I don’t know if you have any interest whatever in book publishing, but I follow it closer than most made-up current events.
A creature of the mind, such as yours truly, has to be deeply interested in how ideas spread through the culture. Books are one of the oldest and highest-bandwidth highways for idea contagion.
That looks to be changing now.
When I threw SED up on Amazon back in 2013, I didn’t realize what I’d gotten into. Turns out that the Kindle store was set to Easy Mode in the early stages of a gold rush. Back then, you could write a book, throw it up, and watch the cash flow into your bank account. It was that easy.
I had no idea, of course. I was stuck in the old days where coaches and gurus told you to make a cheap-looking PDF and sell it for $79 on a Clickbank sales page.
I just wanted to publish my damn book and make it affordable for anybody who found it.
Talk about right place at the right time. To this day I’ve spent not one shiny red penny on advertising, and up through 2021 it was ranking well against books with much larger ad budgets and marketing campaigns behind them.
I should have written another five or ten books, is what I should have done, but by then I was up to my neck in Kant and Aristotle and couldn’t give a toss about the “health and fitness” [sic] world.
Hindsight, they say.
Today, book publishing is in a strange place. The days of the mega-authors like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Nora Ephron are over. There are no “name” authors like that coming up through the ranks behind them.
The major publishers are coming apart, their business models destroyed. People do still read, but they aren’t getting books from outlets dominated by a handful of publishers and distributors.
Lots of independents and small presses are coming up to take their place, and that’s not even including all the ways people are reading online.
Then there’s that whole AI thing, which I have few nice words about.
If you’re a writer, meaning that you aim to make a living from your words, there’s a lot of uncertainty out there. The thing is, for all the wailing and handwaving from the boomers who insist on acting like it’s 1985, there’s more opportunity than ever. Writing for a living was always an uncertain crap-shoot. You didn’t have any better odds back when the game was pitching the 22 year old interns at a big publisher while begging for scraps from their table.
If I wrote Squat Every Day in 2023, I don’t think anyone would ever know about the book. My tiny readership and total lack of social media presence has made me a “missing person” as far as the online world is concerned. Nobody knows I’m here. If getting found means turning into one of those dancing clowns on social media, I’ll pass.
Notice that I’ve said nothing about what’s in the book. I still get people emailing me telling me that they found it (lord knows how), tried the method, and got blown away by the results.
Wisdom means nothing to a person who can’t find it, doesn’t know it exists.
So it is.
Point is, if you stand still, the world leaves you behind. Change is the essential fact of reality.
What you make of change comes down to how you look at it.
Which is sort of funny since that’s one of the key messages in the book.
Maybe I should re-brand it, because I’m seeing more and more that the ideas I wrote about aren’t even about “working out”. Like it’s some book for meatheads.
It sort of is, but the meatheads all hate it because I didn’t “tell them what to do”. No kidding. I expect people to think and exercise a bare minimum of effort in applying the ideas. No surprises that that 80% or more of the great masses hate the very idea of using their minds without training wheels.
I have a whole world-view, a mission if you like, which is to re-think what stress means, what makes us tired and how we get energized, what part the mind plays in all that.
If you really zoom out, I’m asking that question Socrates used to ask: What does it mean to live well? What does a good life look like?
A good life has to accept change.
Doesn’t matter if we’re talking your personal life, professional, or your own health. Nothing stays the same.
You can either accept that, and adjust… or you look up one day, eyes like a startled deer, wondering what happened.
That’s all I got today.
P.S. If you’re interested in going deeper on this, including hands-on practical work, click here.