Friday, February 4, 2011

Top 10 Lessons Authors Can Learn from the Super Bowl

Top 10 Lessons Authors Can Learn from the Super Bowl

Yup, it's that time of year again. Interestlingly, many literary types tend not to be sports types. Nevertheless, there are lots of things authors can learn from watching Super Bowl teams in action. Here are my Top 10.

  1. It takes guts and conditioning to make it to the top. Elite athletes don't get to the top of their games by accident. They train, practice, and commit themselves to success. How committed are YOU to succeeding at your craft?
  2. The best team doesn't always make it. Sometimes, a lesser team has a good game, and the team you think should win doesn't win. This is true of books, too. Wonder why a bad writer becomes popular? (A) Right place at the right time. (B) It's who they know. (C) A little luck goes a long way. (D) All of the above. Leverage everything you can to give yourself the best advantage.
  3. Good coaching matters. Almost without exception, good teams have good coaches. As a writer, you can do the same. Gather around yourself a writing coach, editor, designer, and others who will help you lift your work to become the best it can be.
  4. Getting on the field and making it to the endzone ... two entirely different things. An author understandably heaves a giant sigh of relief on finishing that manuscript, especially if it's been years in the making. However, finishing the writing is only the FIRST step in the publishing process. Make it to the end zone of strong sales with a good plan for editing, design, and - most importantly - marketing!
  5. Sometimes you have to take a risk. On the field, that could mean a Hail Mary pass or running instead of punting on the one-yard line. As a writer, it could mean taking a controversial stand, approaching someone famous for a blurb, or spending a lot on a marketing pitch. Be strategic, but remember that it's often the case that the bigger the risk, the bigger the payoff.
  6. When you fall down, get up quickly. Things don't always go according to plan. Sometimes you hire a bad editor, the designer quits before they've finished your cover, no one reads your blog, or the book itself is a flop in spite of your best efforts. Are you going to sit and contemplate the challenge awhile, or get up and get back in the game ASAP?
  7. Having rabid fans helps enormously. Whether you're a Cheesehead or a member of Steeler Nation, you're ready to root on your favorite team. Successful authors appreciate the fact that the energy of the fans has an incredible effect on the players. If you don't have a screaming fan base yet, this is the time to start building it!
  8. Be creative with your advertising. So many people watch the Big Game for the ads that they've begun an odds bracket so we can call our favorites. As an author, pay special attention to the Super Bowl ads this year. What about them is captivating? And where can you mimic their success, if even in a small way?
  9. Throw a big party! When you're ready to launch your book, don't let it come quietly into existence - THROW A BIG PARTY and invite everyone you know! Send written invitations. Send media releases. Print flyers and postcards. Have food at a place where you'll be welcome to spread out and sign lots of books.
  10. The whole world is watching you. OK, maybe not the whole world. But parts of the world. With a book launch, you're going public. So be ready to meet the public by speaking fluidly and intelligently about your book, having good people out there promoting it for you, and being ready to make as big a splash as you can.

Visit Write | Market | Design today to download your free copy of the eBook: The First-Time Author's Guide to Hiring the Right Editor for YOU! 

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