Sunday, October 13, 2019

Be "The Exception" Author

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

From my years in publishing. I know there are many authors who want to write a bestselling book. They take classes and courses and work hard at learning the craft of storytelling and writing. They join a critique group and even hire an outside editor to produce an excellent manuscript and proposal. They go to conferences and meet literary agents and editors, then follow up with their writing. Each of these steps are important and essential to the process.

Publishing has a lot of competition as a part of the mixture. Thousands of new books enter the marketplace every day and there are many books already in print with those authors trying to sell their books. While self-publishing is always an option, it is not a route that I recommend to authors because most of it is not successful (doesn't sell) and you end up doing everything on your own (everything—including functions that you have no interest in doing).

As an acquisitions editor, I'm looking for authors who are the exception. As an author, I'm trying to be the exception in my approach and life. Such an approach is not easy-and if it were, everyone would be doing it. The path is filled with failure and restarts yet there is a path and you can continue in spite of the failure and restarts. From my experience, those persistent authors are the ones who eventually succeed and find their way. Here's a couple of examples of these authors:

Cec Murphey has written many books including his bestselling 90 Minutes in Heaven. He had written many books before this title and received a modest advance (and expectation) from the publisher regarding this book. Through the tireless promotion of Don Piper, this book got on the New York Times bestseller list and has continued to sell year after year. Cec has written many different types of books and he is a great example of someone who is an exception as an author.

Jerry B. Jenkins has published 195 books and been #1 on the New York Times bestseller list 21 times. Left Behind was his 125th book so he was not an overnight success. The Left Behind series has sold over 70 million copies. Jerry has written many different kinds of books and is another example of an author who is the exception.

While you have probably heard of these last two authors, I'm intentionally selecting a third author who is the exception and you've probably not heard of him: Alan Williams. He is the author of The Little Teammate which is a Morgan James children's book. I understand this book has sold over 400,000 copies—and you would not know it from the BookScan numbers or the Amazon ranking. How did it happen? The author is selling copies in bulk to corporation.  Every author can use this strategy to sell books but few do so Alan Williams is an exception. You can learn about bulk sales through this free teleseminar that I did on the topic

Here's a few of my lessons from these exceptional authors:

1. Be consistent and persistent.

2. Timing is not in your control but you can control your effort—so make it consistent and persistent.

3. Look for the open doors and march through them. Most people give up but the ones who succeed keep on knocking and trying and working to find the right place. Persistence and the right connection will pay off in the long run.

Are you an “exception” author? Or maybe you know of one and their actions. Let me know in the comments below.


Can you be “The Exception” author? Learn some of the key characteristics in this article. (ClickToTweet)

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