It’s Okay Not to Know

The other day, I was talking with a member publisher of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) on the telephone about one of the association’s services. The gentleman stated that he did not want to appear dumb, but that he really did not know much about the service, so much so, that he was even unsure what questions to ask.


I assured this publisher that he was in no way appearing dumb. That we all start out on the same playing field—knowing little to nothing. I was once there myself. However, I admired that he was willing to candidly admit that he did not know and to reach out with questions so that he could learn.

Sadly, not every new author or publisher is as candid as this gentleman. I run into authors and publishers who want to dictate how things are done. These individuals clearly have little knowledge about the workings of the book industry, but still insist on having things done their way.

These individuals often don’t take advantage of the expertise of the consultant or professional they are working with. Instead, they persist in having things done the way they want them done, instead of asking the industry expert why he is choosing to do something different than what they think should be done.

One of the benefits of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) is that we will create a professional media sheet for authors. Sometimes authors want information included on their media sheet that will make them look like “newbies” or “amateurs”. One of the reasons CSPA provides this service is to help our members conform to the industry standards and appear professional. After all, that is one of the benefits of belonging to a publishing association: creating an impression of professionalism.

One of the benefits of winning a book award is that foreign publishers exposed to your book will be more inclined to consider the book for translation rights. CSPA often receives requests for review copies of books that have won the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award. Foreign publishers making the request want to consider translation and publication rights of the book for their country. Yet, often winners of the award that receive these requests ignore them because they don’t know how to handle such requests. All these authors and publishers need to do is ask for a little direction from those who have already walked the path. Yet another reason to belong to a writers or publishers group or association: information at your fingertips.

Anyone writing and publishing books is on a learning journey. There are always new things to learn. Anyone who thinks she has arrived is fooling herself.

What questions do you have? Ask some in the comments section below.

Related Posts:
Do You Know What It Takes to Sell a Book?
Inquiring Minds Want to Know
The Things We Need to Know

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