Billionaire oil magnate J. Paul Getty quipped: “Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil.” He was, of course, highlighting how important luck is as a component of success. This same sentiment can easily apply to writing and publishing a book, “Formula for success: rise early, write well, and get discovered.” If you try to get published by a major New York publisher, you will soon find, that unless you have published with them before, or are a famous movie star or politician, you have little chance. Even if your book is incredibly well-written and interesting, you, as a first-time author have to somehow get discovered by the right person at the publisher. Without some lucky accident, like a personal or professional connection on the inside who can champion your manuscript, it’s very tough. If you decide to self-publish, luck will also be a factor in your success. (Of course, if you are famous movie star or major politician, luck has already favored you, and your chances of self-publishing success are high.) Otherwise, you and your book still need to get discovered, but, in this case, by readers, which requires both hard work (marketing) and luck.
Discouraged? You shouldn’t be. Achieving success in anything worthwhile requires “hard work,” and always depends to some degree on luck.
You have complete control over the “rise early, work hard” part of the formula. You can study the craft of writing, re-write your book until it is as perfect as you can make it, and work with professional editors and book designers to get an outstanding finished product.
You can even do things to minimize how important luck is to your success. If you want to get discovered by a major New York publisher, you can network with right people in the industry. If you self-publish, you can market directly to the right groups of readers. (Talk to us about Amazon Advertising opportunities.)
You may not have the good fortune to become a world renowned author, but, even if you don’t, the other rewards of writing and publishing are powerful; the sense of achievement, the satisfaction of sharing your message or story, and the authority and credibility that being a publishing author can afford you. I’ve worked with thousands of authors over the years, and rarely have they regretted their decision to publish. They may have regretted that they didn’t have a book edited just one more time, that they decided on a certain cover design, or that they didn’t have enough time and money to do more marketing, but not that they wrote and published.