Tag s | Change

When Your Publishing World Shifts Under You

It is easy to forget that traditional publishing is a business. And businesses are run by people doing a variety of tasks. Sometimes those people change tasks … and even change companies.

Our agency keeps a living document in a shared folder that allows us to keep up with the various editorial changes in our industry. There are times when we make adjustments every week.

I continue to produce the annual print edition ofΒ The Christian Writers Market Guide (preorder the 2021 edition) but also maintain the online edition that captures changes throughout the year.

This past week I was asked by an author about a particular well-known imprint at a major publisher. They thought the imprint was still in place and acquiring new books, not knowing that it had undergone multiple management changes and been all but shuttered.

We also recently discovered that a long-time marketing director had taken a job at a new publisher. A long-time senior editor at a major house had taken the job as head of an entire division at a new publisher. Two editors we know received major promotions within their companies, which meant there were changes at the top of their respective organizations.

And that wasn’t all during the month of July.

There are frequent personnel changes in all businesses. Publishing is not exempt. In other words, the news is rarely earth-shattering but should be considered normal.

Why Should You Care?

Often these changes have no effect on you. But what if it isΒ your editor who leaves the company? What if their promotion means they will no longer be working with you?

This can be unsettling, to say the least. I have a client who is currently working with a fourth new developmental editor in only six years. We jokingly say, “It takes a lot of work to break one in, only to have to do it again!”

I remind every author that they are professionals. Their “job” is to write the next book. The rest will get sorted. Sure, it can be frustrating and upsetting, especially if that treasured editor has become a lifelong friend. (I know of some authors who ended up following that editor to a new publishing company because of that relationship.)

When a long-time friend in the industry retires, I bemoan the loss. A considerable amount of “institutional memory” goes away. But, at the same time, it means new relationships and new opportunities are to begin with incredibly talented people.

The cliched phrase “Keep calm and carry on” should come to mind when contemplating the publishing environment. Thus I created the variation above.

Lean on your literary agent or professional advisors. We tend to stick around. πŸ™‚

Keep writing. Obedience to your calling is a powerful thing.

[If you want to make your own “Keep Calm” poster, go to the Keep Calm-o-Matic site.]

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Every Day is a New Day in Publishing

Eternal optimism must be the attitude if one is to survive the roller coaster ride of the publishing business. There seems to be some new change every month if not every week. For example, this past week we got word of three different editors at three different publishers leaving their …

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Embracing Change – Part Two

Last week in my post “Embracing Change,” I outlined the six phases that characterize the acceptance of change in our lives and world.Β  Today, I want to focus on some specifics that you need to consider to adapt to the future.

First, a recap of the six phases when confronted with something new:

Phase One – Dismissed as a fad by those who stand to lose the most or like the status quo.

Phase Two – Attacked as dangerous by those who stand to lose the most or like the status quo.

Phase Three – Accepting of the new thing, but reminding everyone that this too will pass and we will most likely move on to something else eventually.

Phase Four – Accepting that the new thing is important and we need to adapt to it but only in a limited way because it will never replace the status quo.

Phase Five – Seriously looking at creative solutions to making changes, some which are difficult and unpopular with those who still love the status quo.

Phase Six – View the new thing as an opportunity, whatever that means.Β  Begin to change the way we do everything.

I suggested that if you are not already at Phase Five, you should take stock of yourself and see what you need to get there.

In the world of publishing, what areas should be re-thought? For authors and anyone in publishing, some of them are:

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