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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Some things I learned about writing, publishing and living

Book writing and publishing are addictive. Like eating Lay’s potato chips, it’s hard to stop at one. In 2008 I planned to do one book. I've done about 20 and more are coming.

Writing a book is easy. Getting people to buy it is not.

A one-person publishing company should not publish more than two or three books each year.

Your method of doing business will likely change over the years, both as you learn more and as you publish different kinds of books. For some books you’ll do most of the work yourself, for others you’ll farm out a lot. You may find that the illustrator, designer or editor who seemed just perfect on your first book aren’t right on the third. You may find that one 200-page book should sell for $14.95 and another for $24.95.

There are many reasons to not start your own business. But for the right person, the advantages of business ownership far outweigh the risks. In independent self-publishing, the risks are minimal.

You might find that other people start coming to you for advice and even ask you to publish their books.

You might find that you like publishing better than you like writing. You may find that you hate publishing.

When you have your own business, you’ll probably work hard and work long hours for an uncertain return. But you wouldn’t become an independent self-publisher unless you want to and like doing it. And your efforts will directly benefit you, rather than increasing someone else’s profits.

When you have your own business, you’re almost never too sick or too tired to go to work, and you’ll work on weekends and vacations, and you’ll love it.

The two most useless emotions are worry and hope. Worry cripples you, and hope keeps you from making things happen.

Be decisive! A wrong decision is better than no decision, because you’ll soon know that it’s the wrong decision and can try something else.


Few things are worth waiting for. If something is really important, get it NOW.

The loudness of an argument does not compensate for its lack of logic or truth.


If you pay cash, you pay too much. You can even use your credit card at Dunkin' Donuts and the Post Office, and earn rewards points for trips and toys, or a cash rebate, depending on the card. OTOH, if you don't pay your bill in full and have to pay interest, your savings are gone.

Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

Some people you like on the phone or online you'll hate in person.

If after ten minutes a movie stinks, get out! You've already wasted your money. Don't waste your time.

Only two things can't be replaced: land and time. (Actually, maybe land can be.)

Any day when you can get out of bed is a good day.

Being old is probably better than dying young.

Start giving things away, and buying fewer things, around age 65. At 85, stop buying green bananas.

If you file your tax return late, you may have to pay a big penalty -- even if the government owes you money.

Life is unfair.

Beware of assholes with power.

Revenge is a waste of time, emotion and resources. Move on to something else.
 You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find you get what you need. (Jagger & Richards)

If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with. (Stephen Stills)

Don't think twice. It's all right. (Dylan)

Give peace a chance (John and Yoko)

It's just as easy to fall in love with a rich person as a poor person, or even easier.

If you act like you have authority, you will have authority.

Most people prefer to accept than to challenge.

Everything is negotiable. Even life itself.

Always have a spare roll of toilet paper in the john.

Always have important medicine and clean underpants in the car. You may be away longer than you plan.

Don't let your gas tank go below a quarter full -- especially in the winter or when you are traveling in a strange area.

Keep an up-to-date list of prescriptions in your wallet.

Make multiple lists of your credit cards and passwords.

Put a list of passwords on the inside of a kitchen cabinet door, or a medicine cabinet door. It's harder to lose a door than a piece of paper.

It's better to have and not need than to need and not have.

Be nice to people, even competitors. You never know who you might need tomorrow.

Never buy less than a pound of anything.

It's easy to get a job if you're an expert in a field, but it's easier to keep a job if you're an expert in several fields.

Don't assume the person you're following knows where he's going.

Don't assume the person you asked for directions knows how to get where you want to go.

Don't trust a GPS navigator, Mapquest, or maps.

Don't assume anything.

Back up your computers.

Don't believe everything you read, especially in the Internet


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