Notes From That Cranky Editorial Guy (Issue #1)

Jeevan Caricature
  • March 11, 2024

Picture1I share this picture with authors who approach me certain that they have an outstanding and brilliant idea that will surely take the world by storm. This is a photo of Mount Everest. And the line of people stretching hundreds of yards? That's the line of folks waiting to ascend to the peak to have their moment. On any given day at any given time, countless people trek the Himalayas attempting the ascent. Most climbers don’t realize how many others had the same idea, drive, and ambition as they did.

My point to authors is this: Though somewhat possible that your book idea is compelling, different, and even downright revolutionary, the odds are not necessarily in your favor. The world is full of equally bright and motivated people who believe their work will stand alone at the peak and get the attention it deserves—until they realize so many others have similar ideas and are also doing likewise. Likely hundreds of others have the very same ideas and plans you have, and many may have already written the book you intend to write.

I don’t want to dissuade authors from writing their books but to alert them to the fact that their ideas and topics may not be quite as unique and stand-alone as they think. This does not mean they should give up, but it does mean they should be smart about their ascent. Familiarize yourself with the marketplace, research to see who has already said and written what, figure out what new you have to bring to the conversation, and be realistic in your expectations.

The following pieces in this series will hopefully help you think about your book, writing, and ideas. At least that’s my goal. Stay tuned for thoughts, rants, suggestions, and ideas to follow soon.

Crankily yours,

Jeevan

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