How to be the perfect author

As an author, regardless of how you are published, there is a driving fear of failure that pushes us to be the absolute best we can be. But what does that look like? What do we need to do to be the best? To be perfect? I've given this a lot of thought, and decided to make a list (in no particular order) of the 25 ways to be a perfect author.
 
25 Steps to Being the Perfect Author

1. Spend time on social media making connections and promoting your books
2. Get off of social media and spend your time reading widely in your genre of focus
3. Stop reading and wishing it was you and start writing
4. Tell everyone you know about your book and ask them to help you spread the word
5. Don't badger friends and family about your book. They'll buy it if they want it
6. Send press releases to any publication who might be interested in your work
7. Don't waste your time trying to get major press coverage
8. Watch what other authors do and try to emulate their success
9. Forget about trying to duplicate someone else's path, you have to do your own thing
10. Blog tours are the best way to reach new readers and create excitement for your book
11. Blog tours are dead
12. Experiment with new marketing opportunities like book trailers
13. Focus on what works on ignore unproven efforts like book trailers
14. Give plenty of free content away to keep readers coming to you
15. Your work has value and you need to price it for what it's worth
16. Get out there by attending conferences and going to workshops
17. The more time you spend out, the less time your writing. Skip the conferences
18. SWAG, SWAG and more SWAG
19. Don't waste your money on another glossy bookmark that will end up in the trash
20. Keep an active blog to give readers a place to find you
21. No one reads blogs anymore so don't waste your time
22. Write what you want to read
23. Write what readers are asking for
24. Listen to the experts
25. Chart your own path

Okay, so maybe this list is the opposite of helpful. Maybe that's the point. Because everyone is looking for this magic button. Authors constantly ask, what do I need to do in order to be successful. I've even had people ask me for my secret as if I'm some sort of phenom.

I solemnly swear that if I had the secret sauce to being a bestseller, I would tell you. I would write the most epic of blog posts and send it to my newsletter folks and shout it from the rooftops. I don't have it. No one does. Anyone telling you they have the formula for success is trying to sell you something.

Sure, I can give tips and hints. I can tell you what I do and tip my hat to the success of other authors. But those are just ideas. Some of them will work for you. Some of them won't. Something may work today and fail tomorrow. There are just too many variables.

So don't worry about being the perfect author and making all the right decisions. Don't spend your time comparing your success to others. Instead, focus on how you can be the best author that you can be. Figure out how to be the perfect you and I promise that will be good enough.