Technological revolutions kill over 90% of traditional organizations according to Clayton Christensen, the author of The Innovator’s Dilemma.
Those that do survive always create a separate organization that rides the waves of change and benefits from new thinking and developing first mover advantages. Continue reading
The decline in the growth of ebook sales over the past two years seems to indicate that most readers have come to the conclusion that they prefer paper books. Ebook sales grew to billions of dollars in just a few years as device makers fought for market share and used advertising to help generate substantial revenue. However ebook sales have reached a plateau Continue reading
Book covers matter. Each potential reader forms their opinion of a book based in part on their impression of the book’s cover, and that opinion helps the potential reader answer the following questions:
- Is the author credible?
- Is the book high quality or low budget?
- Was the book professionally produced or created by amateurs?
- Does the value of the book justify the price?
- Should I buy this book?
Traditional publishers are in business to make money by publishing books that sell great initially and continue to sell well in the years to come. If you are fortunate enough to have your book acquired and published by a traditional publisher, you will probably be required to assign your rights to the publisher for at least 35 years.
Each new book that is published today is usually Continue reading
Authors have a variety of options available to get their book designed, edited, printed, marketed, sold, and distributed. At one end of the spectrum is do-it-yourself publishing in which the author does everything from writing and editing the manuscript to printing, binding, marketing, selling, and distributing the book.
At the other end is what is commonly thought of as Continue reading
In a previous post I outlined a process for contacting each local radio, TV, newspaper, magazine, and online media outlet to pitch story ideas and appearances (interviews, debates, demonstrations, etc.). As your booking efforts begin to bear fruit, it is important to be prepared to maximize the positive impact from your appearances. Continue reading
A recent article on CNN Money explores the way social pressure can be used to make us do something we realize is important but can’t seem to get around to completing—like writing a book.
We tend to be motivated by things that pay off quickly or that allow us to avoid pain of some kind. Completing projects that may not pay off for months, if ever, requires a level of willpower that few seem to possess. Continue reading
James Hall’s book Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the 20th Century’s Biggest Bestsellers attempts to do what publishers and authors have failed to do since Gutenberg: identify what determines whether or not a book will become a bestseller.
While Hit Lit focuses on novels, much of what he attempts to do should go into every author’s thinking as they determine what to write, how to write it, and how to get readers to buy it. Continue reading
Recent research from Digital Book World points out that authors still look to traditional publishers for several things including the following:
- a “seal of approval” to help legitimize their book
- sales and distribution into bookstores
- marketing to help rise above the crowd
Tim O’Reilly gave an interesting speech and interview at the Tools of Change (TOC) conference recently on the future of book publishing. Following are some key takeaways from my perspective: