Lessons Learned

Can a publishing organization thrive without centralized leadership? Is perpetual, self-organizing book publishing possible? Can literary quality be maintained in a distributed publishing paradigm? We’ve created Wikiklesia to answer these kinds of questions. Editors and producers of each volume can offer insights for the next.

Here are a few resources and insights from Volume 2:

Non profit, collaborative publishing models must be driven by cohesive yet somewhat transient tribes. Tribes are not top down but highly contributive (often participants have limited resources or have participation, production and result expectations based on traditional publishing paradigms) Ideally, a "publishing" tribe needs to be diverse: not only authors, but recruiters, curators, editors, social media marketers, bloggers, producers, promoters, spokes persons, etc all willing to contribute based on a mission or passion for a particular subject or cause. Realistically no one person can do it all, although more and more authors are expected to be promoters and marketers within the traditional landscape.

Even within a non profit collaborative framework, initial sacrifices in terms of time and talent can have various types of immediate to long term advantages:

* authors can leverage their other work on similar topics within the community framework
* all authors can benefit from the entire sphere of influence from the collective whole
* community, relationship, connection, social capital

Collaborative publishing can be viewed, as a quick turn around, get the information out there - publishing project (Wikiklesia Volume 1 proved this model), or they can be viewed as a long term commitment or campaign for social change.

This "campaign / movement" dynamic is occurring with indie film, publishing, journalism, etc., and is still in the experimental stages - forging a new frontier… although some highly impactful (well funded) models exist for film and publishing that are framed as campaigns or grassroots movements.

A high level of passion is required to initiate and sustain movement or social change - often participants do not realize how interconnected or valuable their contribution might be, or they simply do not have the time, passion or commitment to invest for the long term. Align yourself with passionate and unreasonable people. "The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man / woman adapts surrounding conditions to themselves… All progress depends on the unreasonable person." GB Shaw

Everybody should try some aspect of this this at least once. What you will learn is invaluable.

A few Resources

The Reality of Digital Content
Ten Awful Truths about Book Publishing
Why Scaling down is Good for Publishing

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