Posted On November 14, 2011 by Print This Post

Adrienne Giordano – Key Factors for Publishing Success

Carina Press author and RU founder Adrienne Giordano gives us an update into her life as a newly published author. Adrienne highlights the detours, the switchbacks and the necessary pit stops on the road to marketing her books.

To all the RU faithful out there, you know I’ve been fairly open about my struggle with my rankings addiction. Well, I’m pleased to say I’m making great strides in my efforts to battle back from this energy zapping, time consuming, emotionally draining problem.

After I outed myself about my rankings addiction, I knew I had to get control of my tendency to refresh my Amazon page every hour. Looking back on it, I shake my head because that behavior was incredibly destructive. If the ranking went up, so did my mood. If it went down, so did my mood.

That’s when I got lucky and ran across an article in my Twitter feed. I think every aspiring author should click here and read this post by Bob Mayer.

Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Now that you’ve all taken a moment to read the post, I will tell you the first time I read it I sat a little stunned, like someone had whapped me on the head. I read it again. Then again. Finally, I yelled “Yes! Thank you, Bob Mayer!”

My husband found this a bit odd, for reasons I’m sure you can imagine, but I quickly explained myself.

The title of the post may be “What Does It Take To Succeed in Self-Publishing?” but I think the overall message is important.  The message I heard was that success in the publishing world does not come overnight. No matter how hard we think we’ve worked.

Looking back on the first month after my release, I think my expectations got wildly out of whack. During my release week, I saw Man Law soar in the rankings.

That early success poisoned my thinking. I figured since I’d gotten some nice ranking results that the book would magically stay there.  Not so. I have since watched the rankings on my books go up and down like an escalator and have been forced to get comfortable with it. 

I’m slowly learning that a reader base is built over time and, low and behold, each time one of my books has launched, my rankings have gone up. It seems so simple now. With each book, I pick up more readers. If they like the book, they tell their friends and their friends buy a book. Pretty basic stuff.

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to see my second book, A Just Deception, land in the number 56 spot on the B&N top 100 Nook books list. I have no problem admitting it was a rush. It’s the thing every author dreams of, isn’t it? Seeing your book on a top 100 list somewhere? It’s like hitting the jackpot. For me, what comes with all that exhilaration though is preparing myself for the eventual slide down the list. I’m thrilled to say my recent rankings addiction recovery has taught me to accept that this is part of the process.

I’m trying to force myself to look at my publishing journey the same way I looked at graduating from college. When I graduated from college, I didn’t expect to get a job as a CEO of a Fortune 500 company.  Nope. My first job out of college was as an administrative assistant to a guy who threw staplers at me. I worked hard though and was rewarded with a better job. And then a better job after that.

With that in mind, I have Bob Mayer’s answer to what it takes to succeed in publishing taped to the board next to my desk. In case you missed it, here’s his answer: Good books. A lot of hard work. Focus. Consistency. Accepting that marketing is an integral part of being a writer.


I’m hanging on to that. How about you? What do you think it takes to succeed in publishing? Tell me what you think and I’ll enter your name in a drawing for a copy of Risking Trust.


Author Loucinda McGary joins us on Wednesday, November 16th to discuss Five Things that Drive Contest Judges Bonkers.


Bio: Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and women’s fiction. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her work-a-holic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog. For more information on Adrienne’s Private Protectors series please visit Adrienne can also be found on Facebook at and Twitter at

 Adrienne’s books available at: 

Carina Press


Barnes and Noble

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42 Responses to “Adrienne Giordano – Key Factors for Publishing Success”

  1. Adrienne, congrats on your newest release RISKING TRUST. Can you tell readers why that’s the book of your heart?

    To succeed in publishing, I think a writer also needs an unshakable desire, perseverance, and a positive attitude. Oh, a thick skin and a great support group is essential as well.

    What are you working on now?

    Posted by Tracey Devlyn | November 14, 2011, 5:16 am
    • Hi Tracey. Risking Trust (formerly known as Pressing Matters) is the first book I wrote with the intention of trying to get it published. I have one practice book that is a complete mess and will never see daylight, but after that, I got serious about my writing.

