Last night, or rather this morning, at about 2 a.m., I was answering interview questions for a piece that would appear on someone’s blog. It was a very long interview–23 questions–that I should have completed about two weeks ago. I’d answered many of the questions many times before for other people. Then I came across one I hadn’t been asked previously: What has been the hardest thing about your publishing experience?
Hmmm. I thought for a moment. The answer came to me fairly quickly: Keeping the energy going.
My book, How to Blog a Book, was released at the end of April. I began promoting it many months prior to that. Not only that, I began promoting the blog the day I published the first post several years ago because I knew I wanted to land a traditional publishing deal. After the release, my promotional efforts went into high gear.
I have slacked off only once–right after I finished blogging the book. When readership slacked off with me, I realized I had to continue blogging and promoting. When the book sold to Writer’s Digest Books, I realized that, unlike my self-published books, which I did not promote at all, I really had to do whatever was necessary to make sure this book succeeded. And so far it’s been working. How to Blog a Book has been on the Amazon bestseller list in at least one of three categories (web design, authorship and blogging and blogs) every week–if not every day–for 14 weeks).
It’s not easy keeping that degree of energy going. I’m tired. I’m burned out. I could use a vacation. Notice this blog post is showing up quite late in the day. It’s becoming hard to keep up with everything. Even last month’s blogapalooza of success stories wasn’t a reprieve from the blog. I still had to get stories in, edit them and post them.
It’s also hard to keep the focus. I’ve got a lot going on. And I’m ready to go on to the next book. (And I do have proposals out for new books.)
Why do I tell you all this? For a reality check. It takes a lot of hard work to create a successful book–start to finish, and it’s not just about the writing. That’s why blogging a book works so well. It helps you promote from the get go and to do so while you write your book. It makes the job easier. It conserves some energy. It does two jobs at once. But you really have to exert a lot of energy into everything you do–your writing, your concept, your follow through, your promotion. You have to promote beyond the blog tobe above average, to get noticed in the loud blogosphere, to gain readers, to succeed.
Well…some bloggers don’t. They just blog and readers appear. Their concept is that good; their writing is that good. They don’t have to “drive” traffic to their blog or their blogged book–or their printed book later on. I hope that describes you.
If not, be prepared to exert a lot of energy for a long time. That’s what it takes to become a successful author. Which is why I suggest you consider if you are ready to become a successful author. Ask yourself if you are willing to do what it takes. Are you? Will you do the hard part?
Photo courtesy of Gokhan Okur