Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dr. Dyer Is Dead & So Is The Big Non-Fiction Book! Why?

When it was announced Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, a leader in the self-help movement, had passed away, it made me realize that few writers in the non-fiction genre sell tons of books.  Not long ago we could name certain writers who sold tens of millions of books – Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard, Tony Robbins, and Dr. Ruth.  Now, I’m hard-pressed to name more recent legends.  It seems the big sales numbers go to fiction, like JK Rowling, EL James, or James Patterson.  Will we ever see another HUGE BOOK when it comes to non-fiction?

Don’t get me wrong.  Every year there are big bestsellers in non-fiction and some authors elevate to a grand stage, influencing lots of people. But the top sellers in the past few years come, by far, from fiction. The top three books this year – in sales – are from fiction authors, one of whom is dead (Dr. Seuss and his discovered pet book), one of whom has resurrected herself with a manuscript that was rejected 50+ years ago (the Mockingbird sequel), and the next installment to the spank-me-hard series, 50 Shades of Grey.  But where are the Wayne Dyers of the writing world, the authors who pose something new, different, important, or interesting?

Dr. Dyer’s best-selling book in 1976, Your Erron-eous Zones, went onto inspire a generation of self-help writers and helped society view itself differently.  Over six million copies have been sold worldwide.

Dr. Dyer said: “You are the sum total of your choices” and he told us: “There is only one moment in which you can experience anything, and that is now, yet a great deal of time is thrown away by dwelling on past or future experiences.”

Is there a book or author shaking things up now?  The must-read books seem to be fiction about fake worlds and lives unlived.  Why is that?

Why can’t a non-fiction author write something that:

·         Shocks?
·         Inspires?
·         Informs?
·         Leads?
·         Reveals?

Or all of the above?  Doesn’t someone have a good formula on how to achieve something?  We still need new approaches to life – parenting, dieting, relationships, wealth, careers – and yet there’s no one book that’s shaking things up.

Why isn’t there a book that puts forth a theory, a system, a revelation, or a belief that moves the masses to want to read it, discuss it, and ponder?  Either writers collectively have checked out on creativity or publishers have taken to publishing crap.  I don’t believe either is true.  

It could be that books are as powerful, inventive, and insightful as ever but perhaps consumers have changed their tastes.  Maybe society isn’t ready for a revelation.  It wants to improve, but not work at it.  It wants to get something, without giving.  It’s overworked, overscheduled, and simply trying to keep up with errands and obligations when not wasting its time on social media, Netflix, and iTunes.

Society simply is not looking for the Next Big Thing, and thus, it won’t find it.

It wants the next big distraction, the next big escape, the next big fantasy.  We’re in the post-reality world, where doing is replaced by imagining, where fiction, games and entertainment are our surrogates for living in the real world.  We don’t want to be challenged, to be burdened by responsibilities, choices or obligations.  We don’t want to have to improve, just to be embraced for who we are.  

Society just isn’t searching, and thus no book could lead us anywhere.


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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