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12 to Midnight

Too Close to Home

08.30.07 | 1 Comment

I’ve been 12 to Midnight’s president for either for more than two years. In that time we’ve put out several top-notch titles, taken on two complimentary imprints, and even put one of our e-books into print distribution. We’ve also seen a steady decline in the market, former customers who have forgotten about us, chronic missed deadlines, and little or no visibility in the market.

Running a company like 12 to Midnight, based essentially on volunteer effort, presents its own challenges. Each of us contributes what we feel like we’re able, but naturally for some people that’s more than others. As president, I have to walk a line between keeping everyone on task and recognizing that this mostly unpaid job can’t always be everyone’s top priority. 12 to Midnight now has six officers including myself. All of us have day jobs and five of us are married with children. That means that most of the work for 12 to Midnight gets done after the kids are in bed and before we fall asleep in front of our computers. Maybe we should have called ourselves 9 to Midnight, since that’s closer to our usual hours of operation.

This year started off strong and we appeared to be poised to take the modern RPG market by storm. Then we stumbled, and in stumbling we found that our marathon production schedule had left us with no strength with which to pick ourselves up. We’ve been struggling to reclaim our momentum ever since.

The above is why the post from Thomas Nelson Publisher’s president Michael Hyatt, titled What Is It About Your Leadership?, hits so close to home. Painfully close. Give it a read. It’s easy to find external reasons for failure. Taking responsibility, not just for yourself but for the people counting on you, is a sign of true character. I have some serious soul-searching to do, but hopefully it will result in a publishing company with renewed energy and purpose.

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1 Comment

Comment by neal5x5
2007-08-31 11:57:15

Before you scour yourself with spiritual steel wool, remember that everyone deserves a chance to wipe their brow and look back on what they’ve done. Take some time to review your “I love me” portfolio and consider the great stuff that’s been done. Yeah, there’s work ahead, but it’s gotta be fun or it really becomes WORK.

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