The Paradox of Publishing and the Internet

When just about anybody can write a book, just about everybody will.

The gatekeepers can no longer stop you from publishing a book, releasing a movie, or putting out an album. Thank the Internet and a slew of powerful technologies. It’s never been easier to get your work out there. And, precisely because of that reason, it’s never been more difficult to get noticed. Call it the paradox of publishing and the Internet.

The word crowded doesn’t begin to do justice to the state of the publishing industry—and it’s even more dizzying when you throw in blogs, e-books, Kindle singles, and other forms of content. There’s a reason that #longreads remains popular hashtag.

Do it right or don’t do it at all.

Is there a secret sauce to getting noticed? Of course not. There’s no recipe for writing a bestseller. Ditto viral videos and YouTube sensations. But I can say without fear of accurate contradiction that the odds of success are virtually zero if the book looks shoddy. Exceptions notwithstanding, a bad book cover is almost always a death sentence. Confusing title? You’re in big trouble. And poorly produced interiors just make the mountain that much higher to climb.

Brass Tacks

If you have high expectations for your potential book, either do it right or don’t do it at all.

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