“How many books do you think I’ll be able to sell?” the enterprising young man asked me on the phone. “50,000? 60,000?”
Just how many books can you REALISTICALLY expect to sell?
Granted, at some point in the process, every author needs a dose of realism, but that’s the last thing you need when you start writing your book. In my experience, every successful author is driven by three delusional beliefs:
- They believe their book will change the world
- They believe they’re the person to write the book
- They believe their book will sell millions of copies
And you know what? That’s okay.
After ghostwriting or authoring 25 books, I can attest that writing a book is HARD.
My favorite quote on writing comes from Winston Churchill, who said,
Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.
Just like running a marathon or shedding 40 pounds—both of which I’ve done. At the beginning, both are relatively easy. When I’m in shape, I can run 10 miles, no sweat. At least that was true when I was 10 years younger. Back in the day, I followed the Weight Watchers meal plan and shed 10 pounds the first month, no problem.
Sitting down to begin your book starts easy. The ideas flow, your energy surges—nothing short of an amusement.
But then you hit the wall and your book becomes a tyrant. When I was a runner, that usually occurred at mile 22 or 23. When I was trying to lose weight, it kicked in after losing 10 percent of my original body weight.
At that point, you’re crawling on your hands and knees to the finish line.
And what keeps you going?
If you don’t believe deep in your heart that your book is going to change lives, that you’re the right person to write it, and that it has a chance to sell millions of copies, you’ll never finish it. Trust me, I know.
Unless your idea is an absolute stinker or you have zero ability to write, I’ll stoke your delusions. My goal with every author is to help them write their best book possible. To maximize their book to its fullest potential.
Now, I never promise book sales, and at some point, I’m going to be honest about your writing ability and your book’s sell-ability, but finishing a book is a feat in itself.
Regardless of the quality of the manuscript, I sincerely admire any person who can walk their book from start to finish, and with their last ounce of strength, kill the monster and fling it to the public.
Need someone to stoke your delusions? Let’s talk. Together, we can help you cross the finish line and maximize your book to its fullest potential.