Future

OMG! What if B&N Closes?

“The report of my death was an exaggeration.” So said Mark Twain in 1897, and I’m wondering if Barnes & Noble might be saying the same thing right about now.   Over the last week, an article by Michael Levin has been making the rounds, causing fear and trembling among certain groups of authors and…
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The Everything Store

Still Conflicted about Amazon

I’ve just finished reading Brad Stone’s The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. I’m still processing what I learned, and checking other sources for differing perspectives, but my initial reaction is that this is an eye-opening, clarifying, sobering yet illuminating resource for anyone interested in publishing or business in general.   I…
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5 Reasons to Embrace the 21st Century

I’ve been thinking a lot about how things are changing so fast these days… technology is obsolete the moment it comes to market, there’s a new “must participate” social network every week, and publishing, well, after a good 100-year run, publishing is finally being forced to enter the 21st century. It all feels a little…
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Future

What Does the Future Hold?

I was talking with a friend who works in the financial industry, and a question came up about what we would each be doing 30 years from now. My friend was anticipating a prosperous retirement at that point, having built up a significant and valuable business. While the financial life of our nation has its…
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speed

Not So Fast: Ideas to Rethink

With publishing in the middle of a revolution, ideas and opinions are constantly being tossed around on the Internet — tried on, parsed, heralded, criticized, and endlessly discussed. I’ve noticed that there are a few ideas that have taken hold and started to be thought of as “truth,” but I’m not so quick to go there.…
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Knowing What We Don’t Know

When facing massive uncertainty, as exists in today’s highly interconnected global economy, it is essential to appreciate both what one does know as well as what one does not know.  ~Vikram Mansharamani In some ways, the entire publishing industry is still operating “business as usual.” Most of us have years or decades of experience behind…
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Spy camera

Your E-Reader is a Spy

I hope you saw this important article in the Wall Street Journal last week: Your E-Book is Reading You. It detailed the ways that e-readers are tracking reader’s habits and as a result, bringing actual market research to publishing—something that has been severely lacking in our industry. The data is still in the beginning phases…
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transformation

What’s Changed and What Hasn’t

I began this blog in January of 2008 when I became an agent, and it’s remarkable to look back over my past posts with an eye toward how much has changed in that brief 4 ½ years. When I started, I didn’t even have a Kindle. Now I’m on my third one, and I couldn’t…
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Are Agents Running Scared?

I’ve been answering questions from readers, and today I’m responding to Mark, who (along with plenty of others) asked if I’m afraid of the future in which agents will be extinct. He suggested we are all terrified of losing our jobs, and when we write about traditional publishing, and even (gasp) defend it, it shows…
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Girl with binoculars

Today’s Publishing Landscape: What Do You See?

Every once in a while I have to stop my work, look up from my computer, and take a good long look around me. What does the publishing landscape look like from one agent’s perspective? Here are a few things I see: ♦  I see a higher level of stress surrounding publishing than I’ve ever…
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iPad

It’s the End of the World As We Know It

(And I feel fine.) Yesterday a lot of people were talking about this article in Wired: Publishers Hustle to Make E-Books More Immersive. You should read it if you get a chance. It’s all about how publishers and authors are looking to adapt to digital technologies (currently iPad, Kindle Fire and Nook) by creating books…
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seth godin

Do Authors Have a Right to be Paid?

This controversial blog post by Matthew Ingram made quite a stir last week: Godin to authors: You have no right to make money any more After a quick look, I responded via Twitter: “For obvious reasons, this article kind of makes my blood boil.” It wasn’t until the weekend that I had some time to…
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downton-abbey-dowager-countess

5 Reasons to Embrace the Brave New World

I’ve been thinking a lot about how things are changing so fast these days… technology is obsolete the moment it comes to market, there’s a new “must participate” social network every week, and publishing, well, after a good 100-year run, publishing is finally being forced to enter the 21st century. It all feels a little…
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Should Publishing Be Compared to the Music Industry?

(Maybe Not) Continuing on the theme of how publishing is evolving, you probably know that many people are comparing our current situation to the music industry’s revolutionary changes over the last dozen years. If we’re smart, the wisdom goes, we’ll carefully study how things have gone in that medium and see what we can learn from it. I’ve read many, many articles…
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headshot-for-sidebar
writers-life

Your Path to Publishing