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Publishing Various Viewpoints

I don’t think publishers normally have this problem, but in many conversations I am asked why I would publish books I don’t agree with.  Now if you’re one of the big publishing houses, it’s pretty much understood that you don’t have a singular viewpoint, but rather a range.

But Energion Publications is a small organization, and it is wholly owned by one person-me.  I serve both as the CEO and the chief editor, and since I own everything, I make the decisions.  I’m responsible to the buying public for my success or failure.

In that context, people often seem disconcerted by the idea that I would publish books from authors who have a different perspective than mine.

There are really two answers to this question.  The first is rather simple.  While Energion is small right now, I don’t intend that it remain small.  I hope that there will be a day when I have to incorporate out of self-defense if nothing else, and then there will be more people involved.  Who knows, I might have to actually hire an actual person to be an editor and then–horrors!–delegate! Such an editor might even object to the number of dashes I use, or to my putting two exclamation points together as I just did.

In preparation for that, my company must be more than an expression of my particular views, and I am endeavoring to make it that.  Since one of the great places to start in getting good manuscripts is writers I  know, this is often harder to do than it might appear.  But I have friends who differ widely in their views on many issues, and that is helpful.

The second point, however, is that I do have a very particular goal for Energion Publications, and that is dialogue.  My own perspective is not so much a viewpoint on a set of issues, though I do have such positions as it is a belief that if views that are substantially different can be brought into contact with one another, the result will be better tested and better supported ideas.

I combine that with the belief that people often miss possibilities because they are too busy arguing the extremes, while others are just looking for a compromise, rather than an alternative solution.

So I seek manuscripts that differ substantially from my own view, but are in conversation, manuscripts that reflect a recognition that issues rarely come with only two courses of action, and that while compromise between extremes is necessary, the right course may be one that does not come from those extremes.

For more on the mission of Energion Publications, please see my video, Why Energion Publications.

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