How Does an Author Define Success?

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Define An Author’s Success

Well, my first book Manifesting Me has officially been out for one season. Being a new author, I had no idea what good book sales were. When is the book a success? What exactly is the criteria that needs to be met in order claim best seller? Maybe the real question is, how does each author define success?

Success comes in many forms, as we all know.   I believe success is defined individually. Is about how many awards you receive?  Or is it total book sales? Does have to be book sold by a certain deadline?  I read somewhere if you sold at least a 1000 copies of your first book, you should consider that a success.  It has also has been said a book’s average lifespan is short; usually three months after the publicity campaign. Who wants to be average?

I mentioned in my last blog I read Think and Grow Rich for a second time.  That book was first published in 1937.  It has gone through many cycles of being trendy. It sold more than 20 million copies by 1970, and by 2015 sold more than 100 million copies.  I’d say that would define success.  I’m not sure when Napoleon Hill sold his first 1000 books, but what if took him 2 years? Maybe, a first time author will get to one thousand books after five years.  With that in mind, should you put a time on when to declare success?

Success Comes in Different Forms

Book sales define only part of the success of a author.   What about speaking engagements?  Inspiring others?  Or what about making your book current over again? If I am being honest, I am trying to figure this out for myself. And there seems to lots of ways to go about this.

Self-promoting is a very large part of how well your book will do. Have you entered contests? Awards give you confidence and bragging rights. Plus, gives you credibility.  Credibility give you authority on a subject leading to speaking engagements via podcasts, interviews in magazines, etc.  Exposure, exposure, exposure. The more people that get to know you, the more the know about your book and the more people will want it.  What sets you apart from every other author? Do you have hidden talents you’d like to explore?

In case you haven’t noticed, I love talking about the law of attraction.  Manifesting Me gives many example of where attitude was; whether through love or fear, and how the material manifested in my life.  As I’ve grasped how energy works, I’ve been able to read angel cards. Hence, adding to my income.

Updated Website

Keeping a website updated through blogs or events aids in an author’s success.  Lots of people have made plenty of money blogging in the past.  I’m not sure how much money is made through blogging lately, but it all adds up.  Plus, it drives people to your website.  Having hits on your website gives you the opportunity for sales of your book or perhaps you have PDF files of workbooks for sale and not to mention affiliate/associate programs.

What’s handy about a website is having plugins. They track how well your site is doing.  I try to set realistic goals and once they have been met, I set new goals. All of these things add to your success.

Easy But Consistent

The things mentioned above are not difficult.  Creating the content takes the most amount of time.  It’s the little tasks and being consistent that will get you the success you desire.  Today I listened to one of Jim Rohn’s videos. He said something that resonated with me and it was something to the the effect: When you plant a garden in the spring, you must tend to it all the time even up to the summer, or the weeds and bugs will tend to it for you. 

Basically, you don’t just publish a book and that’s the end of it.  Go above and beyond.  Be excited about what you’ve created and nurture it so it can keep growing.  Although, typically a book’s life isn’t long, doesn’t mean you have to follow those rules.  It’s just an average.

Balance Is the True Success For Me

Of course, money is always associated with success, but I feel balance is the most important and the hardest.  Are you only successful in business? Or are you better at having successful relationships?  Are you a successful a having fun?

Feeling proud, happy, content, satisfied, safe, loved, etc. Is really what people are striving for.  Most feel it’s money.  Because in the having the money, one feels less stressed over bills, leading to a sense of peace and security. It’s the peace and security we’re after.

As long as your’e feeling inspired and creative while producing content and making a profit, I believe you’ve found your success. Every successful author was new at some point.  There aren’t any real get rich schemes in any industry. So take each little triumph and build on them.  You are on your way to success.  It isn’t over until you deem it so.

Not Just For Authors

Even though this blog is about the success of an author, this applies to pretty much anything. Listen to successful people through videos, NPR, podcasts, books, etc. they all say the same thing.  I am only regurgitating information I have heard and applied to my life to find that it works.  Good luck and much success to all of those who want it and are going for it.

I had to share one of my favorite authors J. K. Rowling’s interview with Oprah. The first author to become a billionaire.  Truly inspiring. Click the link below.

https://youtu.be/gTotbiUjLxw

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“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”~ Napoleon Hill

Surrender Doesn’t Mean You Give Up

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Can’t Get It Out Of My Head

I can’t get the word “surrender” out of my head, leading me to explore this topic.  Since Manifesting Me came into the world this past June, the hoopla has died down a smidgen. It’s not to say things aren’t happening, but the hype isn’t as prevalent as it was during the book launch. I can’t stop feeling like I’m missing out on something. I find I have been comparing myself with other authors;  a topic I’ve talked about in a previous blog.  https://leahereinhart.com/how-does-the-three-toxic-cs-affect-your-success/ While I am being  proactive in my process of being an author, I constantly hear the little voice in my head saying, “surrender.”

