Artist Entrepreneur: Career Tips for Authors

Welcome to Artist Entrepreneur Fridays, where we focus on how to create a successful and sustainable author career from the business and strategic perspectives. This week I have another guest post from Matthew Ashdown, a personal empowerment coach and author, best known for his work as a GratiDude, speaking and coaching on the power of gratitude to transform business and life. This month he shares three ways  to focus your time and energy so that you are not sitting around waiting for the book sales to come in.


“If you’re proactive, you don’t have to wait for circumstances or other people to create perspective expanding experiences. You can consciously create your own.”

– Stephen R. Covey


Last time I looked there were close to 32 million books on Amazon, which is quite the rainforest for your book to get lost in. Unfortunately, what I see over and over again working with authors is the expectation that when their book is ready for distribution people will find it, and come to them. This isn’t the case, unless you are Barack Obama, who did all the groundwork he needed to do to make him a household name.

Those who have the most powerful visions for their work, passion, persistence, determination, resilience and focus are the ones who bring it about. Decide who you want to become.

Here are three ways to focus your time and energy so that you are not sitting around waiting for the book sales to come in.

1) Face your deepest fears. Whether you like it or not, the people with the best results in the world are some of the best salesmen and are willing to face every fear that they have in order to become who they want to become, in order to get their message out to the world.

It is okay to admit you have fears. As long as you pretend you do not have a fear it will have power over you, and you will continue to sit waiting.

As soon as you admit it to yourself, and accept it, you are taking back your power.

Common fears for authors are: fear of failure, fear of success (believe it or not it is one of the most immobilizing for many people), fear of not knowing enough, fear of rejection, and fear of self-promotion.

Find someone who has transcended that fear, ask for his or her guidance, and trust that there is something powerful enough within you to overcome it. It is a game of faith.

2) Intention followed by actionYou have created, or are creating, a book! You can use that same creative process to create a business for yourself.

Use your imagination to imagine the kind of business that you want, rather than the kind that you don’t want.

I do believe that there is a larger force operating in our universe, I have experienced many amazing synchronicities in my own life.

But I have always seen how pure intention and action were key to getting the results in my life that I was seeking to achieve.

Get clear on what you want (often clarified by those experiences we don’t want), and take action.

I take action in one direction, and I may receive a new client or workshop offering from out of left field, not something that I was imagining.

The action creates the energy to keep you moving. Be willing to embrace the uncertainty of it all.

3) Let go of the “No” and find the “Yes”. Too many people send out press releases and sit waiting for a reply, or wait for their family to be the first to buy their books. In that waiting, they are wasting precious energy.

You are not in control of who says yes or no. You are only in control of the action that you take on a daily basis.

If your best friend or your mum says they are not interested in your book, do not resent them. It is their choice. They may just not be interested in the same things as you.

One of the things that I see cut down many authors in their tracks is that they have held so much expectation in a yes from certain people that they are unable to let go of it when it is a no.

A “No” now may not mean a “No” in the future.

Keep focusing on what you are in control of: contacting more people; learning how to be better at sales; and adding more value to people in the world.

Ask yourself, “Who would be interested in reading my book?” and look for clues during your day.

Take your life in your hands.

The universe supports you only as much as you are willing to support yourself.


Matthew Ashdown is a personal empowerment coach, best known for his work as a GratiDude, speaking and coaching on the power of gratitude to transform business and life. He is also an avid writer, currently working on his first novel and lives in Victoria, BC. More information about Matthew and his services at

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