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The Shatzkin Files

  • A changing book business: it all seems to be flowing downhill to Amazon
    Amazon’s introduction of the Kindle in 2007 was followed rapidly by other ebook systems — Kobo, Google, B&N’s Nook, and Apple’s iBook — and widely-available print-on-demand capabilities for printed books offered by Ingram (Lightning Print was already a decade old) and Amazon’s CreateSpace. Amazon had long exploited price as a weapon in…
    - 2 days ago, 22 Jan 18, 3:34pm -
  • Stability in the book marketplace does not mean commercial publishers continue to maintain their share
    Publishing reporters doing wrap up stories occasionally call me for impressions. From those conversations I have gleaned that the prevailing impression of where the book business is now is of “stability”. The consensus about adult trade is that ebook sales have stalled or perhaps even receded, that print is strong, and that the big publishers […
    - 43 days ago, 12 Dec 17, 10:08pm -
  • Ten Years Ago Amazon Started A Revolution and It Just Gave Me a Very Good Month
    Ten years ago, Amazon released the first Kindle device. There had been electronic book reading devices before the Kindle and, indeed, the Sony ereader was actively in the market when Kindle arrived. (Others, like Rocketbook and Softbook, had perished for lack of interest.) Kindle and Amazon succeeded where others failed for several reasons. First a…
    - 55 days ago, 30 Nov 17, 2:24pm -
  • Temperature check from two US CEOs at Frankfurt 2017
    It is no surprise that the public remarks at Frankfurt by Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle and Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy contain gems worth pondering. Book publishing has been fortunate to have really smart people leading the biggest companies during our period of digital transition. The apparent collusion over the implementation of […
    - 98 days ago, 18 Oct 17, 8:23pm -
  • Amazon and the future of physical retail
    There are two parallel conversations about the future of retail that are quite active. One is within the book business and it centers around what the future will be — and will there be one? — for Barnes & Noble. The other one is about the future of retail competitors to Amazon in the broader […]
    - 20 Sep 17, 7:18pm -

Seth Godin

  • newNever smooth enough--a modern addiction
    Once our needs our met, our instinct is to invent new ones, to find a fuel to continually move things forward, to bring that propulsive energy back. Social media makes it easy to be both dissatisfied and to have a...       
    - 1 hour ago, 24 Jan 18, 10:33am -
  • Working with a designer (four paths)
    Most of us want to look good online, need a website, maybe even a logo. More and more individuals and organizations are discovering that they need to hire a professional. It comes down to doing your homework. Be clear with...       
    - 1 day ago, 23 Jan 18, 9:29am -
  • Hope and reality
    Sometimes, we don't sell what we've got, we sell what could be. Book publishers, for example, buy non-fiction book proposals ($10 million for Bruce Springsteen's autobiography) not the finished book. The finished book almost never matches what they were hoping...       
    - 2 days ago, 22 Jan 18, 9:41am -
  • The gap
    There's a gap between where you are and where you want to be. Many gaps, in fact, but imagine just one of them. That gap--is it fuel? Are you using it like a vacuum, to pull you along, to inspire...       
    - 3 days ago, 21 Jan 18, 9:47am -
  • Listening clearly
    It's entirely possible that people aren't listening closely to you any more. There's so much noise, so much clutter... hoping that customers, prospects, vendors and co-workers will stop what they're doing and listen closely and carefully enough to figure out...       
    - 4 days ago, 20 Jan 18, 9:37am -

