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Welcome to my story blog. I will post one new story here every day. You are welcome to comment on any or all of them. Enjoy!
                   --Lee Pound

How Book Publishing Influences Fame

Yesterday I mentioned that the writer’s fame usually comes after writing the book. Of course fame is a very general word that can mean being well-known by everyone or being well-known in a very specific niche or area of expertise.

The other truth, not mentioned yesterday, is that most writers never become well-known at all, not even in a specific niche. Most commercially published authors sell less than 1000 books, ever. Most self-published authors sell even fewer books. In fact, they give away more books than they sell. Most (over 99.9%) authors are turned down by agents because their books are not worth the paper they are printed on. This means that for every thousand books written, maybe one or two of the authors become any kind of well-known. The odds are ruthlessly long on becoming famous by writing a book.

 But then the odds are ruthlessly long on becoming famous for any reason. We as individuals might be able to rattle off the names of a few hundred of the mega famous. This might include presidents and kings and queens, movie stars, a very few radio personalities, and a few business gurus. However, most of us cannot name our local congressman or woman. Most of us never heard of the 90% of actors in a movie who are not stars. Most of us would be hard pressed to name any corporate executives who control billions of dollars. These people became powerful without becoming famous.

This means that most fame is local and fleeting. Small stars rise and fall, leaving little trace. Most of these famous people, and most of the mega famous, never wrote a book. Their fame came from their actions or the fact of their birth. The claim that a book can jumpstart your path to becoming known comes from another group of people, those who are starting to get known but are not yet known.

Here is where the book can shine as a way to build your expertise in the public mind (your own public, large or small, not necessarily everyone). Here is where the stories exist.

1. Rick Warren was the pastor of a local (very large) church in Orange County. His book, The Purpose Driven Life, made him nationally known.

2. Ken Blanchard presented business seminars but was not well known until his book, The One-Minute Manager, hit the best seller list. From that book came the wealth, the contracts, the coaching and mentoring programs.

3, Fiction writers like Stephen King, Danielle Steele, and Jonathan Kellerman (and hundreds of others) were total unknowns until their books were published.

4. Virtually every major public speaker has written a book and in most cases, the book got them their early speaking engagements.

5. Many local consultants have built practices on the basis of writing and publishing a book as a way to stand above the crowd and attract clients.

In all these cases and hundreds more, the book took a promising but unknown professional to either local or national fame, not the other way around.

As I mentioned above, not every person who writes a book becomes known. In fact it is rare and driven more by the writer’s marketing skills and tenacity than it is by chance. Writing the book is only the first step and publishing it the second. To become known, you must get the book into the right hands, you must talk about it, you must appear in public, on radio and on TV, you must make a splash, and you must eagerly welcome the attention that comes to you. Few are willing to do this. However, for those who are willing to do the necessary work, the book is the quickest vehicle to becoming known locally or nationally. The very fact that you wrote a book and your competition didn’t makes you stand out and that is where fame of any kind begins.

And that’s good enough reason to write a book.




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