I recently read of a published author who advises writers on how to snag a book deal through blogging. Another says social media, specifically Facebook, is the key, while a third advocates the aggressive use of Twitter. Then there’s the countervailing strategy to not waste time online. Others say give your work away, either for a while or forever, (which reminds me of the one-liner: “We lose money on every sale, but we make up for it in volume.) Then there’s newsletters and email marketing. And don’t forget self-publishing.
These are all heralded as strategies to get published quickly.
Each of these self-proclaimed experts has empirical evidence to back them up: their own experience. “It worked for me,” they reason, “so it can work for you, too.”
But one success does not a strategy make. A singular occurrence may be a result of good timing, a confluence of factors unlikely to be repeated, or other unidentified causes.
Their path to success may be unique to them and not normative. As the fine print warns, “Individual results may vary.”
Until their advice can be reliably repeated, their experience is little more than an anecdote . Unfortunately, once a particular tactic can be quantifiably verified, it may already be passé and no longer viable.
So instead of chasing the latest “get published quick” scheme, focus on the time proven strategy of producing really great work and being patient.
Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!