Posted by: penpatience | June 1, 2020

WRITERS! “Everybody is a Salesbody”

WRITERS WORDS:” Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.” – Zig Ziglar



Many businesses, organizations employ salespeople, individuals who promote products and services to contractual or potential buyers.  Salesmanship is an occupation practiced by many, a learned craft often requiring different backgrounds, education and technical skills to meet client and customer requirements. It can be a demanding career where precise sales criteria must be met to be considered a successful “Salesbody.”  However, individuals don’t necessarily have to wear a salesmanship hat to sell and I believe Everybody IS a “Salesbody” — and so does Zig Ziglar!

One of my treasured self-help books published in the 1980’s, but remains current to this day is Zig Ziglar’s, “America’s #1 Bible of Persuasion, Secrets of Closing the Sale.”  I quote from the inside cover, “Not only is Zig Ziglar the world’s great motivational speaker, he’s a talented writer who sells the good old American principles of honesty, integrity, dependability and supreme effort to learn professional skills.”  A successful salesperson usually is career oriented, adaptable, looks and acts professional, should be a person of principle, a hard worker and, most important, keeps abreast of new policies, procedures and techniques.

Consider the “Everybody” — Coaches, dentists, builders, interior designers, ministers, retailers, doctors, lawyers, waiters/waitresses, insurance folks, bankers, writers and the list goes on and on…… Yes, writers are “Salesbodys.”

Perhaps emerging and experienced writers might be skeptical or unaware of this theory, but it is no longer enough to write the novel, book, memoir expecting readers will rush to the bookstore or e-site to purchase the manuscript that consumed two years of your time, sweat and tears to complete.

Years ago, I was fortunate to learn over many sales training courses a salesperson sells him/herself first. Preparation, call it grunt work, has to be done. A writer must methodically research Editors, Agents, Small and large presses including the Big Five. (who knows, you may get lucky) There are multiple self-helps books, writer magazines and online sites to assist you. One of my favorite books is, “Your Novel Proposal from Creation to Contract” written by Blythe Camenson and Marshall J. Cook. It’s a complete guide to writing Query letters, Synopses and Proposals for Agents and Editors. I equate this research and additional work to asking an Agent/Editor to dance knowing it’s not the time to step on a pending partner’s foot.  And you’re not through yet.

Rejection, a salesperson’s dreaded response. The customers are not buying.  Thank you, but no thank you. After all that work the rejections come rolling in and sometimes, no response at all.  You’re in a blue funk thinking you may as well put the story on Amazon for $.99. Maybe someone will read it. Writers often get discouraged, but usually they regroup, redo, reread, rewrite and try again.  It only takes one YES. Then, there’s the “what if.”  What if the YES doesn’t happen? Well, I muse about the late country singer, Kenny Rogers and his famous gambler tune, “you have to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.”  It’s a decision that should be made, perhaps temporarily, to put that particular project aside and work on something new and return to it at a later date with a refreshed approach.

Listed below are a few suggestions to add to your Salesmanship to-do list:

Communicate. Tell and sell on your preferred social platform: Facebook, Blog, Website, Newsletter, etc.

Follow informational and successful Author websites. One of my long-time favorites is Hope Clark’s Funds for Writers.

Enroll in continuing educational writing courses covering your specific genre interests. Re-polish your writing skills.

Learn how to accept rejection with a smile instead of a snarl. Sell yourself everyday to someone, somehow, somewhere, preferably on your chosen, professional platform.

Practice good salesmanship.

Write On!  Read on!  Stay well!  Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads!


  1. I agree completely. Everyone is a salesperson. Every day we encounter situations where our opinions need to be heard, considered, and acted on. Especially as a wife, mother, teacher, and the list goes on.
    A+ ✅

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, for this thoughtful response:)


  3. This was a terrific and enlightening read! I agree wholeheartedly about the ingrained persuasiveness regarding practically any and all forms of writing and composition. As an English Ed undergrad student, this particular line really spoke to what I’ve learned from former professors and have tried to instill in students myself: “writers get discouraged, but usually they regroup, redo, reread, rewrite and try again”. The writing process is as inherently cyclical as it is persuasive. Your descriptions of the publishing and even rejection processes call to mind Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, which is a wonderfully applicable and insightful read into becoming a writing salesbody. I will definitely look into Ziglar’s book and appreciate your input on this relevant topic. Much food for thought!


    • Hi Will, thank you for such a well thought out response. I always enjoy hearing your feedback.


  4. Ziglar one of my favorites.


    • Thank you for responding and your comment. If I recall, Millard, we were in the same graduating class at Draper High School. I hope the world has been kind to you. Best wishes, Frances Gay


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