The Ten (or so) Mostly Inviolable
Laws of Publishing
- Anthologies don't sell.
- Space advertising doesn't work. Neither does sales promotion or any other traditional form of marketing. In fact, if there is any efficient, reliable way for a small publisher to promote their products, I don't know it.
- When delays occur, expense happens.
- Good writers are a dime a dozen; hard-working authors are worth their weight in gold.
- Don't publish dead authors, especially if they're still alive.
- Given the choice between publishing an exquisite writer and a shameless self-promotor, go with the self-promotor (you might end up making enough money to publish the real writer).
- If you can't describe a book in one sentence, don't publish it.
- Listen carefully to authors! (but don't follow their advice, especially about marketing)
- No one cares about your sensitive, beautifully-written personal essays. Or your previously published columns. Or your supposedly amusing observations on the meaning of life.
- A boring, academic book with a sexy title and beautiful cover is still a boring, academic book.
- Awards don't mean shit.
- Orders that look too good to be true, are too good to be true.