Beyond-Print – all about future media – Covey’s wakeup call: forget traditional publishers; they are much too slow. (XML could fix the problem.).

Stephen Covey, best-selling author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and many follow-on books, has decided he will publish six books without the help of a publisher. His reason for self-publishing, according to a Wall Street Journal blog, is that traditional publishers are too slow. Publishers need to take aggressive action to correct the situation, and XML-based technology is a key ingredient.

Covey’s decision is a wakeup call for publishers. Although some authors turn to self-publishing to make more money, that does not seem to be a factor in this case. The problem is the slowness of the traditional process.

Covey writes hugely popular books about how to set your priorities and make sure the important things get done. Some books in the new series will be co-written by him; for others, he will write a forward. The first, “Predictable Results in an Unpredictable Time,” is already available on Amazon.

Stephen Covey’s son Sean, who is Senior VP of his father’s company (FranklinCovey), told the Wall Street Journal that “it took two months to go from a manuscript to a printed book. It would have taken at least a year if FranklinCovey had gone to a traditional publisher.” Since some of the books in the new series are about coping with the current economic crisis, speedy publication is essential. Covey also wanted to produce shorter books than traditional publishers prefer (the first of the series is 110 pages).

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