January 15, 2018

There is No Such Thing As Overnight Success

          We live in the age of the internet-- where a simple "like" has the idea of instant fame lodged into the definition. People like the "Cash Me Outside Girl" and "TT" have been catapulted into stardom and overnight success from a simple viral video of themselves disrespecting a parent or wearing a bright, colored wig for laughs. And as much as I enjoy their videos, and instant success-- it is hard to keep from trying to join on the bandwagon. It's hard to try not to make the latest crazy post to create instant likes and get people talking. It's hard to not sit in front of your computer screen languishing for that type of attention and notoriety. I mean, EVERYONE wants to be liked, and for a business owner, trying to capitalize on the internet to sell books, shouldn't we want to be liked even more than the normal person.
 "I mean, EVERYONE wants to be liked [. . .]"
           Yet, those type of social media post are not as easy to make successful as you think-- and stardom from viral videos is often fleeting. In fact, most of those who shoot off into viral stardom are never heard of again and are instantly and quickly replaced with a new wave of internet stars. Anyone remember the woman with the laughing Chewbacca mask? Anyone? Exactly! One minute you are on everyone's mind, and the next you are forgotten-- and if you are an author attempting to climb your way to the heights of Danielle Steel or even Jodi Picoult-- the last thing you want is a taste of instant fame without any form of long-term success. Longevity, and not instant gratification, is the key to making it big. You have to make smart decisions, which involves sometimes staying away from short-term trends.
"Longevity, and not instant gratification, is the key to making it big."
        The truth of success and even fame is that -- no one is really an overnight success story. There are no overnight road to success. Even if you stick your book in the back of a twerk video, you are not guaranteed instant stardom. Stardom, success, and fame take time. It takes a lot of networking, interviews and speaking events. It takes a lot of late nights researching your craft, your marketing skills, and perfecting your products. True success is made up of a lot of hard work, headaches and even failures on the way.

          For example, Kevin Hart had been around for years before his instant stardom-- touring small clubs, working in a local Foot Locker, and starring in D list movie after D list movie until he finally hit it big with Soul Plane (of all movies), and then later Scary Movie, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Death at a Funeral, and Little Fockers. Now, he has been the breakout, leading star in major blockbusting movies such as Ride Along. Kevin Hart worked for years until he finally saw success, but it was a very long road and a very long process. 
 True success is made up of a lot of hard work, headaches and even failures on the way.
         Even Dave Chapelle took the long road to stardom. He had wrote so many pilots that he was nicknamed the "Pilot Man" touring the Hollywood industry trying to get someone to invest in his scripts. When finally he wrote Half Baked, he received a mediocum of success, but it wasn't until he aired The Chappelle Show that he finally reached stardom. It was The Chappelle Show that made Dave Chappelle an instant celebrity. 
           Stardom-- fame-- success are not overnight stories. Like a good wine, these things take time. As an author, you may not write a novel that shoots up the Amazon charts immediately, you may not write a New York Times Bestseller straight out the gate, on your first try; however, that is okay. Keep working until you see the success you have been dreaming about. Promote your novels and your work as your biggest cheerleaders. Send your novels to local celebrities and book clubs. Invest in vending opportunities around your city, and be thankful for each purchase. It will come. Remember, everyone started out unknown  and small at some point in their career.

Stardom-- fame-- success are not overnight stories. Like a good wine, these things take time.
         Justin Q. Young an Amazon's Bestselling Author wrote an erotica series entitled Dickmitized. He would sit outside of Walmart selling his novels for a couple of dollars, and he was loyal. Rain, sleet or shine, he was outside selling his books to those who walked by. This may not seem like the best marketing tactic, and it may seem menial, but surprisingly, it paid off big time. After two years, his books are now being sold inside of Walmart's nationally-- all across America. We can all learn something from Justin, he stuck with it, on his small budget, and made big things happen for him. No type of marketing is ever too small.          Trust the process. If you have a book idea-- start small. Write the book, create the cover, and publish it. Then, market it. Market to your family, your friends, your loved ones and even your followers. Then branch out, and start marketing to those in your community, in your state, and beyond. eventually, all the hard work you have done will pay off. 

No type of marketing is ever too small. 
           As for me, I am still moving upward day by day-- and each new day lends itself to another surprise. I made a goal of writing 5 books in 5 years, and it's year 4. I have created 5 books as of today: 3 romance novels, 1 suspense and 1 self-help. My books are continuously gaining in popularity on Kindle and Amazon. The process has been slow with only one of my books selling well over 3,000 copies; however, like a friend reminds me, it's selling. There are people who dream of writing books, but never make the leap of faith. There are people who write, but it never gets published, and there are those who never make a sale. I am grateful to be were I am-- slowly growing as an author, with even publications being written about me in the local paper, The Columbus Ledger Enquirer and Black News. I honestly never believed my books would even take me this far, but it has been a process, and I have enjoyed every step along the way. 

           For me, even if I have to sit outside the local Walmart to achieve my dream, I know that it's possible. Success is never overnight, but it happens. Be patient. It's a journey that is exciting, and even heartbreaking, but never ending. I know that as long as I keep working hard, as long as I trust the slow process, that success will eventually come. 

Success is never overnight, but it happens. Be Patient.

Dawnell Jacobs is the author of The Shade of Devotion, Brains Not Included, Black Magic, and The Monsters of Within: Heart of Darkness. She has also published a self-help book Your Story Matters: Leaning How To Be The Author of Your Destiny. You can find all of her books on Amazon, Kindle, Nook, and Barnes And Noble. She is also a motivational speaker to young audiences. She uses her personal journey to inspire hope and change. All pictures and entries in this blog are subject to copyright laws. ©Dawnell Jacobs 2017

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