Thursday, April 15, 2010

Succeeding as an Author

I read an article in the Huffington Post by Penny C. Sansevieri called “Why (Some) Authors Fail.” In it, she lists 8 reasons why, she feels, some authors fail. I saw those same 8 reasons and felt authors could turn them around and use those reasons to learn how to succeed.

You can link over to read the full article, but here is her list of 8 things that can cause you to fail, with my own very short synopsis of what she says about each.

1. Not learning enough about the industry
    Get to know the market you’re in

2. Not Accepting Feedback
    Don’t be so wrapped up in your ego that you aren't willing to listen and learn.

3. Not Surrounding Yourself with Enough Professionals
    You need professionals you trust by your side giving you advice, wisdom, and direction.

4. Not Doing Their Research
    Don’t wait to learn the ropes after your book is out - it’s too late then

5. Measuring Their Success in Book Sales
    Book sales are not the only measure of success

6. Not Understanding How New York Publishing Works
    Know what's selling, what's not -- who's buying, who's closing their doors.

7. Playing the Blame Game
    Investigate what happened and take a critical look at the results.

8. Believing in the Unbelievable
    To be successful you need to be relentless

Penny C. Sansevieri is the CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
TweetIt from HubSpot


  1. I love how you turned her 8 things into positives, Helen. It's a good list.

  2. Holy shit, this looks difficult, alot more difficult than getting a science paper published.

    Having started the work on my first "novel" (no, I'm not joking), I have decided to place it in an environment that I know, since I don't have the time to do a lot of research.

    Thanks for the post, Helen, I'll keep these issues in mind >:)

    Cold As Heaven

  3. Sounds true to me!

    Thanks for the 8 things, Helen. These are good to keep in mind! :)

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  4. Thanks for this post! Can't wait to share this list.

  5. Great post. the second one really stood out for me. I can't count the number of "writers" I've met who shut down at the first sign of constructive criticism. Learning from your errors is a big part of being a writer.

  6. That's true, Laurita. And it's not an easy thing to learn for most.

  7. Very important tips that could be applied to almost any business approach. Like the slant you gave them better.

    Thoughts in Progress

  8. Great list and I like how you gave them positive aspects.

  9. Great. I prefer the positive to the negative slant but will post it as is (only larger) on my bulletin board.

    Giggles and Guns

  10. There's always so much to remember, isn't there, Maribeth!

  11. This is a wonderful post, Helen. Thanks.

  12. Glad you stopped by Carol! Hope things are less muggy in SA than they are here in Austin.

  13. I love that you do such fabulous research and find these gems. It makes it so crossing about half these things off my list is as easy as reading what YOU have to say. Thank you!

  14. You made me laugh. Glad to be of help!

  15. Just discovered your very helpful website and this blog, from your post over on the Red Pencil. Great info here... keep it coming!

    I just started getting more serious about blogging and building a platform as a result of several other posts recently on the subject. Linked to your blog on my most recent post because of all the great resources you have.

  16. I'm writing those down. Thanks for putting a positive spin on it.

  17. I love number eight. One has to be relentless, using passion as a driver. Keep learning. Don't be afraid to fail. Learn from your failure as well as other people's failures. ZAnd surround yourself with good people. All very good points in your blog.

    Stephen Tremp

  18. Amen to number one! Learn the industry - all of it. Like any business, you have to research before attempting.

  19. Thank you, Margo.

    We're all learning together - one of the great benefits of having Internet writing friends!

  20. I used to think that all you had to do to become a successful writer was to write and write and write some more. lol.

  21. Great list, Helen, and glad you put a positive spin on it! I already strive to follow these tips, and it seems to work. I have yet to put #5 into action, as my book will be released in October. However, I remind myself often that quality is more important than quantity, though I wouldn't mind both! Thanks for the reminders. It can be easy to lose perspective in this occasionally anxiety-producing marketplace.

  22. Great negative to positive post.

    Thanks for the list, Helen.


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