Being a Successful Author 1 Oil Drum at a Time

Okay, so who doesn’t dream of being a best-selling author? I know I did. And I still do.

Yes, Beguiled, part one of my Frost Trilogy, is selling well, but I’m far from hitting the top ten on the NYT Bestseller list! But am I discouraged..? NO.

The odds on making that coveted list are a millions-to-one, surely? That’s what I thought, but again, no, they’re actually much shorter than that. And Kristen Lamb explains why in her blog post What Are the REAL Odds of Being a Successful Author?

It all comes down to the 5% Rule.

Statistically, of all the many, many people who dream of giving up the day job and being a full-time writer only 5% of 5% of 5% of 5% of 5% of 5% of 5% of 5% (that’s right, I wrote that 8 times) will actually make it as far as publishing, thus shortening the odds considerably.

And why is that?


This doesn’t just apply to writers of course. It’s true of anyone who dreams of telling their boss where to shove it, or – if you have a great boss as I do – just happily waving goodbye to their full-time job to do what they love.

So what are the 7 Steps to Success?

1. Take you dream seriously. If you don’t how do you expect others to?

2. Learn your craft. No one wants to read a crappy book.

3. Grow a thick skin – you’re going to have to accept negative feedback.

4. Finish what you start. Talking about writing a book doesn’t mean shit if you don’t actually WRITE it.

5. Get an online presence. Do this while you’re writing your first novel & you’ll have a built in friend base who’ll gladly pimp the arse off it – but see point 2.

6. Make use of professionals – you can’t do everything yourself. Every successful person knows when to delegate.

7. Done it once? Do it again… and again… and again. Keep writing more and more books. The more you write, the more successful you will be.

Oh, and those oil drums? Read Kristen’s post to see what I’m (and she) is talking about.

Well I’m off to continue doing # 4 and finish writing book 2 in my Frost Trilogy, In Too Deep. It’s coming out in February so I better get cracking!

Terri x

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