Once upon a time, early in my newspaper career, I read an article in the Rotary Club magazine that changed my outlook. It was an article written by Bill Gates Sr. that was a condensed version of his book, Showing Up for Life: Thoughts on the Gifts of a Lifetime. He talked about his success in life and how it got there. The hook? He attributed all of his success to one simple concept. Showing up. Is your mind blown yet?
Gates outline that many of the opportunities in his life were simply from being there. Being consistent with putting himself out there and not waiting for those things to come to him. This seems so simple, but in my early days as a business owner, it changed the way I thought of things. How often do we sit back and lament the things going wrong in our world, but we do nothing to change it?
A wise speaker once said all success comes down to one easy acronym…GOYAKOD…Get off your ass and Knock On Doors. This isn’t industry specific…it can be applied to writers of books as easily as it can be applied to newspaper reporters. Who is going to come to you, if they don’t know you exist? And once they know you exist, are you consistently following up so they know you are there?
In any industry, you won’t get far if you aren’t putting yourself out there, but in the publishing world, publishers won’t be breaking down your door without you first reaching out to them.
The second nugget I live by was another super simple concept gleaned from Sterling Editor, Brett Duquette, at an SCBWI conference in September. Brett’s talk was full of great information, but he said one thing that I felt was invaluable…Always be a pleasure to work with. Again…super simple…but mind-blowing at the same time. You only get one chance to make a good impression, what are you doing with it?
In my experience, I work much harder and have more lasting relationships with the authors and illustrators that I enjoy working with.
Based on these unpretentious concepts, I compiled a list of Dos and Don’ts in the Publishing Industry….
Callie Metler-Smith is the owner of Clear Fork Media Group in Stamford, Texas. She has owned the Stamford American since 2009 and Clear Fork Publishing since 2014. When not working on her corner of the Stamford Square, she is spending time with her husband, Philip, two sons, Logan and Ben, and her niece, Sadey.