Be Proud of Your Work

Even if your book is not a best seller, you should still be proud of your work and what you have accomplished. Writing a book is HARD. It is physically, emotionally, and spiritually straining to write a novel. I imagine that many aspired authors quit before they are finished because of the toll it takes on their psyche. When you finish a novel you should be proud that you endured, that you were disciplined, creative, and inspired. Joanna Penn offers 7 specific reasons why you should be proud of your work, even if your book is not a best seller.

  1. You Completed Something-Not many people can say that they accomplished something as difficult as writing a novel. Be proud and smile for the fact that you did it!
  2. You Created Something-you had an idea and you followed through to create something inspired and artistic.
  3. You Were In Flow-Joanna describes this as having states of deep concentration and lost sense of time. “Although emotions are absent at the time, flow states are associated with long-term happiness… Not everyone experiences this wonderful, magical state.”
  4. You Learned and Grew as a person and author-any experience can be counted as a learning experience.
  5. You Failed-(although I don’t whole heartedly agree with this one). Not having a best seller is not a failure. You can count the release of your book as a success and even if your book or books are not best sellers you can still be successful as a writer and count your process as a grand learning experience.
  6. You Found Your Author Tribe-you likely had the opportunity to network with other authors, publishers, or editors during your writing process. The relationships that you established will be helpful during your future writing sessions and your future success as an author. These people can be there to offer advice, encourage you, allow you to vent or confide in them, or even introduce you to more people who can offer assistance along the way.
  7. You Showed Courage-Joanna’s quote is beautiful, No matter what type of book you write, you reveal some of your authentic self…A book is a window to the writer’s soul.” By making your work of art public you are allowing others to truly see you. As a writer you are exposed and it takes courage to keep putting yourself out there.

So please do not be discouraged if you didn’t sell as many copies as you wanted, or received as many reviews, or there was that one person that was critical of your book. Take everything in and use it constructively to create your next work of art. BE PROUD of who you are and what you create!


Be Aware

Part of being successful is being aware. You need to be aware of your competition. You need to be aware of events that pertain to your career so that you have networking opportunities.You need to be aware of any publicity you receive online. This could me a mention of your name or your book on social media, in a news article, in a blog, or in a comment. If you aren’t aware of the publicity you receive or what your competition is doing to be successful, how can you use it to your advantage? How can you reply back? How can you share news with your followers? How can you implement ideas into successful marketing strategies? Here’s how…

Google has this amazing feature called Google Alerts. You can set up alerts to track your name and novels online. Any time your name or book is mentioned you will receive an e-mail notification. You can also set up alerts for upcoming writing conventions, festivals, contests, competing author’s names/books, author news, new marketing ideas, etc. The options are endless. Here are the steps for setting up a google alert:

1. Sign in to your gmail account and/or create a gmail account and sign in
2. Go to www.google.com/alerts in your browser
3. Enter a search term
4. Click the drop down arrow that says ‘Options’
5. Here you can specify how often you receive alerts and from where
6. Hit Create Alert

You can repeat these steps for any number of keywords/searches. Once you have followed all of these steps you will begin receiving e-mails to your gmail inbox whenever your keyword alerts appear online.

The Boy Scout motto for being successful in business, I like to think, is BE AWARE! Check out this article for more tips on how you can use Google Alerts to your advantage.


Increasing Followers Through Instagram

Instagram is one of the more popular social media outlets right now. As mentioned in previous blogs people are more likely to stop and read a post or click a link if there is an intriguing picture associated with it. If you have an Instagram account you can link it to your Facebook account and then only need to post from one outlet to hit two. I know a lot of business owners right now that receive the majority of their business leads from Instagram.

According to a study conducted by SmartInsights, there are over 6 million users on Instagram. This is even more than Twitter! So if you don’t have an account already I recommend you sign up.

Here are some pointers from Social Media Examiner for marketing yourself and your author business online:

  • Only post photos that are high quality-Nobody likes to look at a blurry picture. Making sure your pictures look good also shows that you care about quality and being a professional.
  • Use a Bitly link for the website you highlight in your bio. This allows you to more accurately track the number of people finding your website through Instagram. Here is a great article about how to do that and the difference between Bitly and Google Analytics.
  • Add hashtags to your bio so people can more easily find you if they are using roundabout methods.
  • Cross promote and tag others involved in the same industry as you to reach a larger audience.
  • Use appropriate #hashtags-You can search the most popular hashtags used by authors and then utilize them in your own posts.
  • Post a variety of pictures and video
  • If you have a particular post that is performing well, you can always boost it or sponsor it to garner even more traffic.
  • Adding a quote or comment over top of your photo will increase the likelihood of sharing-You can do this with apps such as Adobe Spark, After Photos, Quick, or PicLab.
  • Host a contest where contestants have to tag their friends. This is an easy way to increase views on your Instagram page and website because your followers essentially do it for you.

Hopefully these tips were helpful and inspired you to ‘GRAM IT UP ;)!



It only takes seconds

I recently read the 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. In this book she discusses how our mind can be our worst enemy. Sometimes instead of taking action, we let our minds take over. Within 5 seconds our bodies and natural instincts can be

Picture from Amazon.com

talked out of doing something your should or talked into doing something you shouldn’t. To combat this damaging behavior in her own life, Mel developed the 5 Second Rule. The premise is that you count down from 5 and then physically move towards what you have previously procrastinated or been afraid of or avoided. This also applies to stopping yourself from doing something like drinking too much, looking at your phone, or binge eating late at night. Mel says that there will always be things you dislike or are afraid of, but you need to face them anyway. The longer you wait, the more unhappy you’ll become, the more sheltered you’ll become, the more overwhelmed you’ll become.


She also mentions that our most productive hours of the day begin after we wake up. So turn off the alarm, get up, and get writing. It only takes seconds to start your day and your life off right.

I recommend everyone read The 5 Second Rule and if you have, I would love to hear how you are applying the rule in your life and the impact it has on your life.