There’s a fabulous restaurant in downtown Indianapolis. St. Elmo. You would expect for prices that the food and service to be impeccable, and you would not be disappointed. I’ve been blessed to eat at many such restaurants in many cities, but I never miss a chance to give a shout out to St. Elmo.
Everything about them is world class. The setting, the food, the experience. But they’re known for their shrimp cocktail. One of the cheapest things on the menu at $15.95 and you get 4 shrimp. (Shrimps?) But oh, those 4 shrimp.
St. Elmo blesses you with triple-strength horseradish in your cocktail sauce. Each bite, even with a modest layer of sauce, is a physiological event that goes with you for the rest of your life. You didn’t know such a combination of culinary delight and pure olfactory overload was possible. St. Elmo found a way.
Beginning writers, when not overestimating their abilities, will sometimes feel any attempt they make at writing a book will be met with disappointment. Disappointment in themselves, by readers, friends and families. They believe their book will not measure up to (enter whatever book you think is the gold standard) and everyone will point that out in a review.
Well, I’ve sold and represented many books in my career. Many bestselling, category-killing, niche-defining, ground-breaking books. But I’ve represented many more titles that could not claim such status. They were excellent books. Very beneficial to reader, and successful in the marketplace. Many books that helped propel the speaking or preaching ministries of their authors. Books that connected with many thousands of readers that today would point to something in that book that helped to craft the man/woman, businessperson, pastor, or professional they were destined to become.
The book you are contemplating now may cover ground that’s already been covered. But your perspective may be unique. Your insight may be truly remarkable. Your experience may lead you to voice an opinion on a subject that will cause many people to refer back to your book over and over again; as if it were St. Elmo’s shrimp cocktail sauce.
You can be amazing and remarkable, if you can resist making unfair or off-base comparisons.