When I think back to my childhood, some of my fondest memories are of my summer baseball teams, my school baseball and basketball teams, even my golf team (damn knees kept me out of football). When I was with my teammates, competing against another team, I enjoyed a sense of camaraderie and support. We worked together, providing each individual on the team a chance at success that he couldn’t achieve on his own. When we failed, we commiserated together, and supported one another, vowing to work harder and do better next time.
It’s true that when you go it alone, you get to keep all the fruits of your success to yourself. Yep, you can sit at your desk in the corner, put on your party hat, pop the cork on the champagne, and celebrate… all by your lonesome. Fun. Of course, when you fail, you shoulder that burden alone, too.
And why did you fail? Might you have needed some help, a supportive group to lift you over the top? Might a team have been the potential key to your success?
Look, I’ve always enjoyed a certain amount of autonomy. I like to control my own life to the greatest extent possible. I love freedom—in life, in work, in play. Yet a properly constructed team allows a significant amount of that. Indeed, for a team to achieve maximum success, each member of that team must perform at his best.
Now, whether your team is in sports, or at work, or in a charity group, or any other environment, no two individuals will perform exactly alike. We recognize top performers for their unique set of skills, and, yes, we cut loose those who simply can’t do it. Give any ten individuals the exact same opportunity, and you’ll see ten varying levels of success… or failure.
Welcome to life.
Yet those who struggle can become fair, those who are fair can become good, and those who are already good can achieve greatness, when a team is in their corner, fighting on their behalf.
I like to think of myself as a good teammate precisely because I don’t expect everyone to be great; that’s just not realistic. I expect my teammates to be pretty good, of course, but mostly I expect them to give it their best. Period. If you give me your willingness to work at it, your positive attitude, your desire to work with the team in a cohesive manner, I’ll give you a loyal teammate who will do all he can to help you succeed.
So what does all of this have to do with writing, one of the most solitary pursuits on the planet? Simple: writing is only step one. Eventually, if you’re a professional, you need to take your product to market. You need to get your books into the hands of lots and lots of readers.
Of course, before you can do that, you may need one or all of the following: beta readers to help you plug up some gaps in your story; a qualified editor to help you polish your manuscript to a fine sheen; a talented artist to create a professional cover for your book; and a marketing plan and sales strategy to sell your brand.
What is your brand?
If you self-publish, your brand is your name, and perhaps the name of a series (by title or primary character) you’re writing. Period.
If you publish with a team, you enjoy the benefits of an additional brand, a reputable name that provides quality products across a broad spectrum of genres, from a group of authors with varying styles and voices, supported by talented editors and artists.
And that is why my partner, D.T. Conklin, and I formed Evolved Publishing. We didn’t want to self-publish because we didn’t want to go it alone. We thought the power of a dedicated and well-coordinated team would improve our chances of success. Our early teammates—7 more authors and counting, 4 more editors and counting, 4 artists and counting—joined us for those reasons, as well.
Do you like the idea of having a team in your corner? If so, stop by the Evolved Publishing website and browse around. At worst, you’ll lose a few minutes of your life. At best, your life and career will take on a whole new prospect.