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Half Full or Half Empty

Half Full or Half Empty

I hear a great many people complaining about the difficulties of publishing today, yet I see a many people successfully doing it. I always ask myself, “Is anyone doing this anywhere in any way?” If the answer is yes, then stop whining and do it yourself.

Publishing is not what is once was. There use to be a bevy of editors who would work on content, style, make recommendations, fine-tune the text. And there were marketing channels and collaboration.

Today, many publishers want a “guarantee” of 10,000 books to be sold to pay for their press run, or an outright purchase by the author of several thousand. The support staff is mostly composed of young, inexperienced people, and there is virtually no developmental support (and precious little copyediting support). My favorite was a 20-something woman editing my manuscript at a major house who told me she was going to hold up productions because I didn’t have all my permissions filed for the quotes I had used. When I asked whose I was missing, since I’m diligent about these things, she told me, “Oscar Wilde”! (You can’t make this up. When I called the top editor to report this he said, “Tell me this is one of your practical jokes.” Alas, it was not.)

There are niche publishers today which do a very nice job and often provide more marketing support than the larger publishers. Stop finding reasons you can’t publish and start finding sources that enable you to do so.

I once told people that, to be a thought leader, they needed to write a commercially published nook. I don’t any more. Today I tell them they need to write one every two years.

While you argue over whether the glass is half full or half empty, someone else is simply taking the glass.

© Alan Weiss 2017

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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