Recently, a very talented writer, and friend, was on his way to the top of the charts. His book was climbing with each passing day, his sales piling up, and readers were finding and liking his other books. This tremendous talent had one problem. He was scared. He felt that he was growing too quickly; he was taking on too much, too soon. He dropped off, dropped out. But let me tell you, friend, fear is a natural part of life. There’s no doubt about it. Many of us live in fear but conquer our fears every single day we draw breath—but fear was holding back this particular author. His fear told him to stop promoting, to stop pushing those books, and his fear dictated the outcome. Soon his book was dropping down, further and further, until it fell out of the bestseller chart, until it left the bestselling solar system and found itself on the outer reaches of the bestseller universe. Now the book is beyond saving. It is cascading to the very bottom of the rankings. His fear won its grisly prize.
And that author lost a golden chance to build a career.
If you’re afraid, you’re not alone. The average author finds him or herself living with fear every single day of the year. Will readers like my new book? Will it sell? Will it ruin my career? Will it ever reach the top where the sunlight of the readers will shine onto it? Fear is one of the most dangerous parts of our business—and fear reigns supreme. Unfortunately, fear overcame that author and caused him to throw his book to the depths of the book business.
Now, if you ask me, it’s important to understand something about fear. Sure, it can disable you, but it can feed you too. I say it’s the duty of all humans to prove fear wrong—to reach for more and to ride harder to get there. If you are feeling fear—good! You care about your product enough to want it to be a success. Embrace the fear, mull over the worst case scenario, let the fear be the flames lapping against your feet as you pull yourself up. There’s no pain without gain, and believing in your fear might be the one thing that drives your book in front of the competition. I say let’s welcome fear and invite it in, then conquer it. Things are never as bad as we make them out to be. Every time one of my authors worries about their next book, I say wait just a few weeks. Frequently, we’ll find the book is scurrying up, up, and away as it climbs the bestseller chart. I say your book will also climb the bestseller chart. Are you going to give it a try? Are you going to push it up there?