I don’t think I’ve actually understood what “surrender” really meant, up to this point. Even though I’ve heard other use the phrase, “surrender” a thousand time,  I’ve only understood it logically.  I think I’m finally understanding on a deeper level what the true meaning is. As much as I want to be knee deep in the author world, there’s a gestation period, like anything else. Another topic I’ve blogged about, before.  https://leahereinhart.com/everyone-has-potential-to-do-anything/  However, when I am the person in the state of insecurity, I know that I have to reel in my negative thoughts; and let be, what will be. It’s not always easy at first. Hence, I have to surrender.

A White Flag Or Throwing In the Towel Equals Surrender

Most of us think of a white flag waving or of throwing in the towel, when someone brings up the word, surrender; as giving up. Surrendering doesn’t mean you give up on what you’re trying to accomplish. It means to stop trying to control specific outcomes.  Surrendering, means do what you can and don’t focus on things out of your control. Don’t obsess on the things that aren’t going exactly the way you envisioned.

Maybe the thing I thought wasn’t happening, just hasn’t happened, yet.  As much as I’ve preached on how the Universe is working for you, this is the time when I need to practice what I preach. If things are meant to be, they will. And if not, something better will come.

Comparing Can Get You Into Trouble

As a new author, I didn’t have a clear picture of what my outcome was to be.  I knew I wanted to write my memoir and that it would hopefully help someone.  I relied heavily on reading what other authors have shared online to get an indicator of what the author life was like.

I’ve heard time and time again, Don’t plan to get rich off of your first book. It’s your second or even tenth book, that makes you money.   Which doesn’t sound hopeful; especially after spending a pretty penny to publish. Or  I am on the morning show. I’m winning all these awards,  which isn’t something that has it happened in my experience…at least not at this point.

Being in social media groups with other authors sharing their journey, has been helpful, inspiring, and has been very useful. But at times, has triggered my insecurities. I find myself comparing and competing with other authors, when I have no clue of where they are in their journey. Maybe they’ve been working if the field for many years.  Maybe they’ve paid more for an expensive publicity package. Whatever the case is, I know nothing of their history and to presume anything is just silly; like comparing apples to oranges. Logically, I know this to be very unproductive.  Thankfully, the voice in my head is persistent.”Surrender!”

Insecure Moments

Insecure moments are quite normal, but aren’t discussed as much in these forums. Most want to show all of their accolades, which is awesome! Who wouldn’t want the world to know about their accomplishments and progress? I’d do the same thing.  Publishing a book is an impressive achievement and one should be proud.

There’s more to writing a book, when you want to have it be part of your career.  There’s a wealth of information and tons to do, most of which is fun and creative. Nonetheless, there’s the vulnerable part; especially when it comes to memoir. People are going to have opinions about you. Everyone has a story, so why does yours matter? Realizing you’re one of many to trying to make it, can be overwhelming at times.  The voice in my head says, “Surrender.”

So what does that mean? I think to myself.  “Quit worrying.” The voice in my head answers.

Although, both voices are in my head, I refer to my thoughts as one, and the voice another. My essence (my soul) is the inner voice telling my ego (thoughts) to surrender.

Learning how to surrender was something I was forced to do, once my book was released to the world. I’d spent the money to make it happen.  There’s no turning back now.  On the upside, the feedback has been pretty positive. Plus, I have events on the calendar. Then there’s the downside, I’d been informed of an awesome opportunity, but it hasn’t been confirmed. The voice continues telling me to surrender.  Why do I need to hear this?

It’s quite simple. I’m focusing on the wrong things. Like, thinking the awesome opportunity is gone. When maybe, it just didn’t happen yet. I seem to have this sense of urgency. Clearly, my ego has taken control.

Essence And Ego

Ego constantly is testing reality and is finite. It’s good for accounting, organizing, etc. and is a part of you that you can’t get rid of. How I define the ego, is it’s the nagging part of your brain that expresses conditional love.  Therefor, it points out all of your flaws.

Essence is the part of you – your soul or inner being – that loves you unconditionally and is infinite.  It’s your connection to All. My essences wants me relax, by telling me, “Surrender. Everything will be fine. Don’t put all the emphasis into the outcome. Enjoy the journey. This is only the beginning. What’s the rush? Chill.”

When you are a doer, like I am, it’s hard to give up power and to allow things to happen in their natural time. I’m being guided by the little non-judging voice, to let it take whatever time is needed, and not look into the future with fear-clouded glasses, to be successful in anything.

Surrender Isn’t Forceful

Have you ever tried grasping a bar of soap tightly?  If you have, you know its nearly impossible to hold on to it.  It’s the same as holding on too tightly to a specific outcome. Let go a little and don’t try to force things.  I’m sure you know of someone, or experienced it for yourself, an incident where you forced something, and you got it. Yet the desired outcome, wasn’t quite what you’d had in mind.

Surrender isn’t forceful, tense, or exhausting.  Thus, if you are experiencing frustration and disappointment? It is time for you to surrender.  And if things seem to be falling into place without force and you’re feeling joyful, motivated, and inspired? Pat yourself on the back! You are in what others call being in the flow. Can you tell when your ego get the best of you? Has the little voice in your head ever said, Surrender?

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell

Click the link to hear Oprah’s experience with surrendering and the movie, The Color Purple.   https://youtu.be/tLAoc4HwecU

Click the link to hear  Denzel Washington’s speech on his experience with surrendering.  https://youtu.be/M99NCxR0a-Q