Seventy-six books later and Paul L. Thompson is still burning up the charts. What is it that creates hot, hot, hot success like Thompson’s? I get asked that question all the time. What makes a Paul L. Thompson? What is that magic ingredient? The answer is—are you ready? The answer is… I repeat: Are you ready?
That’s the answer. Thompson was ready for his success. Did you know that he had been writing for years before he had his first taste of success? That’s right! He had over twenty Western novels completed by the time he was signed to Outlaws Publishing, and it took a further dozen to make him a success. Each new book gained him a few new fans until “Revenge of the Bullet” caught on in a big way and created his monster success, a success that is still ongoing with the recent release of his 76th Western hit.
Advertising, keywords, categories, mailers and covers all played a huge part in his success. Reissuing and repromotion of old titles has also been integral, and yes, having “Revenge of the Bullet” on the bestseller charts to get him kickstarted sure did create a desire within readers to go back and buy his other novels. But something else was important. What was it? He was ready for his success.
Not only did he follow the three C’s, he also did his job. He kept writing more and more Shorty Thompson Western adventures. He was ready for his success and worked hard to keep it. He never took his success for granted. He just kept on doing his job.
When a Western writer is ready for their success, you can tell. They always have a new project on the way, always have a new idea, always have that way of calling you at 3am to share their idea with a sleepy publisher or publicist. They are always on the move. It’s a joy to see a Western writer who is ready for their success.
And where did the three C’s come from? They came from watching successful Western authors and their habits. You know, I think we should take a look at those three C’s once again…
The first C is Consistency. This is something all authors have to practice. Consistency in book promotion is the only way a book will move. You can’t do one, or two, or three things. You have to consistently promote your book. You always have to be doing something. Always looking to get more attention for your book, always running little ads, or trying to get more reviews. You have to be consistent on your journey towards success. You can’t get caught up in the little things—you have to keep the program running.
The second C is Commitment. We all have commitments in our lives, and those commitments sometimes seem like a problem. But in reality, a commitment is just achievement in process. As an author, you have to commit to your book and commit to its success. If you don’t commit to your book, you won’t be able to be consistent (the first C), and you will find it harder to be successful. Commitment gives you the grit needed to get the job done. I ask all my clients to be committed to the promotion of their book. I ask them to answer interviewers, to write blog articles, to be involved, because unless you love your own baby, how can you expect anyone else to?
The third C is a very special one. One that a very, very talented author mentioned to me. This C stands for “cool,” and it’s true—you have to be cool to be successful. You have to keep a level head and not become depressed when your book isn’t discovered on day one. You have to be cool when you are interviewed, and cool when you are reading a bad review. You have to keep cool, and… be committed… and be consistent.
So, if you’re a Western writer, and you think you’re ready—ask yourself: Am I ready for the grind of being a successful Western author? Am I ready to push myself harder than I’ve ever been pushed before? Am I ready? Well… are you? It’s down to you.