Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Secret to Publishing Success: A.I.R.

Ask 20 published authors what their secret to success is and you’ll get at least 20 answers. Some might say focus, while others will say planning, and still others will suggest that a month spent at their favorite locale is just the ticket to spark creativity and cause the words to flow.

My suggestion is that there is absolutely, positively one thing – only one – that is needed to become a successful published. Whether you’re in the beginning stages of writing your book, or you’ve got what you hope to be a best seller in the palm of your hands, what you need to make a success of this publishing thing is plain and simple: A.I.R. No, I don’t mean the stuff that you inhale and exhale unconsciously every single moment. What I mean is this: Action Is Required. That’s it! Action Is Required.

Recently, while reading the book The Success Project: The Making of a Worthy Ideal by Belinda Mays (she was my guest on “Book Your Success” yesterday), I read about Parkinson’s Law. The law states that “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” In essence, however much time you give yourself to do something is how much time it will take (if not more). Think about that. So if you never set a deadline for completing your book or creating a blog, or doing the virtual book tour, you'll never get around to doing it.

Deadlines and due dates are dreaded by most everyone. No one wants to feel the pressure of having to finish something by a certain date. What if something comes up to prevent you from making the deadline? Yet, a better question is, what are you missing by procrastinating and making one excuse after another for failing to accomplish your goal of getting your book published, promoted and sold? How much visibility could you have gained? How much money could you have earned? How many more customers could you have landed?

Well, there’s no sense in thinking about that now. My point here is that you must take action on your book project TODAY! Set some deadlines and due dates. Create a timeline for when steps one, two and three will be accomplished. Even small steps matter. But deadlines don’t matter if you don’t take some action. By the way, this goes for practically everything else in your life. Whether you wish to take a trip, own a house, lose weight, read more, learn to play an instrument, clean your office or complete your business plan, taking action is a necessity if you want to see some progress and results.

Don’t get stuck thinking and wishing and planning. That can become a lonely hole you dig for yourself. It suffocates the goal. You watch others achieve their goals and then you renew your commitment to get yours done. Then something comes up; another distraction disguised as an emergency that eventually becomes nothing more than an excuse. What you don't realize is that you're still stuck in the hole. Do yourself a favor – come up for A.I.R.!

You don't have to have the entire thing planned out, but take some action. You don't have to have all the answers, just take some action. You don't need to know how much and how many and how often, just do something. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” In other words, Action Is Required!

What action will you take this week towards accomplishing your goals for your book project?

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