Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
This, of course, is just a side-effect of the bad times the chain is having--as well as the retail climate in general. I would hate to see this store close, but my gut tells me it's inevitable.
Sure, sure, there's a location near my office in Castleton, and another near my home that is state-of-the-art. But Indy needs something nice like this at one of its "marqee intersections." If it leaves, what will come in its place?
Monday, February 23, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Now that your mind is blown wide open, venture into reading full coverage of the Tools of Change for Publishing event that took place in New York earlier this month. I really wanted to be there, but I didn't win the free tickets from Booksquare, and it was otherwise outside my budget range and above my pay grade. But reading all of this information will be the next best thing.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
But today I was floored when I saw that I got a hit in Wasilla, Alaska. Could it be? Odds are about 7,000 to 1 that Sarah Palin read my remarks on Harcourt in Boston. She is shopping a book, ya know, so it's not out of the question.
So if you're out there, Sarah, sorry I didn't go see you when you came to Noblesville. I was kind of pulling for the other guy. But I wish you all the best with your book. I admit I'll be curious about it!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
But what made me drop my proverbial uppers was this: e-resume.net pays its freelance writers $35 to write a professional resume, have direct contact with the client, and work with them until the client is satisfied. Now, folks, I have it on good authority (my own), that such an arrangement would require an average of 5 hours to do adequately. So do the math. They are paying resume writers $7 an hour! Imagine what kind of quality you'll get from someone who writes for less than they could make at Taco Bell.
But it gets so much worse. e-resume.net turns around and sells that same professional resume to the poor client for $155. So for doing nothing more than serving as a net to catch clients, e-resume.net is walking away with $120.
e-resume.net boasts that they have been chosen by the LA Times as "the best of the bunch," and that they are CareerBuilder's only direct resume-writing partner. Really? How long before this all catches up with them?
While I'm busy exposing scandals, take a look at this one. Ask the Headhunter's Nick Corcodilos recently wrote this expose on supposed $100K job site The Ladders. The gist of it is that they are charging people to access their database of $100K jobs, but a great percentage of those jobs don't pay anywhere close to $100K. Also, they are allegedly employing low-paid resume writers and using deceptive tactics when critiquing customers' existing resumes.
Resume and career scams are as plentiful now as gypsy roofers after a hailstorm, and they have the potential to tarnish the image of the legitimate career professionals out there. If you need resume or career help, I urge you to work directly with a professional member of one of the following organizations:
Monday, February 16, 2009
Yesterday Laurence was a guest on NPR's All Things Considered program, speaking about how the new stimulus plan will affect the job market. It's kind of surreal when someone you know personally is out there conversing with the omnipresent and uber-calming Jacki Lyden. I think he fit right in and did an awesome job. You can hear the three-minute interview here.
Jacki ended the interview with a question about how the job market is going for people who write books about finding jobs. Laurence admitted that it's a pretty good time to be a career book author, which he called one of the ironies of his very particular niche.
Friday, February 13, 2009
I look forward to passing along our impressions of the new Kindle in the coming months. Maybe Joe Wikert fell out of love with it, but this is essential remedial learning for us.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I'd like to say how much things have changed, but they really didn't change that much until just recently. We were on the cutting edge of publishing technology then, and we practically sat for many years until the rest of the industry caught up with us (still waiting for some old-school stragglers even today...). But now it's all e-books and Web 2.0 and such, so get ready for things to start changing more drastically.
A big shout-out to the old MCP folks who made my life and career so much fun "back in the old days"!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Already I've connected with several of my authors and got a vital piece of PR info from one of them, who might not have thought to send it along had she not gotten an invite from me this morning. Plus, I figured out how to block my stalker, so it's all good so far.
If we haven't already connected, send me an invite!
And if you're wondering about my profile photo: It's my little girl's recent abdominal x-ray. It seemed just bizarre enough to keep everyone guessing. I'll replace it with something less kooky soon.
Friday, February 6, 2009
- A New Paradigm for Publishing?: First, JIST author and editor Laurence Shatkin blogs today at FastCompany about his new book on getting a job from the new economic initiatives (Great Jobs in the President's Stimulus Plan). He touches on how quickly the book was conceived and produced (a new record at JIST, and impressive by any standards): from idea to printed book in 24 days.
- BOOKSMARTS: A Day in the Life of a Book Editor: At Girl w/Pen, Laura Mazer serves up a hilarious (but all too true) account of what it's like to be a mom working as an editor. The diversity of her responsibilities might sound far-fetched, but it's pretty close to (my) home.
- F*** Fear: Juliana Aldous Atkinson, an editor for Microsoft Press, says what we've all been thinking. After years of prosperity, a few months of financial contrition is about all we can take. We're all tired of the way the media is blowing the recession out of proportion. We're tired of self-denial, mixed messages, and the stress of constantly feeling our jobs are on the line. She asks for suggestions on dealing with it all, but I haven't come up with any good ones yet. I just know that the media will soon have to obsess about something else, because we are tired of wallowing in this.
Having said that, have an awesome weekend! If my child does not come down with strep today (as I fear), I'm going to go help feed the quadruplets on Sunday!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Reporter Rachel Deahl spoke with the leaders of the well-known summer publishing institutes (Columbia, Denver, and NYU) and other graduate and continuing-education programs and found that students are as eager as ever to get into book publishing. The reasoning from CUNY publishing certificate program assistant director Retha Powers: "People start asking themselves, 'If I don't have the same job security, then what do I really want to be doing?' I think one of the answers is that people are really excited about publishing."
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
We're still waiting to see whether her submission yesterday to the FAIL Blog turns up. She used her iPhone to take and submit a photo of a packet of salmon from a gift basket an author sent us. It had three conflicting expiration dates on it. Expiration date FAIL! Seriously, if you are not yet familiar with the FAIL Blog, but you like making fun of other peoples' mistakes (and who doesn't?), get over there and check it out right away! It's currently my favorite place to get a reliable chuckle (and the occasional blow-your-drink-out-your-nose guffaw) when I need one.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
You can see a complete list of his scheduled signings here. The publisher, Tyndale House, appears to be targeting his fan base: here and in Tampa, where he formerly coached (and probably because he just happened to be down there for the Super Bowl, anyway). There are also some dates in the New York area.
Tyndale also used a bit or strategy with the release date. It wasn't scheduled to be released until February 17; but when he announced his retirement, they decided to step it up and piggyback onto the publicity that he's continuing to get from that.
The TV news reporter did a live shot outside Borders, nearly 12 hours before his scheduled appearance. She said people would be limited to just three copies of the book each. Imagine how many books he's going to sell today!
Monday, February 2, 2009
But the true gold is in the comments section. Dozens of articulate publishing veterans, many of whom are former HMH employees, have written in with their thoughts on the situation. It's fascinating. There's even a student commenter who hurls insult at the industry for its stupid adherence to printed texts.
The article's founding premise, that school textbook publishing is in dire trouble, is confirmed in reports I've gotten from and about all the major (and some minor) players in the industry. All seem to agree: Whereas college textbooks are in better shape, the divisions that publish texts for elementary and high schools are in deep, deep doo-doo. States are going bankrupt (in particular, California), which means they don't have money to buy new textbooks.
The world of textbook publishing is twisted, indeed, as some of the article's comments hint.