From The New Yorker:
“A book is a startup,” declared Peter Armstrong in a speech about his serialized book company, Leanpub. “I said it in 2010, and I’ll say it again.”
. . . .
Tim Sanders, a former Yahoo executive who is now the C.E.O. of Net Minds, a service for crowd-sourcing book production, said that it’s “the allure of the book” that entices people to work on one.
Sanders founded Net Minds about a year ago. “The biggest problem with authors today is that they overestimate their writing and editing skills,” he said, adding that, without editing, “It would have been ‘The Meh Gatsby.’” Then he told me his solution: “Run your book like a start-up.”
Armstrong suggests that a book and a start-up are each “a risky, highly creative endeavor undertaken by a small team, with low probability of success.” In either case, he says, you can go into “stealth mode”—which, he contends, will easily result in creating something that nobody wants. “To say you’re going to go off in a room and write the perfect thing without getting feedback from anybody is—I don’t want to say ‘arrogant’—but I couldn’t do it.” Editors, he adds, “function as a good proxy for readers”—but are not as effective as readers themselves.
And so, it follows that the solution is to begin a project—in this case, a book—and let the people have at it. He calls this Lean Publishing, or “the act of publishing an in-progress book using lightweight tools and many iterations to get reader feedback, pivot until you have the right book and build traction once you do.”
Link to the rest at The New Yorker