It's been a while. Lots has changed in the world; lots has changed in publishing. There was a global pandemic. People stopped going into bookstores. Authors stopped going on tour. A boat got stuck in a canal. There were paper shortages and printer shortages. The global distribution networks slowed, fell apart, got put back together. A war started. One publisher tried to buy another. There was a trial. Lots of stuff got said under oath. Unionized publishing workers went on strike. Lots of people on Twitter got mad about a lot of stuff. Some of it was funny. Some of it was sad.
One thing hasn't changed, though. Publishing is still hard.
I didn't mean to stop doing the newsletter. I ran into the same problems everyone else did. Pandemic. Burnout. Overwhelming workloads. Grief, breakups, life changes. New gender, same me.
We keep saying the pandemic is over, but it's not. We're not "back." Things aren't "normal." But we're still here. We're surviving and making the best of the times we live in. The fact that the world is the way it is, is no reason to stop trying to build something better. Just becauses the corporations that control publishing aren't interested in evolving doesn't mean we stop asking them to.
It turns out I still have stuff to say. I love this job, this business. I love explaining the bits of it that make sense to me. I love figuring out new bits of it, or discovering new ways to think about it. I like sharing with y'all the struggle, the experience of what it is to sit on my side of the table and try to help writers, to collaborate with publishers, to divine the market conditions, and above all to publish books I believe will make a difference.
So, Publishing Is Hard is resuming distribution. This newsletter will once again be irregular updates from the trenches of corporate publishing. All of the newsletters and the previous archive will be free. Subscription prices remain at $5 a month or $50 for the year. Mostly, you should pay if you like what I'm doing here and feel it's worth a few bucks. There's a threshold below which it doesn't make sense for me to spend the hours on this, but that threshold is pretty low.
That said, to sweeten the pot, I'm going to throw in some regular events. A monthly video Q+A, maybe I'll stream some video games and we can test my ability to multitask while y'all ask me business questions andI try not to die.. Maybe some extra content, not specific to publishing. We'll see what's fun, what works, and what y'all are interested in. Comments and community features will also be subscriber only.
Publishing is the intersection of art and capital. It's messy. It's ugly. It's depressing. It's hard. But for me, it's worth it. Let's do what we can to make it a little easier, shall we?