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Every professional writer knows there are readers out there who are ready to gobble up their book if only those readers knew it existed.
Those readers are your target audience. They’re searching for you and the kind of book you’re writing. Your book scratches their intellectual or emotional itch. You must thrill and connect with them if you want your book to succeed. Your mission as an author is to find them and help them find you.
How do I connect with my target readers?
The process of building connections with your readers before your book comes out is called building a platform.
Authors who want to work with big traditional publishers must build their platform first. Nonfiction authors, novelists, and even successful indie authors must build their platforms before releasing their books.
It’s no secret you need a platform. You’ve probably heard it dozens of times on this podcast, at conferences, and in books.
But how do you build a rejection-proof platform?
Last week, I hosted a webinar titled How to Get Started Building an Author Platform. This article is the first part of that webinar. If you want to view the slides or hear the 40-minute Q & A session at the end, you can find that here.
Let’s start with a story.
Once upon a time, three little pigs were sent out by their mother to find their fortune in the world. The first little pig came across a man selling straw. The man said, “If you buy my straw, you can have a house today.”
And wouldn’t you know it, the first little pig built a house that very day.
The second little pig came upon a man selling sticks. The man said, “These sticks are better than straw, but they are more work. If you’re willing to buy my sticks, you can have a house in just a few days.”
And sure enough, the second little pig built his house within a couple of days.
When he was finished, he and the first little pig laughed and played in the sun. They made fun of the third little pig who was hard at work, building his house with bricks. But the third little pig knew something that the first little pigs did not.
The third little pig knew The Big Bad Wolf was on the prowl. When The Big Bad Wolf came across the first little pig’s house of straw, he huffed and puffed, and he blew the house down and ate the first little pig. (Some of you grew up with the censored version of the story, but let me assure you, Grimm’s original fairy tale is a bit grimmer. The wolf ate the first little pig.)
A few days later, when The Big Bad Wolf was hungry, he came to the second little pig’s stick house. He huffed and puffed, but he could not blow the house down. So, he set fire to the house, burned it down, and The Big Bad Wolf had a feast of roasted pork.
When The Big Bad Wolf came upon the third little pig’s house of bricks, he huffed and puffed, but he could not blow the house down. He set fire to it, but it wouldn’t burn. And the third little pig lived happily ever after.
What in the world does this have to do with building a rejection-proof platform?
Ancient wisdom resides in these old stories. The sad reality is that most authors have poorly-built platforms because they used the wrong materials. They believe platform myths that hijack their writing productivity and their marketing efforts.
Myth #1: Publishing a book bestows personal affirmation and professional validation.
It’s important to know why you write. Why do you want to build a platform?
Do you write because you want to be somebody? Do you believe the lie that publishing will be your path to a better life? Do you think publishing will earn you respect and affirmation from your peers?
Or do you write because you want to do something? Do you write because you want to change the world and make a difference?
Examine your deepest motivation because there is an important distinction between the two.
Many authors write because they’re looking for validation, and those authors’ publishing careers end in sadness and despair. Publishing is not a good place to receive affirmation. A career in publishing is filled with challenges and rejection.
If you want to succeed, you must have a higher purpose for your writing. Authors who know the purpose behind their writing have a huge advantage over authors who don’t. Your higher purpose fuels the courage required to do the hard things required for a successful publishing career.
Your higher purpose can be as basic as providing for your family, but it must be something beyond yourself. I’ve worked with many authors, and every single successful author has had a purpose beyond “being somebody” and wanting validation. You must determine your higher purpose.
When is it okay to “sell yourself?”
When wrestling with the purpose question, many authors wonder when it is okay to “sell yourself.”
Let me answer with another story.
Dr. Barry Marshall was an Australian physician working with patients who had ulcers. After working with ulcer patients for many years, he believed that the treatment methods for ulcers listed in medical textbooks were wrong. The textbooks said ulcers were caused by too much stomach acid, which was caused by stress, greasy food, and alcohol.
But Dr. Marshall believed the extra stomach acid was actually the body’s failed attempt to fight the true cause of stomach ulcers. Therefore, when doctors treated ulcer patients with antacids, the ulcers got worse in the long run.
He took his research to the medical community, and they were not impressed. However, they permitted him to test his findings on some wee little pigs.
He conducted testing on the pigs, and it did not validate his theory. It turns out that pigs have a very robust digestive system. So, Dr. Marshall went back to the medical community and asked for permission to prove his theory by doing trials on humans because he knew his theory was correct.
