Monday, June 20, 2011

Business Ethics in the Writing Community

After trying for several years to prepare novels for traditional publishing houses, I'm gradually being swayed into the self-publishing market. I'm particularly interested in Amazon's Kindle and Createspace POD publishing. I like the Kindle option because there are many ways for people to read novels, even if they don't own a Kindle! For example, you could do what I do, and download Kindle For PC ... for free! Then read Kindle books on your computer!

Kindle editions are (1) less expensive for consumers, (2) 'green' as they require no tree-death procedures for paper-making, (3) better for authors as there's a greater profit-margin that cuts out agents and traditional book publishers. Excuse me if I think that's a good thing, especially after ten years of reading agent blogs like Ms. Snark that make fun of and put down authors... because there are so many authors they think they can get away with treating them like dirt, unless they want to profit off their hard work. Even agents should consider the implications their business ethics might have on future transactions, because the time has come when their services may no longer be needed, and authors will take other, more profitable paths to publication.

Last night I had a dream in which a couple of cute little girls were trying to get me to buy the weirdest plastic ice cream scoop ever. I really didn't want to buy it - especially at the ridiculous price of $5. The older sister was particularly pushy and came to me multiple times trying to convince me to buy this thing. Finally I relented and agreed to purchase her ice cream scoop, and she just laughed and said, "I finally did it! And I don't like you!" I was appalled at her behavior! I hadn't given her the cash yet, so I informed this child I would not be buying her ice cream scoop after all, and that she needed to think seriously of how saying such a thing affects her business! Thank goodness this was just a dream!

But then when I woke up I remembered a woman I know here in town. She was a co-worker who turned against me and treated me rather shabbily a few years back. Now she owns her own restaurant and I have never gone in there to patronize her. Because of her inexplicable disloyalty she has lost hundreds of dollars of business, not only from me but from others she treated in a very unkind manner. And that is how it should be. People need to realize that business is built, in large part, on the kindness and trustworthiness they can show to other people.

Business is more than just finding ways to get money. It is a spiritual path, one of creating relationships with our fellow human beings, of respecting them, and showing them the utmost kindness. We are in business because we provide something they need, and for no other reason. Those agents that have been so harsh toward writers are in business because writers want them to find publishers for their work, but as soon as they treat writers shabbily and start complaining about them behind their backs, the bond of trust is broken and the writers sense this even if there are no harsh words exchanged.

Therefore, as I go forth to publish my novels in Kindle format, and/or POD, I won't feel sad that an agent isn't involved, or a traditional book publisher. Though there are some excellent small press publishers available and accessible to new writers, it appears that most major publishing houses are not able to handle the massive numbers of manuscripts available. To most of us, their gates are closed, and their gatekeepers, the agents, have become difficult and unpleasant to deal with.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Now is the Time for Change

I just found this incredibly beautiful video... if you like children and want to be inspired. This is from the World Change Foundation.

The world is always changing, but in this era we're waking up to the potential of massive global transformation through the power of spirit working in the hearts of those who truly want to build a better world for the children, and their children, ad infinitum.

This has been on my mind most of the day, as I went about my work at home and then this afternoon while I attended a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

Everyone wants change, the world is changing. It is something that just has to be and as the time gets closer and the vibrations more intense, many thousands of people are realizing how very much the entire world needs spiritual change. And that is the only change that could make the difference in this world, to pull us out of the troubles we've drifted into.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Conference for Global Transformation


Imagine meeting with hundreds or even thousands of people who care about global transformation!

There will be a conference in the San Francisco Bay Area in May of 2012... and there's a ning site set up to explain the entire thing: The Conference for Global Transformation. I happened to notice that a few of the presentation slideshows and handouts are already available online: Keynote and Workshop Resources. Also check out Best Papers Award Winners in the forum!

Photo Credit: NASA