Welcome to another Small Business Update – and today we’re catching up with Dick Margulis of Dick Margulis Creative Services an editing (and more) colleague, who we first met in February 2012, and then again in March 2013, with our most recent update being in March 2014. At that point, when I asked him where he wanted to be by this time this year, he replied, “I’ve quit making predictions. I just take it as it comes” (but he did tell me to ask about the cohousing project in a year …). So, what effect does giving up making predictions have? Let’s find out!
Hello again, Dick – always nice to welcome a fellow editor to these pages. So, how are things going in relation to when you looked forward a year ago?
Of all the dichotomies of people I’ve encountered, the one that resonates with me the most is this: There are two kinds of people in the world, planners and problem-solvers. I’m squarely in the second category, as I think most craftspeople are. I don’t look forward or backward much. I mostly focus on the here and now. That said, it has been a great year, with varied and interesting projects, a steady work pace, and (just to keep the thread alive) good forward progress on the cohousing project.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
I’m seeing more large, serious books from people who a decade ago would have felt they had to go to a traditional publisher but now are seeing the advantages of publishing independently. I’m also seeing more referrals from colleagues who are migrating to the indie publishing space (because that’s where the action is, after all) and who want to collaborate on projects, focusing on their core competencies and handing off the rest to others.
What has stayed the same is Sturgeon’s Law. But as indie publishing grows, the ten percent that is not crap grows right along with it, and that’s where the opportunities are for independent publishing professionals to make a good living.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I’ve been forced by circumstances beyond my control to learn much more about how ebooks are constructed than I ever wanted to know, but the knowledge has proved useful, and I’m able to add value in that realm. What I wish I’d known a year ago is this: the corollary to a standing desk is compression socks. In fact, I wish I’d known it forty years ago.
Any more hints and tips for people?
Dire necessity is the mother of reinvention.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
Keeping on keeping on.
Sounds like a good plan to me! I can similarly say that I’ve had to learn about ebooks and the like, although in my case it’s also for my own books, benefitting me by making sure I know what my authors are going through. I haven’t got a standing desk, although they are all the rage, and if I do indulge in one, I will remember the point about compression socks. Oh, the glamour!
You can find Dick Margulis here:
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources.