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Staying positive in a volatile environment

It’s still a relatively new year and I have been reflecting on how much our publishing environment continues to change.  Books that sold easily even two or three years ago are no longer selling, categories that weren’t selling as recently as last year are all of a sudden back in vogue, the landscape for self-published books has undergone a major shift, both for those who have been picked up previously by traditional publishers and for those who have gone back to self-publishing or who are continuing to self-publish but having much less success.  So, how are we supposed to stay positive in this ever changing publishing environment?

I started googling “how to be positive” and found the Internet teeming with articles about this very thing.  I guess I’m not the only one pondering this issue.

Among the more helpful pieces I came across was this one in WikiHow.  Admitting there are problems and identifying what they are has always been something I believe in doing and I try to pay special attention to this—especially now.  Then I set goals every quarter and I review those goals monthly.  I find it  very important to be honest with myself as to whether or not I am achieving those goals and if not, I ask myself why not.

I ask for feedback from those I respect.  It is so important, in my opinion to listen to others who are knowledgeable.

Finally, I try not to be afraid of failure.  In my career, I have certainly faced some pretty major setbacks but I have always addressed them and the reasons for them head-on, and that has enabled me to move forward.

Even writing this blog has helped me to evaluate the issue of staying positive in an ever changing publishing environment and I hope it will help you as well.  Please let me know if it has.

6 Responses to Staying positive in a volatile environment

  1. Lynn says:

    Interesting post, Jane. I just finished reading Janet K. Grant’s post over at Books & Such Literary Management and she was also talking about how the publishing world is constantly changing. To sum it up, Janet said publishers are taking less of a risk now when they should be taking more because who knows what the next trend will be. By taking a risk on a few new authors/titles each year, one could very well be the next trend starter. When that happens, it’s better business for everyone. It all comes back to staying positive in an ever changing environment.

  2. Any Author says:

    I have suffered some set-backs after my first two books were published and for a while, I found it very disheartening. But what I learned was to stop being attached to the results. To really focus on the process. It does make it easier. And yes, I do like this blog because it keeps me informed and also is usually very encouraging.

  3. jane Dystel says:

    That’s what I like to hear.

  4. Carol Svec says:

    When I was growing up, my family never lived anywhere more than three years. I went to three 4th grades in the same year. My sister went to three different high schools. No reason…my father was just a rover. I learned adaptation. I became a chameleon. I think it’s a form of optimism, but a stripped-down version. Not so much mental as visceral.

    Each transition requires guidance from people who know the new norms and can provide a short-cut to change. Thank you for all the advice and perspective you give on this website. I may not comment often, but I read all the blogs.

  5. Lance Parkin says:

    What’s changed is that it’s now very easy indeed ‘to get published’. You can get an ebook listed on Amazon with less time and effort than it used to take to make a photocopy of a manuscript.

    And people have been blinded by that, because that used to be the endgame ‘I got my book published, look – you can buy it here’.

    The challenge now is not to be published, it’s to be read. And to be read in a way that allows the author to earn some money for their work.

    The best way to earn money writing a book is still, in a lot of cases, when you have a ‘big publisher’, a passionate editor, good designer and enthusiastic marketing department.

    And with so many small presses now, and with cutbacks at the mainstream publishers, that means that an agent’s job has flipped, to some extent to gatekeeping publishers – making sure only the best of *them* get through the net. ‘OK, you’re “keen to publish” my client … so let’s see your marketing plan’. Protecting their authors from sharp practice or penny pinching.

    I’m very happy with my agent (hi, Jessica), because as well as pushing me, she pushes my publishers. To do better, we have to be better.

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