Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Why I love James Patterson
One of the easiest things to do in life is to give up. I know this for a fact; several times, I've done it - give up, that is. I won't relive these experiences here, but let me say something loud and clear: Never Give In or Give Up! You don't want to form a habit of doing something so self-defeating to yourself.
Now that I'm older, well - 55, I don't make a habit of giving up. Especially when it comes to my still nearly infant writing career. I admit, not giving up was made easier by selling a large number of my debut novel (WWIV - In The Beginning), but I still had two or three more manuscripts ready for editing before I released that book.
Book two of the WWIV series (Kids at War) is now available on Amazon Kindle and in paperback, also from Amazon. So I can't give up now, can I? Books three and four are in manuscript form with rewrites and edits beginning shortly. Sales are slow ten days in on this second book, but I have all the confidence in the world they will pick up sometime, perhaps even soon. I don't expect to sell as many of this book as I did with the first, and that's okay. I just hope people like it and it shows my continued growth as a writer.
It is said that the average self-published book will sell somewhere near 250 copies...in its life. Going in, we know - as writers - that the odds are stacked against our success. Thus, we need to measure success on a very personal level; using only our own expectations as a yard stick.
All I wanted to do with the first book was sell "some" copies. I still don't know how many I expected to sell, but as I close in on the 4,000 mark, I'm sure I have far exceeded any expectations I might have had.
But what if I had sold only 50 copies of the book. Would this have not also been a success given my lofty goal of wanting to sell "some"? Of course it would. Would I have thrown my hands in the air, proclaiming myself a failure if I was approaching the 55 mark in sales? NO! I had very low expectations for book one. AND, and this is important, I refuse to give up on this venture.
Why do I refuse to give up? Perhaps it's because I am about 80% stubborn Norwegian. Perhaps I'm too dumb to know any better. Or perhaps it's because I didn't enter this endeavor in life to become a huge overnight success. I wanted to write a few books, and - if lucky - sell "some" copies of each.
This is very cliche, but it bears repeating. Upon retirement, Harland Sanders realized his social security check wasn't enough to live on. So, he decided to sell the only thing he had of value; his grandmother's fried chicken recipe. After many, many "no thank you's" (by some accounts, well over a hundred), he finally decided to go it on his own and established his now infamous brand. That brand sold for $2 million later; thus, giving him a great retirement. And all of us "giver uppers" a grand story to live by.
You do realize that most of the Harland Sanders story is urban legend, right? Actually, the only part of the above that is accurate is the $2 million. And even that was only for some of the rights to his many franchises in the continental US. But it makes a great story. One that I've heard repeated so many times by motivational speakers that I've lost count of the number.
The point of this tale, though, is still valid - Never Give Up! I will rise again tomorrow and do more writing; whether my current novels sells "some", or not.
Until next week, don't give up on yourself. Read something positive and even motivational. But remember, everything published may not be 100% true. Take it all with a grain of salt.