I Would Rather Write a Classic Than a Hit
This post has been brewing in my head for over a year.
Music fans will instantly understand the difference between a hit song and a classic track.
The hits get all the glory as they rocket up the charts. The flavor of the day gets the magazine covers, headlines and media attention. You never know if they are a one-hit wonder or are an actual artist.
A classic will hit the charts and some even become hits, but they rarely get the attention they deserve. But, the moment one comes on the radio or shuffles into your ears from your iPod you smile and crank it up.
When Ann and I sat down to write Content Rules (affiliate link), I vividly remember us having conversations about how we were going to market the book. Early on we decided we didn't want to do the standard push that is done and we didn't even send out a single review copy ahead of the release.
We had dream sales numbers in our heads and even talked about the "wouldn't it be amazing if we hit number."
Since the book hit shelves in 2010, we've crushed every number we ever talked about. Every week since the book has come out it has sold a chunk of copies. Now, two and a half years later it continues to sell every week and the sales are just starting to happen in other languages.
I can't tell you how amazing it feels to see it sell every single week and to continue to sell higher than we ever dreamed possible.
Content Rules in my mind is a classic. It was written to be timeless and not ride a sudden wave of popularity, but rather to be enjoyed over and over again. A book that people and businesses could continue to use and learn from years after purchasing.
Sure, as an author I dream about one of my books hitting the New York Times Best Sellers list. It is a goal that most authors dream about and very few ever achieve. The current game allows anyone to buy their way there, but I'm comfortable with only getting there if a book I write is good enough to sell that many copies.
But, until then I'm comfortable writing more classics. No one will ever be able to call me a one hit wonder.