Friday, September 18, 2015

Our Shrinking Publishing World

While to some people it might not seem different, the world of publishing is constantly changing. The decision makers change and move around. The constant in the middle of the change is the search for great books and writing combined with savvy authors connected to the target audience.

Ten years ago I acquired books for a different publisher and I worked in a office cubicle and had dozens of face to face meetings. What I wore to the office made a difference and some days I would wear my suit but because of my acquistions editor position, I always wore a tie. 

Much of the work involved face to face meetings with my colleagues talking about possible books, questions from authors, contracts for authors and agents and other details of publishing. I drove my car to work and would see my colleagues at the coffee pot throughout the day. To accomplish my responsibilities, it was necessary to work inside the publishing house. Back then, it was rare for an editor to work remote and not be available for face-to-face meetings at the company.  Several times a year, I would travel to conferences and events but the bulk of my publishing work took place inside a physical structure.

Today I continue working in the publishing world and finding great books but the process looks completely different than ten years ago. In this new environment, I'm working through the Internet, telephone and Skype with authors all over the world. For example, this morning I emailed an author in Lebanon asking a question about his contract. I'm speaking via Skype with another author in Singapore.

Sometimes authors write and tell me they are planning to come to New York City and want to stop in and for a face-to-face meeting.  I write back and tell them that meeting will not happen in New York because I work remote and live in Denver, Colorado. While I have a Morgan James Publishing email and direct dial New York phone number, I am not physically there working in an office. The publishing world has changed into a global effort.

Through my acquisitions work with authors, I've signed authors in Australia, parts of Asia, the United Kingdom, Russia and even Ghana, Africa. These authors are engaged in the process of getting their book out into the bookstores and not just located in the United States. Because of our world-wide printing capability, Morgan James can print the authors' books in different locations such as the United Kingdom or Australia.  The publishing world continues to shrink.

As an editor in publishing, I believe we are in the communication business. That means we need to be communicating. Often authors will tell me that they sent out their query or book proposal or manuscript to literary agents or publishing houses and heard nothing in response. For myself, I try and be different in this non-communicating world and communicate, answer emails and return phone calls. Just my attention to responding, makes a difference in how author feel and are treated.

I'm always looking for good books to publish through our unique system at Morgan James Publishing. If I can help you, don't hesitate to reach out to me. My email is in my twitter profile. It doesn't have to be about publishing a book. Maybe you need to improve your marketing for your current book or something else related to publishing. I look forward to helping you and hearing from you.

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4 Comment:

At 5:59 AM, Blogger Tracy Left a note...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. As a freelance writer, I am always shocked (and pleased) to receive a response from an editor. So your efforts to do so are surely appreciated more than you can know. I realize not responding is the norm in the publishing world. However it baffles me. In any other arena, it's unacceptable. I'm saddened that the industry has changed so much but I also know there are many of us that will never stop reading or writing so there is always hope.

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Mollie Lyon Left a note...

Living the Law of Generosity. Thank you.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...

Tracy and Mollie, thank you for the comments.I'm determined to keep on with my pattern of answering my emails and returning my phone calls. Hopefully it will catch on with others too. I can't solve the problems of the publishing world but I can answer my own area.


At 5:33 PM, Blogger Mollie Lyon Left a note...

Yes, you can. It only takes one sometimes. This week I saw three million nurses unite- in thirty three years of nursing, I never saw such solidarity. I was one of those voices to pull advertisers from The View. One person can influence a trend. I hope your influence changes some of publishing world. You have to do what is right.


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