It’s one little word in a world full of words, but it is a strong factor in having a good sales record. What gives a salesperson confidence? In the business world I come from it’s two simple things:
- Knowing your product
- Knowing your customer
Plus, Practice makes perfect. It has become apparent to me in the writing world that things aren’t as simple as they seem. Writing by nature is anything but a know your product, know your customer situation. As a salesperson in the banking world I am not by rights selling my own products– I’m selling a company’s product, and if the product fails it doesn’t mean I fail. If someone hates the product, they don’t hate me (now this isn’t to say I haven’t had customers say some very unfriendly things to me, but I’ve learned that customers are most often upset with the situation and not you. You just happen to be the target in the line of sight.)
Today I had someone write a review for Walking in the Shadows. I violated one of my goals and read it. It was mostly good…mostly. What was good about it? It allowed me to begin thinking about this Sales Saturday and confidence. The review didn’t really make me mad. I have confidence. My mind started to think of a website that I had once come across where you put in a piece of your writing and it tells you who you write like.
TRUTH: I don’t want to write like anyone else.
That in itself is confidence–putting yourself out there for the lynch mob is part confidence, and maybe, part arrogance. The arrogance is pretty quickly swept away.
TRUTH: I know I can be a better writer, but I also know I am not a bad writer.
That’s right, I said it.
So what does confidence in the sales world of writing novels entail?
You’re putting yourself out there so what I believe you really need is this:
- Know your book–what it is and what it isn’t but keep in mind this won’t keep others from knowing or not knowing.
- “It’s what we know we aren’t, that makes us who we are”–August Burns Red, Existence. Know you, you are just as much a part of the product as the book is.
- Know your customer. This is pretty consistent in all business formats because if you don’t know your customer you won’t have any clue what they want.
There is a certain part of being an author that has the “my book is my baby” mentality. Well, of course it is, but sooner or later the baby has to leave the nest and at that point you have no control. You have to watch what happens and stand confident but professional. You have to let people sink their teeth in and spit you out if they want to. It sucks, I know, but if you have the confidence to put it out there in moments of doubt think this “I know who I am as a writer. I’m fine with your opinion”–notice I never put that the opinion is right–most of all keep the thought to yourself.
Back to that special website that tells you what famous author you write like. It was very tempting to put in a piece of my writing but in the end I decided that I know who I write like:
I WRITE LIKE:
- Sales Saturday: A Suit with a Heart (cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com)
- Sales Saturday: Setting Goals (cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com)
- Sales Saturday: Being Human (cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com)