The Great Snowball Effect by Guest Writer Kate Collins


Every author knows that it’s an uphill climb to find a publisher. Competition is fierce, and there’s always going to be the odd book that makes us scratch our heads and think, “That got published and I got rejected?!?!” The hill is steep, treacherous, full of pitfalls that make us feel like we’ve taken ten steps back instead of one forward.
Then, it happens. You reach the top of the mountain. There, before you, can be an amazing view. But it’s one of your own choosing.
Each of us has a different reason why we chose to put our creations out in the world. For some, we want fame, fortune, the chance to wine and dine with the elite at an after party after our book opens to packed theaters full of screaming fans. Others would be happy with enough in royalties to help make the rent, be able to afford a new car, or help finance a college education for their kids.
And it’s your ultimate goal that dictates what you see at the top of the hill.This is where the Great Snowball Effect comes into play.
 If you’re expecting overnight riches and fame, you’re going to see an even bigger mountain ahead of you. You’ll get discouraged at every turn, wondering why no one will buy your book. It’s been out a month and Hollywood hasn’t come calling? What’s wrong with these people!
But if you see this not as an ending but a beginning, you’ve got a different view. There’s a bit of a plateau, but there is a gradual downslope on the horizon. So you pick up a small bit of snow. It could be a blog, a FaceBook page, a Twitter handle, whatever feels right to you. Compact it tightly, place it on the ground, and slowly push it towards that edge in the distance.
Yes, the going will be slow. It won’t look like you’re adding any value to that snowball you created. You have to remind yourself to push forward and get the habits down. It’s hard work, but it’s actually easier than climbing up the mountain to begin with.
That’s when things start to change. Over a year, you notice how far you’ve pushed that snowball. And it’s growing. The path it leaves in the snow is wider, deeper. Other people, bloggers, new fans finding you on FaceBook, begin to show up and help you push.
The ledge gets closer day by day.
There’s a momentum to branding your name, getting the word out about your book. It takes time to build the following. But you have to keep at it. Because, at the end of the day, your snowball’s the size of a train and running fast down a slope. It’s building steam, ready to climb the mountain of good sales and public recognition of your talent.
And the guy looking for instant fame and fortune? Yeah, he’s still stuck on the top of his first peak wondering what secret you have. He doesn’t understand it takes time, energy, and a lot of building that snowball’s core up so it’ll roll straight.

KateMarie Collins is the author of two fantasy novels. ‘Daughter of Hauk’ released in 2012, and her new novel, ‘Mark of the Successor,’ is slated for release in mid-May 2013. She’s also the Editor in Chief for Solstice Shadows, a paranormal line put out by her publisher, Solstice Publishing. You can find her at http://www.katemariecollins.wordpress.com, on twitter @daughterhauk, and on FaceBook at  http://www.facebook.com/pages/KateMarie-Collins/217255151699492. Her books are available at www.solsticepublishing.com, on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

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