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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What Book Publishing Should Be Thankful For

Sometimes the world needs to take a time out and Thanksgiving is one of those times.  Sure we eat like pigs, see family we don’t always get along with, watch parades and football…and stretch before we attack the malls on Black Friday, but let’s not lose sight of the holiday’s true meaning.  Pilgrims and Indians broke bread and for at least one day, learned to get along.  We should each look at our lives and give thanks for what is good in our world.

Those involved in the book publishing world should also give thanks for…

·         The fact that millions of authors are writing and publishing books, keeping the marketplace competitive and employing editors, agents, marketers, publicists, editors, printers, stores, wholesalers, distributors, packagers, consultants, and all those who represent the most literate industry.

·         The book-buying public continuing to buy books despite the Great Recession and in the face of increased competition for one’s attention span from smart phones, DVR/TV, Netflix, iPads, ipods, videos, video games, music, theater, sports, etc.

·         Traditional media surviving their ad revenue decline due to the recession and online competition.  Those that re-tool or expand in other areas will not only survive these tough times but will thrive for years to come.

·         Oprah stepping down. Though she was a strong advocate for many, as a publicist all that I was asked by every client was “What about Oprah?”  Now that she’s gone I am asked about other media outlets but no single show is asked about like hers was.

·         The New York Post.  What an entertaining newspaper!

·         The New York Times.  Intelligent, resourceful, and liberal but fair and accurate. 

·         Barnes & Noble.  They are the book store superhero.  If they fail it will speed up the end of printed books.

·         Independent book stores. I don’t know how they survive but am glad they do. They keep communities together and give space and shape to a world that increasingly lives in an electronic box.

·         Free social media.  It’s great that Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, You Tube, blogging and all social media remain free and accessible to all.  We may spend too much time in social media land and many communications are frivolous, but when used smartly, social media is a real savior for those in publishing.

·         New books. I love to learn new things, hear new ideas and to participate in an intelligent dialogue with a new book.  I particularly love smelling and touching a book as I crack open the first page. I feel like I possess something special when a book fills my hands.

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  Before you rush off to enjoy the holiday and then return to your normal daily routine, take a time out and reflect upon what you are thankful for…and say a little prayer for the book world to grow in 2012 and beyond.


Interview With Author Stefania Lucchetti

I got to know Stefania, who lives in Hong Kong, when Planned Television Arts promoted  The Principle of Relevance a year ago.  Her new book is Ideas in RealityMaking Your Ideas Happen. For more information, please consult  www.stefanialucchetti.com

1.                  What inspired you to become an author? The need to share knowledge and thoughts with others, contributing to the ongoing conversation that makes the world such an interesting place.

2.                  What do you like most about being a published author? I love watching the slow process that transforms a fuzzy intellectual idea into something that people can touch and read and discuss and slowly incorporate into their life.

3.                  What do you find most challenging in the process of promoting your book? Often times promoting a book is more time consuming than writing it.  I find it really hard to make tough decisions about which promotional channels are worth spending time, energy and maybe money on and which are not.

4.                  What advice do you have for struggling authors?  Don’t give up, keep going, keep writing, keep publishing, but at the same time be realistic about your finances and keep a financial parachute (a job or other predictable form of income) that will help you navigate the first years, when money isn’t likely to flow in buckets.

5.                  Where do you think book publishing is heading in five years? I think publishing is going to be digital only (think about what happened to music) and books are going to be shorter and shorter – people’s attention spans are shrinking. I also see how publishing could become linked to social media – with revenues perhaps attached to a system of sharing.   

6.                  What was you most recent book about? My most recently published book (Ideas in Reality – Making Your Ideas Happen) is about the process that turns an idea into a project and then into something real and tangible. In today’s extremely specialized world, it is very common to categorize people as being either gifted creators or great executors, but rarely both. While it is true that most people have a predominant attitude or preference for either the creative aspect or the execution aspect, there is absolutely no reason that prevents someone from being great at both. My book is about bridging the gap between a brilliant idea (which may pop up unexpectedly under the shower or while taking a walk) and what it takes to actually make it happen.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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