Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Four Letter Word: W.O.R.K.

I get this vibe a ton from authors and other writers, that somehow by being in the same room as me or maybe by chillin with vincent Zandri the books will fly and the money will come in by the truckload. I think we all have this idea that it is the rub factor, can this person rub off on me, make me do better or by some sort of magic something will happen.

I do not say this with a mean spirit or because I think I have done anything special. in fact I wonder sometimes why and how I ever got anyone to read my books. I don't think I am that great of a writer or that I hold some power that makes me a success. That being said I will tall you one thing. I work hard.

Now I cannot claim to have great talent or to have a super brain, but I am a hard worker. And after talent and smarts give out, the hard worker will always win. We all remember the story of The Tortoise and the Hare. It is a simple story we all know about sticking with it, keep going and never give up. Now I like most never thought that story was more than just a kids story. But it is more.

Think about writing, publishing and selling books. It is not all about talent or style. Not about being the smartest person or having the highest ranking wizards review your book. It is about hard work.

What I lack in brains I make up for with stick-to-it-never-give-up-ness! What I lack in talent I make up for in Market-the-crap-out-of-my-and-others-books-ness!

I know we all want a pill, a magic list of how to make it. We want that simple thing we can all do to become a bestseller and so on. so here it is... the list the magic!

W: Work your A#% off!
O: Open up to new ideas! Don't get stuck in the mud, i.e. eBooks etc...
R: Reach out! Brand yourself and meet people. Share and support other authors.
K: keep going! Never stop. Be smart and market all the time but in a cool easy way.

There you go, the magic to the bestseller line. Want to make it big? This is it, not writing the best book, not being super hot, not paying out money to but your way up, good old hard WORK.



  1. I was really hoping this was contagious like a cold, and all I had to do was lick your water glass. Well, darn!

    I stopped hanging out on a lot message boards because I got tired of writers talking like there was some magic formula, and if they could figure out how to hit it just right they'd sell a gazillion copies of their books. I've never really believed in shortcuts, and I didn't like how I was getting drawn into those discussions.

    Nice post.

  2. I agree 100 percent. I've been hanging out with you and Vince for over a year and nothing has happened!! LOL

    I think my problem is I am willing to work it's that I need to do a better job of where I direct my energies.

    Good Job AP

  3. Ditto, Bri. I'm working my butt off - just this year I have 8 new releases planned, plus one bundle.

    It seems the fans I already have are wildly enthusiastic about my work (which as I told one, makes all those days I'm banging my head on the keyboard because I have ideas I can't get out properly in words) worth it!

    The marketing side (less covers, I have an AMAZING cover artist) could do with a leg up for myself, but I'm too busy writing more and social networking only has a very limited appeal to me! :P

    Great post Aaron :) I believe the hard workers will win out in the end, too!

    YA: Cheat, Liar, Coward
    Adult: Shackled

  4. Yah, I've always been really suspicious of people who have synthesized the "ten key steps to prosperity" or "five easy ways you too can be rich" or whatever. Lame. And stupid. And of course, they won't even give you a hint of what these are until you give them money, either for their book or their seminar. Lame. And stupid. And then once you do pay them (speaking hypothetically, of course), their ten key points or five easy steps turn out to be either meaningless or simple common sense. Lame. Duh. Stupid.

    My Grampa grew up in the Great Depression, fought zee Germans in WWII, was married to one woman for over sixty years, drove a truck, built cabinets, taught me to fish, and otherwise exuded toughness. He knew the value of hard work. So few today have the slightest inkling. Glad to know, then, that I am in good company here with you fine people.

  5. I can recall a period in my life only a few years ago when it looked like my career was over after some serious success with the majors...I even lost my second marriage over the difficulties we were having making ends meet. In-laws were screaming at me literally to go back to work at my dad's construction business..."You can write on the side," they said. I ignored them, knowing that sooner than later I would be a success again. All it would take was some serious WORK...And that's precisely what happened. I saw those same in-laws this past weekend at a recital for my daughter. Funny how they find it difficult to look me straight in the eye...

  6. I think KC put it very well - there IS no "magic formula," and furthermore, success can be defined in many ways. If I only view success in terms of matching Aaron Patterson's numbers or Vincent Zandri's numbers, well, let's face it, there's a really good chance I will end up disappointed.

    That's not to say I don't WANT to do that, only that I won't consider myself a failure if I DON'T do that.

    Hard work comes with the territory, and a LOT of that hard work involves things not directly related to doing the actual writing, which at times can be frustrating. But I know I write exciting, interesting books and if I never achieve huge sales numbers, I will still consider myself a success.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm up to Number 6 on the Top Ten Ways To Become a National Bestselling Author and I can't wait to see what I have to do next...

  7. Al, great comment. I think that just writing a book is a huge success. There are so many that say they want to write a book but never do. Everyone is different and I feel like the chicken who just found out his dad is an eagle. I really do believe that hard work will make just about anyone successful.

    Vin, I still have half of my family that have not ever cracked one of my books. "It is to much money" or, "I don't really read." It is kind of funny that some of the hardest people to get support from are the ones in our own family. But it will all work out. Beats working out in the weather and humpin tools around.

  8. Aaron, I tell myself that every time I start to feel sorry for myself. I could be a roofer working out in the 95 degree heat...

  9. I'd add one more thing: