Success = Cause + Effectiveness.

(The math behind all successful authors)

So here I am, poised in what appears to be the greatest of positions. My book is released, my website is up and I now have the infrastructure to move a great volume of books with all who dare to share my vision. My ideas have materialized right in front of my very eyes. The words became sentences, paragraphs and finally, a completed body of work. It should be an exciting time and it is. I found out that this is not the case for many authors that share a similar position in this game. I started receiving many inquisitive emails from my sisters and brothers of the pen. Most of my fellow authors seemed to share the same sentiments; “Now what?” I would always hesitate to respond since I was usually unfamiliar with the author or their particular body of work. As I read from the pages of their well written concerns, one theme was constant. Many artists felt a loss of momentum shortly after their first publication. That adrenaline that filled every blood vessel in their bodies when they saw their first proof, sold their first book or autographed their first copy was now gone. Inspiration barely lasts a moment now doesn’t it? As we all know, an artist who is not inspired is not successful. However, the emails I received were a bit more factual and direct like a math equation. You would be hard pressed to find any author or artist for that matter who would be so bold as to flat out say “Inspire me!” Many authors simply wanted to know what the formula or equation was for success was. Hmmm…, this question is easy to ask, but not so easy to answer. So how does an author equate success? The quick answer is book sales, but sales alone won’t tell the whole story of an author’s legacy. I ran my fingertips through silver whiskers as I pondered this equation, (Success = C+E) Cause and Effectiveness.

Let’s tackle this math problem by first addressing the value of being effective. I discovered early that the most effective artist have the scales between artist and fan tipped heavily in their favor in regards to the “search” Meaning, fans and would be readers are spending more time looking for the artist or product than the artist does trying to find his/her audience. So the next question becomes “How does one establish and solidify their fan base? Now this is tricky. Fans can be fickle and consumers can be elusive. The best method I have found comes 2 fold.

1) Think like a fan. Try looking for and purchasing a product that is similar to yours. (In your case a book) and take notes along the journey of the pros and cons.
2) Make yourself accessible to your fan base and stay visible.
I do this by blogging, attending book festivals, performing spoken word at the local poetry hot spots and shaking all the literary hands I possibly can. You will have to find your own method of visibility that not only fits your genre of writing, but also accents the strengths of your personality. (Consumers are more likely to purchase from a confident and comfortable author before they would one that was not) You may also want to consider the value of effectiveness as it relates to advertising. There are plenty of ways to advertise, promote, sell, and market a book or anything else for that matter. But is your way as effective as it can be? I like to take a page from the big boys on this one. You ever notice how record companies, fast food chains and Hollywood conduct their business? One day, you are unaware of a particular album, spicy burrito or 3-D movie with a celebrity voice over. The next day Boom! A shock and awe media blitz campaign of mythic proportions. Cups, commercials, happy meal toys, billboards, cereal box covers, Saturday Night Live guest appearances and so on. They’ll even have a website up and running long before we even got wind of the product itself. Why should they smack us in the face all at one time? (Because it’s effective) I move the same way. I go to book shows and such with books of course. But also with flyer’s of the book, website advertisements, business cards, t-shirts, free stuff and so on. I walk around malls and hand out flyer’s. I am relevant on all the social network sights as well as a relentless monster on blogs and such. Again, my method is tailor made to suit my personality, talents and writing style. These are only examples; please find a unique way to remain visible to people who have an interest in your particular books genre.

The final value in this equation is “Cause” This in my opinion is the most important component in having success pursuing a life of creativity. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. So one could argue if you didn’t have any direction to where you were going, as well as not having a clue where you came from, the line would be filled with plenty of curves. (Making you less effective) You may know your creative purpose or you may not. I have found that this aspect of life simply cannot be rushed. What one can do to help find “Cause” or “Purpose” for that matter is by having a sense of self. By knowing who and what your values are, you will know why you are writing books in the first place. Is it for vanity, fame, or wealth? Is it sharing, educating or enlightening? Or is it simply a need to express yourself? There is nothing wrong with any of these motives. Just know that readers are a very savvy group that tends to support the struggle of the genuine over the arrogance of the phony. After the vision of where you are and where your trying to be is focused, your line to success will be much straighter. Success will not be elusive to any who get the math right. When we stop learning we stop living.
See you at the next level.

La Mont Anthony Wright/GB