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Preparing to Be an Overnight Success

Preparing to Be an Overnight Success

Sounds a bit counterintuitive, doesn't it? You can't really PREPARE for instant, overnight success. It just happens (and lucky you!), and there's nothing you can do to be ready for it, right? WRONG! The truth is that it takes a lot of preparation to be ready for when that overnight success hits. Think about it: if you write the best book, compose the best song, or paint the most amazing picture, you've got a product that could propel to you overnight success. But if you have no way to get your creation into the hands of the masses and no way for people to contact you with amazing offers of a movie deal, record contract, or million-dollar sale price, you are not ready for success H. Jackson Brown, Jr. said, "The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today." That means taking those little tiny steps that will prepare you for that giant leap into overnight success. Zooming in on authors (among which I count myself), how can we prepare for that instant acclaim and fortune upon the publication of our "next great American novel"?
  • Build an author platform where people can follow you (social media, website/blog, etc.)
  • Continue to produce quality work (the next book in the series, another book, short stories, etc.)
  • Have a way for people to stay in constant contact with you (social media, website/blog, newsletter list, etc.)
It's all the little things that eventually build up into the big successes! Most people point to Andy Weir, author of The Martian, as the poster boy for overnight success. But did you know that he actually began posting chapters of his work on his website way back in 2009? Years before we'd ever heard of the Martian! He built a platform of roughly 3,000 readers, all of whom nitpicked his work and helped him to improve on the concept. By the time he posted it on Amazon (in 2012, priced at just $0.99), he had invested three years of his life into building his author platform. Quietly, subtly, but effectively. Three months later, it was an Amazon best-seller, and the rest is history. THAT is effective preparation for overnight success. There was that element of "instant fame" (35,000 downloads in three months), but he put in the hard work behind the scenes to be ready for that fame. If you want to be ready for your moment of glory, you have to do the footwork first!