Sunday, October 6, 2013

Crowdfunding New Books

Having recently crowd-funded the Cook Like a Grandma Cookbook through Kickstarter, I found this article to be a good introduction to the process.

Print Dead at 1,803

Sources close to print, the method of applying ink to paper in order to convey information to a mass audience, have confirmed that the declining medium passed away early Thursday morning.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Self-Publishing Now a $52 Billion Business

The self-publishing has created a new publishing market that totals $52 billion in revenues, according to a new report from media technology firm New Publisher House. According to the report, this is twice as much money as the traditional book publishing industry in the U.S. brings in in its current total annual sales revenue.!

Monday, August 26, 2013

"The End of Books" Predicted in 1894

While many of these predictions regarding the "phonography" (otherwise known as the iPod) did come true, the printed book managed to survive . . . and it will again survive the new technologies that are coming in the future.

Bookstores Using Crowd-Funding to Stay Open During Tough Times

Facing Amazon and Barnes & Noble has become increasingly challenging for independent bookstores.  During particularly difficult times, some bookstores have run campaigns on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indegogo to stay open.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Think Global, Read Local

"One of the most important functions of literature throughout history is to enable people to share and recreate a vision of themselves . . . The place speaks for the writers and the writers speak for the place."

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Why We Need Books

"The book -- the physical paper book -- is being circled by a shoal of sharks, with sales down 9 percent this year alone. It's being chewed by the e-book. It's being gored by the death of the bookshop and the library. And most importantly, the mental space it occupied is being eroded by the thousand Weapons of Mass Distraction that surround us all. It's hard to admit, but we all sense it: it is becoming almost physically harder to read books. I think we should start there -- because it shows why we need the physical book to survive, and hints at what we need to do to make sure it does."

Read more here:

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cook Like a Grandma is Published

Get it hot off of the presses.  I just published the Cook Like a Grandma Cookbook.  Every one of our 50+ recipes comes from a different Grandma.  There are a number of different family culinary heritages captured on these pages, with recipes that range from Asian to Eastern European, from Latin American to good old fashioned American comfort food.

I had an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign to raise money to invest in the first printing.  Thanks to everybody who supported this project!

If you didn't buy a copy from Kickstarter, I've now got copies for sale in the Hudson River Publishing bookstore, or you can click here to buy:

Reading and Leadership

Note how many business titans are or have been avid readers. According to The New York Times, Steve Jobs had an "inexhaustible interest" in William Blake; Nike founder Phil Knight so reveres his library that in it you have to take off your shoes and bow; and Harman Industries founder Sidney Harman called poets "the original systems thinkers," quoting freely from Shakespeare and Tennyson. In Passion & Purpose, David Gergen notes that Carlyle Group founder David Rubenstein reads dozens of books each week.

And history is littered not only with great leaders who were avid readers and writers (remember, Winston Churchill won his Nobel prize in Literature, not Peace), but with business leaders who believed that deep, broad reading cultivated in them the knowledge, habits, and talents to improve their organizations.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Book Sales on the Rise

"While there is a popular notion that book sales are being fundamentally undermined by competition from other forms of information and entertainment pouring forth from digital devices, these figures show this is simply not the case."

Read the entire article from the Atlantic

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In and COO of Facebook

I love this quote from her recent interview with the New York Times:

"I probably shouldn't admit this since I work in the tech industry, but I still prefer reading paper books . . . I travel with an iPad, but at home I like holding a book open and being able to leaf through it, highlight with a real yellow pen and dog-ear important pages.  After I finish a book, I'll often look to see how manyh page corners are turned down as one gauge of how much I liked it.  I also still read newspapers and magazines the old-fashioned way."

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Silicon Valley Says Step Away From the Device

 Computers, smartphones and other gadgets have made life easier, but now tech firms are worried that they may be harming people.

“It’s this basic cultural recognition that people have a pathological relationship with their devices . . . People feel not just addicted, but trapped.”

Monday, March 4, 2013

Paper Maps in a World of GPS

"Simpler times are something everyone yearns for. And maybe looking at a map takes you back," he said. "The technology is neat, but on a personal level, there's a sense of nostalgia when you look at the paper map. A lot of people are yearning for simpler times."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Small Bookstores vs. Amazon

This article is largely about the misplaced attention that the Justice Department has placed on publishers who worked with Apple to fight Amazon's strangle-hold on eBook publishing.  I find it more interesting how the author is able to tie this case into the survival of publishers as a whole, print publishing in particular, and the survival of independent bookstores.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Pen and Paper

While there is no argument that digital content has made us more efficient in the office, there is still a place for pen and paper.

Research has shown that people's comprehension is superior when they read text on paper vs. online.  "Digital technology is better for socializing and sharing, while paper is best for quiet contemplation."

"Paper can be a luscious and beautiful thing - the way we savor fine food and wine, we can savor paper and ink and what it does for us."

"Paper reminds us that we are physical beings, despite having to contend in an increasingly virtual world."

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Print As a "Non-Traditional" Content Strategy

With the rush to digital, print has become a non-traditional marketing solution.  Digital marketing is now "traditional" and this article explores ways that print can be used to stand out and make a statement.

I love this quote: "Print is not declining any more.  Most prognosticators say that by 2020 most printed media will be gone.  I think anyone who makes those types of comments doesn't understand history.  Just type into Google 'the Death of TV' and you'll see hundreds of articles predicting the end of television . . . one could make the argument that right now is the golden age of television, with amazing shows like Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men and Homeland leading the way."

Friday, February 1, 2013

For Many Students, Print is Still King

I work in higher-ed publishing, so this article hits close to home.  "The vast Majority of students still prefer print . . . we still print everything . . . Our aim is not to bias print or digital but offer the experience in multiple formats."

"What I hear from [students] a lot of times is that they feel some sort of comfort in being able to hold the thing in their hands."

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Write the Book You Want To Read

Edward Tufte on "Real Things"

This is a great article by Tufte where he deconstructs touchscreens and encourages the reader to "give more time for doing physical things in the real world and less time staring at the glowing flat rectangle . . . Plant a plant, walk the dog, READ A REAL BOOK."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Libraries Reinvent the Town Square

 As librarians across the nation struggle with the task of redefining their roles and responsibilities in a digital age, many public libraries are seeing an opportunity to fill the void created by the loss of traditional bookstores. They are increasingly adapting their collections and services based on the demands of library patrons, whom they now call customers. 

Today’s libraries are reinventing themselves as vibrant town squares, showcasing the latest best sellers, lending Kindles loaded with e-books, and offering grass-roots technology training centers.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Revival of Indie Bookstores

This is a beautiful interview with a successful author who opened an indie bookstore.  She didn't open it for the money, but the changing dynamics of publishing and retail have made her store successful and profitable.

It is a really great example of how digital and physical books can co-exist.

"The book is not dead."

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Books in a Digital Age

Even in this age of rapid technological evolution, book publishing remains one of our greatest cultural achievements.  The diversity of information and ideas represented in books, whether print or digital, continues to fuel the growth and change of how we view ourselves and also how we interact with the world around us.

The book itself will survive, but the question for those of us employed in the publishing industry is whether our markets will evolve in ways that allow us to survive or make us a relic.  For the wider audience of readers, the question is whether the consolidation of development, production, marketing and distribution will limit their access to new ideas and information that could improve their lives.

While there is no inherent reason to believe that the today's publishing houses will survive, I sure hope that the best of them are able to adapt and flourish.  It is an existential question that we can only answer in the context of the competitive marketplace, and I have confidence that some of us can answer this question.

Regardless, books will continue.