But the medical community said, “No way, Jose,” and they did not grant him permission.
Dr. Marshall was stuck. He knew his theory was correct, and the textbook and standard treatments were wrong, but he did not have permission to prove himself with human trials.
So, Dr. Barry Marshall did a very risky thing. He brewed a broth of H. Pylori bacteria and drank it himself. He expected he’d get an ulcer after a year or two, but he got an ulcer within two weeks.
His theory was that if bacteria caused the ulcer, then an extreme regimen of antibiotics may cure the ulcer.
So, he took the antibiotics, and he cured his ulcer.
Dr. Barry Marshall had discovered the cause and cure for a sickness that affects 5% of the population.
Now, I ask you, when is it okay for Dr. Barry Marshall to promote himself?
When is it okay for him to sell himself?
How ridiculous would it be if Dr. Marshall said, “I don’t want people to think that I’m some great scientist or physician. I don’t want people to think that I think I’m something great.”
To prevent people from thinking what he thought they might think about him, let’s say Dr. Marshall kept his findings to himself.
That would be terrible! In fact, if you’re a Christian, that would be sin. The Bible tells us, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them” (James 4:17, NIV).
You have an obligation to share the truth you’ve discovered with others. You can’t keep your discovery to yourself.
Dr. Barry Marshall had an obligation to build his own credibility so that the medical community would listen to him, and people could be cured. He had an obligation to go before the media and build a platform as the ulcer researcher so that he could spread the word about the true cause and cure of ulcers.
To spread the word, he and some other physicians made a comic book telling the story of Dr. Marshall drinking H. Pylori bacteria, and they distributed the comic book at medical conventions to try and change the minds of the medical community.
In 2005, Dr. Barry Marshall won the Nobel Prize for Medicine. All those medical textbooks have now been revised, and if you see your doctor because of an ulcer, they are going to detect it and treat it in an entirely different way than they used to.
Diagnostic and treatment methods were changed, and many patients were cured because Dr. Barry Marshall had the courage to experiment on himself and to spread the word about his findings.
So why do you write? Is your fame a means, or is it an end?
There is nothing wrong with being famous. In fact, if you are making a difference in the world, being famous is the inevitable outcome. But if you write in order to become famous, you’ve got it all backward.
Many authors I meet give a big speech about how it’s not about them. They tell me, “I just want to tell the story that’s on my heart. I’m so passionate about the story I want to tell it.” The whole time they’re talking about how it’s “not all about them,” they’re still talking about themselves.
If you’re writing because you want to be validated, you’re not ready to publish.
Authorship is leadership.
Nonfiction writers lead readers into a new way of thinking. Novelists lead readers into a whole new world.
Leadership is service.
If you want to lead, you must be willing to serve. If you serve people well, more people will follow you.
You are not ready to build a platform until you’re ready to stand on the platform. And you won’t be ready to stand on the platform until you believe in what you have to say. You must have actually discovered some truth.
If Dr. Barry Marshall didn’t know what he was talking about, if he thought that ulcers were caused by star alignment and that you had to dance in a circle outdoors during a full moon, he shouldn’t have built the platform because he would have been filled with nonsense.
Some people are filled with nonsense, and they’ve got to work that out first. Before you build a platform, you must find some truth worth sharing.
After you have discovered a truth, and when you have a story that resonates with readers, you must be willing to share it. To make a difference in the world through your writing, you must be willing to lead.
Myth #2 Your platform is your social media following.
The second biggest obstacle keeping authors from building a sturdy platform is the belief that social media is your platform.
Rest assured, it is not.
Most social media accounts are fake. Each wealthy nation and every major corporation has an army of bot (web-robot) accounts. Hackers and trolls have armies of bot accounts. These bot armies are programmed to look human by liking author pages and doing human-looking things on the platform.
Their human-like programming allows them to perform all kinds of nefarious actions like toppling a government or scraping data to build a database. There are millions, if not billions, of bot accounts roaming.
If you’ve got 1,000 likes on Facebook, there’s a good chance half of them are either abandoned accounts created by humans, which have been taken over by bots or accounts that were bots in the first place. This is especially true if you got your page likes by running ads. Social media is a little bit like the Matrix. There are a lot of robots pretending to be human, and they are good at it.
There is even a website called ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. It uses a special form of artificial intelligence (A.I.) to generate photos of people who look like real humans. In truth, it is merely a computer-generated photo of a person who does not exist.
