happy dance. You should see me during the work day. Believe me, when something good happens, I celebrate right here in my office, and I suggest you do too!
Go for it and remember to have some fun along the way.
Listen, we all want to have success with our books. We all want the latest hacks to make it fast and easy, but great things come to those with patience, yet take action each and every day. We will get there. It just takes some time and effort. Trust me. If you see someone else having all kinds of success (and you feel those little pangs of jealousy), remember, they had struggles too.
And do what one of my mentors told me years ago, “Joanne, take it as a vitamin pill.”
Just like an adventure run, while you’re struggling in the middle of it you might want to give up, but that’s exactly when you need to keep on going!
You can do it! And let me know about it too. You can email me at joanne (at) joannemccall (dot) com.
To your success!