Last Wednesday, there was a piece in The New York Times titled “The Plot Twist”. In it, the writer, Alexandra Alter discussed the fact that e-book sales were slipping and print book sales were rising by about the same percentage rate. This, after the dire predictions of four years ago that e-book sales would overtake print sales in a very short time.
I remember when e-books were the topic everyone was talking about. Many of my colleagues in the publishing business were predicting the demise of print book publishing and of the entire business as we know it. We were all—publishers, agents and authors—frightened about what would happen. And then nothing did.
Although we at Dystel & Goderich did begin a digital publishing program in order to help some of our clients self-publish, we didn’t panic. We felt this was a natural alternative for those authors whose books were out of print but which could still find a readership. In fact, the program has served us well and will continue to do so in the future.
I found that through all of the sturm und drang of the negativity of the past four years, I kept looking forward, signing new authors, adding to our staff of super talented agents, and knowing that, in the end, print books would survive. And they did and will continue to do so.
Thinking positively during those difficult days wasn’t easy. Everyone seemed to be shaking their heads and worrying about the future of the business. I have found though, over the years, that worrying is paralyzing—that the only way to keep going is to think positively, to find those projects and strategies that will move us forward and to use my energy to make them happen.
Again, this idea of positive persistence is one I have lived by and will continue to do so as it is the only way to keep growing both as an individual and as a mentor to my staff and clients. I urge you all to think about this and how this concept plays out in your lives. I would be most interested to hear your thoughts on the subject.