Monday, March 29, 2010

The economics of publishing: Early 2010

Seth Godin writes about the current state of the writing and publishing business.

"A magazine with a million subscribers might spend more than a million dollars to deliver a single issue to its subscribers. A million dollars spent on postage, printing, subscription sales, fulfillment, ad sales, sub rights and more. I wouldn't be surprised if the freelance budget for the writers and photographers (the real reason people read the magazine) is less than 15% of the cost, perhaps a lot less.

"The economics of this business are interesting. Millions spent, millions earned, and almost all of it goes to pay for the paper and the friction it brings.

"Now, we fast forward to a world, our world, where the cost of delivery is zero and so we've removed 95% of the costs..." you can read the post here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

DIY window frosting

Increase your privacy with clear acrylic wall glaze for a good, cheap DIY window frosting. From Lifehacker.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

11 best sales and marketing books

From the book '100 Best Business Books of All Time', comes this list of 11 all-time-best books on sales and marketing. Reading these books while running a small marketing campaign (of any kind) looks like a good way to learn the skill of marketing.

Sales and Marketing (books)
Approaches and pitfalls in the ongoing process of creating customers.

Influence by Robert B. Cialdini, PhD
Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout
A New Brand World by Scott Bedbury with Stephen Fenichell
Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith (also available in CD and audio)
Zag by Marty Neumeier
Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore
Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar (also available in CD and audio)
How to Become a Rainmaker by Jeffrey J. Fox (also available in CD and audio)
Why We Buy by Paco Underhill (also available in audio)
The Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore (also available in audio)
Purple Cow by Seth Godin (also available in audio)
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (also available in CD and audio)

Getting your "Personal MBA"

Free ebook from Josh Kaufman that tells you how to develop your own 'personal MBA program'.

writing on walls

For years I have used blank walls for brainstorming new projects. I began by taping 3x5 cards to walls, then went to 3x5 post-its, and then discovered cheap 4x8 tileboard at Home Depot. The tileboard functions as an inexpensive whiteboard. It turns out that Kevin Kelly writes on walls, too.

100 best business books

HT to Kevin Kelly at Cool Tools for recommending the book:
100 Best Business Books.

Books you don't need in a place you can't find

The Montague Bookmill, which Seth Godin says might be the "bookstore of the future."

In this vision, the bookstore becomes the center of an intellectual community. Much in the spirit of a English Coffee House in the early 1700's. As Ned Ward wrote around 1700:

"There was a rabble going hither and thither, reminding me of a swarm of rats in a ruinous cheese-store. Some came, others went; some were scribbling, others were talking; some were drinking (coffee), some smoking, and some arguing; the whole place stank of tobacco like the cabin of a barge. On the corner of a long table, close by the armchair, was lying a Bible..."

For the modern coffee house cum bookstore maybe add to the "rabble going hither and thither," high speed wireless access, and a large flat screen display with authors giving 'web seminars.' Or perhaps the flat screen will be showing TED or videos.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My yoga reading list

“Yoga is of very little use, if studied theoretically." Pancham Sinh

1. Iyengar's "Yoga" and "Light on yoga", as well as his daughter Geeta's "Yoga: A gem for women." .
2. Eric Schiffman's "Yoga: The spirit and practice of moving into stillness."
3. Miriam Austin's "Cool yoga tricks."
4. Silva, Mira and Shyam Mehta's "Yoga the Iyengar way."
5. Gary Kraftsow's "Yoga for wellness."
6. David Swenson's "Ashtanga yoga: The practice manual."
7. Bikram Choudhury, "Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class"
8. Leslie Kaminoff, "Yoga Anatomy."
9. David H. Coulter, "Anatomy of Hatha Yoga"
10. Richard Rosen, "Yoga for 50+"
11. Paramahansa Yogananda, "Autobiography of a Yogi"
12. Rajashree Choudhury, "Rajashree's Pregnancy Yoga" DVD and audio CD
13. Yoga Challenge video #1 by Tony Sanchez. Beginner's series.
14. Yoga Challenge video #4 by Tony Sanchez. 160 minute advanced class with the Bishnu Ghosh 84 asana series.
15. Kids Yoga, Sanda Wong-Sanchez and Tony Sanchez. Beginners series for kids, also suitable for the elderly, and students with certain physical limitations.

For yoga philosohy:
1. Georg Feuerstein's "The yoga tradition"
2. Peter Connolly's "A student's guide to the history and philosophy of yoga."
3. Desikachar's "The heart of yoga."
4. Eliade's "Yoga: Immortality and freedom."
5. Carrera's "Inside the yoga sutras."

1. Ashtanga yoga demo. 1.7 million viewers...

2. Elephant Journal: 20 hottest yoga videos

practice, practice, practice.

A great line from the BBC drama "Waking the Dead."

"Practice, practice, practice. Nothing else works."

This is true for writing, filmmaking, yoga, teaching, relationships... nearly any meaningful accomplishment. A flash of genius is great for getting the initial idea, for seeing a direction. But only practice develops competence. Or, as someone once said, "A professional is just an amateur who didn't quit."

Friday, March 12, 2010

The 10 awful truths about book publishing

The 10 awful truths about book publishing, from Steven Piersanti, President, Berrett-Koehler Publishers. (Read the whole article here)

Mr Piersanti writes:
1. The number of new books being published in the U.S. has exploded.
2. Book industry sales are declining, despite the explosion of new books.
3. Average book sales are shockingly small, and falling fast.
4. A book has less than a 1% chance of being stocked in an average bookstore.
5. It is getting harder and harder every year to sell books.
6. Most books today are selling only to the authors’ and publishers’ communities.
7. Most book marketing today is done by authors, not by publishers.
8. No other industry has so many new product introductions.
9. The digital revolution is expanding the number of products and sales channels but not increasing book sales.
10. The book publishing world is in a never-ending state of turmoil.

1. The game is now pass-along sales.
2. Events/ immersion experiences replace traditional publicity in moving the needle.
3. Leverage the authors’ and publishers’ communities.
4. In a crowded market, brands stand out.
5. Master new sales and marketing channels.
6. Build books around a big new idea.
7. Front-load the main ideas in books.

book blurbs... great article about getting them

Excellent article on how to get book blurbs from Berrett-Koehler publishers. Clearly explains why the author must focus on his or her community.