A manifesto: Ten commandments for authors

A manifesto: Ten commandments for authors

"For many years, I've had the classic problem of being able to wallpaper my apartment with all the rejection letters I've received." Thus, Teymour Shahabi in New York says in the first of a series of videos on his site, he has decided to "experiment with some of the new ways people are publishing these days." As we look ahead to our 30th November Author Day event in London, a key tenet of which is welcoming both traditionally publishing and self-publishing authors, it's worth noting that Shahabi's "commandments" for authors include "You shall not vilify or condemn those authors...whose chosen publishing paths differ from your own" and "You shall not point a mocking finger at the old institutions of publishing, for they also love the written word."—Porter Anderson


'You shall thank your era for this privilege'

1. You shall hold the shifts in technology and in readership to be not obstacles, but allies

2. You shall make yourself accessible and authentic to your readers, and you shall thank your era for this privilege

3. You shall not invoke in vain the end of reading and writing, for history does not hold guiltless those who see death where there is change

4. You shall not vilify or condemn those authors past or future whose chosen publishing paths differ from your own

5. You shall not single out any country as your market, for the world shall speak your language

6. You shall not point a mocking finger at the old institutions of publishing, for they also love the written word

7. You shall not confine yourself to genre and convention, but shall allow your writing to define itself

8. You shall hone your expertise not in writing alone, but also in formatting, marketing, promotion, and distribution

9. You shall know many trades but you shall call yourself an author first

10. You shall hold no tool, no technology, no progress more sacred than the craft of your writing and the progress of your story
 


This is another entry in our series of "Five-Minute Manifestos" for The Future of the Book Business. In his article Those magnificent manifestos, The Bookseller editor Philip Jones revisited his call for the FutureBook community to reflect on five years of the digital dynamic, "to challenge the customs we have begun to adopt." The response has been robust, and we thank all our manifesto writers. See their articles here.

As we add more in this series, our most recently published #FutureBook15 manifestos are:

Main image - iStockphoto: Ihsan Gercelman