Maybe You SHOULD Give Up

I meet and hear from many authors who are on the verge of quitting—giving up on their book.

“It’s too hard.”

“I’ve done everything I possibly can and my book’s still not selling.”

“I don’t want to go out and talk about my book, commit to a blog and all that.”

Generally, I try to help these authors by teaching basic book marketing concepts—helping them adopt a more realistic perspective about book promotion, identifying their audience, and finding ways to approach them. I encourage authors to keep on keeping on. But I wonder if this is always wise.

I’ve spent decades trying to reach authors before they make the huge publishing commitment. I’ve spoken to them at numerous writers conferences and I’ve produced several books and written hundreds and hundreds of articles for the magazines and newsletters they should be reading prior to entering into the highly competitive business of publishing. Some hopeful authors refuse to believe what I and others tell them and they forge ahead anyway, thinking their experience will be different.

Most authors today fail. They come out of the starting gate gung-ho—focused on winning the race, but soon learn that they haven’t brought their best game. They may know the rules, but choose not to follow them. They are focused on one things—the prize—the end result of their dreams. But they neglect to do the work and gain the knowledge they need in order to make it happen. They end up with a contender that isn’t up to the competition and unrealistic expectations. Of course, their plan fizzles.

This doesn’t have to be the end of the story for the author. He can definitely redeem himself. If he has the courage and the stamina, he can stop his forward motion, put the book on the shelf for a while and go back to square one. Study the publishing industry. Learn the important first steps to a successful product:

  • Write the right book for the right audience—a book that is wanted or needed by a segment of people. This means identify your audience.
  • Think about your readers while writing the book—write promotion into it.
  • Early on, study the concept of book promotion and start making a plan—the best methods of reaching and engaging your particular audience.
  • Hire a qualified editor before turning loose of your book.

Or you can quit. Maybe authorship is not for you. Certainly it’s to your benefit to determine this before putting out a chunk of money and devoting weeks, months, or years to your project.

If you’ve entered the publishing arena and you’re discouraged about your book’s progress, take time now to study the publishing industry. If you are just thinking about writing a book—the wisest step you could take is to read my book before moving forward.

Publish Your Book, Proven Strategies and Resources for the Enterprising Author. And don’t forget to follow up with Promote Your Book, Over 250 Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author. By Patricia Fry or at

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