I am a life and career expert. When I write books, they are usually non-fiction self-help. It is what I know. It is what I’m good at (perhaps I’m not good at being modest, however).
According to marketing experts, the demand for advice is a booming, multi billion-dollar business! A report by MarketData Enterprises Inc., a market data and consulting firm, reports that the self-improvement category has been growing 9.9% annually since 1998. General, motivational, self-help market of products and programs comprises more than 32% of the sales and an estimated $7.78+ billion in 2005.
The non-fiction, self-help market for books is a difficult nut to crack–and it is frustrating me!
The types of real issues that real people face every day aren’t new. Hearts are broken every day from coast to coast. Singles search for love around the world. Most of us have felt genuine pain, rejection or fear — at least from time to time. The irritating boss in Brooklyn is just as worrisome in Bombay, even if cultural differences make the solutions, different. The things that bother us, depress us, keep us up at night and impact our lives don’t necessarily require hip language or a hot, sexy idea.
Why then, are young, hip and celebrity authors so in demand? Why isn’t “older & wiser” better? What do celebs have to offer that I do not (other than celebrity friends and high-powered connections)?
Why should people be denied my advice and widsom, in book form at least, just because my star isn’t burning quite as brightly as the ones you see being relentlessly marketed and shoved down your throat through the media? Shouldn’t good advice be recognized as good advice — regardless of the author’s “platfom” (to use a word I loathe) or level of star quality? Must you really be friends with Oprah to be taken seriously? Dr. Phil wasn’t, until his path crossed with this awesome star-maker. Come to think of it, could Oprah in her earlier form actually become a star, today?
I’m not a celebrity that appears daily in the social columns or in People Magazine, but would you really take me more seriously or like my advice better, it I was? I’m not a talk-show darling or an A-list party hopper (if you are reading this and you want to invite me to high profile parties and events, however, I’ll be glad to come and thank you for the opportunity). What I AM, is a serious and thoughtful person who can see the forest for the proverbial trees. I have helped people around the world make their lives easier, more successful, and more satisfying. This gives me a great deal of quiet satisfaction, but it doesn’t help me get book deals.
To be “saleable” it appears as though I would be better off dispensing with solid and useful advice, and simply have sex with a politician, or dump my loving husband for a serial killer, or better yet, do something shocking, illegal and immoral, myself. And, as of now, I lack a “shtick,” and I don’t have any surgically aumented parts.
Someone recently told me that creating a blog such as this one would give me great visibility. I’m not sure if anyone is even reading this, but I am sure I could exploit people as the female incarnation of Howard Stern or Jerry Springe and do even better–but should I???
I fear that soon, I will be competing with celebrities for everything. Instead of my books based on decades of experience, I will be battling with Britany Spears (who will surely get a multi-million dollar advance) for HER self-help life, love and career books.
It would be nice if I could make it easier on agents and publishers, who sense that my name won’t get them 50,000+ units in sales of my next non-fiction, self-help book in just the first month.
So clearly, it’s time to become one of them. If you’d like to help tell your contacts, spread the word. Send the call. Build the buzz. Make me your next marketing project, and help me get that 15 minutes of fame. I am working at that too, of course, but the more help, the better. Without more fame, you will probably not get to read the books that I write that you might want to read–at least not anytime soon.
Am I serious. Yes! (and have a real great day, not just a celb-reality one)!