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The Book as Object of Beauty

As ebooks have overtaken hard backs and paperbacks in sales, publishers are going the old-fashioned route and stressing design of the physical object. They are looking to create objects that are collectable, to compete, even in a small way, with the growth of books that are merely stored on tablets or smart phones or e-readers. […]

E for Victory

When exactly will e-books overtake traditional books in sales (and even reader preference)? Perhaps in the next two years, according to some publishing friends. Perhaps earlier, according to some colleagues. Barnes & Noble’s retail sales are still slipping (down 1% during the second quarter compared to last year), though not as drastically as they had […]

Banned Book Reviews and the Platform-Builder

Amazon has banned some book reviews from its site. In particular, those from publicists and companies that consolidate reviews. But you shouldn’t worry – you’ve got a platform. Now, everyone knows the Amazon review system is flawed. Friends weigh in on authors’ books and bestow five stars to build up their rankings. Enemies try to […]

Building a Book with an Audience

The psychologist and author Steven Pinker got some unexpected help when putting together his latest book, The Better Angels of Our Nature. His book argues that mankind is going through the least violent period in its history, and his work has received wide attention. The argument of the book is interesting, as is Dr. Pinker’s career. […]

What Children Can Teach You About Audacity

Be audacious. That’s how you grab and hold customers’ attention. That’s what makes a sale and buildsrelationships. Getting the attention of an adult can be harder than getting a hyperactive 4-year-old to pay attention. Every day your customers face a flood of commercials, ads, news and social media screaming to be noticed. My kids showed […]

Old-Fashioned Children’s Books in a Digital Age

The digital age is upon us, but for parents, it’s still paper. With their children. The thing is, most children (and a healthy portion of adults) are easily distracted. And if parents try to read something to their children on their trusty tablet, well, the toddler might just prefer to play a game rather than […]

The Best Way To Fail in Business

Word-of-mouth from a disgruntled customer spreads faster than wildfire. That disgruntlement comes usually from service rather than anything else. In his illuminating book The Culture Code Clotaire Rapaille, in examining cultural signifiers in different countries, found that in the U.S., what’s most important is great service. More important than quality. A Sampling in Shoddy Customer […]

Creating a Relationship with Readers

The serial novel is back. You probably hadn’t given it much thought, beyond perhaps recalling Stephen King’s bestselling The Green Mile from 1996 that was published in six paperback installments. Or you might remember how in the 19th century great writers such as Charles Dickens or Anthony Trollope serialized their massive novels to the vast […]

Saving Bookstores, One Author at a Time

Authors to the rescue. The bestselling novelist Ann Patchett has opened a bookstore in Nashville. The author of such novels as Bel Canto and State of Wonder is the force behind Parnassus Books. With bookstores closing in her area, as in many others around the country, she didn’t want her neighborhood to be barren of […]

Books Are Only Part Of It

People still think they’re going to make a fortune from a book. That the book will make them. That their futures will be made. The truth is, the world has very few authors such as J.K. Rowling, who sell hundreds of millions of dollars from the sales of her novels. But even J.K. Rowling knows […]