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Eckstut and Sterry on Research

NOTE: This post got backdated. So it’s re-posted with yesterday’s date.

It seems like a lot of people have this day-dream project that they would just love to pursue. But when I speak with them, their passion for the vision far outshines their passion for actually, you know, doing it. Eckstut and Sterry capture the essence of what separates the successful folks from the unsuccessful folks.

“Roaming from coast to coast, talking with book people from the biggest publishers to the smallest, from bestselling authors to writers who have never been published, we’ve come to the conclusion that three major things stand between you and a published book. Those three things are: RESEARCH, RESEARCH and RESEARCH. From the get-go, it’s crucial to know what books are out there and to have an idea of who might publish your book, who might sell it and, most important, who will read it and how you’re going to get it onto their bookshelves. Research will help you answer all those questions. It will be your guide through every stage of the publishing process, and with a little bit of luck it will help your book rise to the top of the publishing barrel.

“If you systematically research every part of the book publishing process, you will be way ahead of your competitors. Most people simply do not do the research it takes to get a book published and sold. Let us be clear that it is a a lot of hard work to do this research, but if you put the time in, your odds of getting published go from nearly nil to extremely decent.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about diligence and laziness –particularly as these two character traits manifest themselves in students. There is a student who is willing to look at a situation, figure out what’s going on, craft a strategy for it and then make it happen, but that student is a rare gem.

Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, Putting Your Passion Into Print: Get Your Book Published Successfully! (New York: Workman Publishing Company, 2005) p 4