Thoughts on writing
Doing anything new is scary, stimulating and exhausting. We shy away and seek refuge in the familiar.
Whilst in writing my book I had expert help and guidance when it comes to marketing the book I find myself all adrift.
At the time of writing it is three days since my book was "published" and yet there are eight retailers offering to sell you a used copy on the UK Amazon site. All the "used" copies are more expensive than a new book. One retailer - based in the US but not selling on Amazon dot com - is offering the book at over six times the cover price.
I would love to think I had a premium product on my hands, but I really doubt it. In fact, one of my guiding principles when writing the book was formed by a criticism levelled at one of my competitors. His instruction was - correctly - to keep presentations concise. He was then abused for taking over 600 pages to say that. Despite my publisher's pleas for more; my book is just over 100 pages, and in that, I say everything three times. This stuff is simple. The execution is complex.
One surprise, now that I am an author, is that there are a number of people who want to pick my brains; thinking I now know about publishing. I clearly don't and without the lovely people at publishing, I would not have got this far.
However, it seems to me that the people who are "in" publishing don't really understand it either. Publishing is in shock. All the rules have changed and no one is really getting to grips with new technology. But this new technology is now hardly new. How long ago did you buy your first book online?
So there's a kind of innocent abroad slant to my view of things.
In the past, I ran a television and video production company. This week I am advising some people who wish to produce corporate videos. They seek my advice because they think I do know. The difference is that I know I don't know. Technology has moved on so fast that my experience with the technology of the 80's and 90's is completely irrelevant. However, my knowledge of leading creative teams, storytelling, and client management is very relevant and the only question is how much they need help with management and how much with technology. That balance will determine my value.
Perhaps my very lack of any idea about publishing means I do in fact know what I'm seeing.