Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Patience is a Publishing Virtue

(image from AV Kids)

The business book I'm publishing next is on hold while we wait for notes from two of our three readers, therefor, the launch date will more than likely have to be pushed back, depending on how quickly the designer can get the work done. I hate waiting. I'm ready to get this baby DONE, but instead I'm sitting around twiddling my thumbs waiting for feedback from two very knowledgeable people, feedback I absolutely do not want to proceed without.

Why is it better to wait for feedback than go ahead and proceed without it and meet our book launch date? Because there's no point publishing anything if it isn't ready. Until I hear back from these two readers who have several more years of business knowledge than I do, the book sits. What if one of them discovers an inaccuracy, or tells me I skipped very important information every person starting a small business MUST know? The whole purpose of the book is to help struggling publishers start a small business the right way, so the information in my book had better be right. Otherwise, why spend the money?

This is an important lesson every publisher really needs to understand. It is more important to publish the absolute best book you can than meet a deadline. Rather than worrying about book launch, worry about the book itself. Is it ready? Really ready? Has the copy-editor gone over every word and punctuation mark thoroughly? Is the cover as polished and professional as possible? Have all the details, dates, facts, and locations been checked for accuracy? Is the story the best work the author can create? If not, send it back and change the book launch dates.

I don't usually use sports analogies, but think of your book's launch like this. It's the first game of the season and you have the best players on your team money can buy. Expectations are exceedingly high. The crowd eagerly leans forward and cheers wildy as the pitcher takes the mound. Then there is absolute silence as the pitcher prepares to throw the ball. Will he strike out the hitter, walk him, or throw a foul? This pitcher is supposed to be good. Everyone's heard about him and has been waiting to see his first pitch. And here it is! It's fast and furious and thrown COMPLETELY OVER THE HEAD OF THE HITTER. Foul ball! The crowd is stunned. This is the guy whose supposed to be so great? This is the team we've been rooting for?

Don't let your book be that first foul ball of the season. Do it right THE FIRST TIME.

So I'll wait. And send another email. And wait some more.

No comments: