I Know I Don’t Know—July 20th, 2007

March 22, 2021

Each of us realizes there are things we do not know. I mean, unless we fade to black when it comes to our own limitations. We may not even know what sorts of things we are ignorant about.

One of the beauties of the Internet, I think, is how it continually points out things that I do not know. Raises more questions altogether, some days, than answers.

Self-publishers, for instance—I’ve worked for a number of them. How does someone come to the decision to publish his or her own work? It’s possible a whole raft of reasons why exist. But I see two. First is simple: you have someone who refuses to share any of the proceeds from the sale of his or her book. Second reason is that an author cannot find a publisher for his or her book. Or, rather, no publisher will agree to publish it. Maybe the author is too close to the work and is incapable of seeing that the writing is not much good. Or maybe the author is the only one smart enough to see how good his or her book really is.

I keep poking around self-publishers to see whether I can discover the answer.

Another thing I wonder a lot about lately are the “social-slash-professionals” networking sites. They may be wonderful, filling a genuine need. But I come up empty trying to get a handle on what their point is.

The call to join speaks of the opportunity to become friends with other professionals. I accept, because—after all—it surely pays to have as many friends as possible in high places and, particularly, in publishing positions that might give me an “in” to more freelance book design work. Then the email invitations to network arrive, and they seem somehow enticing, treating me like a high school boy out to meet girls.

When I view postings on one of these sites, especially if it caters to publishing professionals, I feel as if I am reading advertising copy—even the ones not trying to sell a book or advice about selling books.

Thanks to the Internet, I can at least consider these things.

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