The Author Myth

So, you have this great idea for a new book. Whether it's a novel, a memoir, or a how-to book, you're absolutely certain you're going to have a runaway best seller, and you just know Hollywood will soon come knocking at your door. Well, I hate to break it to you, but you're experience a phenomenon I call The Author Myth, and I suspect all new authors, or soon-to-become authors, experience it. I certainly did. We all like to think that the idea we've come up with is so unique, or so good, that no one in human history has thought of it before. We all want to think our book will make us rich and famous and that we'll be living the good life.

This myth exists because there is, in fact, some real-world basis to support it. We've all heard of J.K. Rowling, James Patterson and Danielle Steele, just to name a few. However, the vast majority of authors will never achieve that level of fame or financial success. Even if their names become a household word, very few authors are able to live entirely off their book royalties, regardless of how well their books were written and how many awards they may have won.

This doesn't mean that writing a book isn't a worthwhile endeavor. There's nothing quite like the thrill of seeing your idea published in a book and listed on Amazon with positive reviews. However, if your reason for writing a book is to become rich and famous, and to see your story on the silver screen, the odds are that you'll be extremely disappointed. For most authors, book royalties are an income supplement at best. For others, they're not much more than beer money.

There is one reason, and one reason only, to write a book. You have something that you want to share with others. Perhaps you have a story to tell, or you have help or advice for others to help them make their lives better. Or maybe it's something heartfelt to help someone through difficult times. If this is your motivation, then the odds are that you'll be rewarded. If not fame and fortune, but with the knowledge that your words may have changed someone else's life for the better.

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