Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Remember, Publishing Is A Business

I seem to be starting out a lot of posts this week with this same comment, but "writing is tough." Today, however, I want to focus in on the element of writing as a business.

Although your writing is about emotions, feelings and putting yourself out there, we do not run businesses strictly on emotions and good feelings. Decisions are made in an objective manner. We look at numbers. We look at sales. We look at the cold hard facts.

There will be times in this business when it seems like the editors and agents are not caring about your personal feelings. "Don't they know I worked really hard on this?" "Don't they know I care?" Let me tell you - they do know you worked hard and they know you care about what you are doing with your stories. But sometimes, the markets shift. The consumers want something different. They are the people dictating the future of the business. It is up to the editors, agents and authors to adapt to those changing demands in the market.

Yes, I know there are some of you screaming that if you are writing what the market wants, you aren't being true to yourself. I would have to argue that you can meet the needs of the market and meet your own personal needs. I would also argue that if you don't like the new direction the market might be heading, you don't have to stick with it. We do this in the real world. If you are in a job and they take the company in a new direction that doesn't work for you, you have the option of changing or leaving. The same thing works here.

I am also aware that many have jumped into self-publishing because they think this is how they avoid making those decisions. While this might take care of a few things, it doesn't necessarily mean it will take care of the changes in the market.

The point of this is simple. Business decisions are made not based on how you feel. Sometimes these decisions are tough, but it is nothing personal (unless of course you were a complete jerk). The goal now is to figure out what you want to do next. You are still in charge.

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