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

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.