Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Don't Freak Out When Things Happen In Publishing

Things change. Those two words could not be any truer than in publishing. Things are changing all of the time. Editors changes. Trends change. Publishing houses merge or form. You name it, things happen. But that does not mean you should immediately react and start freaking out. Sometimes, it is just a matter of letting the dust settle and see how things are taking shape. 

Along the same lines, you can't react when these changes happen and then the Internet loops and discussion boards blow up. I have seen gossip travel in other areas, but I honestly have to say, the gossip spreads far too fast when it comes to publishing. Maybe it is the social media. Maybe it is the fact that people are on so many loops that you can't help but to spread that news. Regardless, reacting that fast to those issues can be career ending. 

Now, does that mean you should not be cautious? Absolutely not. Be aware and don't just live behind those rose colored glasses. If changes start to happen, pay attention, but don't go reacting too quickly. Sometimes, those changes will work out in your favor. 

Here is one small example. Several years ago, Avalon Books collapsed. When the news started coming out about this, authors frantically started getting their rights back so they weren't caught in a legal fight over the rights. But here is where waiting worked out for a few. Montlake Publishing picked up the books. Not only did they pick up the titles, they also honored contracts that were still pending. Those authors now have a great new home. Titles that were once only in hardback (Avalon was a library publisher) are now in paperback. Even titles that were essentially "out of print" are back on the market and authors are making money. 

The point is simple. Don't just react without thinking. Certainly do so if there really is going to be a negative impact on your career, but if all you have are "potential and unsubstantiated impacts" you might want to hold off for a while. Who knows what good things will happen!

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