      At the time I started Risking Trust, my father was sick and I was in a tough place emotionally. I poured all of those emotions into Michael and Roxann’s book. It became my therapy. I finished the book after my father passed, but the rejections started rolling in (and rolling and rolling and rolling…) so I put the book aside and started Man Law (book 2 in the series.) After Man Law sold, I told my editor I had a book before it. My editor read it, sent me a revision letter, I made the changes and sold the book.

      This book is not only my first serious attempt at a marketable book, it’s the one that helped me battle the grieving process. Seeing it published is something I’ll always be thankful for it.

      So, for all you writers out there sitting on your first books. Don’t give up on it!

      Posted by AdrienneGiordano | November 14, 2011, 7:29 am
  2. Hi Adrienne,

    I would add a bit of luck. Timing is everything. Being in the right place at the right time. Having the right book in front of the right editor is something for the Fates. And having hot guys on the book covers.

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | November 14, 2011, 7:01 am
  3. Hi Adrienne – wow, I love how you liken publishing your first book to taking an entry level position out of college, and working your way up. I did that. And yet, it never occurred to me that publishing my writing would be so similar. Duh. I do feel like I’ve worked SO HARD (and I’m still not there!) but the hard work never stops. I needed that reminder.

    I agree with the other ladies – a small amount of luck and a huge amount of perseverence are critical, but my biggest motivator is simply that I don’t want to do anything else. I have to make money and I want to do it with writing romance novels. So I will. 🙂 I think that kind of stake in the ground is the key to success.

    Posted by Kat Cantrell | November 14, 2011, 8:17 am
    • Hi Kat. I don’t think most of us think of our writing careers that way. It’s strange isn’t it? We don’t expect certain things in the business world, yet when we publish a book we have these high hopes that it’ll be a NY Times bestseller right out of the gate. Does it happen? Sure. But not for everyone. We put tremendous pressure on ourselves.

      I try to keep it in perspective by taking a look at how many books are out there. I am one author in a sea of them and building an audience takes time. At least that’s what I constantly remind myself! LOL.

      Thanks for popping in.

      Posted by AdrienneGiordano | November 14, 2011, 8:36 am
  4. Great article! I think an author needs several things to gain success. They are:

    1. A great product
    2. Build a relationship with readers/potential readers
    3. More great product
    4. Really thick skin
    5. Determination to succeed.

    I signed a contract for my first book nearly twelve years after I wrote it. I received so many rejection letters that I let it sit for years before I pulled it back out and got serious about writing. I revised it and revised it and a year later it was accepted.
    Perseverance does help. I agree with Adrienne don’t give up!

    Juliette Springs

    Posted by Juliette Springs | November 14, 2011, 8:25 am
    • Yay, Juliette! It just goes to show that we should never give up on our first book. That book may not get published in it’s original form, but there’s always hope.

      And you are not kidding about having a good product. I think the biggest lesson I learned after signing my contract was that I had to start again! LOL. Just because we get published doesn’t mean we stay published. In a sense, even published authors are still “querying” their publishers because if they don’t like the book we’re proposing, they could reject it. So, yes, a good product is definitely key.

      Posted by AdrienneGiordano | November 14, 2011, 8:41 am
  5. Wow, so needed this right now. Thanks!

    And can’t believe you worked for someone who threw staplers at you…ouch!

    But having survived entry level newspaper jobs as well, I have to say they are the best training ground for writers.

    Happy Writing!

    Posted by Rashda/Mina | November 14, 2011, 9:07 am
    • Hi Rashda. Yeah, he was a bit of a hot head. Once I had to call the building manager for a wall repair because the boss put his fist through it. It was great training for the kind of boss not to have! LOL.

      We just need to keep reminding ourselves this is a marathon and not a sprint.

      Happy writing to you too!

