Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Publisher Lessons: You've Got to be Insane

Remember last week I said I'd share what went on behind the curtain of being an independent publisher? Well this is the first one of those little Publisher Lessons I've decided to share with you. It's also easily one of the most important things I can impart to anyone who wants to self-publish or possibly go down the road that I have and found a company.

You've got to be absolutely, 150% bonkers.

I'm not talking "hide the sharp objects" crazy either. No, the type of bonkers I mean is the one where for some God-only-knows reason you've got a driving faith in your own abilities to make the enterprise work. Because I've got to tell you -- doing what I've done isn't for those who can't handle stress. Or multi-task like the Dickens. Or be chained to your computer 24/7. Or be willing to act as counselor, confidant, and taskmaster all at the same time.

Running a media company, even a nascent one like mine, is godawful tough work. There's emails to answer, manuscripts to edit, money to spend on things like websites, ISBNs, cover art, registering your company, software programs, and so on. It's been a lot of cash outlay in these opening months, and so far any money I've managed to make has gone right back out again into something else.

Lucky for me, I've got a crack staff of writers, web folks, designers, marketers, and yes even interns helping to make this venture work. They all believe in the vision I've created of a media company designed around the principle that artists should be able to make a living off their work. I could repeat the manifesto I wrote for The Doctor Fantastique Company, but why would I do that when you can visit and read the sucker for yourself?

I say you have to be crazy as the first lesson because let's be honest here: Publishing is not a get-rich-quick business. If you want one of those, study engineering or become a doctor. Publishing, and by extension many of the creative services industries, is very much a labor of love. Especially for me here in the early days of the organization.

I love doing what I'm doing with The Doctor Fantastique Company, and I'm confident that I can turn into a very profitable business down the line. It's the love of it that keeps me going right now though, and I'm sure that should you begin to self-publish your books or try going down my path you'll find that you either love every second or hate every minute.

But to be successful? Yeah, you've got to be crazy.

1 comment:

Catherine Stine said...

Love your company name! Best of luck getting past the hair-pulling. A sense of humor always helps. Following you guys now.