If I ran an MBA course for publishers …

Whatever, you do needs passion. And therefore the worst thing you can inspire in your market is ambivalence. Too much of industry is now governed by middle management that got there by not upsetting anyone and wearing a tie when required and the often slightly ill fitting suit. Their sole purpose is to maintain the status quo because to change you need to have imagination and to make decisions both these functions require a degree of responsibility. You need to feel so much about something that you are prepared to stand by it. And this rarely happens. Hence the growth of the consultant culture (i.e hire someone else to take the blame). I discuss this occasionally with a good friend of mine who also works in publishing and they say ‘how can these people not get it?’; ‘why would they not do something?’. Well, I’ll tell you – these people get their two/three grand a month (or whatever) and they get that largely whatever happens – if they only got what they actually generated in revenue for the company they would be in big trouble.

For the record this is my advice to anyone thinking of becoming a publisher in 2006 (whether with your own money or someone elses):

Don’t be average


Filed under: Absurdity, Publishing

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