Anything can happen during March Madness, and we root for the underdog, but how many go so far as to put the underdogs within their final brackets?
How many had 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast University going this far? Doesn’t make sense. There’s never been a 15 seed to make the Sweet Sixteen . . . Until now. . .
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Imagine this: You have a new book and you’re sitting around, talking about marketing and PR with your publisher. Everyone’s cheering. They’re in your corner. Rah. Rah. Rah. But when you leave, the next author comes in and it’s the same thing. In the end, the publishers don’t have all of their authors ranked number one. They have a bracket system. They’re rooting for everyone, but when they really sit down and have to put it in writing, there are tiers. They expect one book and author to do X and another to do Y. If X doesn’t go that far, fine, it met expectations. If Y exceeds, everyone is surprised and revisits the brackets.
And for those that are ranked on top? There’s no guarantee that your publisher’s efforts will turn your next project into a bestseller.
So what do you do? Do you hope the publisher will pull out all the stops and win the game for you? No. You fight like a 15 seed that no one expects to win.
You fight to get in the game.
Figure out what your publisher will or won’t do. If you don’t have a publisher or your publisher doesn’t even have you in the tournament, you come up with your own game plan. Take the truths—be persistent, find your crossover audience, pay attention to the signs, aim for passion within your work, remain open to change, stay in it for the long haul (but mind moderation), do something every day, say thank you—and figure out how you can use them. Learn what others have done to get into the game, but take those elements and match them to your style, your play.
You fight to stay in the game.
Whatever your publisher won’t do? You do. And you do a little bit every day.
You fight to obliterate the brackets.
You stay in the game for the long haul. If you don’t rank this year, you go for it next year. Then the year you land a 15 seed spot, you take it one game at a time. You can only go higher.
You fight to make it to the championship game.
Yes, your team mates matter.
Yes, your skill matters.
Yes, playing hard matters.
But how you play—what you do with what you have—matters the most.
And next year, when the prez and everyone else is tending to their brackets, you don’t pay any mind to where they place you. You play on as your own advocate and advance anyway.