The Path to Success for Publishers
Thank you Dan Blank. In a recent blog post called Writers: The Path To Success is Not a Privilege, But a Choice, Dan said some really great things about writing that I want to endorse and apply to publishers.
Dan started out by talking about a video he saw recently that documents the Fender guitar factory in 1959, where you get to see the crafts people of that time building guitars by hand. And then he looked at newer videos that show that same factory doing the same work today. As he says "Our culture has become so automated, that anything crafted with human hands and a deep level of passion is treated as special."
With all the technological change that surrounds us, it is still the unique ability of an individual writer to create a narrative by hand that makes writing such a special activity.
Dan’s point is that writers should not despair in the face of massive dislocation and change. Writers have more options than ever to have their work published and read. "There is no longer "one way," even in a single writing career. You, the author, are an entrepreneur."
I agree with what Dan says to writers, and in addition, I think publishers too must also believe in their own abilities and their role in the process of bringing great writing to readers. Technology empowers us, but it also confuses us with its speed and efficiency. We lose sight of details when we don’t have our hands and eyes on every word. When we move at digital speed, we forget to pay attention. We’ve got to recommit ourselves to the difficult and time consuming work of publishing.
As Dan points out to writers, you "not only get to create a world in your writing, but you get to choose how that work reaches and effects others.....No, we do not live in simple times. But what is important - CRITICALLY IMPORTANT - is that you have the ability to choose your path."
Publishers, and those who work with writers in the myriad roles that contribute to the publishing process, this is true for all of us as well. We have to believe in the importance and meaning of what we do, and not lose sight of the underlying principles and values that provide meaning to the work we do."
I’m working on a presentation on Slow Publishing, in which I will outline these ideas in more detail, and will post it here soon and it will be available as a slideshare as well.
To read Dan Blank’s complete post, visit his site, We Grow Media, and subscribe to his blog. And thanks Dan for permission to quote you.