The website uses a combative form of A.I. where one type of A.I. program creates an image, and another A.I. program tries to debunk that image. Only the images that don’t get debunked are used. Right now, you can go to the website and generate images of faces that look like a snapshot you would see on Facebook, and none of these people are human.
These A.I. programs can do the same things with audio, video, and text. It’s all done with machine learning and artificial intelligence.
So those people you’re interacting with may not even be human. And there’s no good way to tell because the only ones that get through the filters are the ones that seem human. It’s incredibly difficult to prove who is human and who’s not. But that’s not the only challenge.
Besides the bots and artificial intelligence coming from the outside, social media sites use artificial intelligence on the inside of their platforms to determine what users see and don’t see.
If you create content from your Facebook page, the algorithms will filter out 97% of your content. At any given time, you’ll only reach 3% of your audience.
Let’s run some numbers and see what this means for selling books on social media.
Let’s say you have 1,000 author Facebook Page “likes,” and your page is a couple of years old. If you’ve been growing your “likes” by running ads, it’s likely that only 500 of those “likes” are real humans.
Only 3% of your human followers will see your content. So, for each piece of content you post, only 15 people will see it.
That means when you announce on Facebook, “My new book is out. Here’s a link to Amazon,” only 15 of your 1,000 “likes” are humans viewing your post. If those 15 people are excited and ready to buy your book, you may have a 33% click rate on that post.
Not everyone clicks links on Facebook. In fact, most people don’t click on most things most of the time. But, for the sake of this math, you have a 33% click rate, and that means five humans click your link and land on your Amazon page.
Because you listen to the Novel Marketing Podcast, your page is well-optimized, and you have a stellar 20% conversion rate. This means 20% of the people who land on your Amazon page purchase your book. (Most authors would kill for a 20% conversion rate!)
If 20% of your five human clicks purchase your book, you get one sale.
This is why you can’t build a platform on social media.
Back in 2008, when Obama was President, social media was different, and people could go from obscurity to celebrity on social media alone. That does not happen anymore.
Today, social media is dominated by big brands and pre-existing celebrities. Some people post their first tweet on Twitter and get the elusive blue checkmark on their first day, but that is because they’re already a celebrity.
Social media is great if you’re already famous. You can interact with all your fans through the various platforms. But it is not a good way to get famous in the first place, and that is an important distinction.
J.K. Rowling didn’t get famous because she did social media. She did social media because she was already famous.
And for many of you, this is good news. The fall of social media is something to celebrate for several reasons.
Social media is expensive.
Even when social media worked for building a platform, it was still expensive. The biggest myth about social media was that social media was free. The gurus hyping social media encouraged authors to spend an hour or two on social media every weekday.
That adds up to 300-600 hours every year.
In the hundreds of hours you spent on social media, you were not writing books. Depending on how fast you write, your social media time could cost you a book or two book every year. That is incredibly expensive. You gave up an entire book this year by trying to “build engagement” on social media.
It’s also costly because that book would have made you a better writer. Your writing improves with every book you write. The carpenter doesn’t just build the house. The house builds the carpenter.
If you worked as an editor or virtual assistant for $20 an hour (though editors usually make more), in those hours spent on social media, you could have earned $6,000-$12,000.
Imagine all the effective marketing you could do with $12,000.
That is the cost of social media.
Social media is very toxic.
If you want to be traditionally published, there is pressure to appear as though you have things perfectly together so you can attract a publisher. But that is psychologically poisonous. Research shows that time on social media is connected to depression and anxiety. Are you more depressed and anxious now or than you were ten years ago?
My guess is most of you are. Obviously, it’s a little unfair to ask that in 2020, but I bet it would have been true even if I’d have asked you in 2019. Anxiety comes from constantly being exposed to other people’s approval and disapproval.
In my last decade of working with authors, I’ve seen many get derailed. Instead of thrilling readers with new books, they started chasing likes, shares, and comments because they were looking for validation.
If you’re only looking for validation for yourself, and you receive instant validation from social media hearts, then why do the hard work of writing a book?
Likes, shares, and comments feel like real validation even though it isn’t. Deep down, we know that it’s not. We know a Facebook friend is not the same as a real friend. And that’s why social media is so psychologically toxic.
Social media is ineffective.
Even when it worked, it didn’t work well.
I’ve been a marketing consultant since the rise of social media. In fact, I was buying ads on Facebook way before it was cool. My first Facebook ad was called a Campus Flyer because back then, Facebook was for college students. As a college student, I bought an ad campaign promoting Senior Skip Day.
