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Publishing Note: What My Authors Teach Me


What My Authors Teach Me

Major trade houses publish so many books every year, it is almost impossible for any one person to know what’s in all those books. These amazing books affect the lives of individuals and companies around the world. But in my experience, the publishers themselves seldom heed the advice or benefit from the wisdom offered in the books they publish. Jonathan Karp, CEO of Simon & Schuster, recently provided a counter example in his “The Word According to Karp” blog. He described two books published by S&S whose message he used to address specific issues in his company. Thanks, Jonathan.

One of the most rewarding parts of being in the publishing business is the relationships I get to develop with authors. It is impossible to measure how much authors whose books I have published have taught me over the years. My authors teach me new things about our world and universe that I don’t know. They teach me about the lessons history has to offer our present moment. They give me new perspectives on the meaning of life from their own lives. They shed light on how to build healthy relationships and navigate difficult ones. They share insights into business—established and emerging—that help me run a publishing imprint. They inspire me, make me laugh, challenge my assumptions, even change my mind every once in a while. In short, my authors teach me to be a better person.

Thank you, authors, for your gifts of time, a listening ear, and just who you are. You have shaped the person I am today. And to authors wondering if you will ever find a publisher who actually takes to heart what you write and they publish, look no further. I look forward to meeting you in the not too distant future and learning a thing or two from you.