Authors, would you like to:
- Put more readers in a good mood for your book.
- Attract a more positive audience.
- Make a powerful impression as an author.
- Enjoy authorship.
- Feel productive, creative, and energized.
- Be part of a happier, more supportive ambiance.
The answer is simple: Foster positivity.
- What better way to attract positive readers than to show yourself as happy in your role as author?
- Positive people, likely to be in a good mood shortly after discovering your book through your marketing—will those people be attracted to authors who themselves radiate positivity, or will they want to read books by authors who complain, criticize, or show their frustration?
- If you can be a rare author who handles all the struggles of authorship—from critical reviews to slow sales to technical computer challenges—with a positive, uplifting personality, more than helping to brand you as a professional author, you may even stand out as extraordinary—the kind of person other people want to surround themselves with because your presence makes their lives seem better.
- Don’t you feel better yourself when you spread positivity among others? A smile goes a long way—so far that it comes all the way back around to you.
- Do you feel more productive, energized, and creative when you’re complaining, criticizing, or feeling frustrated, or when you have a positive outlook?
- Help bring about success by being positive about the future and making the most of what may come. The path to success starts by visualizing it. Negativity steers the course towards failure.
- Spread positivity toward others and you may find yourself part of a happier, more supportive ambiance.
- Surround yourself with positivity, and strive to bring out the best in any situation.
- Don’t let ’em bring you down.
But carrying this out can be challenge. Especially for authors.
- Writers can’t escape criticism. Even the best writing has its critics. Check out your favorite popular author and you may be amazed to see one-star reviews tearing your favorite popular books apart. People have many different opinions. No book can please everyone. The challenge is learning how to deal with it, and not letting it affect you negatively.
- Editors are in the habit of identifying what’s wrong. That’s their job: find the mistakes. When we self-edit, we adopt this mindset. After several hours, we get into a critical, what’s-wrong with-this mindset. As writers, we interact with professional editors, who spend most of their time finding faults in writing. That critical nature sometimes spreads into the lives of writers, through personal interactions or on writing or publishing discussion forums.
- One way to succeed as an author is to think of how to write a better book. You see what’s already on the market. You try to do something that you believe is better. A danger in this is carrying this too far, into the I’m-better-than-you mentality. Remember, just because you think your idea is better in some way doesn’t mean that (a) it’s better in all ways or that (b) everyone else will agree that it’s better. Maybe ‘better’ is the wrong word. You’re providing an alternative. Your idea caters to a new audience.
- Authors have to deal with jealousy. Imagine working hard for years. You’ve studied, you’ve learned much about writing and publishing. You’ve written several books. You’ve poured so much time into it. Then you see other authors who seem to find easy, early success. Doing many of the things you’ve come to learn are ‘mistakes.’ Wouldn’t you feel jealous? Many authors do feel jealous, and they act on it, spreading negativity as a result.
- Different authors have different beliefs and opinions, which sometimes clash. Some authors feel strongly about KDP Select, for it or against it. Some authors feel strongly that there are too many short works, while obviously those who thrive on short works feel quite defensive when others express views against short works. There are many strong debates in the publishing industry. Just imagine how much more (or how much better) we, collectively, could write if so much of our energy weren’t zapped into these whirlpools of opinion.
- Sales fluctuate, so no matter how good your sales are, you’ll go through some valleys. And when you start out, sales tend to start out slow. Things can get very slow. It’s one more thing you can feel frustrated about.
- Self-published authors encounter frustrating formatting issues. All authors encounter frustrating technology issues, like possible data loss (have you backed up your files lately?).
- The publishing industry is constantly changing. This makes many writers very anxious about the future. Combine this with anxiety over sales, reviews, and everything else, and writing is an anxious lifestyle. But you can learn to accept and deal with that.
But authorship shouldn’t be a challenge:
- We write because we enjoy it, right? So enjoy writing.
- Force yourself to see the fun in storytelling, character development, researching something new, trying out a different genre, exploring where an idea takes you, and the many other things that make writing so much fun.
- Train yourself to respond positively to all the negative triggers, like criticism or rants from other people, recognizing the negativity and replacing it with thoughts of things that make writing fun.
- Exercise and a healthy diet may help you deal with stress better. Some exercise may be in order if you’re spending much time in a chair writing. More sunlight may help, too. Interact with real people, in the flesh. Mixing your life with your writing life is a difficult balancing act.
- If you focus on the negative, you can always find some reason to be unhappy. Either sales are slow, or you heard some criticism, or you hear others complaining, or some change in the publishing industry has you anxious, etc. There is always something. However, if you focus on the positive, you can always find some reason to be happy. It’s a conscious choice. You can find the positive if you train yourself to search for it. If nothing else, you enjoy writing, right? (If not, maybe that’s the problem.)
Foster a positive ambiance not only for yourself, but also for:
- your readers
- new readers you’re trying to attract through marketing
- current fans going to check you out online
- fellow writers part of your online circles
- your social media reach
- yourself, as the positivity you spread often comes back to you
Write happy, be happy. 🙂
Copyright © 2015
Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers
- Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
- Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
- 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more