— RaveReviewsBookClub (@Rave_ReviewsBC) January 25, 2014
"The enemy of conventional wisdom is not new ideas, but people who are bold enough to go against the conventional wisdom, to hold it up to the light of day, to find out for themselves what works and what does not work." - Thomas Jerome Baker
First things first. As an author with a marketing budget of $0.00 (nothing), the conventional wisdom is that I will not be able to sell a lot of books. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing. Contrary to logic, I manage to sell books, and from time to time I even get a book all the way to number one on the Best Sellers List. How is that possible?
I have no marketing, no promotion, no sales team, no global sales force. All I have is the conventional wisdom that says a guy like me can never sell many books. It's impossible. Of course, I don't listen to that. That is why, contrary to the conventional wisdom, I sell books. In fact, I'm a best-selling author.
I would like to share my secret with all the authors in the world, especially the little guy, the self-published indie author like me. Here is my secret: Never let anyone tell you what you can not do.
From the earliest days of recorded history to the present, people have been wrong about an incredible number of things. Here is just a few, in the interest of brevity:
1. The world is flat.
2. The Earth is the center of the universe.
3. Ice sinks when you put it in water.
4. Thomas Jerome Baker will never sell many books.
5. Young people don't vote.
6. The USA will never elect an African American as President.
7. The USA will never elect a woman as President.
In all of the examples above, the conventional wisdom was wrong. I threw in the woman as President to emphasize my point. Sooner or later, a woman will be elected President of the USA. The only thing that is necessary is that women don't let anybody tell them what they can not do...
What it should teach the self-published, indie author is a simple lesson: always try. Never accept anything to be absolutely true until you have tried it for yourself, and found it to be true, or proved it to be false.
You will find that the majority of people are often wrong, especially when it is a massively held belief or idea, or one that has been proven mathematically. The universe just does not work that way when it comes to human beings who are determined to achieve something, no matter how great the odds are against them...
So, that's my secret. I never let people tell me what I can not do. That's the key to success, always try. You will fail sometimes and you will succeed sometimes. But always try and never accept anything as truth until you have tried it for yourself.
The term, conventional wisdom" is often credited to the economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who used it in his 1958 book The Affluent Society:
"It will be convenient to have a name for the ideas which are esteemed at any time for their acceptability, and it should be a term that emphasizes this predictability. I shall refer to these ideas henceforth as the conventional wisdom."
[ John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society (1958), chapter 2.]
(Conventional wisdom says Wikipedia is not reliable)