The Virtue Experiment
The Hypothesis: If an individual will focus on one virtue each month for the next twelve months, he or she will experience greater achievements and a more fulfilling life.
The Sample Group: a professional athlete, a school teacher, a president of a not-for-profit organization, a director of a production studio, a dental student, a law student, 2 young couples, a risk management specialist, and 3 stay-at-home mothers. (15 people total)
- All fifteen individuals will be given a colored wristband (much like the yellow “live strong” wristband) to represent the virtue of the month.
- Each individual will be expected to set a goal for that month dealing with that particular virtue.
- Couples will share the goals with their spouses, siblings with siblings, and the single individuals will write their goals down and email them to me.
How the experiment will be monitored:
- Each individual will be expected to report back at the end of the month, and share any unique experiences they enjoyed. Both positive and negative. With their permission, the stories of the test subjects will be shared on the site http://adriandayton.com
- Those who fail to report back will receive a brief call and interview to evaluate the results of the month’s goal.
- The results will be used to supplement my manuscript.
I just finished having a meeting with the publishing house Shadow Mountain, an imprint of Deseret Book. Like most publishing houses, they are slow, but when it comes to traditional publishing that is the name of the game. The meeting was awesome, they are sold on my concept and they love the product I have put together. They had a lot of critiques for me as well, and it made me think a lot about a big question people have asked me lately:
Are you going through a traditional publishing house or self-publishing?
Now I know that self-publishing has made some great strides in recent years and that many authors have made a lot of money through self-publishing, but that is the exception certainly not the rule. Here is my list of reasons why going the traditional publishing route (especially for the first book) makes so much sense.
- Validation. Publishers validate the quality of your manuscript. They get thousands of submission, and if they pick yours, it must be good or at least significantly better than a lot of the junk they receive. By publishing it, they also send a message that THEY believe it is good. It’s as if the book has already passed the “peer review” step.
- Experience. Publishers have a full team of editors, copy experts, and business people. These people can sift through your manuscript taking out all the typos, and making sure it is ready for the big time. They don’t charge you for this either, so that means no out of pocket for you.
- Publicity. Well, let’s assume your book is GOOD. If the book really resonates with people, then you need to get the word our. An NYC publicist will charge $20,000 to publicize your book. A good publishing house, however, has their own in-house publicists. Again, no out of pocket, and it is in their best interest to get as much publicity for the book as possible. (I have read many articles claiming Publishers won’t promote your book unless you are a big name, but that doesn’t make sense- publishers run a business, and for the business to be profitable your book needs to do well.)
- Money. Unless you are Malcom Gladwell or Stephen King, you won’t make a ton of money on book sales. A book is more of a stepping stone to bigger and better things. It gives you success that you can leverage into more books, speaking engagements, and whatever else you can dream up. Well-known authors can make from $5,000 to $50,000 a pop for a 1-hour keynote address. The Today Show, Oprah, Dr. Phil, and CNN won’t take you seriously if your book is self-published, and that is the type of fame that can turn into something big.
Now going through a traditional publishing house may not make sense for everyone, but it has some huge advantages. For authors and agents that have tried both, I would love to hear your opinions.