Bob Baker's Book Promotion Blog

Success & the Law of Repulsion

If you ever reach any significant level of success in the book world, you had better grow a thick skin. For some authors (and some topics), the more popular you are, the more you'll find that certain people will want to take shots at you.

Such is the case with the runaway bestseller The Secret (which I wrote about and recommended last month.) According to a Publishers Weekly article titled "The Secret Bashing Begins," there are several books in the pipeline that dissect and attempt to debunk Rhonda Byrne's The Secret.

One book due out this summer is The Secret Revealed: Exposing the Truth About the "Law of Attraction" (Aug.) by Jim Garlow and Rick Marschall.

The PW article explains "Garlow is the author (with Peter Jones) of Cracking Da Vinci's Code, one of the most successful Da Vinci response books. FaithWords [the publisher] promises that The Secret Revealed will discuss the 'Law of Attraction' as typical of many false religions and movements throughout the centuries. FaithWords plans a 100,00 copy first printing."

I can't say I'm surprised. Since this is a spiritual topic for many people, it was bound to make waves the more popular it got. But regardless of what subject matter YOU write about, this backlash is an important principle to understand.

The Real Lesson Here ...

I contend that no matter what you do or what you write about, you will generally encounter three types of people: those who LOVE what you do, those who HATE what you, and those who either don't know you or don't care.

For most authors, that third apathetic group will be by far the largest. And that's just fine. You don't have to be a household name to be successful. Your job is to connect with that small sliver of the population that LOVES what you do -- and ignore the people who don't get it and put you down. Bless them and then forget about them.

Sadly, as the number of those who love you grows, so will the number who have issues with what you write about. It's part of life, so get ready to play the game.

And that's no secret!


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  • I get what you've said here, but sometimes a negative reaction has some basis in truth: A gentleman who coaches for the company I write for was featured in the film, and the producers dramatised a story he told them -- and did it badly, getting some important details wrong -- then ran it as part of the film without checking with him for accuracy or for his approval. The experience left him fuming -- moreso when the creators tried to make a commercial product out of an idea he shared freely in telling his story.

    This is particularly strange because the Australian producers have a background in television documentary production, so you'd think they would know this very basic rule, that you give your sources a chance to review and approve your use of their words.

    Still, I believe The Secret is a great primer in the principles of intentionality and personal energy. The work is greater than the sum of its fallible, human parts.

    For instance, I have a lot of room for hooky-pooky ideas, but JZ Knight's zillion-year-old channelled "Ramtha" entity is something I have to swallow with a huge bag of salt in order to get to her ideas, which I find I agree with, both here and in What the [Bleep] do We Know? It's the basic guru problem: it takes a dynamic personality to get across revolutionary ideas, but that personality can often eclipse the content. And there are a lot of big personalities in this movie presenting some big challenges to conventional thinking. Knocking them and the movie's content is a great way to keep from having to engage with those ideas.

    My main objection to the movie is that every practical application they discuss involves gaining some material object. The last thing our struggling planet needs is more people manifesting cars and mansions and money. Direct experience of the interconnectedness of all things should, you'd think, lead us to realising a vision of a more humane, just, and sustainable future.

    By Anonymous Hamish MacDonald, At Thursday, March 29, 2007  

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