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?

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Another Self-Publishing Success Story

Whenever I see an article about a self-publishing success story, I have to read it. I love to hear about people who were inspired to write something, and then go on to self-publish their work because they have no other path for getting their message out. I love it even more when I hear about a self-published book that has experienced incredible success.

Clare De Graaf wanted to have his manuscript published. After being rejected by several publishers, he decided to publish the book himself in 2011. His book, The 10 Second Rule, has sold more than 17,000 copies. As a result, Howard Books has now acquired the rights to publish and internationally distribute the book.

Even if Howard Books did not pick up the rights to this book, this is a self-publishing success story. Selling 17,000 copies of a self-published book is no small feat.

What made this book so successful? I believe a couple of things. First and foremost, Clare De Graff secured editorial and marketing services to make sure that his book and message were presented in an appealing, professional manner. Second, the book has a powerful message. Watch this video to hear what The 10 Second Rule is about.

If you are considering self-publishing, take a lesson from Clare De Graaf. Make sure your book is well-written and well-edited, has a professional appearance, contains a powerful message, and is promoted well. Then let God do the rest.

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Publishing Success

What is considered success when publishing a book?

For some people, selling 5,000 copies is success. For others who self-publish, getting a royalty publishing house to pick up the title and publish it is success. Still other authors consider success simply having people send them notes stating that the book touched or changed their lives.

I have spoken to a number self-published authors who self-published in an attempt to get a royalty publisher to pick up their book. Some ask me for the chances or statistics of this happening. While I do not have hard figures or data, I do know that it does happen.

While the vast majority of self-published titles do not get picked up by larger publishing houses, some do. Tom Cowley’s book is one example.

Tom started Eagles Nest Press (and became a member of Christian Small Publishers Association) and self-published his book A Biography of Jesus. This book was an outgrowth of Tom’s studies in earning his Doctorate of Ministry. Tom published A Biography of Jesus in 2005 and put quite a bit of energy into promoting the book through speaking in churches around the country.

Just this year, Tom’s book was published by Paraclete Press. It was given a new subtitle and a new cover. In addition, it has been given a whole new marketing push by the new publisher. Tom’s book was not published by Paraclete because it was a best seller. It was published because the publisher saw a need and a market for this book.

If you are a self-publisher who desires to have your book picked up by a large publishing house, take heart. You know not God’s plans. Your book may follow the path Tom’s book took. If not, it will still accomplish God’s purpose for it.

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