I’ve used material I view quite insightful from E. Keith Howick, Jr. before and I hope to continue to offer his comments when appropriate. These comments and parable of lion trainers relate to authors wanting readers to accept everything exactly as they mean. I think that would be utopia and highly improbable. Our own imaginations and experience play into what we write. The teal copy is Keith’s quote.

I’ve been working with a very intelligent author who has a great deal of difficulty placing himself in the shoes of his audience.  One of the consequences is that he has trouble “picking his fights” in that he wants the audience to receive information “the right way” (accept for the purpose of this email that he is very regularly right in this regard) no matter how trivial the issue.  I’ve been trying to teach him one of the first rules of promotion my instructors taught me: “don’t try to change your audience’s preferred perspective unless you have an overwhelming reason to do so because it will create a hurdle they must first jump over to accept your product.”

Because misery loves company, I give you the parable of the lion trainers.

There were two lion trainers, each having a sick lion.  The lions needed to take two pills to be healed.

The first lion trainer pushed the pills into a pound of hamburger and left it in front of the lion, which happily ate the hamburger and was healed.

The second became angry with the lion because it wouldn’t simply swallow the pills.

The first lion trainer successfully healed his lion for the price of a pound of hamburger even though he could have taught the lion how to correctly swallow pills.

The second lion trainer proved he doesn’t understand lions.



You may want to check out Keith’s book, Blow Us Away, Publishers’ Secrets for Sccessful Manuscripts, www.WindRiverPublishing.Com. I read it first to review, but reread it for reference. I’ve found it to be a valuable and frequently referenced addition to my library.

Finalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, “$uccess, Your Path to a Successful Book,”