You say you want to become a nonfiction author, but are you ready? If you think all you need is a publishable manuscript, you’re wrong. To succeed as a nonfiction author you need something else, something that overrides all the things you’ve been told you must have, such as platform, promotion plan, craft, and marketable idea. You need the courage and desire to play big.
Successful Authors Play Big
These days you won’t find many successful nonfiction authors who are recluses or who hide behind a pen name never to be found or heard from except on the pages of their books. Most spend a good bit of their time in the public eye.
Successful authors get out there and show themselves—authentically and publicaly in many ways. Playing big in a variety of ways is what helps them succeed. This could entail appearing on social media or traditional media, as a speaker at live events or in print publications. It’s likely that you feel you “see” these authors everywhere. And when you do see them, they aren’t cowering or acting shy. They are out there, standing tall, open, honest, fully there. Big.
Playing big accomplishes a variety of things. If they do this early on in their careers, which most successful authors do, they build author platform. Playing big gives them visibility, reach, authority, and influence—important elements of platform that come into use when promoting a book. This helps them sell books (a huge part of succeeding), when they actively promote or anytime. It’s the “anytime” that should be noted, though. They play big all the time, so promotion doesn’t just happen at certain times but all the time. Why? Because they are constantly building platform, increasing the size of their built-in audience in their target market.
Indicators that You Want to Play Small
How do you know if you are ready to play big? Here are some indications that you might prefer to play small:
- You don’t want to get involved on social networks because you’re a private person.
- You’re afraid to speak before audiences—and you don’t want to move past this fear.
- You want to use a pseudonym for any variety of reasons, including the experiences you have written feel embarrassing or humiliating, you think no one will respect you after they read your story, you don’t want your family and friends to know you wrote this book, you are shy, you don’t want to be in the public eye, or you just don’t want to take credit for your work under your real name.
- You think being on the radio or television would be an awful experience and you want to avoid it at all costs.
- You can’t imagine traveling or leaving home to help promote your book—and this would not be part of your promotion plan.
- Having your picture taken or displayed makes you extremely uncomfortable.
- Meeting your readers or fans at a signing, or any type of event, would make you feel sick.
- You hate talking about yourself.
Time to Change Your Game Plan
If you want to succeed as a nonfiction author and you have a tendency to play small, it’s time to change your game plan. You need to change your negative thoughts, limiting beliefs and fears—all the things that hold you back from playing big.
If you feel fearful of success, if you don’t want to be social on social networks, if you want to remain private, if you don’t want to become a speaker, take time and rethink, regroup or work through these issues. Becoming an author requires that you show up. You can’t hide behind your computer. You can’t even hide behind a pseudonym (eventually someone will discover who you are).
Every thought is a choice. Beliefs are based on long-held thoughts. Fears are created by thoughts. Your choice of thoughts leads to action. Actions lead to results.
To create a new game plan, choose thoughts that allow you to play big. Take actions that support you in playing big, and, indeed, you will play big. That will help you become a successful author.
Remember this: You want to write your nonfiction book because you have an important message to impart. You want to make a meaningful and positive impact on readers. You stand a better chance of accomplishing that goal that if you stand up proudly and publicly and say, “I wrote this book, and I want to tell you why I feel it was important to do so…why it was important to tell my story, to share this information.”
Are you ready to play big?
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