Last week I had the chance to meet with many editors from the most prestigious publishing companies in the industry. All of these smart people publish business books, although many of them publish in other non-fiction categories as well (e.g. history). I am writing this post to tell you how completely blown away I was by the collective intellect of these publishing professionals.
I visited these publishers in my capacity as a writer (a ghost writer) and/or as a literary agent, but my purpose for meeting with them did not alter the fact that some of the smartest people in the industry publish business books. That makes perfect sense, given the fact that business publishing continues to outperform many other publishing categories. Put another way, people buy business books even when the overall economy is limping along (although they buy fewer when things are really tough—but the drop-off is worse in other disciplines). Given that reality, it is no wonder that publishing companies assign some of their most talented editors to the business category.
You may be asking, didn’t you expect these editors to be bright? Yes, but their level of thoughtfulness, their vision and their intellect surprised me. For the most part, these people were not only gifted, but they were both interested and interesting as well.
So if one of your book proposals gets turned away by a business book editor or group of business book editors, do not take it personally. Business is still one of the most competitive of all business categories, and the collective intellect of business book editors does not change the fact that every successful business book must be fresh and innovative, and every winning business book author still must possess a mighty impressive platform—the kind that will help the publisher sell thousands of copies of the book.