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The Shatzkin Files

  • 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 […
    - 30 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 […]
    - 58 days ago, 20 Sep 17, 7:18pm -
  • Pointing to two posts all or largely mine that are not on this site
    Readers of The Shatzkin Files might be interested in two current posts in other places. One carries my byline and is not about publishing. The other is an extensive interview with me about “what if Barnes & Noble disappeared?” The Barnes & Noble piece is a Nathan Bransford blogpost. It is totally relevant content for […]
    - 66 days ago, 13 Sep 17, 2:00pm -
  • Are the tech giants too big to be good partners for book publishing?
    An online discussion forum that includes publishers and librarians and tech people usually sends me several emails a day. About 10 days ago, a conversation evolved about Google Book Search and the Google Library Project, two initiatives by the search giant that were initiated in the early part of the last decade. Because both programs […]
    - 88 days ago, 21 Aug 17, 8:18pm -
  • Strategies to cut overheads in a shrinking book business make a lot of sense
    An inexorable reality of today’s commercial book publishing world is that it is shrinking. Although there have been no obvious signs yet that actual long-form book reading itself has declined (even though that would seem a likely consequence over time of the changed ways we get our reading inputs), the self-publishing and indie segment of […]
    - 31 Jul 17, 2:10pm -

Seth Godin

  • newThe simple truth about net neutrality
    It's not that complicated. It's based in history, it involves money and fairness and control. But it's not that complicated. If you care about the details, it's worth reading this classic from Tim Wu. There's no debate about how we...       
    - 11 hours ago, 17 Nov 17, 7:16pm -
  • newFive contributions
    Each one matters, each is intentional, each comes with effort, preparation and reward: Leader: The pathfinder, able to get from here to there, to connect in service of a goal. Setting an agenda, working in the dark, going new places...       
    - 20 hours ago, 17 Nov 17, 9:46am -
  • The confusion about competence
    A friend was describing a clerk he had recently dealt with. "She was competent, of course, but she couldn't engage very well with the customer who just came in." Then, of course, she wasn't competent, was she? It doesn't take...       
    - 2 days ago, 16 Nov 17, 10:12am -
  • Outsiders
    You can't have insiders unless you have outsiders. And you can't have winners unless you have losers. That doesn't mean that you're required to create insiders and winners. All it means is that when people begin to measure themselves only...       
    - 3 days ago, 15 Nov 17, 9:18am -
  • Meaningful work
    Of course, it came with chocolate. There's no doubt that we're doing more running around than ever before. More cutting of corners, counting of pennies, reading of reviews. More focus on making a profit, less on making a difference. But...       
    - 4 days ago, 14 Nov 17, 9:44am -

Michael Hyatt

  • The Best Way to Deliver Bad News
    An Expert’s Guide to the Do’s and Don’ts of Tough Conversations. If anything is certain in leadership—whether you’re leading a large company, a mid-sized team, or a family of four—it’s that bad things will happen. Ultimately, you will bear the responsibility of sharing the news. Shouldering the burden is the mark of a leader committed…
    - 4 days ago, 14 Nov 17, 10:45am -
  • One Essential Trait for Positive Leadership: Receptivity
    The Reason Great Leaders Are Open to Feedback. When you think about how you receive feedback, what comes to mind? Initially, you probably feel defensive. Your brain immediately goes to the most painful part about it, the aspect that makes us feel uncomfortable and makes us want to avoid it all together. But that’s not how we grow, is it? Brain re…
    - 4 days ago, 14 Nov 17, 10:45am -
  • When Conflict is Brewing
    3 Ways to Have that Difficult Conversation. How do you feel when there’s a difficult conversation brewing at work that you won’t be able to duck? Unless you’re a sociopath, the answer is usually “not good.” Most of us know the ill effects of dreaded discussions. A brewing conflict will make you more distracted and irritable, which has kno…
    - 4 days ago, 14 Nov 17, 10:45am -
  • Anatomy of a Tough Talk
    Our success as leaders often comes down to one thing. Not our planning. Not the market. But, instead, the conversations we lead. When stakes are high (and emotions even higher) you need a solid game-plan. In this episode, we break down a three-phase strategy for winning with your next crucial conversation.
    - 4 days ago, 14 Nov 17, 10:45am -
  • The Right Way to Fire the Wrong Person

    - 4 days ago, 14 Nov 17, 10:45am -

Copy Blogger

  • Killer Resources for Freelancers … and an Option for Those Who Don’t Want to Go It Alone
    This week, Stefanie Flaxman and I yielded the floor to a pair of smart gentlemen who we don’t hear from quite as often as we used to. And we featured a writer you haven’t seen on Copyblogger before. Her debut post for us is a must-read for writers who like being able to pay their Read More...The post Killer Resources for Freelancers … and a…
    - 2 days ago, 16 Nov 17, 2:00pm -
  • Rainmaker Digital is at Your Service

    - 3 days ago, 15 Nov 17, 2:00pm -
  • How to Make a Living as a Writer When Creative Writing Isn’t Paying the Bills
    I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur. Growing up, I filled journals with poetry, drawings, and stories. I studied playwriting and performance in graduate school. The thought of running a business or putting a price tag on my creativity was icky. Then real life happened. Newsflash: landlords don’t accept poetry for rent. For a Read More...…
    - 4 days ago, 14 Nov 17, 2:00pm -
  • Why Starting a Podcast Intrigues Forward-Thinking Content Marketers
    You know that familiar “awkward moment” is speeding toward you as the holiday functions and parties suddenly multiply across your calendar like chicken pox. You’re standing there, about to take a sip of your drink, when like clockwork it comes: “So … what do you do?” “I’m a … I work on the internet. Have Read More...The post Why…
    - 5 days ago, 13 Nov 17, 2:00pm -
  • Sleaze, Suckage, SEO … and Savings
    Someone must have slipped the team some hot sauce, because it seems we’re all feeling a little spicy. This week features strong points of view and plain-spoken advice. Ever feel a little shy telling people you’re a marketer? Do you worry that what you do seems sleazy to some? While marketers aren’t quite at “politician” Read More...The…
    - 9 days ago, 9 Nov 17, 2:00pm -

