Most writers have a hard time selling themselves. We’re solitary creatures by nature. The act of writing requires an individual’s effort. We’re alone when we dream up our characters, when we put them in peril and when we drive them to achieve their goals. Even if you’re writing an article, memoir or working on a compilation where you must seek the aid of others, ultimately you are still a solitary figure at the keyboard when it’s time to tell the story you want.
So, how do we break out of our comfort zone and successfully promote our creations? Whether you are taking the first steps to sell your work to an editor/agent or you are published and trying to attract readers, keep these five qualities in mind.
1) Honesty – Remember, this isn’t about you, but your readers. Whether promoting yourself through social media or face-to-face at conferences, workshops, or book signings, all great salesmen are people of integrity. An author can live on repeat business. The key to repeat readers isn’t just a great product, but the ability to deliver on your promises. So always tell the truth about your product. Don’t describe something your book can’t deliver.
2) Enthusiasm – All great salesmen are excited about their product. Enthusiasm is contagious and can infect everyone around you. You can only motivate readers to buy your work if you are excited about it yourself. Your energy will sell your dreams.
3) Confidence – Successful salesmen are full of confidence even in tough times. This means believing in yourself and your product enough to know why someone else would want it as well. Ignore the inner voice causing you to doubt yourself and trust you have researched, worked and made the best story. Selling is about attitude and the ability to inspire others to want your creation.
4) Courage – Perhaps the most daunting obstacle to writers is the fear of rejection. You must realize if you sell anything, you will face rejection. It’s not a question of if, but how many times you will be rejected. Psychological studies show that high-achieving, successful people are not overly concerned about what others think. They exhibit:
5) Persistence – Most important is to stay focused on your product and goals. It takes perseverance and faith in your own abilities to be a success. Nothing worthwhile comes easy, you must be determined. Finish what you start.
Which of these qualities do you struggle with the most? What has helped you to achieve these goals?