Michael Hyatt

  • 5 Reasons Resolutions Fail
    Why They Don’t Work and What You Should Do Instead. Millions of Americans admit to making New Year’s resolutions. Most of us can stick it out a few weeks, but fewer than half are still going after six months. Less than 10 percent are ultimately successful. In this episode, we’re going to explore five reasons resolutions commonly fail—and wh…
    - 22 days ago, 2 Jan 18, 10:45am -
  • Your Best Year Ever, Without the Resolutions
    My New Book Can Set You up for Success in 2018. If you are late to the game in making your New Year’s resolutions, I have an idea for you: Don’t do it. New Year’s resolutions may be as old as the Babylonian empire, but that doesn’t mean they are very effective. Millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions every year, but research say…
    - 22 days ago, 2 Jan 18, 10:45am -
  • The Secret Power of Wasting Time
    One New Year's Resolution That Probably Saved My Life . Studies show that most New Year’s resolutions flop a month or less after we make them. Gyms all over the country are banking on it. They have far less capacity than the year-round passes they sell to strivers who begin the year intent on changing their shape, but who give up after a few week…
    - 22 days ago, 2 Jan 18, 10:45am -
  • From Babylon to Self-Betterment
    A Quick History of the New Year’s Resolution. Are you making a New Year’s resolution this year? It’s quite likely you are, as surveys conducted in recent years show that something like 40 percent of Americans make one annually. And what are they resolving? Last year’s Marist study, the annual gold standard of New Year’s resolutionology, s…
    - 22 days ago, 2 Jan 18, 10:45am -
  • 10 Rules to Read More Books This Year
    How to Make Reading Central to Your Personal Growth in the Coming Year. One New Year’s resolution I frequently hear from people is that they want to read more books. Makes sense if you consider reading a key component of personal growth and development. Ray Edwards recently wrote about his reading goals here at MH&Co. He planned to read fifty-two…
    - 22 days ago, 2 Jan 18, 10:45am -

Copy Blogger

  • newBoost Your Search Engine Visibility with Our Free ‘Smart SEO Steps’ Ebook
    As you develop your traffic and conversion strategies this year, knowing how to appeal to your human audience while optimizing for search is vital. Luckily, Rainmaker Digital CFO Sean Jackson wrote an excellent free guide that you can download right now — and you don’t even have to enter your email address. There’s no silver Read More...The…
    - 22 hours ago, 23 Jan 18, 2:00pm -
  • How to Break Down Your Big Idea and Make Your Next Move
    You know when you get a Big Idea for a project that lights you up and derails your to-do list for the day? It could be a content series or a whole new business concept. You might even spend a few hours writing down why you’re qualified to do it and who it will help. Read More...The post How to Break Down Your Big Idea and Make Your Next Move ap…
    - 2 days ago, 22 Jan 18, 2:00pm -
  • Get More Traffic, More Confidence, and More Work Done
    Good to see you again! With the Monday Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, this was a short week on Copyblogger. On Tuesday, Kelton Reid kicked things off with a thoughtful look at impostor syndrome — with clues on how to approach it from different sources, including the famous Turing Test. And on Wednesday, I talked Read More...The post Get More…
    - 6 days ago, 18 Jan 18, 2:00pm -
  • A ‘Big Blog’ Strategy Anyone Can Use for More (and Better) Traffic
    Do you get all the traffic you’d like for your site? Do visitors just keep pouring in, letting you meet all of your business goals with ease? Yeah, don’t worry, no one actually says Yes to that question. Getting new people to your site can be tricky, and changes in Google and Facebook algorithms don’t Read More...The post A ‘Big Blog’ S…
    - 7 days ago, 17 Jan 18, 2:00pm -
  • How a Famous Robot Test Can Help You Beat Impostor Syndrome
    Have you ever had that nightmare where you’re sitting in an examination room in front of a panel of experts, watching a timer count down to zero? You’re being asked a series of critical, complex questions, and you’re running out of time to answer. In fact, you haven’t answered one correctly, or at all, and Read More...The post How a Famou…
    - 8 days ago, 16 Jan 18, 2:00pm -

Steve Laube

  • newSeven Tips for Your Next Writers’ Conference
    Author: Bob HostetlerI attended my first writers’ conference in 1989. Yes, I am that old. I was a magazine editor at the time, and knew absolutely nothing about writers’ conferences. Since then, however, I have served on faculty more than a hundred times, and have learned a thing or two about writers’ …The post Seven Tips for Your Next Wr…
    - 2 hours ago, 24 Jan 18, 10:00am -
  • Are You Curating or Creating?
    Author: Dan BalowEvery once in a while, a book proposal crosses my desk and catches my attention with its creativity and approach. It is engaging and makes me think.  Whether I agreed to work with the author or not, I needed to give them kudos for their great work. Rarely, if ever, …The post Are You Curating or Creating? appeared first on Th…
    - 1 day ago, 23 Jan 18, 10:00am -
  • How Do You Count Lifetime Book Sales?
    Author: Steve LaubeA key element in a book proposal is your sales history. Of course, you can ignore this if you’ve never published a book before. But if you have published, either with a traditional publisher or independently, your sales history must be included in your next book proposal. Here is an …The post How Do You Count Lifetime Book…
    - 2 days ago, 22 Jan 18, 10:00am -
  • Fun Fridays – January 19, 2018
    Author: Steve LaubeCould you make a paper airplane out of a manila folder? Maybe. But doubtful it would look like this. I found this story to be a metaphor for those who write. Those who choose each word carefully with the precision of an x-acto knife. Painstakingly crafting their art over years. …The post Fun Fridays – January 19, 2018 appea…
    - 5 days ago, 19 Jan 18, 10:00am -
  • It’s All About You — Sometimes
    Author: Tamela Hancock MurrayWhen I visit the bookstore or library, I seldom fail to see at least one novel where the entire back cover consists of an author photo. That’s it. No endorsements, no story blurb, no author bio. Just a picture of the author. And usually the front cover doesn’t offer many …The post It’s All About You — Someti…
    - 6 days ago, 18 Jan 18, 10:00am -

