Image provided by the author (Adapted from the book cover)

When I first started traveling around the world and speaking to authors about writing and publishing success for Kobo Writing Life (Kobo’s platform allowing for direct publishing to their online catalog), I came up with what I called the “3 P’s of Self-Publishing Success” for indie authors.

They were Patience, Practice and Persistence. After sharing and then briefly explaining what each of them meant, I would remind the audience that those elements were not all that different than what it took to be successful in traditional publishing.

I enjoyed drawing comparisons between those two paths, which, in 2011, when I…

The Not-So-Silent Silent P

Something that you might have considered was sadly overlooked in the many P’s that have been discussed, but one that has snuck its way into the content multiple times throughout the 7 P’s, is a basic and underlying activity that most successful authors engage in.


I kept struggling with wanting to pull it out into its own element, but I also couldn’t help but see it as a fundamental part of every single other elements that I discussed. …

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This element is perhaps one that writers might think is more applicable in today’s world than it might have been decades ago. They would be right in thinking that, but I’m not just talking about crowd-sourcing from places like Patreon, Kickstarter or other crowd-funding services; that is definitely a part of this. I’m talking about the overall idea of patronage. Of willing consumers.

It was Kevin Kelly who first introduced the concept of 1,000 True Fans in a 2008 essay.

In case you aren’t familiar with this concept, Kelly stated that, to be a successful creator able to make a…

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Let’s start by pausing to look at a proverb that you are likely familiar with. It has been traced back to a teacher’s manual written by American educator Thomas H. Palmer in 1840 and a song popularized by William Edward Hickson in 1836.

It’s a lesson you should heed,

Try, try again.

If at first you don’t succeed,

Try, try again.

Then your courage should appear,

For if you will persevere,

You will conquer, never fear,

Try, try again.

Once or twice, though you should fail,

Try, try again.

If you would at last prevail,

Try, try again.

If we…

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Writing is, of course, a solo activity, or at least a mostly solo activity. A writer sits in front of a blank page or a blank screen with either a pen or pencil in hand or their fingers gently resting atop of a keyboard and they set about composing their words. No matter if they are writing in a quiet personal space or sitting in the middle of a bustling coffee shop, the main activity is taking place between the writer’s mind and that blank document in front of them that they are filling up. …

There are two main types of Progression to explore here. The first is related to the craft of writing, and the second is about progression within the industry.

Image provided by author — Quote attribution: Unknown

Progression in Your Craft

In the first of the P’s we looked at the importance of practice, of continuing to write, every day, if possible, with the goal of using that to become better.

But, even though it’s stated and, for some, assumed, the reason for practice isn’t just the matter of fact “more words on the page” that result from it; it’s the other thing that happens when a person continues to work at something.

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I really wanted to put this element first on the list. Even though it’s only the third, it felt like it took a long time to get here. This, after all, was the first element on my originally drafted up 3 P’s of Self-Publishing success, so it’s one that I not only had a bit of a soft spot for but was looking forward to sharing. …

Image adapted from book Million Dollar Professionalism

One interesting thing about writing is that there are so many different courses and workshops that teach a writer the craft of writing. But there’s not nearly as many resources out there to assist a writer with the behavior that is associated with being a professional.

And, just for the sake of clarity, I’m not talking about a pro as being someone who receives money for the work they produce. I’m talking about the way a writer behaves and interacts within the writing and publishing communities and with fans; about reading and understanding different publishing-related contracts, meeting deadlines and commitments…

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The first element of publishing success falls in line with what might be the most common advice that successful authors from both traditional publishing and self-publishing share when asked by beginning writers.

“First, write a good book.”

It’s a simple thing to say, a basic principle to understand, but it is often overlooked.

The more you write, the better you become at writing.

Therefore, writing a good book means practicing and working at becoming better at your craft by actually planting your butt in a chair and getting those fingers to dance across your keyboard.

Malcolm Gladwell brought the concept…

This article is a two-tiered message for writers and other creatives. It’s partially a writing tip, but also partially a pause to acknowledge the storyteller caught in this strange new world.

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I’m not sure about you, but I’ve been struggling with what’s going on with the world lately.

I know that most people who are stuck in this ongoing isolation, quarantine, or lock-down — whatever you choose to call it — are supposedly experiencing more free time than they have had in years, or, perhaps, ever. …

Mark Leslie Lefebvre

Mark Leslie (Lefebvre) is a writer, bookseller, speaker & book nerd who haunts Southern Ontario and is known as a digital publishing evangelist.

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