Succeed by Going UP!

Who has more power, a traditional publisher, or You? Who has more writing talent, literary agents, or You? Who has more influence over your career, self-publishers, or You? Who has more imagination, the eBook industry, or You? Who is more unique, Stephen King, or You?

Let me ask you another question. “Which person or business will stop You from having a successful career?”

It’s true that you need to work with others, but you cannot depend on others for your success. Which means, you need to be independent, not dependant.

Succeeding as an author is one of the toughest ventures of any craft, or industry. You need unshakeable confidence, because you will be tested daily by humbling moments as the world attempts to steal away your enthusiasm.

You need knowledge in all areas of storytelling, writing mechanics, marketing, business, graphics, social media, campaigning, public speaking, finance, research/development, risk management, networking, sales, product placement, and basic journalism.

You need self-discovery, which will separate you from the millions of authors, as you learn to use every ounce of your gifts, talents, and resources, while generating ideas and opportunities.

Over time, you need to gather experience, combining your gifts and knowledge to limit your mistakes, improve as an author, and gain credibility.

You need to endure the long process of relationship marketing, which comes in two forms: building relationships with those in the publishing industry, and building relationships with your target audience, while learning how to benefit both groups.

The result of your efforts is to put yourself in a position to succeed and create sales, so that you can earn a substantial profit.

If you fail at any of this, it’s not because you could not succeed. The reason author’s fail is because of their limited thinking and limited efforts.

For example, you should not be reading blogs to help you decide on traditional publishing, self-publishing, or eBooks. Making that choice is putting the control of your career into the hands of others. Instead, you should be researching those opportunities so that you can discover several different ways to package and sell your books and use them to your advantage, which is allowing you to control your own career.

Write this down and look at it everyday: “Untraditional Publishing™ is using imaginative concepts and unlimited industry resources to build an author’s career.”

Two key words are imaginative and unlimited. I know that you do not limit your imagination in your writing, so why would you limit your imagination in your career?

Here is an example. You are trying to decide how much to charge for your printed books. That is a common mistake, which limits the author’s chances of success.

You will not make enough money on your books. However, you will make plenty of money on everything that surrounds your books. Examples are speaking engagements, T-shirts, trading cards, soundtrack, posters, candles, a board game, fancy hats, necklaces, teddy bears, coattail books, long tail books, or a movie deal. Your book is one small part of your success. In fact, your book is only the introduction to your brand.

Use this simple equation: Cost of Book + $1.00 = Your Retail Price. Or, Cost of T-Shirt + $1.00 = Your Retail Price.

Let’s say you were at an event and had twenty copies of your books and twenty T-shirts. By the end of the event, you sold out on the T-shirts, but only sold three books. Would you be upset? After all, you sold over half your inventory. But if you had limited yourself and offered only books, which you sold just three, then yes, you have a reason to be concerned.

Other examples of Untraditional Publishing™ is the process of how you package books, the type of events you hold, the way you connect with people, the posts you make on Facebook, your approach to blogs, or the way you brand your name. Even the way you manage each minute of the day is important. There are so many ways to limit your opportunities. On the other hand, there are so many ways to increase your opportunities.

If you write children books, instead of sending press kits to the media, send press kits to principals and teachers. If you write mysteries, instead of setting up a table all year at your local farmers market, setup a table in October at a popular haunted house. If you write romance, instead of advertising your novel on Facebook, team up with a local Yankee Candle rep and sell romantic candles to go along with your books.

Untraditional Publishing™ is unorthodox ideas for authors based on confidence, knowledge, self-discovery, experience, and relationship marketing, placing the author in a position to succeed while generating the opportunity to make a significant amount of money.

The bottom line of this blog and my point is that you should break tradition…

Ron Knight



Ron Knight

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