I've been thinking about simplicity a lot lately. I've been planning my dream house, and I've been growing my publishing house. The tendency with both is to add the frills, the decorations, the little curlicues around the edges. What are those called, again?
In any case, I've come to believe that, while nice, they aren't necessary. What is necessary is figuring out exactly what you need to take care of yourself in the present, and plan for growth in the future. In the case of my dream house, that means an adequate number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a kitchen, a space where the kids can play, a place where those who need alone time can get that, and a place where we can all gather, and not much else.
In the case of the publishing house, it means I tried something new. Stocking for big shows is financially difficult, transportation is tricky, keeping them protected from the elements is worse, and if it doesn't go well, you have way more stock than what you may need for a good long while. So, I attended a show where I brought display copies, backups, a well-established paperwork and electronic system, and that's all. We decided to ship all orders.
We launched the system today, and it went incredibly well. I was surprised at how many compliments we got for being so conscientious of our customers, and how many other booksellers complimented us on our business-savvy. I couldn't be more pleased. I'm excited about what this may mean for the future of our house, and how it can help us grow without overstretching.
No frills, no decoration, no little curlicues. Just what we need to grow.