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The Myth of One

Authors who think writing a quality book means doing it all themselves are sorely mistaken.
May | 13 | 2024
  May | 13 | 2024
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BY Phil Simon
  Phil Simon

The Myth of One

Authors who think writing a quality book means doing it all themselves are sorely mistaken.
Phil Simon
May | 13 | 2024

The Myth of One

TL;DR: Authors who think writing a quality book means doing it all themselves are sorely mistaken.
Phil Simon
May | 13 | 2024

I stepped into the local Barnes & Noble yesterday and picked up Scott Galloway’s latest book. I’ve read all of his previous ones and listened to a decent chunk of The Algebra of Wealth, but I wanted to see it IRL. Call me old school. You wouldn’t be the first.

The writing is crisp and the figures really pop off the page. Fans of Prof G’s popular newsletter and videos won’t be surprised here. In this post, though, I’ll skip to his book’s back matter—specifically, the acknowledgments.

Thank You

Like all prominent writers, Galloway thanks a wide array of folks in the book’s final pages, including the contributors whose names you won’t find on the cover. In other words, it takes a village to produce a professional book. In his words:

Experienced scribes know that they can’t do it alone.

Experienced scribes know as much. If you’re a newbie perusing a bookstore or library, however, you probably focus on the end result and think, “I can’t do that by myself.”

To which I always respond, “You’re right. You can’t.”

Author Marketing Lessons From The Wire

What You Need to Know

Authors who believe that they can independently handle all aspects of the writing, cover, interior design, figures, editing, proofreading, indexing, and e-book process are delusional. Those who try are bound to produce an amateur effort that will likely sell a few dozen copies at best. Even adeptly using AI will only get you so far.

Does this reality mean that you need work with a traditional publisher and sign a one-sided contract? Not at all. Realize that O’Reilly, McGraw Hill, and their ilk aren’t the only ones who can assemble a team of book professionals. Far from it.

If Penguin Random House doesn’t publish Galloway’s next book, two things would happen:

  • The quality would remain the same.
  • Readers would never notice the change in publishers.

That’s exactly the litmus test authors should apply when vetting hybrid and independent publishers.

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