“Persistence: Friend or Foe?”

“I think I can. I think I can.” 

“I think I can. I think I can.” 

How are you this Saturday?

It’s been a long week—or maybe it’s just been a few days... I’m not sure at this point, so let’s dive into today’s topic. 

Persistence

We’ve all heard the word. You might even associate it with the words from American educator, Thomas H. Palmer, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.”

Recently, I ran across those words in a book I picked up from iBooks—The 7 P’s of Publishing Success  by Mark Leslie Lefebvre. It’s a promising book that talks about those things that will help a writer succeed at publishing. Mind you, he did not say it would make you a bestseller. He’s of the mindset that these seven traits—practice, professionalism, patience, progression, persistence, partnership, and patronage—are present in all successful authors. You must determine what that success looks for you.

I haven’t read the entire book yet, but I think I recently had an experience that taught me about persistence. Let me explain.

Amazon, Numbers, and the Sleepless Night

The other night I took a gander at my numbers on Amazon. It’s something I don’t do often (mistake on my part). Needless to say, I didn’t like what I saw, especially for The Alliance Chronicles.

So, I chose a method of attack. I rewrote the descriptions, changed categories and keywords, and even added a subtitle for the five books. I thought it was a win. That night my mind went on hyperdrive. Instead of sleeping, I thought of a better four-phase attack. I wasn’t satisfied with just updating metadata. Studying the genre, I decided my books needed new covers, but I wanted feedback from others. 

The next day I contacted my readers group, but the comments were too slow (actually nonexistent). So, I reached out to a trusted author friend. She took the time to compare my covers and descriptions and gave me real feedback. Sadly, it wasn’t what I hoped for. She agreed that I needed to recover, but she couldn’t offer me a guarantee that it would turn these books into mega-hits. Only time would tell.

I made one more stab at it and fixed problems she saw with the descriptions. I moved the books back into the YA categories—the books are upper YA except for the fifth one which I put under NA. I got rid of the subtitle. Then I made the decision to tackle the issue at another time. Recovering five books at once is an expensive undertaking. If I want to pursue it, it won’t happen until next year. With that said, I’ll also postpone publishing Renegade.  Dependent upon how the relaunch goes, the last book will either be launched with it OR it will be reworked as a standalone. 

I know it sounds like a woe-is-me tale, but It’s not. Yes, there are dues to pay (I’m still there), and eventually I’ll hit the mark (whatever it might be). There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. If I’m persistent, I’ll reach that end. Whether or not, it’s a bestseller orange sticker can’t be the determining factor of success. 

Why not? 

Because I write in highly competitive categories. That’s not going to change. I write what I enjoy reading. No worries that I’ll start writing about basketball playing pirates (a joke between my husband and I). All that I can do is continue to hone my craft and continue on my journey—writing strong stories with diverse characters.

I can’t wait to find out what the other P’s in Lefebvre’s book are about. He even has one about distributing on Kobo that I’m interested in.

Since I’m not giving up anytime soon, I owe it to myself to learn all that I can about this crazy publishing business.

Have a great day! 

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