Stewards of the Printed Word

March 14th, 2013

We are all stewards of the printed word. It’s easier than ever to get published. It’s not always easy to publish well.

 

It is more important than ever to produce quality work that will stand out—whether that’s with the literary agent reviewing your proposal, the editorial assistant going through the slush pile, or the end consumer who is buying your book. This holds true for traditional publishers and self-publishers.

 

eBooks and inexpensive printing and distribution options have made it incredibly easy, and cheap, to make content available to readers. This is great, but it also comes with an added responsibility that we all share.

 

An author and publisher may have one shot to connect with a reader—it’s important to put your best foot forward. Be proud of what you publish.

 

How many of you read eBooks? How many of you have returned one because of poor editing, terrible formatting or it was simply just bad? Me too!

 

That holds true for books that are self-published as well as books that are traditionally published. A few years ago I wrote a letter to an author and publisher because the author’s most recent eBook was riddled with typos. And this was a bestselling author published from a well-known press. If that was my first experience with this author, I never would have purchased another one of her books. Ever.

 

Quality matters. There’s a smorgasbord of books available. If yours “tastes” bad, readers won’t come back for seconds.

 

More than anything, it’s important to remember this: Those of us in book publishing are stewards of the printed word. We in the book business—editors, agents, publishers, designers, authors, and writers are responsible for engaging people in the act of reading. We teach people to love books. We want any experience they have with the written word to be a positive one. We want to create books that change lives.

 

And we can.

 

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