      Posted by AdrienneGiordano | November 14, 2011, 10:51 am
  6. Hi, Adrienne. I am so glad you stayed persitant in you pursuit of publication (whoa, that’s a mouthful!). Now we have your exciting and sexy books to read…and, um, the covers to drool over!

    Like Kat, I loved your comparison of the beginning of your career as an author to your first job out of college. That’s a great way to look at it. Sure puts things in perpective.

    Congratulations on the release of RISKING TRUST…your third book (but first in your heart). Very cool!

    Posted by Tracy March | November 14, 2011, 9:10 am
    • Hello Tracy March! Thanks for popping in today. And for the kind words about my books. There’s a reason I keep those covers on the bulletin board next to my desk. 🙂

      You’ve seen your share of ups and downs in this business, but you keep at it. That’s what gets us to the finish line. We may not be first, but we’ll finish that darn race! 🙂

      Posted by AdrienneGiordano | November 14, 2011, 10:56 am
  7. The Internet has helped and hurt writers. We’re in a time where’s there such an expectation of instant success also because we see it every day with reality TV stars. The idea of working one’s way up seems to be passe. But if we keep our feet on the ground and head focused while we work hard, we still may have one of those “instant success” moments. You just can’t make yourself crazy when your definition of instant doesn’t match up with everyone else’s. Tell yourself you’ll be an “instant success”, the “instant” that the world realizes how great you and your writing are. I have to remind myself of this too, when I don’t feel like doing the hard work to prepare myself for my “instant” moment.

    Good for you, Adrienne, and continued success with all your titles.

    Posted by PatriciaW | November 14, 2011, 9:10 am
    • Amen, Patricia! I almost wish I didn’t have access to rankings and sales data on the internet. There are times when it’s completely counter productive. I joke about my rankings addiction, but on the serious side, it’s something I hadn’t anticipated and I’m wishing I’d had. I could have saved myself a lot of wasted time.

      Thanks for popping in.

      Posted by AdrienneGiordano | November 14, 2011, 11:00 am
  8. Adrienne – Congratulations on the success of your books! I hope this means we’re going to see a lot more from you.

    Thanks for the Bob Mayer link. He makes a lot of excellent points. A lot of people seem to think self-publishing will magically shoot them to the top of the best seller lists. I get messages on Facebook all the time from newly minted self-published authors urging me to read/buy/download their books.

    You hit the nail on the head. If your book is good, people will spread the word and your next books will sell more, and the one after that even more. I feel kind of bad for those authors whose first books find immediate success, because what happens after that? They’ll consistently be trying to meet or beat that initial success.

    I think, in the long run, a slow consistent rise is the best indicator of long term success. It looks like that’s exactly what’s happening with your books. I’m looking forward to saying I knew you when!

    Posted by Becke Davis (Becke Martin) | November 14, 2011, 10:05 am
    • Hi Becke and thank you! I totally agree with you on the instant success. It would be wonderful to have that, but I don’t think it’s the reality of this business and it would put a tremendous amount of pressure on the author for the next book.

      With each book, my goal is to make it better than the last one and I can only hope I pull that off. I’m also finding I’m toughening up. I just submitted a book to my editor and asked her to “do her worst.” A year ago, I’d have been terrified to say that, but I have a great editor and I trust her judgement. I think having that level of trust allows me to accept her suggestions without taking it personally.

      Posted by AdrienneGiordano | November 14, 2011, 11:06 am
  9. Morning Adrienne!

    Congrats on the listing in Amazon – and here’s hoping your next book goes just as well – or better!

    I’m glad you beat your addiction….=) although I’m sure many of us will end up in the same boat once we get published.

    Keep up with the great works!


    Posted by Carrie Spencer | November 14, 2011, 10:25 am
  10. Thanks for this Adrienne. I am currently taking a six week workshop with Bob Mayer so I can understand the complications of this new digital world. The underlying message in most of his blog posts and workshops is exactly what you tacked up on your wall. Nothing can replace a good book … all else follows 🙂

    Posted by florence fois | November 14, 2011, 10:38 am
    • Hi Florence. Bob’s post literally changed my attitude. I think we can make ourselves crazy chasing rankings, but if the book isn’t any good, people won’t want to read it.

