I'm frequently asked to publish books for other authors, even though there's nothing on my website suggesting I'm in that business, but I'm rarely tempted. The bottom line, even if somebody seems to have a good book idea, is that authors are a high-maintenance bunch. That's the nice way of saying that as a group, we tend to be non-conformist whackos who don't get along with authority in general and people we work for in particular. I've also noticed a strong hand biting tendency in authors, I think it has to do with lashing out at anybody who will actually pay attention. It's one of the reasons I gave up the POD publisher's group I started back in 2003, which is now over 1500 members if you're looking for a true publishers group to join. As the active moderator at that time, there was just too much correspondence with misunderstood geniuses who didn't believe the rules should apply to them, or that I should be the one to interpret the rules. Who needs it?
But I still get served my share of humility by way of blog comments. The comment below which came in this morning (anonymously) was too good to waste on a post that no one will ever read again:
I've read your stuff off and on for years looking for help with my POD business, but I have to say that although you SEEM to be saying some instructive things, I can find no way to apply anything helpful from your advice. I already have Adsense, but who on earth except you can make $25,000 a year with it? And really, you aren't helping with your blog except in a very general way. Nothing to take away and use oneself. I guess that's part of how you got where you are. At least, you haven't blown it all on fancy clothes and expensive haircuts.
Well, Anonymous. I suspect it's a good thing that you chose not to include your name or your website, as I would have looked at it and given you honest feedback as to what you're doing wrong. Since you chose to be anonymous, I'll assume that your website and books fall into the general category of unsuccessful websites and books and give you the general advice. Your website lacks content, it's just an advertisement for your books, with a lot of personal information about you and your life that doesn't serve any business purpose. If you want to share all that stuff, put it on a Facebook page. A publisher website needs to be a resource to attract visitors, it's that's simple. Perhaps you wanted a recipe for writing good resource content? Try acquiring hands-on knowledge in a field and writing about your actual experiences, numbers and all. And don't expect to please everybody, I certainly don't.
Thanks for the help in giving me an easy blog post today, saved me the four to six hours I usually spend trying to say something useful. In another month, Blogger will be shutting down their FTP service, which means I'll stop using them to generate this blog, which will be the end of anonymous comments. So if anybody else wants to vent, you only have a few weeks left to do it, and that's only if you get past the censor. And Anonymous, part of your problem is clearly time management. If you don't find my blog useful, why on earth do you read it? I'm hardly an inspirational writer, and I don't think I'm that entertaining. If you have to read blogs, try some of those inspirational guys who don't confuse the issue with their actual historic data and focus on how they made their first million as "thought leaders" and inspirational speakers. Maybe my "secret" to making a decent living is that I don't read any other blogs myself.