I attended your Aspiring Authors Workshop in North Carolina and would like to ask if you could review the main points we talked about. I am working on the first draft of my new book and need a quick 'refresher'.
Ft Bragg, NC
Thanks for your email Jamie, here you go:
Good writers tell stories.
Great writers paint pictures to tell good stories.
Best-selling writers paint pictures readers identify and connect with to tell great stories.
Mature global view of your world
Experiences to draw from
Passion / Fortitude / Skills Set (to make it happen)
Expression (your way and method)
Honing time (your growth as an artist)
Humility (you are one of many)
Fearless (of public critique)
Find your voice
Find your audience
Wear three hats; Author, Editor, Marketer (or hire help)
The more successful you are; the more time, energy and people it takes to sustain your success;
all have a cost.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give aspiring writers?
Insure Your Writing Quality; Story and Presentation
How do you build a fan base following of faithful readers?
Establish (between Your Writing & Your Audience);
• Emotional Connection – “Strike a Chord / Touch a Nerve”
• Identity - “I know that character / that situation / that feeling”
“Person in Story - Just like me” “I am not alone”!
• Impact - A “Wow” Response (throughout, but especially at the end)
• Remembrance - Your work / Your name
• Entice, Induce, Seduce- Make the Audience Want More
(and then have more for them - For successful publishing longevity - No 'one hit wonders’)
What handful of items must every writer have, or not be without?
Word Processing Program with a Spell Check program
Editor &/or Proofreader
Book Cover Graphic Artist
Control Number / ISBN / Copyright Protection
Web site; with a Shopping Cart / Web Master / Ability to Update Regularly
Are there specifics of publishing success or failure?
How many books you sell?
The Difference between (relative) Success and Failure (as determined by what that looks like to you)
• Perseverance - Have a goal. See your goal. Reach your goal.
• Handle Rejection - Learn to accept & tolerate critique and criticism. Grow from it!
All critique is subjective. You are writing objectively (a purpose and a plan.)
Your work is being judged subjectively. Nothing you can do about that; accept it, or don’t write
• Know Your Audience - Who they are / Where they are / How to get to and stay in front of them.
• Make a personal connection with readers as much, and as often as possible.
The biggest hurdles for first time authors?
Seven Failure Factors;
1. Fear of Rejection
2. Fear of Public Presence; public critique / consumption of You / Your Work
3. Not knowing the steps of publishing
4. Inadequate Resources ($/Contacts)
5. Time Management Issues (part time effort [distractions] / inconsistent regimented time/process)
6. Inactive Efforts; Lack Follow Through / ‘Give Up’
7. Inadequate Marketing Skills, Energies, Contacts
Want Need Status Love, & Fear of Loss (the Greatest)
Successful authorship is a full time job with two goals; Find your ‘Voice’ / Find your ‘Audience’
The only difference between you as an author and James Patterson is the number of zeros after that first book sold. He found his voice. He found his audience. You can too.
In the Hawaiian language, "Mana'o" (ma na o) is the word used to describe 'thoughts, ideas, and opinions'.
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