Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Indie Publisher Notes: Wearer of Many Hats

When you operate your own publishing company you really are wearing many hats. You have to be nimble in your thinking and you have to learn to strike a balance with the time you have available so that each hat gets worn long enough to do all of the necessary work that is on the schedule. In truth, time is not often kind--especially when you're not able to put in at least a full 40 hours on the work of publishing and editing. (I'm lucky to get 20.)

To switch the analogy to another familiar cliché. You do have to get rather skilled at juggling. For me that's been quite a task at times. As the sole 'man behind the curtain' I'm the guy pushing all the buttons and pulling all the levers the majority of the time. If I'm not designing and formatting the books, I'm processing the direct sales we receive. If you write Founders House Publishing, I'm the one most likely to answer all of the customer and author e-mails. I'm spending time on the never-ending task of improving the website. Some days, I'm just trying to find smart ways to promote all of our current titles or I'm considering new projects to development. Or I'm hauling books or magazines to the post office to ship.

MYTHIC, the science fiction and fantasy magazine published through Founders House, has its own set of tasks. I'm reading submissions, finding cover art, designing print and electronic editions, and generally hunt for more subscribers and more people to support what I'm doing with that project. As of this writing, I've been focusing on catching up and getting the publication schedule back on track. I'm still reading author submissions and choosing the stories that will appear in upcoming issues. The latest issue is nearly ready to release. Trust me. I will be very happy to get that issue out there and will jump right into the work of getting those magazines in the hands of our subscribers and patrons.

With all that I've just listed, you might think I'm belly-aching or complaining, but I'm not. I love what I'm doing. Creating the various publications that Founders House releases and working with the authors makes me happy. I'm always find more ways to do more. Am I making mistakes or putting time into projects that go nowhere sometimes? Yes. But, happily that doesn't happen quite as often as it once did.

I'm learning the publishing the business day by day and week by week. I try to educate myself both as a publisher and a writer on what is happening in the publishing industry--particularly the indie publishing community. Even while I am working the day job that helps me pay the bills I am listening to relevant podcasts and taking notes during my breaks.

All of this doesn't include one of the more important hats I'm privileged to wear: Father. One of the reasons I do what I do is to show my children that you can be a creative person and build a business around this and, ultimately, succeed at something you love--and hopefully make a living too.

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