Tag Archives: best seller

The True Secret to Being a Successful Writer

Shortly after I began writing my first book (the one I was really serious about, not the one I started in 1988 and never finished) I naturally began networking.

party with writers

Since then, through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and a variety of writing oriented websites I have met many, many writers. Some were working on their first book while others had dozens of releases. They represented all genres from action to zombie (see what I did there?) and for every different style and level of experience, there was also a different attitude toward the craft.

Every writer, or at least the vast majority of them, has one thing in common…the desire for success. Some see success as a number one best-seller, others will consider themselves successful if they can manage a steady income and some define success as simply holding that first novel in their hands – and most will do whatever it takes to reach their goal.

That’s right, I said most.

Believe it or not, I have met a handful of people who like to call themselves writers, but aren’t even remotely interested in putting in the work.

Every writer reading this post knows what I mean by the work, but for the others let me tell you this; writing is work – lots and lots of work. This is not the place to go into detail, but ask any serious writer, they’ll back me up.

As I was saying, I have met many people who claim to be writers, but they are just not dedicated. They tell you they are working on a novel but that’s about as far as it gets. They spend lots of time on the internet hanging out in writer’s groups talking a good game, but that’s the end of it.

meaning to write

It’s the equivalent of me knowing a handful of chords, hanging out with Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton and calling myself a guitar player.

I’m not trying to be demeaning. I’m not calling anybody a fraud and I am certainly not saying that these people have no talent.

In fact, I can think of a couple I have known who were very talented, but for whatever reason they were unwilling (or maybe unable) to go that extra six miles.

There’s an old saying…”Be wary of giving advice; Wise men don’t need it and fools won’t heed it.”

I’m going to ignore that bit of wisdom for the time being.

I’m going to give some advice to anybody who wants to be a writer – and here’s the kicker…if you aren’t willing to take this advice seriously, you might as well pack it in now.

It may sound harsh, but somebody has to tell it like it is.

Are you ready?

Here it is…

Stop talking about it and do it.

It’s just that simple.stop talking

There is only one way to become a writer…you have to work at it. You have to work at it when it’s fun and when it sucks…on the days when it comes easy and on the days when you feel like you’re trying to rewrite War and Peace, in Sanskrit.

There will be those days when putting together a cohesive paragraph is more painful than taking your teenage daughter to a One Direction concert. Too bad – sit there and work through it.

You know those days when you just want to sit on the couch and watch TV? Get to writing.

frustrated writerWhen you get tired of working you can use this guaranteed shortcut…sit down and write!

That’s the real bad news here…there is no shortcut, no miracle cure, no magic bullet.

Which means don’t pay for a seminar or a book that promises to teach you how to write a best seller, if anybody knows that formula they wouldn’t need to sell a book about how to do it.

It means don’t keep telling everybody you have writer’s block and don’t say you’re still working out some of the details.

Be honest with yourself…

If you really want to write a book, you won’t let anything stop you. If something stops you – it’s because you let it stop you.

I am not saying that following this advice will guarantee you a best-seller. I’m not promising you a movie deal, a boat or a cup of coffee – but I will promise you this…

You will never get ANY of those things until you get serious and write.

Now if you’ll excuse me…I’ve got a book to write.

As always, thank you for reading


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Step Right Up – I’ll Make You Rich

“Now I’ve been travelin’ all around, I heard trouble’s come to your town, I’ve got a little somethin’, guaranteed to ease your mind…It’s called Snake Oil y’all, it’s been around for a long, long time” ~Steve Earle

I began writing my first novel in April, 2007 and by January, 2008 I had a completed manuscript, but no idea what to do with it.

Naturally, I googled publishing and found a plethora of information about the publishing world, and after more than a year’s worth of research my novel, Living the Dream, was released in August, 2009. Living the Dream

All’s well that ends well, right?

For me – yes, but only because of my innate lack of trust in sales-people…for among all of the information which helped me take my dream to the next level, there was also a…what’s bigger than a plethora?…a glut of web sites and blogs offering…no – promising…to give me what I needed to become a successful author.

It was overwhelming.

Depending on how much money I was willing to part with, I could have access to secrets, tips and techniques that would have me on the couch with Oprah, hanging in the Hamptons with Nelson DeMille and playing poker with James Patterson before I could dot an i.

At first I was tempted, and, I admit, I did click through on some of the free ones. There were some that offered legitimate writing tips about story structure, editing, formatting and such which I bookmarked and still visit.

However…there were many (and I do mean MANY) that made some pretty big promises, such as;

For the bargain basement price of $179 dollars I could learn what it takes to become a best-selling author.

For only $349 I could hire a marketing consultant that would promote my novel to tens-of-thousands of potential readers.

salesman (2)And, one of my favorites, for only $799 I could attend a seminar in South Carolina and get first-hand advice from several industry experts about how to turn my novel into a screenplay.

These are only a few of the hundreds of sites I encountered and I’m sure there are thousands more. Fortunately I was skeptical enough to avoid them.

Why did I avoid them, you ask?

Well, as I said, at first it was tempting, but then I remembered something my mother has been drilling into me since I was old enough to listen…If it seems too good to be true, it is.

It’s perfectly natural for first-time authors to believe that they will not be able to spend their royalty money fast enough, and I hope every one of you, regardless of how many books you’ve written, enjoys such success, but remember one thing…in the words of Ringo Starr…It Don’t Come Easy.

Unless you hit the cosmic lottery, you will more than likely make little more than gas money for several years, most of which will be reinvested in your next book. Many of you will lose money; this is a cold, hard fact.

Surely, if it were that easy to become the next Stephen King, there would be dozens of Kings, and probably some Queens, out there already.

So don’t add to the misery (see what I did there?) by wasting money on snake oil.snake oil

Allow me to give you a nickel’s worth of free advice…when you see those google ads promising to make you an instant success…ignore them. There are plenty of free blogs and websites for authors that will offer legitimate advice on everything from punctuation to promotion. If you want to spend money, buy a reputable book or look into classes at a bona-fide educational facility.

If this hasn’t convinced you to save your money…I’ll be glad to sell you a copy of the Blindogg Method for Overnight Sensations for only $249. Guaranteed to make you rich and famous, cure irregularity and get your teeth whiter than the driven snow.

Call now…operators are standing by.


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