Good afternoon all:
As many of you know, I work with several authors as a publicist. Needless to say, this is a very difficult industry. When one achieves success it can be very enjoyable but the road to success can be bumpy and frustrating.
Recently I read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It is a very simple book with a lot of life lessons however as a publicist I was struck by his foreword. He discussed his publishing journey.
“When The Alchemist was first published 25 years ago… no one noticed. A bookseller … told me that only one person purchsed a copy in the first week of its release. It took another six months for the bookseller to unload a second copy– and that was to the same person who bought the first! And who knows how long it took to sell the third. My original publisher decided to cut me loose and cancelled our contract.”
He goes on to say he was 41 and desperate.
He stuck with it because it was his “Personal Legend.” Slowly, through word of mouth, the book was given a second chance. It started to sell with a new publisher and eight months later an American publisher wanted to translate it. It was brought to an American audience where Bill Clinton and Madonna were reading it and everyone from Will Smith to soccer moms were talking about it.
He said he had no idea it would succeed.
In publishing, one needs this attitude to succeed. Don’t go into publishing with the idea that you will make millions.
Do it to share a little treasure with the world.