As anyone out there reading my blog knows, I’ve been reading a lot lately about the marketing side of the book publishing business. Over the last few months I’ve read Gary Vaynerchuck’s Crush It!, Steve Weber’s Plug Your Book, and Tim Ferriss’ The Four Hour Work Week.
Yesterday I had a chance to listen to an interview of Jack Canfield, the incredibly successful co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. The subject was book promotion, but he was also there to help promote Bill and Steve Harrison’s Quantum Leap Publicity and Marketing Program. Canfield has written a number of other books about using the law of attraction and the benefits of visualization and Focus to achieving goals. These concepts aren’t new, as Canfield himself acknowledges, but he has a knack for presenting them in a way that inspires and energizes.
When asked by Harrison what one idea he’d like the listeners to take away, Canfield replied that the most important thing an author can do is write a great book and then learn to market it. Invest in your education. If you write a great book and then fail to promote it, it’s like giving birth and then throwing the baby in the garbage.
This stark image got my attention. He likened the creation and marketing of a book to yin and yang: the female creative principle and the male urge to go out into the world. Since I rather like Asian philosophy this concept of balance appeals to me and may help overcome my introverted reticence to blow my own horn.
For me, the most important take away was the admonishment to Dream Big. A big dream, in either writing or life, is much much more inspiring than a small one. Listening to Canfield, I realized I’d been whittling my dreams down over the last few years, and I’d grown disinterested in them. If I’m going to work hard, I’d rather work toward a big dream that gives me joy, than a small one.
What do you think?