In previous posts in this series, we’ve uncovered the fact that getting published in today’s world is not about luck, it’s about determination. So, why are so many people worried their book won’t be “good enough”?
What is a book that’s good enough, exactly?
Is it one that sells 100,000 copies enabling its author to quit their day job, retire to Florida, and scan for tropical storm alerts all day? Let me assure you right up front that hardly anybody does that.
Is it one that creates such a stir (and so many book sales!) that the author can move to Paris, get a garret room, and hang out with the cool writers who spend all day drinking absinthe together on the Left Bank? Again, not such a thing anymore.
Or how about a book that instantly buys them access to the biggest personal development stages on the planet so they can deliver standing-o talks beside Tony Robbins and Brené Brown and sell ridiculous numbers of their programs to eager participants? Hmmm. Well, that does sound like success. But there’s a lot more involved than writing a book and hoping it’s a hit.
In my humble opinion, a book that is “good enough” is one that is well structured and well written. It tells stories and shares information but more importantly it moves readers’ hearts; for the eight hours or so it takes to read your book it allows them to suspend whatever else is going on in their lives and focus entirely on the experience you are giving them through the magic of the written word. You can take that excellent book and market the heck out of it, leverage it into speaking engagements, support your business, and give readings at elementary schools or international conferences. But that book is not going to support your reputation for excellence if it is not imbued with excellence.
You don’t have to do all that alone. The smart author asks for help, whether it be from an accountability partner, a writing group, a caring friend, a partner, a beta reader or three, or a series of professionals who actually help people write books for a living. You can hire a book coach or an editor (shameless plug for me, there), or join a book writing mastermind group (confession: I run one of those as well!). Most people can’t write a book that people are going to rave about all by themselves.
If you were building a house, would you do all the work yourself or would you hire someone to help you? I don’t know about you, but although I have wielded a hammer the odd time throughout my life I sure as heck wouldn’t want to frame a house. At least, not one I was going to have to actually live in.
We don’t become powerful writers by accident, coincidence, or luck of the draw. We work at it. And unless you have spent most of your entire life learning about book structure and how to write powerfully, and unless you’ve been edited throughout the course of your entire career by brilliant editors who know how to stop a run-on sentence dead in its tracks, it is unrealistic to think that you are somehow supposed to be able to magically sit down at your computer and bash out a best-seller in a month. For pity’s sake, let yourself off the hook! Get learning. And get some help. And stop worrying about your book being “good enough.” It will be “good enough” if you invest the time and skill it takes to create a quality book and then hire the professional help you need to polish it until it shines.