Tuesday, October 9, 2018

How to Avoid Publishing Potholes

This article is used with permission from Rob Eagar of Wildfire Marketing. Visit www.robeagar.com for more good articles for authors, and sign up for his newsletter to receive three free e-books.

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One of my favorite hobbies is cycling, which means flying down the road at speeds of 30–45 mph. To stay safe when riding a bike, you must always look ahead at least 20 yards. If you look right in front of you, that's when a wreck will occur.

If you look ahead into the distance where you are going, your brain has the uncanny ability to process upcoming obstacles, determine the safest route, and maintain smooth progress.

However, if you put your focus on your front tire, your brain will concentrate on what you see and pull you in that direction. If there's a pothole in your path and you keep looking at it, you will be drawn right into the hole.

The same dynamic of riding a bike applies to your career as an author. Wherever you choose to place your concentration will determine your destination.

Some of you reading this article are getting drawn into potholes, because you are focusing too much on current obstacles. For example, you may be struggling with a recent problem or past mistake, such as:
  • Your book got a negative review on Amazon. 
  • Someone turned down your request for an endorsement. 
  • Your last book launch didn't go well. 
  • A publisher or agent rejected your book proposal. 
  • Your Facebook ads didn't produce the desired results. 
You might be so focused on a past mistake or a missed opportunity that you’re living like someone trying to ride a bike while looking backward. That's dangerous.

The more you focus on negative issues, the more you will head in that direction and wreck your progress. Instead, keep your focus on where you want to go. Give your brain the freedom to see into the future and chart a safe course. Concentrate your thoughts on looking down the road ahead of you, such as:
  • I will get my book published. 
  • My next book launch is going to be better. 
  • I will ask three other people for an endorsement. 
  • Look at all of the positive reviews I have on Amazon. 
  • I will learn to use online advertising and reach new readers. 
This week, take a moment to ask yourself, "Where am I looking?" Are you focused on the future or stuck looking down at the circumstances?

Then, go ride a bike. It's quite fun . . . as long as you look ahead.

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