Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Here in the Midwest, of course, we had no idea this was going on. I think it puts us at a slight disadvantage that we've never wined and dined an agent. In fact, I spend most lunches eating leftovers in our tiny kitchenette--or kvetching with coworkers over fajitas at the strip-mall next door. But the most enterprising agents know how to do their research and target their c-list authors to specialty publishers outside Manhattan.
This is just another reminder that there is relatively little excess in independent nonfiction publishing. Times might be painful for the bigshots, but we already know how that feels.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
On the surface, this news made me queasy. But then I stopped and thought: Really, who in this country even expects a pension anymore? Certainly independent publishers don't offer them. We've all been moving toward the 401(k) model and away from the idea of a pension. Hardly anyone stays at a company long enough to build up a pension, anyway. But I suppose that's cold comfort for the people nearing retirement age who were planning on theirs continuing to grow.
The AP article goes on to cite more instances of layoffs in the industry, as well as the latest gloomy wimper from B&N.
On the other hand, I was watching Good Morning America this morning while getting dressed and Mellody Hobson had a short list of companies that are hiring now. Borders was mentioned (seriously, buy books from them if you can--if they go under, we'll have only one major chain left). Also mentioned was FedEx, which has to pick up the slack from DHL's exit from the domestic shipping market (good news for my sister who works there; bad news for the 9,000 people who are being laid off from DHL).
Anyway, more bad news to keep us awake at night. I think I'll go drown my sorrows in our company's snack day festivities. Cheese balls, veggie trays, brownies, and more await!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Lo and behold, the media are going gaga over this book's premise. Where can people shift their skills to avoid unemployment in a market that sees new casualties on a daily basis? Laurence is happy to shed light on that question, as he did yesterday on ABC News NOW (find a link to the video here). Education and health care are his top picks, as well as transportation.
In case you're curious, editors made the list, checking in at #96.
Monday, November 17, 2008
"The economy is in a bit of a spot now and this makes it very difficult to sell books," said Mark Young, president of Dolyttle & Seamore. "Rather than take a chance by publishing books that may not sell, we've decided to take the easy route and ask the government to bail us out."
Of course, this is a joke. But it might also be a brilliant way to get some viral attention for their book.
And now for something completely different, but still funny. The Michael Palin for President campaign might have lost the election, but I think they are still happy with the outcome. They recently released this photo taken in front of the U.S. Embassy in London's Grosvenor Square on election day:
Friday, November 14, 2008
- Barack Obama offered Hillary Clinton a cabinet post.
- She accepted.
- And an older, more experienced person ended up working for the young superstar.
Our author didn't feel qualified to speak on the subject. Our publicist Selena is out of the office this afternoon, so it fell to me and my boss to try and track down someone else. I've made a few calls. So far, nobody's biting. We might have to let this one go.
The lesson here: Always be on the lookout for a way to peg your book to the latest events in the news. You never know when one of your authors could be tapped for a big media appearance.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
This particular internship program looks very interesting. You'll get the chance to learn about the research that goes into making publishing decisions, assist editors with projects in various subject areas, and, of course, get to make copies and distribute mail. Woo-hoo!
Here are the skills and qualifications that the posting requests:
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- English or Communications major preferred, but not required.
- Strong attention to detail.
- Ability to multi-task.
- Microsoft Office proficiency.
- Proofreading/editing experience and familiarity with Macs are pluses.
- Research skills.
- Presentation skills.
- Understanding of acquisitions and publishing process.
- Ability to identify the market for a book.
- Ability to position a title for a competitive advantage.
Monday, November 10, 2008
All this emphasis on writing query letters should tell you something: The pitch is everything. If you can hook me in one page or less, your chances of getting published are greatly increased. That hook needs to be able to travel down the line and hook everyone else--the editorial board, the publisher's salespeople, the marketing department, the media, the chain bookstore buyers, the librarians, and, ultimately, the book-buying public.
via Jane Friedman's There Are No Rules
Friday, November 7, 2008
Read the whole post and you'll get a better idea of how the sales and returns processes work. And take Moonrat up on his/her suggestion to buy books--now, and as Christmas presents.
On a tangentially related note, I'm getting anecdotal reports from friends and family of several people losing jobs (non-publishing) they've held for decades and their homes are in jeopardy. I feel like we are poised on the brink of an ever-widening sinkhole. Hang on tight.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
There are a few tools that enable you to collaborate online with your network. I don't see me using those anytime soon, but somebody might like them.
The BlogLink tool enables you to link your blog into your profile and see an aggregation of blog posts from the people in your network. I just did the former but had trouble getting the latter to work. It says nobody else in my network has their blog URL on their profiles. I find that kind of hard to believe, but whatever.