When social media worked, it worked best for successful, extroverted authors, and they enjoyed social media. They did it during their free time. Authors were tweeting from their toilets to make the most of the time that would otherwise be wasted. And they enjoyed that social interaction.
Those authors often presented at conferences to rooms full of mostly introverted authors for whom social media was a burdensome obligation. Those authors did it out of a sense of duty and desperation, and they hated it.
If that’s your mindset going into social media, it will not work for you.
Building a platform out of social-media-sticks is more work than building a platform based on a straw-like desire for personal validation. But neither method protects you from The Big Bad Wolf. In many ways, it’s the worst of both worlds. It didn’t work, and you can’t get the time back.
So, I would like to share with you a better way to build a platform. Let’s talk about building a time-tested platform out of bricks.
Those of you who listen to my podcasts Novel Marketing and The Christian Publishing Show know that every episode is a brick. But I want to share a couple of key bricks that will stabilize your platform and offer you protection.
Brick #1: Focus on the benefits.
If your book is a box of Cracker Jacks, what is the prize inside the box? What’s inside your book that your readers will love?
A lot of authors are like Calvin and Calvin and Hobbes in the classic cartoon. Calvin has set up a lemonade stand, but instead of selling lemonade, he’s selling a “swift kick in the butt” for $1.
Hobbs walks up and says, “How’s business?”
Calvin says, “Terrible!”
Hobbs says, “That’s hard to believe.”
And Calvin says, “I can’t understand it. Everybody I know needs what I’m selling.”
Does this sound like an author you know? Nonfiction authors often fall prey to this line of thinking. They forget that no one wants to read a book about how wrong they are and how right the author is.
If I were Calvin’s consultant, I would say, “Don’t sell a swift kick in the butt. Sell motivation!”
You must connect what you’re selling with what people actually want. You can present your book as a vitamin, or you can present your book as a painkiller. For the sake of your book sales, I hope it’s a painkiller.
What pain does your book reduce? Why should somebody read your book? What is the benefit?
Novelists often ask, “How can my novel reduce pain?”
Have you ever read a novel that helped you get through a difficult time? When people read about characters in your stories overcoming hard times, they gain the courage to overcome their hard times.
Neil Gaiman summarized G.K. Chesterton’s ideas when he wrote, “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” Sometimes people need to know that scary enemies can be defeated. They need hope that they can overcome the challenges your protagonist overcame. Maybe your readers are just lonely or bored.
- Why should somebody read your book?
- What is the benefit?
- How will your reader’s life be better after having read your book?
Once you know the benefit, everything else gets easier.
Brick #2: Get to know your readers.
I just told you to get off social media, and now I’m telling you might need to get back on social media. But you’re going there with an entirely different purpose.
You’re not going there to build a platform. You’re not going there to talk about yourself. You’re not even going there to talk.
You’re getting on social media to listen. You want to hear what your target readers say about the books that they’re reading. What do they like? What don’t they like? What makes them want to read books?
When all the readers on social media are all talking about a specific book, you need to read that book. Read what your readers are reading.
I encourage every author to find a representative reader. If you can thrill one representative reader, you can thrill millions more. I used to recommend that authors create an avatar to represent their reader, but after working with authors for over a decade, I found authors have great imaginations. It’s easy for them to create imaginary friends who like everything they do. When you ask your avatar a question, you’re not actually getting an answer from a real human being. You’re just asking yourself.
But when you get a real human that represents your readership, you can target everything you write for that human. You can ask that human what social networks they hang out on. Then you can hang out wherever they are online.
Whether you’re writing nonfiction or fiction, your representative reader can also be a beta reader and give you feedback on your book itself.
Brick #3: Work with a coauthor.
Most of you won’t like this brick, but if you are willing to use the brick, your author platform will double in size overnight.
Seth Godin is the number one marketing guru. The book that put him on the map was Guerilla Marketing for the Home-Based Business, written with Jay Levinson. Levinson was the old guru, and Seth Godin was the new guru. It’s hard to imagine Seth Godin as the new, young whippersnapper, but that’s what he was in the 90s. Writing that book with Levinson helped Godin get his marketing-book writing career off the ground.
Seth Godin did most of the work on the book, but Jay Levinson got most of the money. But Godin’s willingness to work hard, give up some money and credit, and partner with Levinson rocketed his career to success.
Ted Decker did the same thing. He writes weird Christian fiction, and he coauthored a book with Frank Peretti, who was the number-one guy writing weird fiction at the time.