Rachelle Gardner

  • 3 Ways to Change Your Thinking Today

    - 3 days ago, 21 Jan 18, 5:30pm -
  • That All-Important First Line
    Let’s talk about the opening line of your book. The first thing to know about “first lines” is that they are not going to make or break you. Sure, it’s a lot of fun coming up with great ones. But as long as the first line makes someone want to read the second line, and…The post That All-Important First Line appeared first on Rachelle Gar…
    - 2 Aug 17, 5:23pm -
  • Traditional or Self Publishing?
    I’ve got an e-book available on Amazon: How Do I Decide? Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing can help authors figure out which path to take. How Do I Decide? is a concise, definitive resource that will guide you through the decision, allowing you to ignore the noise and hype and focus on the right path for YOU.…The post Traditional or…
    - 16 May 16, 10:55pm -
  • Answering Questions about Queries
    I get mail! My inbox is always filled with questions. Today I’m answering some I’ve received on the topic of Query Letters. You’ve said on your blog, “don’t pitch a novel unless it’s complete.” Do you feel the same about query letters? Do we only query completed works, or are ideas fair game? If you…The post Answering Questions abo…
    - 11 Apr 16, 7:18pm -
  • So Many Ideas, So Little Time
    Are you the kind of writer who has several book ideas (or even written several books), possibly in different genres? If so, you may be wondering where to start. Which book should be the first one you write, or pitch to agents and editors? It’s a question worth asking, and you’d do well to put…The post So Many Ideas, So Little Time appeared f…
    - 11 Mar 16, 2:09am -

C.S. Lakin

  • Thinking about Hiring a Copyeditor?
    What does a good editor do?A good editor will not just point out errors; she explains them, providing you with an education to enable you to perform a stronger rewrite. For instance, if your manuscript includes point-of-view violations—a major reason for fiction rejection—she will offer a thorough explanation of the concept and provide easy-to-…
    - 12 Dec 11, 3:18pm -
  • What's Your Motif?
    Using motifs in writing fiction is one of the most powerful and evocative ways of getting across your themes in your novel. Few authors use them, and few use them well. My favorite novels of all time are ones that use motifs beautifully throughout their novel, and these elements weaving through their stories tend to stay with me for months and year…
    - 12 Nov 11, 5:50pm -
  • Life in the "Fast" Lane
    When I started my fast last week, I really hadn't spent any time researching fasting from a biblical standpoint. Years ago I used to fast for six days every few months as a healthy way to clean out my "system" and it always felt great.But this fast was begun out of desperation. I needed to hear God in my situation, and needed serious intervention.…
    - 5 Jul 11, 2:13am -
  • Father Along ...
    No, that's not a typo. Since Father's Day is approaching, I thought it might be appropriate to discuss fathers. Two of my recently written novels center around the theme of fathers. I didn't really realize that until I started thinking about this post. Since I grew up without a father, it's interesting how God put this topic in my heart in a big wa…
    - 9 Jun 11, 12:38am -
  • Using a Cinematic Lens in Writing a Novel ~ Part 1
    We just covered a few sessions on first scene structure, and there is so much more to that. However, since I'm gearing up to start teaching workshops at conferences this summer and fall on screenwriting-related topics, I thought I'd share some of the techniques I'll be teaching on. In particular, how to utilize camera direction in your novel to mak…
    - 31 May 11, 12:47am -

