Books and Brain Busting

The phrase “post-literary” scares me. It is a real term, bandied about by the intelligentsia, and speculates that people are not reading books these days. There is no question that the book market is a horrid place, one where the major publishers treat writers like chattel, only big names make big bucks, and where being a touring musician looks appealing by comparison (a common joke in the music business is that a touring musician is the only job that pays less than being homeless). Which makes the book industry a wonderful model for discussing marketing of difficult products, changing channels, and general business dystopia. Changes … bloody changes The book market has changed, but not just because Amazon said so. In North America and many industrialized nations, readership is falling. Pew Research said that in 2011, about 79% of the adult population had read a book – or at least … Continue reading

Biz Book Bunk

The business book market is nearly as crazy as the rest of the book publishing industry. Business books are often one-off affairs by successful businessmen and women who want to share their thoughts on management and leadership with the world. There are many voracious readers of such books, mainly other people in management who constantly look to better their skills and learn from other peoples’ success (these books rarely talk about the mistakes made by the author). What makes modern book publishing peculiar are platforms. Publishers want authors to have pre-existing mass audiences to carry the book to success. If you fancy the old days when a brilliant writer lobbed a manuscript at a publisher, who then got many taste-maker reviewers to carry the book into public attention and generate vast wealth for the author … those days died decades ago. In the Internet age, authors are expected to have … Continue reading