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Knock on 100 Doors (Encouragement for Those Wanting to Give Up Writing)

I'm knee-deep into book promoting as the pre-order approaches fast. Since last June, I've sent out hundreds of emails, dialed dozens of phone numbers, and boosted my social media from 2K to almost 15K.

Even though I've reached out to literally hundreds of librarians, teachers, reviewers, endorsers, etc., you'd be surprised at the number who get back.

Usually a small fraction.

I totally get it. Busy seasons catch up to us. And 300 pages is a lot to ask anyone to read, promote, or really do anything with.

But to put things in perspective, let me let you dive into a little of what I've done these past 9 months.

Reached out to 50-60 endorsers who I knew personally or connected with previously

- 20 confirmed

- 10 actually followed through (after some gentle nudging)

Reached out to 20-30 schools

- 2 confirmed speaking engagements

Reached out to 20-30 libraries and bookstores

- 4 confirmed

Reached out to 20 newspapers (planning to reach out to more this month)

- 1 confirmed

Reached out to almost 100 blogs for a blog tour

- 20-30 confirmed, but some aren't sure about dates

Invited 550 people I personally knew to a pre-order event online

- 90-100 confirmed

. . . you get the point (trust me, the list goes on and on; I have a 25 page marketing plan for Blaze)

Not to mention in the past six months I've applied to more than 100 jobs, following up with several, with little contact.

It can grow frustrating.

As a writer (or really a person) you can grow frustrated when you receive a lot of nos in a row. When an endorser you really hoped would be on the front cover drops out. When that 47th agent you've queried turns you down, even though they seemed like a perfect fit.

Even after you receive a yes (a contract) you're still in for a lot of nos, no matter how many years you spent querying.

Trust me, it can be difficult some days.

But sometimes you have to knock on 100 doors to hear one creak open, even for just a moment.

I used to work for a newspaper. On a weekly basis, we had to have at least one article with three very different, reliable sources. Some weeks you had to write more than one article.

It sounded easy.

But I learned that you had to reach out to 12 people to hear back from (maybe) three. And with sources with far more credibility, you had to let them know weeks in advance, even though the articles typically had less than a five-day turnaround from conception to printed copy. Not to mention the number that dropped out last minute . . .

At first, this frustrated me. A lot. Then I learned to knock on a few more doors. To have back-ups upon back-ups and to never stop until we had a well-rounded story.

You may have knocked on your 99th door and about had it with doors altogether. Perhaps you'll swear off doors and anything that reminds you of them. Wood, for instance.

Just knock on one more.

And then another.

And one more.

Keep knocking. A no stings. But one yes can set your heart on fire.

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