Adding Value from Lessons Learned
We enjoy adding value to other people’s lives: that’s why we’re here, why we started The Minimalists, why we left the corporate world to do this full time—giving is living. And we’re grateful to be able to give.
In the course of the last eighteen months we’ve absorbed a great deal of knowledge regarding the indie-publishing world, metamorphosing from a pair of clueless, trepidatious, 30-year-old guys who didn’t know what a blog was (seriously), to building a large online audience, publishing three bestselling books, embarking on an international book tour, and establishing an online writing class. We’ve learned a lot, stumbling haphazardly in multiple ill-considered directions along the way.
And because there is a considerable amount of value we’ve accumulated, we thought there must be a way we can share our valuable learnings with anyone who’s interested, right? There must be!
Starting a Publishing Company and Community
So when Colin Wright approached us with his idea for Asymmetrical Press, we excitedly jumped on board. The three of us knew the same thing myriad others already knew: the publishing system is broken, and we couldn’t’ve “made it” had we relied on the old model.
Enter stage left: Asymmetrical, a publishing company and community that embraces new technologies, methods, and ideas to help writers and creative types reach an audience.
Think of Asymmetrical as a three-legged table: Community. Press. Studio.
The Asymmetrical Community launched first, just last week (May 2012), as a hub for people looking to polish their published work (whatever kind of publishing they might be involved with), or learn the publishing industry from scratch. It’s a place to make connections with other publishers, share your work with others for feedback, and learn from each other’s experiences (everything from technical issues like publishing your work on the Kindle store, to grand strategies like publishing your work to eventually replace your full-time income). In its short tenure, the community has flourished, enjoying active involvement from people all over the publishing map. Poets and nonfiction writers. Bloggers and novelists. Journalists and screenwriters. People who are actively looking for agents and folks who have decided to self-publish. Authors looking to make writing their full-time gig and part-time hobbyists.
The second leg of the tri-legged table is Asymmetrical Press. We have years of combined publishing experience, and we all make the majority (or all) of our incomes from our published work. We’ll expand upon that through Asymmetrical by continuing to publish our own work—including Colin Wright’s new memoir Iceland India Interstate on June 4 and Joshua Fields Millburn’s new novel As a Decade Fades later this year. And over the next few months we’ll look for people we can team up with and work that we can “invest” in, a bit like an angel investor would invest in a startup company. We look around and see all kinds of amazing work that is going unrecognized: the people producing it are great at writing or creating amazing videos or podcasts, but don’t have the networks, marketing skills, or desire to self-promote. We want to become a non-invasive partner in the process. All work stays the property of the creator, and we serve as agent, editor, designer, publisher, and spokesperson for the few folks we take on under the Asymmetrical umbrella. If Seth Godin’s Domino Project had a baby with an independent record label, it would probably look a lot like Asymmetrical Press.
Asymmetrical Studio, the table’s third and final leg, involves a soup-to-nuts studio through which self-publishers can find every service they need—editing, formatting, design, print, publishing, marketing, etc.—to get their work out to the world.
More info will be available in the coming months for Asymmetrical’s Press and Studio legs. You can receive the free Asymmetrical Newsletter to stay informed. You can also find Asymmetrical on Facebook and Twitter, where we’ll post regular updates.
In the meantime, if you’re interested in publishing your ideas to the world—even if you’re as clueless as we once were—we invite you to come check out the Asymmetrical Community at your leisure. It’s an online home—one that can be a periodic port in the storm, or your full time crash pad—and it’s full of people looking to up their publishing game, learn from each other, and share what they already know. We have personally made socializing there a big part of our days, so if you want to chat, that’s the digital coffeehouse we’ll be working from. We’ll save you a seat.