      It’s unfortunate that it took me a little time to come to that fairly basic realization! LOL.

      Posted by AdrienneGiordano | November 14, 2011, 11:09 am
  11. A –

    You know how proud I am of you! I think you’re a great role model to other writers on how to keep going even when you’re not sure where your writing will lead you, on considering alternatives that will launch your publishing career, and then working like a dog to support the promo/marketing efforts behind your books.

    Besides the rankings ride, what’s been the most gratifying part of becoming published?

    And tell our readers a little about the next book in the series. I hate to keep Billy all to myself :).


    Posted by Kelsey Browning | November 14, 2011, 10:48 am
    • Hello to my buddy! I think the most gratifying thing about getting published is just having done it. We all know completing a book takes a tremendous amount of work. Then all the submitting and rejections take a toll. I’m just grateful that I didn’t quit, particularly when I wanted to. I don’t think I could have lived with asking myself “What if” for the next how ever many years.

      I think we all get to a point where we can’t take the emotional battering of trying to get published. It makes it worse when we’re getting positive feedback from editors and agents. I know I felt stuck for a long time. I couldn’t quit because I’d invested so much time in my writing, but no one wanted to take a chance either. I know I felt a little lost. I think that’s when luck comes in. My book just landed at the right place at the right time.

      Posted by AdrienneGiordano | November 14, 2011, 11:18 am
  12. Thanks, Adrienne! I needed that!

    I, too, suffer from a bit of a sales numbers addiction. Okay… a HUGE addiction. And it definitely affects my moods. Have you met Novel Rank?

    But it’s impacting on my writing time so it’s necessary for me to make some changes…

    Posted by Wendy S. Marcus | November 14, 2011, 10:53 am
    • Hi Wendy. Not only have I met NovelRank, I’ve figured out how graph the sales data for all three of my books so I can compare them on one graph! Oi!

      I had to set myself a goal. I told myself that outside of release weeks, I would not check my rankings any more than three times during the week. It was hard at first, but eventually I found it extremely freeing. Now, it just sort of hits me that I haven’t checked my rankings in a few days and then I do it.

      Thanks for popping by!

      Posted by AdrienneGiordano | November 14, 2011, 11:22 am
  13. Adrienne – Congrats on (I won’t say success) writing awesome books that thrill your readers!

    What I think you need to succeed in publishing? Stamina. Endurance. A Thick skin. Most importantly . . . bedrock belief that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing.


    Posted by Robin Covington | November 14, 2011, 10:59 am
  14. Such a great article, Adrienne. Congrats on the release of Risking Trust. I know that book means a lot to you. I’ve got all three of them on my Nook and can’t wait to dive in.

    Loved your college analogy. We sure don’t expect to be CEO’s the minute we’ve got our degree, so we shouldn’t expect the same with our books.

    I remember reading John Locke’s book on how he sold a million copies and he said he didn’t start promoting until he had 5 books out. I think I’ve heard Bob Mayer say something similar.

    From the beginning, I chose not to learn how to follow Novel Rank and I rarely check rankings on the other sites. I’ve heard they can be fleeting and misleading. And because my books are sold in Walmart (they don’t report to these sites, but they sell a ton of books), I knew my numbers wouldn’t be accurate anyway.

    It’s a good excuse to remain ignorant and it keeps me sane. (most of the time) LOL

    Posted by Laurie London | November 14, 2011, 12:30 pm
    • Hi, Laurie. Thanks for popping in. Thanks for picking up my books!

      The John Locke thing makes sense to me. I wonder at which book he hit a million copies. If it was at book five, it certainly proves the point that his readership was built over time.

      And you’re smart to stay away from the rankings. I think what it comes down to is that we can blog and tweet and do various other things to help market a book, but we can’t force readers to buy. So, in a way, the rankings are largely out of our control. Why spend time on something we can’t control?

