An excerpt from a work in progress: Writing Success Guaranteed: How to Deal Yourself Five Hearts to Win the Publishing Game. If you would like to be a beta reader, please write to Mike at Your Success by Playing the Whole Hand by Mike Larsen

An Author’s Guild survey found that members keep earning less money. Writing–related income is $20,000 a year, book-related income $6,000. So where do I get off guaranteeing your success? No one has played the royal flush. Thousands of writers succeed without it. But their success isn’t guaranteed. Here’s how to play the royal flush to guarantee your literary and commercial success:

* Make your calling a labor of love for your craft and your readers.

* Continue to learn about writing, publishing, technology and your field.

* Know your literary and publishing goals.

* Follow your plan to achieve them.

* Read what you love to read and write what you love to read.

* Write all the drafts it takes to make your work as effective as you can.

* Share your work with a writing group as you write.

* Build a community of test readers to give you feedback when you’re done.

* Write books that sell each other.

* Provide content for media that can help you.

* Accept that it takes five or more books to build an audience.

* Take the long view about developing your craft and your career.

* Build and serve the communities you need to succeed.

* Provide content readers crave to build your visibility and your brand.

* Test-market your work as often and in as many ways as you can to prove it delivers.

* Share your passion for the value of your work before and after publication.

* Make your promotion plan an extension of what you’re already doing to reach readers.

* Choose the best publishing option for you and your books.

* Think like an entrepreneur running a business.

* Collaborate on producing, promoting, and monetizing your work.

* Take advantage of opportunities that arise from your books.

* Sell your work in as many forms, media and countries as you can.

* Make a lifetime commitment to achieving your goals and let nothing stop you.

* Adapt to changes in marketing, technology, readers’ interests, and the marketplace.

* When you reach your goals, find new ones that excite you.

* Keep yourself motivated.

* Be a good literary citizen who supports the community of the book.

* Help sustain the planet that sustains you.

* Keep growing as a person and a writer.

* Balance your personal and professional lives.

Devote your career to following this list and success is inevitable. You’ll succeed because you earned it. This is the best time ever to be a writer. Figure out what you want, what it takes to get it, and go for it. You can accomplish far more then whatever you think you can. Readers around the world are eager for what only you can offer them. Thomas Edison said: “If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” I hope you astound the world.

About the author:

Mike Larsen is an author coach who loves helping writers achieve their goals by adding value to their readers’ lives. Mike cofounded Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents, which sold books to more than a hundred publishers and imprints. Books: How to Write a Book Proposal, now in its fifth edition, coauthored by Jody Rein; How to Get a Literary AgentGuerrilla Marketing for Writers (coauthor). His next book: Writing Success Guaranteed: How to Deal Yourself Five Hearts to Win the Publishing