Last night, after the late news was over and everyone else in the house was asleep, I switched to C-SPAN's Book TV and caught most of a presentation given by Marji Ross, President of Regnery Publishing. Last night's presentation was a broadcast of a talk she gave in November at the Heritage Foundation.
The title of Ross's presentation was "Seven Surprising Secrets of Best-Selling Female Authors...and How Your Future Happiness Might Depend on Them." Her talk really was a celebration of women in a positive way--not anti-male at all -- which I found uplifting. She spoke candidly about how she worked through the grief of losing her husband, how she is open and honest with her daughters, and how she is a champion for publishing books with a conservative slant.
The primary focus of her talk, however, wasn't on her conservative politics, but on what she has learned after years in the publishing industry about the traits that successful women writers share. I'm always trying to learn from others who are much more experienced and wiser than I am, so I grabbed a notebook and pen and took notes.
The following are the highlights of her talk--at least what I jotted down late last night -- about traits shared by successful women writers and publishers.
* Understand the value of building relationships (vs networking). Networking has come to mean what can I get from you in exchange for giving you something I have, where building relationships is more long-term and personal.
* Like to communicate and share their experiences with others. More women belong to book clubs than men, for example.
* Know they need character to have integrity. They listen to their internal moral compass. Women remind society to stay on the right trail.
* Look for win-win solutions. Success is not finite; success breeds success.
* Know that little things matter, but they don’t lose sight of the big picture.
* Understand that service is strength. Serving others doesn't make a person weak; it can make them indispensable
* Celebrate differences between men and women.
* Be trustworthy and supportive.
* Embrace the success-breeds-success philosophy.
* Be problem solvers rather than just problem spotters.
* Volunteer to overcome depression and lonliness.
* Figure out what they believe in, write it down, and share it with their families. The act of writing down one's beliefs will help clarify them.
* Always bring a pen and paper (or iPad) to take notes.
* Be a person of character and live a life of integrity.
* Avoid chasing success only to leave happiness behind.
* Bring passion to your work.
* Be on a mission to reach people rather than just selling books. As you reach people, books will sell.
* Be an expert in something. Find your niche.
* Realize that books are changing their role in society. While e-books may continue to grow in popularity and sales, physical books will gain value as gifts.
As I re-read my notes this morning, I decided to share them with my readers. I agree with Ross that sharing experiences with others and building relationships is important, as well as is being supportive and embracing the success-breeds-success philosophy.
So, what do you think? Do you agree with her observations and suggestions? Are there any traits you would add?