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It’s always a thrill when my clients’ books come out and I get that brown cardboard package from Amazon. When Deb Scott finally announced that her book was here, though, I found it especially fulfilling.
Deb had some huge setbacks in her process…making her a great example for the role or perseverance in the life of an author.
Both her parents passed away within a year. Deb took care of them until their deaths, as sole caregiver. After that, she set her sight on writing and publishing her self-help book, The Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue: Turning Your Upside Down World Right Side Up.
Her inheritance was supposed to provide the security for her to pursue her new dream and career as an author, speaker and trainer–and to provide the funds to launch her book. But in the middle of preparing the book for publication, she lost all her inheritance and savings to the $200 Millennium Bank Ponzi scheme.
Deb saw it as an opportunity to dig deeper into her own message of finding the good in all crazy situations and facing it all with a sense of humor. I’m sure it wasn’t easy! But she did it.
While you probably (I hope) won’t lose your life savings to a ponzi scheme, I can guarantee you that you will meet challenges when you decide to write and publish your book.
With my first book (which I co-authored), it took seven years from my initial idea to a published book in my hands. Challenges included many rejections from literary agents (and those were in the days where you contacted one agent at a time) and, later, bookstores refusing to “replenish” the book because of its dimensions (i.e. they would respond to a special order of 1 but would not carry it).
At times I felt tempted to concede defeat. But I snapped out of it and always asked, “What information does this setback carry? What do I need to do to turn this around?” In each instance, perseverance paid off.
In fact, the problems with the cover and dimensions of our book led our publisher (with some encouragement from my co-author) to re-publish the book with a new cover, new title and new dimensions.
We were able to use the great press we’d gotten on the new book and ended up with even more powerful national publicity–from USA Weekend to Glamour Magazine to CNN Headline News and much more.
If you want to write a book and get published, the one thing I can guarantee you is that challenges will come up. Here are the three things you need to meet them:
1. Give yourself time to feel disappointed. But don’t wallow there.
2. Ask what you need to do differently and take the first step as soon as you can.
3. See if you can turn the disadvantage into an advantage. For Deb, that meant going back to the message of her book and living it more deeply. That resulted in an authenticity and a powerful story (that makes an impact in her press releases and consequent radio interviews.
Deb advises, “When you get discouraged, want to give up, or find those negative people creeping in to saying, ‘quit’ – visualize yourself holding your book in your hand, meeting someone who says, ‘Thank you for writing this book – it was fantastic and I loved it!'”
I agree. When students in my book writing classes get stuck and stop writing, I remind them to connect with why they’re writing the book and the impact they want to make on their readers and their world. Often it helps to have a vision statement you can read aloud to yourself whenever you work on the book.