Joe Wikert

  • Blockchain and the next generation of content reuse and syndication
    What do you think about the KodakOne and KodakCoin strategies? If Wall Street is any indication, these might represent the long-awaited turnaround the tired Kodak brand desperately needs to regain relevance. Then again, the resulting Kodak stock surge might be...
    - 3 days ago, 21 Jan 18, 8:29pm -
  • Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant: Where are VPAs leading the publishing industry?
    My daily hour+ commute to and from work enables me to take in a variety of podcasts, a bit of SiriusXM Radio and, more recently, some quality time with Google Assistant. The latter simply means I press and hold the...
    - 87 days ago, 29 Oct 17, 3:28pm -
  • Amazon's Whole Foods acquisition is about so much more than groceries
    Yes, the grocery business is huge. And while it's one of several industries Amazon hasn't yet dominated, there's something way more significant about their acquisition of Whole Foods. This deal is about location, location, location. No, it's not just about...
    - 18 Jun 17, 8:51pm -
  • Here's how to turn book samples into a powerful B2C tool
    Book samples are one of the most under-utilized tools in a publisher or author's marketing arsenal. Most consumers will not buy a book without at least flipping through it, so many download samples before making a purchase decision. But how...
    - 19 Mar 17, 5:06pm -
  • Which digital book format has the most growth potential?
    The answer might surprise you… Amazon’s Kindle format dominates the ebook market today and it’s easy to assume that will remain the case going forward. Despite that fact, I see a number of trends indicating the digital book space could...
    - 12 Feb 17, 6:48pm -

Joe Konrath

  • Konrath's New Year's Resolutions for Writers 2018
    Every December I do a post about resolutions for writers, and every year I add more of them. You can read the compilation or original posts HERE.This year, rather than repost them all, I'm going to reflect on all the resolutions I've written since 2006.This blog began with suggestions of how writers could improve their commercial appeal, find an a…
    - 24 days ago, 31 Dec 17, 3:45pm -
  • Interactive Ebooks? Almost...
    So, I was thinking about enhanced ebooks, and decided to try something that, AFAIK, hasn't ever been done before.I recently got hooked on playing Escape the Room games. Not just cell phone apps, where you solve point-and-click puzzles to advance the story, but board games that challenge you to follow the clues and get away before the time is up, re…
    - 84 days ago, 1 Nov 17, 8:52pm -
  • Ebooks Sales Slowing? Yes and No
    Joe sez: This blog originally appeared in 2010. It's extremely prescient about the future of ebooks, but that isn't the reason I'm reposting it.I'm reposting because I got my very first DMCA Takedown notice.Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in your blog is alleged…
    - 4 Apr 17, 5:33pm -
  • How Good is Good Enough?
    Bear with me while I work out some doubts.Last month I published GRANDMA?, a YA comedy horror novel I wrote with my nineteen year old son, Talon.A lot of the writing was rewriting his prose. He's young, he's still learning, and his stuff wasn't up to the standards I've had since I was first published in 2003.As I was rewriting his scenes, I got to…
    - 16 Feb 17, 7:36pm -
  • Joe's Got a Movie Blog
    Those of you who have been paying attention have probably been wondering why I've only done two blog posts in the last six months.It's because there isn't much more I can say about the publishing industry.From 2005 until 2009, my blog was all about self-promotion, landing an agent and a publishing deal, and working with publishers to make your book…
    - 22 Jan 17, 12:01am -

Beth Behler

  • Get Back to Work!
    Filed under: publishing
    - 14 Aug 17, 9:12pm -
  • Author Platform: Done It vs Gonna Do It
    I read book proposals all day long, and one of the most important parts of the proposal is Author Platform. I need to know is how well I think an author’s book will sell, and that’s where Author Platform comes into play. Author Platforms are a toughie to explain because everyone has different definitions for […]
    - 17 Jul 17, 12:21pm -
  • Cleverness Has its Limits
    Dear Authors, There is no bookstore or library category called Hybrid Memoir, so it’s truly unnecessary to label your book as such. Besides, it doesn’t tell me anything. A hybrid of what? And who cares? At the query stage, this is unimportant because it’s not a selling point. Use your gifts of words by showing […]
    - 13 Jul 17, 5:24pm -
  • If You’re Gonna Write It, Know It!
    Authors, one of the most important things you owe your readers is to be unimpeachable. That’s shorthand for know what you’re talking about. If you make a mistake, you’ll lose the reader’s trust. If you lose their trust, you may find your book skittering against the walls, removing the paint.  That’s a bad thing. And […]
    - 22 Jun 17, 7:43pm -
  • Marketing Your Book – Think Outside the Box
    Recently, I had the honor of talking to a talented friend who is self-pubbing his book and wanted to send me a copy. I was so pleased that he’d think of me! I asked him if he planned on doing any signings, and he indicated he didn’t think there would be enough interest. Considering his […]
    - 11 Jun 17, 2:27pm -