Another example is Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride, by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Susan M. Heim. It was a book of wedding stories by two dudes and a gal!
Who do you think did most of the work for this book? Probably the gal. Who do you think got most of the credit? Probably Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. And yet, Susan M. Heim got the biggest benefit because, for the rest of her career, she can say she wrote a Chicken Soup for the Soul book.
This strategy works across many genres, and you can even implement it with ghostwriters.
Robert Jordan was the top epic fantasy writer with the number-one epic fantasy series. He had two million pages of notes, two assistants, and a wife who knew how his story would end.
But he died before he finished the story. So, his wife called Brandon Sanderson and asked him to finish the story based on her husband’s notes. Brandon Sanderson finished that story, and now he is the number-one epic fantasy writer.
So why do you write?
Are you here because you want to be somebody and because you want your name in the maximum font size on the book cover?
Or are you here because you want to do something? If you’re willing to give up some credit and control, there is no limit to what you can accomplish.
Of course, it takes more than three bricks to build a platform.
But where can you get more bricks?
You can search Google to find out how to build a platform, but as you know, Google is useless if you don’t know what questions to ask. On our podcast, James L. Rubart has often said, “It’s hard to read the label when you’re standing inside of the bottle.”
So, where do you go for that outside perspective?
Many authors seek out Facebook groups where they can post their questions. But authors who spend the most time answering questions in Facebook groups are often the least successful. If you’re busy writing books and making money, you don’t have a lot of time to answer questions for random strangers on Facebook for free. Some authors do it. I do it. I answer questions in groups, but more often than not, you get answers from other wannabe writers.
I find myself debunking a lot of those “answers” on my podcasts. Myths and bad techniques are spread between Facebook groups by people who don’t know what they’re talking about.
In courses by other authors?
Sometimes a successful author who knows what they’re doing will offer a course. They say, “I was a struggling author like you, but then I learned techniques that worked for me. Now I am successful, so buy my course, and I will show you those techniques.”
Now, this isn’t bad. It’s a lot like a quarterback saying, “I used to struggle playing as a quarterback. I got injured all the time. Then I learned these exercise techniques that have kept me from getting injured and improved my game. I’m a better quarterback than I ever was before. So, buy my course, and I will teach you the exercise techniques I learned.”
That’s great if you want to be a quarterback. But what if you want to be a defensive end?
What if you want to play hockey?
What if you’re a gymnast?
Gymnasts get injured just as much as quarterbacks, but their injuries are different and require different preventative exercises. For the gymnast, exercises from the quarterback won’t be super helpful.
But what if you went to the team doctor or a doctor who specialized in working with athletes? A doctor’s credibility doesn’t come from her experience playing football. Her credentials and know-how come from graduating from medical school and treating many different athletes.
I’m not a doctor, but I have been working with authors for a long time in that kind of role. I started as a webmaster. I founded AuthorMedia.com, and for ten years we built websites for authors. I spoke at conferences, and we’d build websites for authors I met.
After we built an author’s website, they were so happy with it they wanted us to help with the rest of their marketing. I worked with New York Times bestselling authors and beginning authors. I’ve learned which techniques work for established authors and which ones work for authors just getting started.
When a New York Times bestselling author who is super famous advises now authors on how to conduct book signings, it’s actually terrible advice. Signings are a great technique if you’re famous. If you’re not famous, you’ll be sitting in a bookstore by yourself questioning reality. It’s an existential dread for somebody who’s just getting started. It’s important to know where you are and what techniques will work to get you to the next step.
I also served as the marketing director for Enclave Publishing. During my time there, I increased sales of their books across the whole company by 500%. As the marketing director, I had access to all the marketing data. I got to see what worked and what didn’t. I got to create experiments and try innovative marketing techniques with many different authors and books.
I was also a literary agent, and as you know, I’m also a podcaster with over 400 episodes across my podcasts for authors. I’ve interviewed most of the top experts in the industry like Joanna Penn, Chris Fox, Steve Laube, and others.
Over the years, in my various roles, I’ve received a general education, much like a doctor receives a general education. Even if a doctor becomes a coroner, they still have to know how to deliver a baby even though that is never a concern for a coroner.
The general education I’ve received in these different roles working with authors has prepared me to create a course on platform building.
I taught a week-long training at conferences in Hawaii and Switzerland, and I am turning that training into an online platform-building course that you can take from home.
Obscure No More: The Complete Guide to Growing Your Author Platform is in beta release. You can sign up as a beta student to get immediate access to the sessions as they come out. This course is the entire stack of bricks for building a sturdy platform.
