Monday, March 30, 2009

On thinking positive

Last week after I was on the national radio show to talk about my book, I stopped by the offices of the running magazine I work for to pick up a stock of my books. I went into the editing room to say hello to my collegues. They were every excited about the book, my main editor even talked about it becoming an editorial "case". He asked me how many books I hoped to sell. I really have no idea, it's nothing I ever thought about while I was writing it. I thought it was already such a miracle that I even finished it. One thing is for sure: I would have never started or finished without the insistence of the magazine owner. He pushed, pushed and pushed...for years. Selling them is just the icing on the cake. But as we got into the final stages I could see that the book had shaped into something special and that maybe I WOULD be able to sell a few of them. For all you "foreign" readers, please remember that Italy is not a large country. A total population of 60 million, not many runners. Selling 5000 copies would already be a big triumph for them. But I believe in positive affirmations and I certainly don't believe in "fitting" in to any statistics.

I told him I hoped to sell 100,000 copies.

He laughed. Then he asked, no, really, how many copies do you want to sell.

I replied 100,000.

Later in the week we exchanged emails where I tried to explain my point of view.
If I aim low, I will settle for low numbers. If I aim high I might not get to the top, but at least I have a better chance of getting there.
He quite enphatically told me that I had to come back to earth and stop dreaming. He told me that I had to adjust my expectations, that not even (very-well-known-trainer-in-Italy-who-wrote-a-book-a-few-years-ago) sells a fraction of that number of copies. Plus, the book doesn't go into mainstream bookstores, only specialized ones or by request.

Well, I'm not him. I am me. I am different. I have no idea the number of copies I am going to sell but I sure as hell am not going to conform to someone elses selling numbers. Besides, I have a different audience than the marathon group. This is a book for women, and when we want to, we show up in droves. You just wait and see!


anji said...

I totally think you can do it! does that include your english version :P *wink wink*

jbmmommy said...

You go, good luck with those sales.

jbmmommy said...

Thought of you with the recent earthquake, hope all is well and safe with you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Very thoughtfull post on positive thinking. It should be very much helpfull.

Karim - Positive thinking