It’s All in the Follow Up

No one takes you by the hand in the publishing business, I’ve found out. It is going on four years and well I’ve only received one very meger royalty check. No it’s kind of like college. I remember in one a Marketing Research classes I had. The instructor took a poll that day. Looking back, I wonder now if he was silently laughing to himself to see how many of us actually bought into this. He asked, “How many of you here in this class expect that you will be corporate executives someday?” Without hesitation I raised my hand with about a third of the class. I was surprised when some students didn’t raise their hand and looked blank faced back at him. I guess I had bought into the notion that was what was going to happen immediately after I graduated with my undergraduate degree. I thought I was being primed for that. Maybe that is the ego of a young college kid, but really what I later learned was that I was just nieve and all those other students, the ones that didn’t raise their hand, knew that it took more than just a degree.
My piont is that lesson has been applied time and time again to my life. I remember that lesson as something that humbles me. Because, I am not a corporate executive, perhaps by choice I like to think. I am very content doing what I do, no I haven’t quit the day job…yet. That reality of my life is a constant reminder that no matter how hard you work to get somewhere in life, it is all about the follow up and the relationships you build. I think that is so true in anything. I have been in this business barely four years if you count from the very first day I put pen to paper to scribe my first book. I have been in the promotion end of this business barely six months. And I can honestly tell you, if you want to get anywhere you have to follow up with your contacts. Sometimes several times. I was able to secure my first Borders book signing after 22 emails and 12 months of follow up. I had some issues with the timing of my book’s release and then Borders book buyer didn’t actually agree to buy my book for their shelves. BUT, nonetheless, I still managed to have a book signing and nearly sell out of all my books that night. Not bad for not even being picked up by them at first. This is still being worked out hopefully will bode well with the buyer at corporate.
My biggest endorsement would not have happened if I hadn’t followed up that last time. John Gray, PhD and best selling author of the Venus and Mars books actually endorsed my book. His quote is on the front cover of my book. But I almost missed this huge endorsement. It took nearly 11 months of monthly follow up calls to his office. At one point, my manuscript had been lost and because I followed up I found this out. So I sent another copy. Then another 5 months of calls to check in and see what the status was ensued. Each time his staff was just as nice and could be too and would tell me he had many to get through, it is next in his pile, etc. So the day I decided to call for the last time I had to convince myself to push through it and make the call. I felt like I was a nuisance, and almost didn’t make the call. Again, as they had always been they thanked ME for my patience. I was the one who should have been thanking them. But here was the kicker. They told me that he had endorsed my book, but because they didn’t have the correct email it bounced back and he was heading to Austrialia for an extended trip. Ugh!  I thought I was destined for this kind of luck all my life, when she told me she could forward his email/endorsement to me. So she did and that is the story of how I almost missed the biggest endorsement of my life!
Just today I followed up with Dr. Phil, Ellen Degeneres, The View and about 3 other contacts for various magazine articles. It only takes a few minutes, but the personal phone call is key. So how did I get the contact information…that’s another conversation we will get to tomorrow.

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