Steve Laube

  • newFun Fridays – November 17, 2017
    Author: Steve LaubeDance! So many different styles. For any age. For any culture. Sort of like writing isn’t it? The arts are a wonderful thing to behold. Enjoy! Wait. Is that me at the 1:31 mark? Maybe not…The post Fun Fridays – November 17, 2017 appeared first on The Steve Laube Agency.
    - 20 hours ago, 17 Nov 17, 10:00am -
  • Tips for Conference Prep
    Author: Tamela Hancock MurrayIs there really a conference season? True, conferences rarely take place during the Christmas season but there seems to be a conference somewhere at any given time. And that means, authors are preparing to go to conferences all year. Here are a few perennial tips I hope you can use. …The post Tips for Conference Pre…
    - 2 days ago, 16 Nov 17, 10:00am -
  • A Writer’s Gifts
    Author: Bob HostetlerWriter’s magazines often feature suggested Christmas and Hannukah gifts for writers: fancy pens, award-winning books, writing aids, and coffee mugs sporting famous writers’ mugs. But those gifts are intended to be received by writers; what about the writer who has trouble finding gifts to give? I’m so glad you asked. ……
    - 3 days ago, 15 Nov 17, 10:00am -
  • Unnecessary Words
    Author: Dan BalowFrom my earliest days writing and communicating, I’ve needed to fit whatever I wrote or spoke into space and time required by the medium in which I was using at the moment. In electronic media, a clock runs everything. If you have 90 seconds to fill before the radio newscast, …The post Unnecessary Words appeared first on Th…
    - 4 days ago, 14 Nov 17, 10:00am -
  • Our Rapidly Changing Culture
    Author: Steve LaubeEvery year Beloit College creates a "Mindset List" which reflects the culture that the incoming Freshman class have grown up experiencing. It helps their faculty know how to relate to these incoming students. Click here for this year's Mindset List.I download this list every year and read it with increasing wonder at the speed…
    - 5 days ago, 13 Nov 17, 10:00am -

Rachelle Gardner

  • Why Pursue Publishing?
    Sometimes when I open up my email and find the queries exploding all over the place, or I go to a party and random strangers find out I’m an agent and begin pitching me, it makes me get all philosophical. I begin to wonder: Why do so many people want to be published? I think…The post Why Pursue Publishing? appeared first on Rachelle Gardner.
    - 7 Aug 17, 1:23pm -
  • 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

  • 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...
    - 20 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 -
  • Here’s another way digital could complement print
    As I’ve said before, the publishing industry needs to get beyond the current “print or digital” mindset and instead explore ways for one to complement the other. Plenty of industry stats show that most readers are comfortable with either format...
    - 8 Jan 17, 6:31pm -

Joe Konrath

  • 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…
    - 16 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 -
  • New Konrath Zombie Novel GRANDMA
    Randall just wanted to have a fun summer vacation with his family, visiting Grandma at her cabin on a lake in the Wisconsin Northwoods.Then everything went horribly wrong.Join fifteen-year-old Randall, and his younger brother Josh, as they fight for their lives on the eve of an elderly undead apocalypse.GRANDMA? - The Complete NovelShe won't bake y…
    - 16 Jan 17, 6:34pm -

Beth Behler

  • Get Back to Work!
    Filed under: publishing
    - 95 days ago, 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

  • Secrets from Professional Writers (#5)
    5. We Grow Professionally.Learn—and keep learning—the craft. We strive to become the best writers we’re capable of becoming.Growing professionally means an unrelenting search for excellence. We're never satisfied. We smile when we've constructed a good paragraph and say to ourselves, I'll continue to improve.Here's something else we can do fo…
    - 4 days ago, 14 Nov 17, 12:00pm -
  • Secrets from Professional Writers (#4)
    4. We Read. A Lot. Often. Constantly.As serious writers, we read, and we do so in a variety of areas, always seeking to know more about writing and about our world. We read in our genre, but we also read outside our field.Too often I meet want-to-be writers who don't read—people who don't like to read—and yet they feel they must write. That doe…
    - 11 days ago, 7 Nov 17, 12:00pm -
  • Secrets from Professional Writers (#3)
    3. We Rewrite.The best writing is rewriting. That means not being easily satisfied and sensing we can make our prose better.To rewrite means to change our writing so that it becomes sharper and more coherent. That's what moves writers into the professional level.When we rewrite we rethink what we've written. We admit that some words feel exactly ri…
    - 18 days ago, 31 Oct 17, 11:00am -
  • Secrets of Professional Writers (#2)
    2. We Write, Write, and Write Some More.Would-be-writers often ask whether they should write every day. Instead of answering, here's my question: Why wouldn't we yearn to write every day? We may not do it every day of the year, but we do it as often and as faithfully as possible. And we form the writing habit.I began my writing career with the…
    - 25 days ago, 24 Oct 17, 11:00am -
  • Secrets from Professional Writers (#1)
    1. We Don’t Bore Our Readers.We can't bore readers. Instead, they stop reading. Perhaps that sounds obvious, but too many writers are fascinated with their topic—usually their own lives—and assume everyone else cares. If we write as a form of therapy (and that's valid), and recognize what we're doing, we don't try to push the rest of the worl…
    - 32 days ago, 17 Oct 17, 11:00am -

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 -