What Can Authors Learn From Susan Boyle?

If you've read or watched the headlines of almost any media outlet this week, you've heard about Susan Boyle, the previously unknown singer with a golden voice who's competing on a TV talent show. If by chance you don't know the details, in a nutshell, this ordinary woman with an ordinary life, walks out on stage for the competition and literally makes people cry. Even Simon Cowell, known for making people cry in other ways with his critiques, was wowed by her voice.

So what does this have to do with authors? I think we can learn two solid lessons here:

1. The show that Susan appears on and many like it are filled with "good" talent. Many good performers move on through the competition and get some breaks later. However, in this time of media overload, what it takes to be noticed, really noticed is being stand-out, stupendous, or amazing. Your takeaway here is simple- is your book, your writing, good or amazing? Based on that answer, what are you expecting when you send it out to agents or offer it for sale?

2. Even though the hoopla has gone on for several days now, this just hit me this morning: what about all of those with "good" talent? Prior to Susan's appearance, I'm sure many were thinking they did a great job when they had their turn. Some may have believed they could place or win the competition. With one performance, the whole game changed without warning. Thoughts of "Oh, I've got this" probably changed to something more like, "Oh, #@!**".

I'm sure this happens pretty regularly in traditional publishing too. An agent or editor has many good, and maybe even a few great titles to consider. Yours may be near the top of the list and a contract almost ready to be offered, but then "Amazing" blows in like a hurricane and everyone's attention shifts and stays there for quite some time.

Should your work still be published, will it be published? Potentially, but which title do you think will get the first or most resources? Obviously, "Amazing" and there's really nothing you can do about that. Your job at that point is to be professional, graciously wish the best for "Amazing" and start looking for your next opportunity to shine. That's the unmistakeable sign of a winner.

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett

No comments: