The Iceberg of Success

Success. However you define it, it is what most authors and publishers strive for.

I love this word picture by Syliva Duckworth that I recently stumbled across. It so adequately depicts success. What people see of success is only a small part when compared to the work that goes into becoming a success.

SuccessThe one thing I think the bottom-half of this picture is missing is prayer. As a Christian, I believe that prayer is an essential foundation of the iceberg of success. Can you achieve success without prayer? Yes. However, if you want to have success and remain successful, I think prayer must be a foundation.

I Samuel 18:14 in speaking of King Saul says, “In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him.” What happened to Saul when he stopped following God’s ways and did things his own way? He lost that success.

Too often, I have seen authors, pastors, and other Christian leaders reach a point of success and follow in King Saul’s footsteps.  In their success, when their books and message are reaching and touching many lives, they stumble. That author or pastor is caught in a sinful scandal, wiping out much of what he or she has accomplished.

May we always remember the words of Isaiah 26:12. “Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.” Yes, you will work hard to achieve success, but through it all, remember where your praise should lie.

Related Posts:
Indecision: A Success Killer
How Do You Define Success?

Bookmark and Share

The Book Cover That Judges You

I find all sorts of interesting inventions in the book industry. I have reported on many of them here on this blog over the years. I recently stumbled across a new invention for book covers.

Thijs Biersteker, a Dutch artist, has invented a book cover that judges the reader. The book cover is designed to detect how a reader is judging it based on a scan of the reader’s face. Using a camera and software to identify the emotion in the face it scans, the book cover is programmed to either unlock or stay locked.

Cover Judges You

This high-tech book cover scans for signs of judgement. If it identifies that the reader is over-excited or skeptical, then the book stays locked. If the reader’s face is neutral (no judgement) the book cover will unlock.

At my first glance at this, I thought that this newly designed high-tech book cover might be a useful tool in determining whether a book cover is effective in engaging readers or not. However, since this system only recognizes “judgement” vs. “non-judgement”, it would not be useful in this manner. If, instead, this high-tech book cover could distinguish between excitement, neutrality, and skepticism, then it might well be a good tool in determining whether a book’s cover would be effective or not. If the book cover only unlocked for those who were excited or neutral, an author could determine whether more people were drawn in or turned off by the cover.

What do you think of this high-tech book cover?

Bookmark and Share

Predictions for 2015

No one can predict the future. Only God knows the future. Still, every year, people make all sorts of predictions about the coming year. I don’t make predictions. I don’t feel qualified to do so. Besides, usually only about half of the predictions made come true, meaning anyone has a 50-50 chance of making a true prediction.

2015

Here are a few predictions I have seen for 2015:

  1. Reviews will become more important and powerful for businesses—this includes books as well. Surveys show that 78% of consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by online reviews.
  2. Author and marketing guru, Seth Godin, thinks that 2015 will be a big year for breakout self-published titles. We are already starting to see this trend.
  3. Amazon’s ebook market share will continue to grow. Amazon already holds a 65% share of ebook sales.
  4. Humor will be needed to create an authentic connection with Millennials and secure their business. Some believe 2015 will be the year of humor in digital marketing.
  5. Something bigger is going to happen with GoodReads. Some predict it will more tightly integrate with parent company Amazon.
  6. The United States economy will continue to grow. This growth will be driven by increased consumer spending. More money being spent is always good for book sales.
  7. Jeb Bush, Republican, will run against Hillary Clinton, Democrat, in the 2016 Presidential race. This would mean a repeat of a Bush-Clinton race.

Based on these predictions, I don’t see any major new shifts for publishing and marketing books. I believe independently published books will continue to grow as will book sales via the Internet. Currently, less than 10% of books are sold through brick-and-mortar bookstores.

If you plan to publish for the first time this coming year, or you are just continuing to publish—and you produce Christian materials—I encourage you to consider membership in Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) as part of your business plans for the coming year.

CSPA provides both small publishers and independently published authors with a number of resources to help you be more successful in both publishing and marketing your books. You can read our complete list of membership benefits on our website by clicking here.

Membership for the 2015 calendar year is just $90. I encourage you to become a member today by clicking here.

Do you need to read testimonials (reviews) before you decide to join? These are also available on our website. Just click here.

The one thing I am certain of for 2015 is that God holds our hands. May you find strength and comfort in this.

Bookmark and Share