If You Give A Man An Idea…
So have you heard about the book that’s outselling big titles like Harry Potter and The Da Vinci Code? It’s called What Every Man Thinks About Apart from Sex by author Sheridan Simove and it’s a worldwide bestseller.
And it’s blank.
Yep. There’s not a word inside and some authors are upset. They think of all their hard work and they cringe watching a guy with a clever idea reach the bestseller lists and rake in lots of money.
But I’m not upset…really. Why?
Because it’s a joke. A gag. And gag books are nothing new.
Ask Rich Ferguson who has a bunch of blank books with titles like What Women Know About Men, Sex After Marriage or Why I Love My Job.
Or Zelma L Stitlar Ph.D the author of Everything Women Know About Men.
Years ago I had the good fortunate to meet their predecessor at a conference. Dr. Alan Francis had written the bestselling blockbuster Everything Men Know About Women (Expanded and Updated with a Groundbreaking Ending) and was going to share (with an eager listening audience) about the benefits of creativity.
I learned three things:
First, I learned that the good doctor was a woman named Cindy Cashman who’d, with her partner, come up with a pen name and a great gag book that sold millions. Ms. Cashman (which I thought was an awesome surname) shared her rag to riches story and inspired a number of people in attendance.
Second, I learned that ‘clever’ or ‘creative’ nonfiction titles sell books.
Third, I learned that books are products. Not produce that spoils, but products that can be purchased. If someone likes a product, they’ll buy it. Remember the pet rock?
End of story.
I think authors need to relax; their job is to create not to compare.
Hitting a bestseller list or winning awards has nothing to do with writing. Mesmerizing people with your stories or educating them by sharing your knowledge is a gift: To yourself and to the world. But most of all I believe in having fun. For me, that’s true success.