One of these days, I’ll be a publisher.
To publish my book(s), sure (if need be), so that when I write them they’ll be assured a place to go, a shelf to sit on, that hands, bags, buses, trains, and planes will carry them far beyond my four walls.
But also so that I may find and bring to the world other people whose words sing to me. In this endeavor, I shall endeavor to work by a mission statement, which reads as follows:
- I will work with friendly people, and only friendly people, because the world doesn’t provide enough antacids not to. If I lose out on a book because someone is unfriendly, I’ve gained a year of life by never having to hassle with them.
- A good writer knows pain and does not wish to inflict it, though they may wish to illuminate it.
- A writer is appreciative of good reviews but never loses sight of their humanity, which allows them to tell stories. Writers are imperfect people who know how to communicate to others this imperfection so that readers may see it in themselves or someone they know and be made stronger, smarter, or any number of adjectives by the experience of reading and discovering.
- Writers need to write, genre be damned. If a book is good, who cares where it fits? All that matters is that it fits somewhere on a shelf so that it may later be taken down from there and enjoyed.
- Make sure each book speaks to your soul. Your soul is a reader’s soul and will know more about what feels right than any focus group.
- But hone in on those readers you know to be your audience. They are your most important focus group, whether they know it or not, and they will steer you right; readers want to read good books and rid themselves of the opposite.
- Remind every author you work with to trust themselves while editing. They’ve got the blueprint for a great book. Editing will make it greater… if they trust the process.
- Fight for the books you believe in.
- If a book doesn’t reach the audience you intended, trust that it reached those it was meant to and move on proudly.
- Last but not least, never forget that reading–however or whyever one may read; for escape, for love, for thrills, for chills, to learn, to turn the page in your life–reading is there to befriend, soothe, and bolster. It increases confidence, critical thinking, and encourages emotional honesty. If you can find books that will do this, you will have found the right books.