or sacred about publishing.
Publishing is a business,
nothing more or less.”
April L. Hamilton is an author, blogger, Technorati BlogCritic, leading advocate and speaker for the indie author movement, and founder of Publetariat.com, the premiere online news hub and community for indie authors and small imprints. She’s spoken at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference and the Writer’s Digest Business of Getting Published conference, and has also judged selfpublished books for competitions run by Writer’s Digest and the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Association of Independent Authors, and works as a freelance editor, designer, and platform/publishing consultant for self-publishers. She is the author of The Indie Author Guide: Self Publishing Strategies Anyone Can Use.
Interview conducted by Melissa Wuske
you received over the
course of your career has
had the biggest impact on
This is a difficult question to answer, since my career has taken some unexpected twists and turns. I don’t think I’ve received career advice pertaining to writing or publishing from any specific person along the way, but there are three guiding principles I’ve tended to follow. The first is, “Nobody knows anything,” which is a quote from William Goldman. The second is that there’s nothing mysterious or sacred about publishing. Publishing is a business, nothing more or less. The last is that most of the time, what seems like luck is actually just preparation meeting opportunity.
I’ve taken the Goldman quote to mean there’s no fixed blueprint for success in any endeavor; at some point you have to stop trying to figure out the secret handshake and just focus on doing the best work you possibly can so you’ll be ready when a door opens for you at last.
Recognizing publishing for the business it is reveals the fact that signing with a publisher is simply a business partnership, there’s nothing magical about it. If a publisher chooses not to partner with this or that writer, it doesn’t necessarily mean the writer’s work has no merit or commercial potential. All it means is that the partnership didn’t look like a profitable one to that specific publisher at that specific time. It’s easy to get caught up in emotions when things don’t work out as