Building a platform shouldn’t feel like an Internet-wide scavenger hunt. You won’t have to search around the Internet for building materials because every brick you’ll need is organized in one place.
What’s included in the course?
Each session will include a bite-sized video. As I record new sessions, I’ll release them to the beta students immediately. Then, a week later, I’ll host a Q&A call with those students where they can ask me questions. If they’re all asking the same question, I may redo the video. Our Q & A sessions will be as helpful to me as they will be to you.
This course will be offered the same way my grandmother served pancakes, with immediate access. She took pancakes directly from the skillet to your plate, so there was no waiting around until the very last pancake is cooked.
Lifetime Access to New Versions
Beta students will also have lifetime access, which means when I release version 1.0 next year, beta students will have the most up-to-date version.
Additional Bundled Courses
You’ll also have access to my courses How to Get Booked as a Podcast Guest and The Art of Persuasion.
Obscure No More will be my signature course, and it will house all my platform-building information. When I create courses on starting a podcast, on email marketing, and on blogging, all those breakout courses will all be inside Obscure No More.
Finally, we’ll have a student Facebook group where you can ask questions of the other students and interact with me as well.
How much does this course cost?
If you’d have come to Switzerland to hear me present this information for a week, it would have cost about $5,000, depending on how many frequent flyer miles you had. Maybe it would only have cost you $3,000 plus 100,000 frequent flyer miles.
While going to Hawaii to teach for a week with my newly wedded wife was fun, going to Switzerland with my wife and my six-month-old baby was less fun. Now that I have two little ones, my travel to fun, exotic places to teach for a week on marketing is over.
When the beta session is over, the course will sell for $1,500 with a discount for patrons.
But for students in the beta program, it will cost only $500 (or 12 monthly payments of $50).
The biggest perk of being a beta student is that I will add sessions based on student needs.
I will frequently poll beta students to find out which sessions you need and want most. You’ll get to vote on which you want to see first.
If students have specific questions or if something disrupts the online marketplace—for instance, a pandemic or if Amazon gets broken up by an antitrust lawsuit—I will address those issues.
This course will be the closest thing to one-on-one consulting because I’ll create content based on your questions. And it’s cheaper since my consulting retainer is $500 per month.
This course is like a cookbook, and you can pick the right recipe for you because every author is unique. But it’s not merely a cookbook. It’s also the ingredients. It’s easy for the chefs on cooking shows to whip something up because all the ingredients are pre-measured on the table.
Obscure No More is the cookbook and the pantry. You won’t need to do everything in this course to build a platform, but everything you need to build a platform will be in this course.
So, let’s wrap up with one more story.
Once upon a time, there were three little authors that went off to find their publishing fortune.
The first author came to a company that said, “If you publish with us, we will get you published immediately.” That sounded good to the author, so he got his book published with Print on Demand Company.
Then came The Big Bad Marketing and Sales Task, and the little author said, “Barnes Noble, Barnes Noble, let me in!”
And Barnes & Noble said, “Who are you? We’ve never heard of you.”
And The Big Bad Marketing and Sales Task blew away the first little author.
The second little author came upon a man from Acme Publishing. He was a literary agent, and he said, “If you publish with Acme Publishing, you will be on your way to success.”
So, the second little author published with Acme Publishing. And then along came The Big Bad Marketing and Sales Task. The second little author said, “Barnes Noble, Barnes Noble. Let me in!”
And Barnes & Noble said, “Okay, you’re with Acme Publishing. We will put you on the shelf for 30 days.”
But after 30 days, all the unsold books were returned to Acme Publishing, where they were set on fire. (Although nowadays they’re more likely to be pulped and turned into books from authors people have heard of.) After the books were returned and burned (or pulped), Acme Publishing wanted nothing to do with the second little author.
But the third little author built a tall brick platform so that whether he published traditionally or independently, The Big Bad Marketing and Sales Task would never blow him off, and Barnes & Nobel would be glad to shelve his books so they could both live happily ever after.
Minimum effort leads to minimum results.
Maximum effort with the wrong methods leads to minimum results.
But hard work brings success one brick at a time.
I would love to help you with those bricks, and I hope you’ll register for Obscure No More. As of this writing, there are 62 spots left.
Peter DeHaan, author of 52 Churches
Peter and his wife visited a different Christian Church every Sunday for a year. This book is their story. Discover more about Jesus’s church, the people who go there, and just how vast our practices and worship are.
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