Friday, January 23, 2015

Lessons and Tips I've learned About Publishing

It's one thing to want to do something, it's another thing to actually do it. They can teach theory in the classroom, but until you've dug deep, gotten your hands sublimely dirty, and really entrenched yourself in the experience, you can't learn the most important lessons and realities. So, to help anyone else (and these are life lessons) here are some general tips.

Do not beat yourself up if you're an editor and there's a mistake or even two. All those meticulous copy editors out there who are single minded about not making one mistake in a 50,000 to 75,000 or 100,000 word book have truly put too much pressure on themselves into a never-good-enough reality. If I have learned nothing else in editing ... there is going to be a mistake ... somewhere. It requires minimally two sets or preferably three sets of eyes to clean up a manuscript. If you're sense of "perfection" (which there is no such thing) is about the erroneous belief you will see every mistake ever made, I counsel you to relax. A mistake or two or even three reflects nothing on your skills. It only reflects on the true fact we're all only humans.

Everyone is going to have an opinion about how you run your business. It's true someone somewhere has an opinion, and some of those someones are going to try and give it to you often unsolicited. If your business is highly successful and you're continuing to enjoy success then continue. If someone out of nowhere decides they have a judgment or piece of unsolicited advice about how you do business, tell them nicely it's none of their "business" ... and continue. Now if you need help that is another discussion, but my key advice is to only seek assistance from those who have gone before you -- successfully!

Deadlines are good but keep them realistic. Driving a project per a deadline is always good. It keeps accountability. It keeps momentum, but pushing a deadline vs. quality assurance is never a good approach. The true "finish line" of success needs to be aimed at quality. If a deadline comes faster and more furious and everyone scrambles at an unreasonable and often careless level then it's time to reassess it. Pushing back a deadline to ensure quality in the final result is far more important than time.

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