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Posted by on Dec 30, 2009 in Entrepreneurship, Publishing | 0 comments

Book sales up…

From GalleyCat:

Examining the year-end figures from Nielsen BookScan, Crain’s NY cautiously concluded that the bookselling business might not be as bad as the gloomy critics say.

The article began by noting the year’s declines. Compared to last year, “overall unit sales” fell by three percent and adult non-fiction plunged 7 percent–despite Sarah Palin’s blockbuster memoir. Nevertheless, adult fiction sales did not decline, and adult hardcover sales actually climbed by three percent.

Here’s more from the article: “‘Bottom line, it’s really pretty impressive,’ said Lorraine Shanley, a principal of consulting firm Market Partners International. ‘When you look at every other medium, and you look at books, and you see they held their own in one of the most difficult years we’ve had in a generation, that’s good news.’

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Posted by on Nov 30, 2009 in Entrepreneurship, Publishing | 0 comments

OMG! We’re gonna starve!

Digital readers continue to gain traction, including Barnes and Noble’s proprietary rig.

Like the music and film industries, this is causing mayhem and panic among the publishing execs.  Soon (a few years) there will be no CDs, DVDs or other ‘hard’ entertainment products.  They’ll simply fade away like 8-track and Beta, and we’ll download our entertainment on demand.

But what about books?  Will there come a day when no brick/mortar bookstores exist?  I say no; books are tactile and Kindles are not.  We readers like the feel and smell of paper, and books need no power source.  However, the kids today are growing up with computer screens in their little faces, and may feel more in tune with books stored on Nooks as they grow older.  After all, we’re not reading from scrolls of papyrus. Things change.

The real fear in the offices upstairs lies not with the technology, but how it can be tamed and monetized.  As an author, I hope that figure it out.  And with huge money at stake, I believe they will.

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Posted by on Oct 14, 2009 in Entrepreneurship, Media | 0 comments

It’s good to be the Sully…

It wasn’t until several months after the crash that he and his wife realized there might be money to be made from telling his story.
“We thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we had to take advantage of as soon as possible,” he said.
“Highest Duty” is the first in a $3 million-plus, two-book deal. In a separate deal with the Washington Speakers Bureau, Sullenberger reportedly gets $60,000 to $90,000 per talk.
Ride that wave, Sully.

It wasn’t until several months after the crash that he and his wife realized there might be money to be made from telling his story.

“We thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we had to take advantage of as soon as possible,” he said.

“Highest Duty” is the first in a $3 million-plus, two-book deal. In a separate deal with the Washington Speakers Bureau, Sullenberger reportedly gets $60,000 to $90,000 per talk.

Ride that wave, Sully.

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Posted by on Jun 11, 2009 in Entrepreneurship | 0 comments

Economics, Pt. 1

Want to fix the economy? Here are a few tips, starting with business travel:

1) Don’t charge freakin’ $6.00 for a Corona at the airport.

2) Banks, do your absolute best to avoid hiring dumb-asses in your call centers.

3) Hampton Inn: When I call for information about your hotel, don’t tell me it’s ‘right next door’ to the convention center, when it’s really 1.2 miles away. See #2 above above. Oh, and your shuttle driver smelled like dirty feet and bourbon.

4) If you have ‘economy parking’ two miles away from the airport terminal, don’t charge $50.00 for it. That would be the ‘sucky, overpriced’ parking.

5) Tips are earned, not implied.

6) Faux ‘Tuscan’ Restaurant: I don’t believe real Tuscans eat deep-fried mozzarella sticks. And if you insist on charging tourist prices, make sure the food is edible, and doesn’t smell like the shuttle driver in #3 above.

More later, after I shake off this jet lag.

CORRECTION: Hampton Inn, the comment about your call center stands. They gave faulty info and it caused unnecessary inconvenience. Your shuttle driver was fine, however. It was the driver from another business that had serious personal hygiene challenges.

On another note, Hampton Inn, your management staff was top notch.

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Posted by on May 3, 2009 in Entrepreneurship, Technology | 0 comments

Farewell, Google, we hardly knew ye…

We’ve barely scratched the surface of the internet, according to many in the scientific world.

Indeed, we’ve come a long way since AOL was the hotness, and a singing squirrel with swinging nuts was comedy gold.  But now Google is the big kid in the sandbox, valued at $100 billion.

But not for long.

It seems there’s a new upstart on the block, and it could render Google as un-hip as Hotmail on a dial-up modem.

Behold!  I give you…Wolfram Alpha!

This could be a massive winner, or end up in the discount bin with last decade’s other hot ‘revolutionary’ item.

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