And here's a good one for Jason: TripIt lets you tell your network where you're traveling so that maybe you can meet up with them on the road.
Probably the coolest new app is ReadingList by Amazon. You can put up covers and comments about the books you've read, are reading, and plan to read soon. Pearson's John Pierce and I have already a book on our profiles. He's being smart and featuring a book from his own company. My choice reveals that I like to read lighter things in my spare time than I do on the job. Anyway, this feature makes it easier to find people who have read the same books you have, get suggestions for the next book to read, and even go straight to Amazon to buy books.
Check out all these features and more here.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
"Everyone came at me to write a book. They had dollar signs in their eyes. '101 Things Joe the Plumber Knows' or some stupid s---- like that. Excuse me, I am sorry," he said. "You know I will get behind something solid, but I won't get behind fluff. I won't cash in, and when people do read the book they will figure out that I didn't cash in. At least I hope they figure that out."
The book, called Joe the Plumber -- Fighting for the American Dream, is to be released by a group called PearlGate Publishing and other small publishing houses.
"I am not going to a conglomerate that way we actually can get the economy jump started. Like there is five publishing companies in Michigan. There's a couple down in Texas. They are small ones that can handle like 10 or 15,000 copies. I can go to a big one that could handle a million or two. But they don't need the help. They are already rich. So that's spreading the wealth to me," he said.
Noble sentiments, yes. But I hate to tell him that his media chuckwagon has already rolled on past him. If he had that book done and ready to go the night he became the star of the last presidential debate, and had some big distribution behind him, he could have made some money off the idea. But his 15 minutes are up. Despite his intention to stay active and work toward charitable causes, I don't think anyone's going to remember him a year from now. I suggest that he give Rupert Boneham a call and get some advice on extending your 15 minutes for the good of others without expecting to jump-start the economy or make an independent publisher rich.
Oh, and can we get a little sympathy for his ghost writer?
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
"To rally those who have lost their jobs or are facing possible job loss in the current devastated economic climate, Job Action Day 2008 aims to empower workers and job-seekers to take proactive steps to shore up their job and career outlook," say Katharine and Randall Hansen of Quintessential Careers. "Our challenge to you, our readers, is to ask you to do at least ONE proactive thing TODAY, Job Action Day 2008, to improve your job and/or career situation. Whether you update your resume, develop a backup plan in case of job loss, or add contacts to your network, take at least one action Today for Job Action Day. As our regular contributor Joe Turner says, 'Don't let all the hype about the economy spook you into a state of panic and inaction.'"
The very timely articles include the following:
- How Secure is Your Job? A Job Jeopardy/Layoff Assessment from Quintessential Careers
- Is Your Job in Jeopardy? Impending Layoff Warning Signs
- Developing Your Job/Career/Life Survival Plan: Preparing for the Possibility of Losing Your Job in Weak Economic Times
- Silver Linings in a Financial Meltdown: How Workers and Job-Seekers Can Make the Best of a Bad Economy
- Job-Search Advice for College Seniors and Recent College Grads: Job-Hunting in Times of Uncertainty
- Attacking the Job Market and Workplace Proactively in Tough Times: A Roundup of Expert Advice
- Quintessential Careers Blog
- Career Doctor Blog
- Quintessential Resume and Cover Letter Tips Blog
- A Storied Career
- Alexandra Levit: Alexandra Levit's Water Cooler Wisdom
- Barbara Safani: CareerSolvers
- Career Manangement Alliance Blog
- Curt Rosengren: The M.A.P. Maker [Meaning Abundance & Passion]
- Darrell Gurney: In The Line of Hire
- Dave Rigotti: Career Fire
- Deborah Brown-Volkman: Surpass Your Dreams
- Diane Danielson: THE WOMEN'SDISH with Diane & Friends
- Jacob Share: JobMob
- Jason Alba: Jibber Jobber Blog
- Lindsey Pollak: Lindsey Pollak Blog: Career Advice & Commentary
- Louise Fletcher: blueskyresumesblog
- Maggie Mistal: what if...
- Miriam Salpeter: Keppie Careers
- Rich Milgram: EmploymentMetrix.com
- Steven Davies: JobPerfect Job Search Techniques
- Steven Rothberg: CollegeRecruiter.com Blog
- Wendy Terwelp: Rock Your Career
- Willy Franzen: One Day, One Job
In the spirit of Job Action Day, read all of this great free advice and do something proactive today. Then go vote tomorrow, and as the QC team says, hold your candidate's feet to the fire over job creation.