      Posted by AdrienneGiordano | November 14, 2011, 1:55 pm
  15. Congratulations on your new release!

    Great advice, too. I think a lot of writers jump the gun. They’ve finished their first book and sub right away because they’re anxious to get published.

    But I believe that first book is more of a workbook because one’s writing gets better the more we write. It’s not something tangible or measureable.

    Best of luck, Adrienne! And thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | November 14, 2011, 2:59 pm
  16. Thanks for the link to my post. May seems forever ago. I’ve also had wide swings and learned to just keep pushing ahead. My release at the beginning of September shot to #2 overall on Nook. But then it settled back to Earth. Today, I was featured as Nooks Independent author and am part of a new marketing campaign. I have no idea what the results will be.

    I check Amazon now on Sunday’s to total up what I made the previous week. I tend to check PubIt more often, but just to see if there are any trends. I’ve never checked Amazon sales rankings because I think goblins play with those algorithms.

    It is indeed a marathon and not a sprint. I also recently posted about how the “feud” between indie and traditionally published authors has gotten out of hand and serves no one any good. We’re all writers.

    Posted by Bob Mayer | November 14, 2011, 5:10 pm
    • Thanks for stopping in, Bob! I enjoy your posts. They always make a whole lot of sense to me.

      As a debut author, I sometimes feel like a toddler sitting at the big kid table for the first time so it’s nice to have resources that help me on the journey.

      Posted by AdrienneGiordano | November 14, 2011, 7:10 pm
  17. Adrienne,

    You know I love your books and both you and Tracey are such an inspiration, because you were the first stories I watched ‘happen’ for real.

    Basically, no matter how you slice it having three books out this fast AND having two of them hit the B&N 100 list IS success and you should be euphoric about it.

    I’m not published but contest scores, rejections, praise, all of it takes my moods up and down and impacts writing. Being able to put all that aside and focus, would definitely be a skill to start practicing now to apply to the numbers game when the time comes, right?

    Can’t wait to get started on Risking Trust.


    Posted by Sonali | November 14, 2011, 10:15 pm
    • Hi Sonali. Yes! Start practicing now. I can honestly say this is the #1 thing I’d wish I’d anticipated before I got published. I spent an enormous amount of time the first six weeks after Man Law came out obsessing over the numbers. It really did blindside me.

      Sometimes though, I guess we need to experience it ourselves to figure out how to handle it.

      Posted by AdrienneGiordano | November 15, 2011, 8:51 am
  18. Preservance and more preservance. As I heard from most authors is to never give up especially if you believe in your story. They had told me to keep revising the story because the story can always be told better.

    Posted by Kai W. | November 15, 2011, 1:32 am
    • Hi Kai. Yes, I would agree with that. I think a writer needs to be careful who they take feedback from though. We have to be able to trust the person offering advice has our best interest in mind or the story could become a mess.

      When the advice is good though, that’s the best. I love when someone’s feedback gives me an “aha” moment.

      Posted by AdrienneGiordano | November 15, 2011, 8:54 am
  19. I read your post about the events that inspired Risking Trust. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    PS, I agree with Mr. Mayer: The infighting between indie and traditionally published authors doesn’t serve anyone!

    Posted by Sherri Shackelford | November 15, 2011, 9:02 am
  20. Adrienne, congrats on your success!

    I think we writers put more pressure on ourselves than do readers. It’s addictive to watch the numbers. And for me, I had to stop doing that because it was taking up valuable writing time.

    Readers just want to a great story. We want to write great stories.

    While marketing does play an integral part, the core product – the story – has to be the best it can be.

    Posted by Tamara Hunter | November 15, 2011, 10:08 am
  21. I read Bob Mayer’s advice voraciously. He recently came and spoke to my RWA chapter. He really packs a lot into his talks. And all of it makes sense AND helps me focus my own goals and writing.

    Thanks for reminding me, Adrienne. I need to post those attributes on my wall, also.

    Posted by Laurie Ryan | November 15, 2011, 9:08 pm

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