Oh, it was easy to miss. The streets were packed with visitors sifting through novels new and old, nibbling roasted corn on the cob, and redirecting their kids’ attention from hand-held video games to colorful tents with serious books. Life-sized cartoon mascots turned aisles into obstacle courses. Music blared and skin turned from pink to red under the strong south Florida sun.
Off to one side, though, was an aisle marked Writer’s Row. It was there that self-published authors could have rediscovered a secret they probably already know. That is, there are no shortcuts in this game. Writing the book is only the first lap of the marathon. Nothing happens until you rewire your brain and switch from creative writing to creative marketing.
It is hard work, particularly for anyone who believes the work should speak for itself. Of course it should, but there are lots of loud voices out there, and it’s easy to get drowned out without a messaging arsenal that includes social media and plenty of personal appearances.
Six or so miles away from the fair, however, a little awards ceremony was underway that honored the actual writing portion of the marathon. Readers Favorite CEO Debra Gaynor was telling authors “what you do is important. What you do touches someone’s life in some way.”
It was nice to hear. Important to hear. A bottle of cold water at lap 13. And a much-needed pat on the back before resuming the race.
So thanks, Debra, for the drink, the medal and for hustling back to the fair and manning the booth that featured this year’s winning books. The most important lessons are the ones taught by example.
What lessons have the rest of you self-publishers learned lately?
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