The Quirk Survival Handbook
This means acquiring new skills, and fast: learning how to develop, promote and more fully value (and be valued by) our authors; and learning how to enrapture, engage with and more fully value (and be valued by) our readers.
Here's the good news: Most of these new skills are already baked into our DNA. For nearly 10 years now, Quirk has basically operated on these principles. Almost all distinctive and successful publishers have as well. So the "new" skills we'll need aren't really new at all. They're just skills that have lain dormant for years—things we need to remember that we already know how to do.
With that in mind, I offer this checklist of tips for surviving and hopefully thriving amid the digital disruption. (After almost 10 years of believing this stuff, I am finally having it all stitched into a sampler and framed—and will gladly do the same for you for a nominal fee. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Heck, do so anyway, even if you don't want to order the sampler. I'd love to hear from you. After all, this is a time for partnerships and conversation.)
1. It's the story, stupid. The story is what matters. To everyone. Our job as publishers is to give the world (readers, e-tailers, marketing partners) great stories to read (entertainment) and great stories to tell (information). No one knows how to do that better than publishers.
2. We are not in Kansas anymore. We are not even in the publishing business anymore. We are in the entertainment business. This is something we've said at Quirk for years. We are competing for attention against everything people do with their entertainment resources (their time and their money). We must make our products as compelling as any new movie, video game or app that comes down the pike. And we must use the same tools of engagement to let them know about it.