Setting Realistic Goals

One important thing to keep in mind as you market your work is to set realistic achievable goals for yourself. Having a “pie in the sky” dream is great, but make sure that you have a realistic plan for getting there.

I’ve worked with authors who when I first talk with them want to know when I’ll get their book on Oprah. (Hmmmm. How do I respond to that?) I’m not saying that I don’t think the book deserve’s Oprah’s attention. I’m not even saying that the book won’t eventually get on Oprah. But, there is probably a better place to begin publicity efforts such as local TV and radio, blogs related to your topic, and relevant periodicals. By actively approaching these venues an author is more likely to gain the attention of national media.

Bottom line: start with realistic and achievable promotional ideas and build from there. Your efforts will help you gain more success and should lead to better and better opportunities.

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3 thoughts on “Setting Realistic Goals

  1. Megan Cutter

    Thank you for the reminder to set realistic and concrete goals for marketing and promotion. However, if you don’t have the dream, and why not dream big, then I think you’re limiting yourself.

    As an aside, my husband had a surgery to replace a medical pump recently. Imagine the drs surprise when they found he wasn’t getting any medicine at all. In that timeframe, he stood and walked for the first time, attributing walking to the medicine he wasn’t receiving. What we took away from that experience is how much we limit ourselves and therefore limit the possibilities for our achievement, on a daily basis.

    Yes, after the inspiration of the dream comes focus, action and hard work to build even the most basic marketing platform to gain local and national attention. Writing and marketing requires two different sets of skills, and it is difficult to keep them in balance when so you are immersed in one or the other.

    Being open to possibility is important, even when we are planning and goal setting.

    With sincere regards,

  2. Nelson Dy

    Hello Scott,

    I thoroughly enjoy your blog and I wonder if you can tackle how an author can market a book in the U.S. while living on the other side of the world.

    I live in the Philippines and have published three books here. I believe I am doing the right things to market my books: building a platform by writing a regular column in a local newspaper, appearing in TV and radio interviews and conducting seminars related to my books.

    Lately, I sent copies of my books to a U.S. publisher, hoping it will reprint and distribute them to the American markets. Its director remarked that while she enjoyed reading my books, "at this point it would be difficult to successfully market a book in the US written by an author living in the Philippines. At the same time, I hope some day to be able to publish authors like you. I just have to find a way to do it successfully."

    May I ask for advice what to do next? Should I look for a U.S. literary agent? Contract an American self-publishing house with a strong distribution channel? Either way, I think we would eventually go back to the disadvantage of living in Asia.

    I do hope you can give some time and thoughts to my dilemma.


    Nelson T. Dy