How Much Information is Too Much?

I laugh when someone covers up their ears saying “TMI” – too much information.  Okay – more than you want to know, I get it.

I wish more authors knew how to shout TMI! early in their careers. I wish you would stop PP’s (Publishing Professionals) from telling you too much too soon when you’re asking what seem to be simple questions:

How hard is it to publish a book?  How much can I make if I get a book published? How do I go about learning how to write a book? Where do I find a writer to write my story? How can I convince a publisher my book is a bestseller and will become a film?

These are all absolutely normal questions for someone who is not in the business. You don’t know what you don’t know.wading into the ocean

It’s a great temptation for a PP to launch into a lengthy far-reaching response, both to demonstrate how much the PP knows and to emphasize to the you how little you know.

This is not helpful.

In fact, it’s usually quite damaging to you, as you are dipping a toe in the publishing pool.

  • It can paralyze you, overwhelming you with new information that usually aims at the broad overall picture, far from where you are at that moment.
  • It can confuse you because now you start to know how much you don’t know, setting you off on a research binge to try to learn it all. In the process, you run the risk of becoming completely discouraged, losing all inspiration, or giving up.
  • It can undermine your intuitive understanding of what you are writing because now the PP adds labels and categories and piece by piece boxes you into a niche that is possibly not where you were going with your concept at all.  You will only later realize you just wrote  a book that was not the one you set out to write.

So when is an answer just enough information, not too much?

When you have enough information to make an informed decision for the next step or two in the publishing process, not beyond. Incremental information is the easiest way to learn and the way you are most likely to remember it. So never hesitate to hold up your hand and say, “Thank you – that is all I want to know right now.”

To your success–



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