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SURVEY: Do Publishers Have an Obligation to Challenge Convention?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-Chief

Today’s feature story is an editorial from Neal Maillet, Editorial Director, Berrett-Koehler Publishers discussing why he chooses to publish books by whistleblowers. In the piece, he argues:

I can’t think of a better test for one’s publishing backbone. We publish plenty of books we know will sell well from the first read. You could have a great career and make money just taking the safe bets. However, I think publishing books by whistleblowers is the price you must pay for sitting in the publisher’s seat. Is your purpose to keep your job and your company safe, or to use your position of privilege to further the truth, even when that truth is inconvenient for everyone, including you?

Underlying this argument is the belief that publishers have a role to play in posing a challenge to convention, especially when it is wrong or misguided.

Do you agree, disagree, and why? Take our survey below and let us know what you think in the comments.

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About the Author

Edward Nawotka

Edward Nawotka is the Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. A former foreign correspondent, he has covered the book business exclusively since 2000, serving as daily news editor for Publishers Weekly and columnist for Bloomberg News.