Cec Murphy

  • newAphorisms (Part 4 of 10)
    Succinct statements flow from those who have experienced life and pass on their wisdom. The best examples are simple, practical, and often playful. They preserve traditional values and offer glimpses about often ignored behavior or as a guide to change. These dictums have a way of expressing my feelings in such a way that I can learn to…
    - 24 hours ago, 23 Jan 18, 12:00pm -
  • Aphorisms (Part 3 of 10)
    Aphorisms flow from ancient writings. For example, we read them in the book of Proverbs and hear them quoted by public speakers. The ancients focused on graffiti-length tidbits. Their readers were poorly educated, so to help them remember, they wrote succinctly. Thus, they tried to pack wisdom into terse statements and make a sharp poin…
    - 8 days ago, 16 Jan 18, 12:00pm -
  • Aphorisms (Part 2 of 10)
    I heard a man say, “if it ain't broke, don't fix it.” That now-overworked dictum fits my definition of the term. It’s simple and obvious in meaning—his statement of truth (even if not original) spoken in a witty way. To qualify as an aphorism, a statement contains a truth in a terse manner. Aphoristic statements are quoted in writings as we…
    - 15 days ago, 9 Jan 18, 12:00pm -
  • Aphorisms (Part 1 of 10)
    These days with Twitter and texting, we’re learning to write shorter sentences and paragraphs. In pre-computer days we urged shorter sentences and referred to it as the “economy of words.” That meant we tried to eliminate words that carried little weight.Here are a few examples: He drank some coffee. We can nearly always cut some and make a g…
    - 22 days ago, 2 Jan 18, 12:00pm -
  • Secrets from Professional Writers (#11)
    11. We behave professionally.Professionals are people on whom editors depend. We don't just make our deadlines, we beat them. We're dependable. Many years I received opportunities to ghostwrite for a publisher—and did a total of 35 for them. Although I didn't know the reason for at least a decade, a woman had written many books for them and she w…
    - 29 days ago, 26 Dec 17, 12:00pm -

Debra Benton

  • No. 133 – The Downside to Success
    A caution about your pouring your heart into your “art”: it will spark jealousy. Surprisingly one of the toughest parts of success is finding a colleague happy for you. But as they say, “Anyone can get pity. Jealousy you have to earn.” Following the advice in my blog might cause you some trouble. When you […]
    - 31 May 17, 10:22pm -
  • No. 132 – Every Decision is a Calculated Risk
    Don’t wallow in indecision. Problems are solved by making decisions; problems are avoided by making good decisions. The sooner you make a decision, the sooner you benefit from it. The earlier you make a bad decision, the sooner you can correct it. The unanimous response from CEOs and C-level executives when I’ve asked the question, […]
    - 25 May 17, 1:14pm -
  • No. 131- Do You Take Calculated Risks for Career Advancement?
    I’m not asking for utter fearlessness and risk without thinking. Just “go for it” a little more and more often than you have in the past—and more often than others do. If you hold back, you’ll get into a rut, slip behind, fade out of sight, and sink into the sameness of the people around […]
    - 17 May 17, 1:30pm -
  • No. 130 – Why is a Positive Attitude Important?
    It’s human nature to gravitate toward people, information, or places that imply a happier outlook. You provide that outlook for yourself, one that no one can take away. Frankly, few of us have any justification for the negative, pessimistic perspective that we let ourselves get bogged down with. No matter what you’re going through that’s [……
    - 10 May 17, 1:36pm -
  • No. 129 – How to Act Self-Confident
    To help with confidence development, simply try “acting confident” to the outside world, practicing how it feels. The outside “show” helps the inside “take.” It’s okay to display confidence you don’t feel, to take a leap of faith. Pretending is not faking or hiding weaknesses. It’s playing the part you want to achieve. When I [……
    - 4 May 17, 3:54pm -