You can find articles on mistakes authors and publishers should not make all over the Internet. It seems that almost everyday, I get an email with a link to another article talking about mistakes to not make if you are a publisher or an author.
I recently read a white paper on “6 Mistakes in Publishing Today.” The paper took a look at the fact that the publishing industry has been turned upside down by new technology and market dynamics and the mistakes many publishers are making in this season of publishing. While this paper was really geared toward larger publishers, one of the mistakes listed stood out to me. I think it is a mistake that many small publishers and independently published authors make.
This mistake is indecisive leadership.
I can hear you saying, “Wait, I am the only employee of my publishing enterprise. I don’t have to worry about leadership.”
You are wrong. If you are the only employee of your publishing endeavor, then you are the leader. It is up to you to have the vision, set the direction, and make the strategic decisions necessary to ensure success of your enterprise.
Two common issues the article included under “indecisive leadership” were:
1. Choosing short term profits over long-term success.
I have seen this many times with small publishers and authors. I have often said that marketing a book is a marathon, not a sprint. Those that act like it is a sprint often make decisions that maximize short term returns. Short term profits might feel good, however, focusing on short term goals almost exclusively will not ensure the success of your publishing enterprise over the long haul.
2. More words than actions.
As the saying goes, talk is cheap. It is often easier to make plans than to execute them. If you find yourself thinking more about what you should do to market your books, then actually doing those things, take note. Success follows action. Don’t let fear of failure or indecision about which course of action is the best keep you from executing a plan. Pray over your plan. Then move forward. Trust that God will lead you.
All decision involves risk. In your leadership of yourself and your enterprise, I encourage you to strive to create a clear plan of action and balance short and long term considerations for your publishing endeavor.