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How To Make A Favorable Impression

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David Farland talks about how to make a good impression.



There is a saying among writers, “The first page of your book, sells your novel. The last page of your book sells your next novel.” In other words, your sales depend upon making a favorable impression.

However, sometimes authors get lazy. They quit worrying about impressing readers. If you’ve had a string of hits, you might find yourself thinking, “Gosh, I can sell a million copies of my laundry list at this point. It just doesn’t matter.’

It matters. Never show your second-best work to anyone. Don’t show it to your spouse, don’t show it to your writing group, don’t show it to you editor or agent, and for heaven’s sake, don’t send it out for publication. 

When you send out your first novel and get it published, you’re going to find that critics will be extremely curious to see your work, and they’ll be eager to give you reviews and “discover” you.  

But if your second book isn’t as good, the critics will imagine that you’re a “flash in the pan” and move on. You’ll find that the reviews dry up, your word-of-mouth peters out, and your sales begin to shrink.

On the other hand, if your second novel dazzles your readers more than your first, you’ll find that the critics begin to watch you carefully and will happily review all of your works. Your word of mouth begins to grow wildly as reviewers in various magazines and newspapers catch on, and you will soon find yourself riding a wave of popularity.

But it all starts with effort. You need to maintain your edge, write to the best of your ability on every project.  If you send in a manuscript to your writing group that is sloppy or haphazard, it sends a message to your writing group that “I don’t care.” And if you don’t care, why in the world should they?

So create a pattern of greatness. Look for ways to improve your skills with each and every book that you write, and never grow weary of well-doing.



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