Friday, March 21, 2008

Your Daily Inspiration Booster Shot

A Newbie's Guide To Publishing is now three years old.

That's a long time to be blogging. And reading some of my older posts (over 300 of them) I've found that many of the things I've said are still relevant.

So here's a list of some Joe Konrath quotes. If any of them resonate with you, please tell the folks at Bartlett's...


There's a word for a writer who never gives up... published

Before you make the key, study the lock.

People would rather defend their beliefs than question them.

It's about what you have to offer, not what you have to sell.

You have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than landing a publishing deal. But understanding the market and working to improve your craft can have the same effect as climbing a tree in a thunderstorm, carrying a long iron rod.

No one is entitled to anything.

What are the last ten books you bought, and what made you buy them? Use those techniques to sell your books to other people. Do what works on you.

Hard work trumps talent. Persistence trumps inspiration. Humility trumps ego.

Praise is like candy. We love it, but it isn't good for us. You can only improve by being told what's wrong.

Your book is your child. You can't recognize its shortcomings, any more than a proud parent thinks their child is dumb and ugly.

The experts don't know everything, and they might not know what's right for you.

Fate is a future you didn't try hard enough to change.

Anyone looking for you can find you. Get them to find you by looking for something else.

Life gives you wonderful opportunites to conquer fears, learn skills, and master techniques. "I can't" shouldn't be synonymous with "I don't want to."

People seek out two things: information and entertainment. Offer them freely, and they'll find you.

The Internet isn't temporary. What you post today can lead people to you decades from now.

Writing is a profession. Act professional.

Always follow the advice of an editor, even if you don't agree, because then your book becomes our book. A editor will fight harder to champion our book.

No one said it would be fair, fun, or easy. But it is worthwhile.

Publishing is a tough industry. Celebrate success whenever you can, because there will be many failures.

We're all in the same boat. Start rowing.

If you can quit, quit. If you can't quit, stop complaining---this is what you chose.

Don't compare yourself to other writers. Nothing good can come of it.

There are a lot of things that happen beyond your control. Your goals should be within your control.

Just because something is publishable doesn't mean it will get published.

Write when you can. Finish what your start. Edit what you finish. Submit what you've edited. Repeat.

The most successful people on the planet have one thing in common: nothing can stop them. Don't expect to reach your goals without sacrificing things that are important to you. You can't be both happy and ambitious.

Being your own best advocate is about understanding how people react to you.

Fake confidence, and real confidence follows.

Maybe you can't win. But you sure can try.

It's your name on your book cover. It's your responsibility to sell your book. If it flops, your publisher will still be in business, but you won't.

Always have two hands reaching out. One, for your next goal. The other, to help people get to where you're at.

If you can't be smart or funny, be brief.

There's a word for a published writer who never gives up... me.


Josephine Damian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josephine Damian said...

JA: If I had a dollar for every time I came across somebody else quoting your "There's a word for..." line, I'd be rich.

You should trademark that line. Then you'd be rich!

Great point about the editor and "our" book.

Steve MC said...

Your quotes have brevity, soul, and wit in spades. And congrats on your three-year mark. I can't think of a better excuse for a triple martini. And a dirty one at that.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on 3 years, Joe - I'm coming up on 3 years myself, which makes me feel like the Grandma Moses of the blogosphere. Not many blogs survive that long, so we must be doing something right!

Picks by Pat said...

Great Summary, Joe. Thanks for these little gems!

I'm going to print out this list and follow it as closely as I can...except for that part about climbing a tree in a thunderstorm with a lightening rod in my hand. I think I'll skip that one.

Conda Douglas said...

Fabulous quotes, Joe. I'm printing them out in red and bold and posting them next to my laptop.

And congrats on 3 years--you were an early blogger!

Peter L. Winkler said...

There's a word for a writer who never gives up...


Anonymous said...

who is HP?

E.E. Knight said...


Three years! Pop that cork! Or if you're on my wine budget, unscrew that jug cap! My blog will be four in June. Though it can't decide whether it wants to go to grad school, enter the job market, or borrow some money to kick around in Europe for a year and maybe work at an English language radio station in Prague or something.

Thanks for the inspiration! I like to give some back. Did you see the Neil Nyren interview at Murderati? He recommends your fine blog...

Also, oodles of fried gold in his comments about publishing and authorial career-building.


Anonymous said...

I'm one of those people who has used the first quote ("There's a word for a writer who never gives up... published.") on numerous occasions.

It always gets a laugh.

I always point out who said it.

It's a gem, Joe. Simple, direct, humorous and inspiring.

Thanks for coming up with it and letting the rest of us borrow it.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love the first quote.

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary, Joe!

You really are a marketing genius, and the fact you're willing to share what you're doing means a lot.

Lola said...

I ADORE this post!!!
Thanks for sharing.
akaanother writer who never gives up:)

April said...

Thank you! I'm going to print out this list and post it everywhere that I sit down to write. I want to see it - it's encouraging and yet painfully realistic. But every statement rings true to the things I've learned as a yet unpublished author. Thanks!

Jamie Ford said...

Thanks and congrats Joe!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love those! You're right--they are inspiring. Think I'll bookmark this one and come back from time to time when I need a good kick in the pants.

LA Nickers said...

Nice quotes. I enjoyed the first one the most. A persistent writer will eventually be published. ;-)

Hope you will visit my 3 blogs: NICKERS AND INK, PRACTICALLY AT HOME, and THE MANE POINT.

Nice writing inspiration here. I will definitely return!


Anonymous said...

Very clever comments! I enjoy your site. Another Jacqueline (but not Daniels).

Jacqueline Seewald
Five Star/Gale

Laurence MacNaughton said...

Joe, you're an inspiration. Always have been. As a matter of fact, let me be the first to suggest a line of JA Konrath motivational posters. Or better yet, a life-size cardboard cutout of you with a dry-erase word balloon over your head for the quote of the day. It'd keep writers motivated, impress visitors and terrify house pets.

Anonymous said...

Am I awake after reading this and other posts? Heck yeah! Great stuff, JA. Thanks for the reality check...will re-check often :)!

Anonymous said...