Are you good enough?

by | Mar 4, 2010 | Book Marketing Basics

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So often we base our success on another’s view of us. When it comes to book publicity and marketing – it’s often all about that. We crave the good review and the great blurb. We want someone to go on line and just *love* us to death and when they don’t we wonder: Am I really good enough?

The truth is this, as a publicist (some call me seasoned) having been in the industry for a good amount of time I have found that success is a numbers game. Sometimes you hit it and other times you don’t. While there is a metric to a bestseller and a general “recipe” for a book that surges up a list, there is often no rhyme or reason to it. The books you think are “sure things” end up dying a quiet death while the dark horses surge up the list and become the hottest-must-have-title.

So as we sift through our marketing, plugging away at our to do list and hoping that someone, somewhere will notice us (Hello, Oprah!), remember this: you are good enough and don’t wait for someone to validate that. I bring this up this week because I see, more than perhaps I should, authors getting discouraged and focusing in on the “world” loving their book. For a book to do well it must have 2 things: it must be well written and you must love it first. If you aren’t passionate about your project, how can you expect anyone else to be?

Keep marketing, good books have a way of finding a path to success and yes, you are good enough.


  1. Lisa Pelto

    Amen Sister! And, in nearly 30 years (yikes) working with independent authors, I haven’t met many authors that DON’T think their book is a “sure thing.” Defining what “sure thing” is, is the real key. 🙂

  2. Mary Jane Hurley Brant


    Since I came on board a little over a year ago I have enjoyed all of your posts but today’s entry was my favorite. Thank you. I love how you do ‘see’ and your years in the industry makes your advice more meaningful.

    “Good enough” is a powerful concept that goes far deeper and wider than one’s book because it is attached to self-worth. How we value ourself cannot be measured by how high our ratings go on Amazon, B & N, etc. One cannot measure one’s personal value by sales anymore than wearing a pair of Manolo Blahniks – beautiful though they be – defines who we really are. It begins on the inside.

    I also completely agree that we must love what we have written and be passionate about it. If we have written from the soul(and have a good editor) “all will be well” as the great mystic Julian of Norwich once said.

    Kindest regards,

    Mary Jane Hurley Brant,M.S.,CGP a.k.a. “MJ”

  3. Penny

    The other thing is that if we’re not in love with what we do, and feel confident about our work, we’ll let all of these outside influences affect us. Bad reviews for example, we all get them – I’ve gotten them. It happens. Not everyone will like your work – but as long as you do that’s what matters!

  4. Dr. Carlos M. Gonzalez

    Thank you again Penny…. this was a great post! You are so right on. I have bought hundreds of books in the last twenty or so years. Some because I had to (school), some because of the title, front cover and table of contents appealed to me, some because I was researching my topic for my book and some because it had such HYPE and BONUSES I felt I’d be stupid not to buy it.

    Some of these hyped up books were good-excellent and some were less that average. But that’s my opinion on what I consider to be good-excellent etc.

    AM I GOOD ENOUGH? Still haunts me. I see other authors and speakers on the internet, TV and think …..Gosh! They are really good. How can I compete with them? Am I really good enough?

    I spent three years researching and writing my book, HANGING OUT FOR THE HEALTH OF IT. I went to a very large and expensive seminar from someone who is HUGE in the industry and whose name I won’t mention and was somewhat disappointed. The majority of the speakers gave some tips but then went on to promote themselves and why we needed to spend a few more thousand dollars buying their stuff.

    Unfortunately, I signed up with a self publishing company there at the Conference whose name I REALLY want to mention but won’t (for fear of getting in trouble) and had a HORRIBLE experience. Professional editing ??? Layout??? Cover Design?? My 11 y.o. daughter could have done a better job. I had to re-edit the book myself. I could go on and on but NOW the point is after all this time, money and sweat one becomes discouraged …. but NOT DEFEATED. Believe in yourself and what you have to offer to the world. I’m on a Mission with a Vision and have a Passion with a Purpose.

    May you Always have Health to Spare, Friends that Care and Love to Share.

    PS-Thanks to the 2 ladies for their responses. Yes Penny we must…Do what you LOVE…LOVE what you do!

  5. Penny C. Sansevieri

    Dear Carlos, what an inspired post! I encourage you to keep going and keep believing and if you’re ever wondering about a vendor, don’t hesitate to email me directly at — I promise not to steer you wrong. Thanks for posting and for your honesty… Penny


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