Brace yourself for a shocking truth… The brutal reality is that most business books fail. Yes, you read that right. Failure is the norm in this busy, fragmented-focus world. No one reads them. No one even starts them. You have poured your heart and soul into writing your book, and it disappears in a sea of competition with barely a ripple.

The problem is finding the right balance between being distinctive without crossing the line into the offensive. On one hand, you must differentiate yourself from the competition and capture readers’ attention. You want to be provocative or controversial to generate buzz.

On the other, it’s all too easy to unintentionally cross the line. A seemingly harmless statement or a poorly chosen word can quickly turn off readers and may even damage your reputation. You might attract bad reviews, social media trolls or be misrepresented in the media. That can be a major setback for any author.

To make matters more challenging, what “offends” readers can vary greatly depending on their preferences and sensitivities.

The answer is to be distinctive, not offensive.

Thought leaders bust myths. When you are ahead in your field, you have strong opinions. They are based on solid evidence and experience. But they can still be shocking, especially to others in your field.

Ultimately, the answer lies in backing yourself. As a thought leader, it is worse to be ignored than vilified. If your thoughts are evidence-based, you can stand up tall and shout them from the rooftops.

Otherwise, you are just too bland.