Perseverance, success, and authors


Louis Pasteur wasn’t referring to a book he wrote when he said, “Let me tell you the secret that has led to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity,” but he might as well have been.

Sometimes, it’s nothing more than perseverance that separates successful authors from those who fail — no matter how you define fail.

Many authors are familiar with the story of how best-seller Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected by 123 publishers before it was acquired. It’s a contemporary example of why authors must persist.

How do you persevere?

Perseverance can come in many forms, of course.

For some, it might be moving on to the next book.

For others, it could be listening carefully to less-than-glowing reader reviews and improving the manuscript. It might involve applying what you’ve learned from feedback to the next writing project.

For others, it could be building on a positive response by doing one thing a day to promote the book.

It can also mean just showing up in front of your computer to write at the same time every day, even when life knocks you off your feet.

Why you should persevere

Buzzfeed‘s list of “20 Brilliant Authors Whose Work Was Originally Rejected” documents why you hang in there.

After all, Beatrix Potter self-published The Tale of Peter Rabbit in 1901 after publishers rejected it and look where she ended up. She succeeded because she persevered.

If you believe in your book, don’t give up. Get help making it the best if can be if that makes sense — and for most of us, it does — but don’t give up.

If you have something to say, work at saying it better than anyone else.

Package your book so it looks just as good as anything that you see on display in a brick and mortar bookstore.

Find your audience. Tell them about it. Promote it to the right people.

But don’t give up. For many authors, success is about perseverance more than anything else.

That might just be the case with you.

Ready to persist with book marketing but not sure what to do? Get a book marketing tip delivered to your inbox every day for just 99 cents for the entire year — that’s $.0027 per day and per tip — with the Build Book Buzz “365 Daily Book Marketing Tips” series.

Why do you persevere? What’s your motivation? Tell us in a comment.

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Sandra Beckwith is an award-winning former publicist who now teaches authors how to market their books. Three groups have recognized her site as an outstanding resource for authors, so you know her advice is author-tested.

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8 Responses to Perseverance, success, and authors
  1. Ivy
    October 11, 2017 | 10:22 pm

    If you believe in your book, don’t give up. I totally agree with this word. If you believe in yourself, just insist on. You will finally

    • Sandra Beckwith
      October 17, 2017 | 7:43 am

      Excellent advice, Ivy. Thank you!


  2. Wendy Raebeck
    October 12, 2017 | 2:43 pm

    Striving is what life’s all about. It’s the field between the goal posts. Imagine if life was only goal posts? We wouldn’t even have anything to write about!

    • Sandra Beckwith
      October 17, 2017 | 7:42 am

      You’re so right, Wendy. Thank you.


  3. Martha Miller
    October 13, 2017 | 1:32 pm

    Why do I preservere? I’ve been asking myself that question a lot lately, and here’s the short answer: It’s fun. What? Yes, it really is!

    Here’s the long answer:
    My book has been out a little over a year and I’m doing more events, and contacting more bookstores and libraries asking them to carry it than I did in the beginning. Maybe I needed to build some confidence that the book was really good and that people would care. This was my first book after all. As my confidence increased, I looked forward to each event and was energized by them. I left elated and excited that I had inspired someone or made them laugh. Selling books after the talk has become the cherry on top.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      October 17, 2017 | 7:42 am

      This is SO wonderful, Martha! Thank you for sharing!


  4. Suzette Webb
    October 16, 2017 | 11:33 pm

    Why do I persevere? First, let me say that this blog arrived at just the right time for me. I had just released the 2nd edition of my book a few days prior and I was feeling both overwhelmed and somewhat rejected. I felt like throwing in the towel. Then, it seems as though in one divine moment, I opened my email and noticed the word ‘perseverance” in one of the subject lines. I couldn’t resist clicking on the email even though I was short on time. Of course, after reading the article, I felt like I was in good company. Thanks Sandy!

    Now, onto why I continue to get back on the proverbial bike of writing. As a non-fiction author who writes faith-based material and who often feels tested, I genuinely believe this is part of my life’s work. So, even if I throw in the towel, I’ll likely have a good cry or go for a good run (although, these days it’s more like a brisk walk), but I end up picking up that towel once more. Thanks Sandy for such an inspiring piece!

    • Sandra Beckwith
      October 17, 2017 | 7:41 am

      Hang in there, Suzette. Authors tend to expect fireworks when they launch a book, but that’s not the norm. Not to sound too cliche, but in reality, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

      I’m so glad this reached you at just the right time!


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