Counting Down to our Second Anniversary Part 4

Insanity is Contagious

2ndBirthdayC8You’ve probably heard the definition of insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different result.” But oddly enough, I’d done this before.

I started e-publishing back in the 90s, starting up one of the first e-publishing ventures ever (no, not the first. I walked the paths of other pioneers, and tried to avoid the pitfalls they ran into, finding new ones instead) with a company called BiblioBytes. We proudly outlasted a number of better-funded latecomers, but time and the Twin Towers took their toll on the biz, and I packed up shop in early 2002. So when Michael Jan Friedman said, “I want to start an e-publishing venture for our books, and I want you invovled,” I was trepidatious. That’s because my mother raised me not to say “Are you f%$#@! nuts?” to friends.

And yet– times had changed. In the decade since I stopped doing e-publishing full time, the Internet had become even more omnipresent in our lives, electronic readers had come out with wide selections and deep market penetration, print-on-demand was finally economically viable, and traditional publishing business-as-usual wasn’t cutting it. Clearly, a bit of madness was called for.

Glenn-Hauman-DuotoneAnd to be fair, I’d already been dragged back into e-publishing with ComicMix doing digital versions of comics, so prose wasn’t that far of a stretch, and in many ways it was easier. So I couldn’t use “no more e-publishing!” as an excuse.

But more to the point, there were people who were willing to come along for the ride. The hardest problem in any startup is finding people who will share your vision, who will go in the same direction you are– people who are committed. With Aaron Rosenberg, Bob Greenberger, Peter David, and Mike, along with early asylum cellmates David Mack, Marco Palmieri, and Howard Weinstein, and later inmates Russ Colchamiro and Paul Kupperberg, there was a squad of people all ready to slay giants, even if they did look suspiciously like windmills to the uninitiated.

And we’ve done pretty darn well. With over two dozen releases in two years, and many more on the way, we’ve gotten far along the way to our plan to take over the world, all while wearing our Napoleon jackets and hats.

So doing the same thing and expecting a different result may not be insanity after all, it may just be… crazy.

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