Better Off Read: How to Succeed in Publishing

In the publishing world, everyone seems to be asking the next writer, “How do you do it? What’s your secret?”

Everyone wants to know how to get a top agent, get to #1 on Amazon, the NYT, or sell a gazillion copies. I’ve spent the past few years pondering this exact same question. I’ve even asked it myself.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me the same question. Here’s what I know: There are a lot of parts to this question. And I do mean a lot.


What? You want me to tell you quickly? You don’t want the whole sordid thing in step-by-step instructions that read like a manual for making the next Space Lab?

I couldn’t agree more. Just watch and listen closely, because this video hits the entire secret right on the head. In fact, I think the movie BETTER OFF DEAD is an inspiration.


Did you get it? Great stuff, right?

Okay, some of you are saying, “Some coach you are!”

But if so, you weren’t paying attention. Go back and watch it again. Listen carefully.

1. Know what your goal is. Lane wants to win Beth back at any cost.

2. Listen to the advice of people you trust. Lane trusts Booger.

3. Decide if it’s valid advice before you, “Go that way, really, really fast.”

4. Understand that what works for one person may not work for another.

5. Trust your instincts and just overcome your fears. Go for it. You’ll never reach the finish line any other way.

That’s the secret. Determination. Hard work. Sacrifice. Luck.

Writing is a lot of work. There’s the pounding of keys, gnashing of teeth, ignoring family, friends, meals, stressing over uploading your book (self-published), fretting  over contracts (traditional publishing). Writing is a giant time suck. You can spend months (or a year), and multiple revisions before delivering that novel.

For the fortunate few, the reward is a lot of money practically overnight (extremely rare). For most of us, though, success comes just $2 at a time. No, really. For indies, that’s about the average profit per sale…before taxes. Don’t forget there’s an editor, copyeditor, proofreader, and cover artist to hire, too.

How determined are you to get your $2?

By now, you probably get the feeling that I’m crazy there’s a big time and effort investment with no guarantees. Yep, on both counts. And there will be obstacles. Success at anything doesn’t come without life kicking you around a little on top of all that hard work. There will be plenty of egotistical bullies. People whom you love may desert you. You’ll break a few skis. You’ll be absolutely terrified and filled with self-doubt.

But if you are determined enough and very lucky, you just might get the girl (or guy), the job of your dreams, and the cool car.

Chase your dreams really fast. If something gets in your way, turn.



If you’ve never watched BETTER OFF DEAD, do. It’s crazy fun. Who doesn’t need that in their life now and then?


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