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September 13, 2012

How I Became a Bestselling Author

Posted in: Advertising, Promotion, Marketing Strategies, Children's Books, General, Self-Publishing

First, what I didn’t do.

I did not become a bestselling author by:

- paid reviews
- carefully researching niches in Amazon until I found one that looked soft to break into the ‘bestseller’ rankings
- being rich, famous or having a big list who I could convince to buy my book
- offering fabulous bonuses if you bought my book during a certain time period
- stupendous, unforgettable writing. I like to think what I write makes people laugh, but I don’t generally write books that people RAVE about

Okay, so how DID I become a bestselling author?

Simple. I was driving to work one day, listening to Think and Grow Rich or a similar title that talked about saying daily affirmations about achieving your goals and how to imagine and feel yourself in possession of “the money” already. I had heard advice many times about stating goals or affirmations, that I should do so

- out loud
- at least once, preferably twice, each day
- that I should include a statement of emotion
- that I should be specific
- that ideally I should say an afirmation in the present tense.

So I was supposed to be saying aloud, something along the lines of:

“Today is September 30th. My book sales are exceeding $50,000 this year and I am thrilled to be able to (insert personal desire here, that I don’t want to state publicly — no it’s not a nose or boob job).”

Actually I think I was supposed to write such a statement down and read it out loud until it resonated with me and I felt the joy of knowing I would receive the money. So that is what I was trying to do.

I was working on what my statement should be, when a different voice in my brain grabbed the microphone.

“Best-selling author Anne Emerick is driving over the Mid-Hudson Valley Bridge.”

I was indeed on the bridge now and suddenly I WAS.”Best-selling author, Anne Emerick.” This simple phrase resonated with me big-time and so I said it several more times on that drive in to work, “Best-selling author, Anne Emerick, catches another red light.”

Then I fessed up to Rachel and Michaela in a daily email exchange as part of the Accountability Program. I told them, feeling very sheepish, that I was going around narrating my life, and referring to myself as ‘best-selling author Anne Emerick’. I felt pretty silly. Well they thought this was great and started emailing me and asking questions, such as, “Hey, best-selling author Anne, how did you make out yesterday? This reinforcement was essential since my mood a few days later was much less determined and optimistic and it was an email arriving addressed to (yes, you guessed it), ‘best-selling author…” that snapped me out of the doldrums and back into a better frame of mind.

“So, what’s your point?” you ask.

My point is that sometimes we can get too tied up in HOW we practice our daily affirmations. Do we write them down? Did we state them in a particular tense? Did we say them just before going to bed or upon arising? Should we face a mirror when we say them? But the most effective way to state a daily affirmation isn’t the same for every person and it needs to come from the heart. What jolts your jollies and makes you start attracting good stuff and moving mountains, isn’t necessarily what works for me.

For me, I knew the moment I heard that phrase, “best-selling author Anne Emerick” that THAT was my personal affirmation, a condensed version of what I wanted to achieve. Ruben Gonzalez, Olympic Luger, said he was in his mind at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics every waking moment from the moment he decided to train for the Olympics - that he could feel the chilled air on his face, hear the Olympic Fanfare, see the people and the flags. Ruben’s daily affirmations involved picturing himself at the opening ceremony of the Olympics. Many people swear by vision boards or pictures on their refrigerator, photoshopped images of themselves in possession of their goals.

I’ll be forever glad for that voice that interrupted my thoughts as I drove over that bridge. The voice that knew I was overcomplicating things and that I just needed to start thinking of myself as a best-selling author.

Now, it’s possible that someone reading is going to go check my stats on Amazon and come back and post a comment stating that Anne Emerick is NOT a bestselling author. I’m not worried. Time and belief are on my side. I will be able to prove that I am a best-selling author.

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