Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Ever-Changing World of Publishing

Last week I learned one of my regular writing assignments was disappearing. For every issue of the publication, I've been writing a column for the last six years. It was sad to receive such news but in some ways it was not unexpected. One of my key relationships at the magazine was leaving. With this change, the staff took the opportunity to revamp their publication through this revision my column was no longer needed. I responded to the editor with a gracious and understanding way with the hopes I can write articles in future issues. My response was well-received and possibly I will be able to write more in the future.

This experience reminded me that the world of publishing is always changing. During my years of writing, I've seen publications start and fold (cease to exist). Publishing companies are sold to other entities and as a writer I get a letter saying my book is going out of print. These are only a few of the variety of changes. Sometimes your work is a part of that decision and other times, the decision has nothing to do with you or the work and everything rests within that company.

In the ever-changing world of publishing, here's several key principles to keep in mind:

1. Change is always a part of this business.  Some of the changes you can control but many of them you can't. Your attitude in the middle of change is critical.

2. Never assume your writing opportunity will continue. As you submit your material and it is accepted, each time express gratitude and flexibility. These attitudes will go a long way with your publishing colleagues. 

3. Diversify your writing and your income streams. Look for other opportunities and be knocking on doors. Your skills have many different possibilities. If you need to explore other possibilities I have a free list in the first chapter of Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. You can download this chapter here (follow the link).

4. Persevere with your writing. I've watched many people give up on their writing over the years. The ones who get a publisher and continue in this business are the writers who persevere with the work. Admittedly some days it is hard but each of us need to keep our fingers on the keyboard and keep writing. 

What are your tips for handling and thriving in the ever-changing world of publishing? Let me know in the comments below and I look forward to hearing from you.


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2 Comment:

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Linda M. Kurth Left a note...

Words of wisdom, Terry. One's book can go out of print at any time. Best to have a clause in your contract that gives you the first option to purchase the remainders.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...


Thanks for this comment.Even when you have a clause to purchase the remainders, sometimes it doesn't work. I recall one of my books where I had this clause. The publisher offered me four remaining copies. A short time later I saw my book advertised (at a steep discount) at Christian Book Distributors. Strange things happen in the publishing world--even in Christian publishing.



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