I was asked once what it would take to make a Western novel a bestseller. A good story? A great editor? A fantastic cover? I agreed that all of these things were important—but the two most important ingredients had been neglected and overlooked. These two ingredients are confidence and consistency. Two words that you are not likely to see written about the business of promoting books.
In every case of a Western becoming successful, these two ingredients have been crucial. You can have the greatest story in the world, you can have an award-winning cover, you can hire the greatest book promoter in the world—and you can still have a failure without confidence and consistency. You can ride your way across the world and shout about the book to all you meet, and those words will fall on deaf ears because you didn’t say them with confidence.
I have been asked many times, in many ways, why I have so much confidence in the authors with whom I work. It’s true. My confidence in those I work with is unshakeable. I’m just addicted to optimism—and that is down to the fact that the people I work with never give up. Even if the world is against them—even if the books haven’t sold a copy—they don’t give up—because they have confidence in what they are doing. The idea came to them, the dream was given to them, and they intend to continue their dream come hell or high water. Their dream is to be read, and my job is to help that dream come true. That success they seek may come today, tomorrow, next week or next year, and they will be there to meet it—because nothing worthwhile happens unless you fight for it. And a book pushed without confidence and consistency will not sell, will not be read—will not be reviewed—will languish, and only you can build your dream, or crush it.
There’s a common problem in our business, and I hear it a lot. That problem is this: “I hope that someone likes my book.” That is a lack of confidence; that’s a success destroyer. Authors with the confidence to be great successes do not wish or hope. They do. They had to write the book—they had no option, choice or plan. They had to write the words they were given, and those words tell a story that they were born to tell. When I hear an author tell me that he had to write this book, tell this story, be an author, I know that I am talking to a future success. Now, for those of you who are reading this blog and wondering—wondering if you have the confidence, perhaps? Do you have the talent? Do you have the right to be an author? I am telling you that you do not need the right, you do not need the talent—you need the confidence to know that your story is worth telling, and with that confidence, success is inevitable.
Every single person is a storyteller. They just haven’t accepted it yet, and I truly believe that. Every single person has a story to tell. But that lack of confidence that tells them that they don’t have time to write their story, have no chance of being published—and that nobody will read their book—stops them from grabbing the opportunity that has been placed in front of them their whole life. I truly believe that you—yes, you, the person reading this blog—have the gift already inside of you. This confidence and consistency is inside of you. You just have to allow it to blossom like a flower. Do it now, and then let’s get down to the business of making your dreams come true—because I already have confidence in your book—because I know that everyone has a story worth telling. I’m waiting to hear from you.