Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Another Take on Thomas Nelson's Decisions

It seems like all eyes (in the publishing world, at least) are on Thomas Nelson.
Scoti's most recent post, Finding Good in Bad News, talked about TN's recent decisions to:
  • not attend two major trade shows: ICRS and BEA
  • cut 10% of their work force
  • cutting their list of titles
Lots of folks are weighing in on TN's decision. Just read all the comments on Mike Hyatt's blog.

And, if you'd like to consider one more person's thoughts on all this, check out agent Chip MacGregor's blog. I've known Chip for a few years now and he's someone who is in the know in the publishing world. So, when Chip talks, I listen. It doesn't mean I always agree with him, but I do listen. Chip is a smart guy--and he's an experienced traveler along the Writing Road.

Here's one of Chip's observations about TN's decision to cut their title list:

Mr. Hyatt notes that he wants the company to focus on titles that "are typically written by known authors or from authors who at least have media platforms ..." Authors and agents are worried that means there will be more of a focus on celebrity, and fewer chances for new authors to be discovered and break out.

The reality is, this isn't anything I haven't heard at writers conferences for the past 5 years. To improve your chances of getting published, have a platform or get a platform. It just seems like, for writers wanting to get published by TN, the volume has been turned up on that message.

So, what's a writer to do?

The biggest lesson to learn in all this is that you have to be knowledgeable about what is going in in the writing world. It's not optional. Subscribe to Mike Hyatt's blog. Subscribe to Chip's blog. Subscribe to this blog! We'll keep you posted on what's going on along the Writing Road. And while we're at it, we'll talk about developing a platform in future posts. Becoming a celebrity--well, that's up to you.

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