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30 posts from June 2006

Media Groups Should Consider an MP3 Player Ban?!

That’s what the folks at Deloitte say, according to this brief article on Are you kidding me?! That’s the best solution they could come up with to reduce piracy? Sheesh! Hey, while you’re at it, don’t forget about those pesky copy machines – after all, they can be used to copy and scan documents in a heartbeat. What about all those writable CD/DVD drives out there? Those need to go too, I suppose. E-mail programs and ftp sites? Nuke ‘em all!! We can’t afford to provide such an easy gateway for file transfers and uploads! Now that I think about it, the root of all evil here is the computer itself. Let’s get rid of every PC in the company!

I wonder how much Deloitte spent on this incredibly insightful research. More importantly, I wonder if some company actually sponsored it and had to pay real money for the results…

Seriously, the answer isn’t to remove technology but rather to provide clear guidelines on what’s permissible and then enforce those rules. (See my earlier post on this topic.) If you’re caught copying files illegally either you’re immediately fired or you’re put on probation, meaning the next time you’re caught you’re gone. Is that really so hard? There are plenty of ways to track this sort of thing, provided a company’s IT department isn’t asleep at the wheel.

Yet Another Wiley and Microsoft Alliance…

As if the Executive Circle publishing venture wasn’t enough, this press release explains another deal Wiley recently signed with Microsoft. This time it’s all about producing content for the Microsoft Official Academic Curriculum (MOAC) program. Kudos on this one go to my Wiley colleague Anne Smith and the joint efforts from members of the Higher-Ed and Professional & Trade teams – it’s been great watching the two divisions come together to make this happen.

Wiley and Microsoft Forge Publishing Alliance

This press release announces a new relationship between Wiley and Microsoft, focusing on business strategy and technology books for CxO-level executives. If you’re familiar with the Microsoft Executive Circle program you’ve probably seen the variety of content and solutions offered online. This publishing alliance will now extend Microsoft Executive Circle into the book arena with 6-12 publications per year.

I’m thrilled that we’ve inked this deal with Microsoft and Wiley will continue to build upon its reputation as one of the top business publishers. Congratulations to my fellow Wiley publisher Robert Chiarelli and the rest of the team for a job well done!

Author Book Signings

I was fortunate enough to get to meet Mike Greenberg of ESPN’s “Mike & Mike In the Morning” at a B&N bookstore signing Friday night. I listen to that show every morning, mostly because I think Greenberg is one of the sharpest guys in sports reporting today. I also can’t wait to start reading his book, Why My Wife Thinks I’m an Idiot. Although he managed to draw a nice crowd (I’d say there were 200+ people there waiting for him), I’ve seen far too many author signings where almost nobody showed up. By sheer coincidence, I see that Stacey Miller recently posted a great idea about author signings on her Book Promotion Blog

Stacey’s advice is for authors to not try and do solo signings. Rather, she suggests 2-3 authors work together to have a group signing at a store. Based on the low turnout at other author signing events, I’ve got to believe the bookstores would support this idea as well. If you happen to know a couple of other authors in your geographic area, great, but what about the majority of authors who don’t know other authors in their city?

This sounds like an outstanding opportunity for someone to develop a website where authors can register and discover other authors in their area. It’s nothing more than a social networking site, but one that’s focused on authors and book PR. (Stacey, maybe this is an opportunity for your agency…) It could start off simple, just connecting authors in the same city, but then grown into a richer site, allowing authors to load their travel schedules so that they can do signings on the road with others in the area.

On a somewhat related sports note, if you haven’t been watching the Stanley Cup Finals, be sure to tune in tonight. Hockey is my second favorite sport (behind baseball) and it’s great to see this league back on its feet, although I hope they can avoid relying on The Outdoor Life network for their regular season broadcasts. (The Outdoor Life Network?!) Maybe I’m easily impressed, but I was amazed by the passion and enthusiasm shown during the Canadian and American national anthems in Edmonton. The crowd not only knows the words to The Star Spangled Banner, they were singing it quite enthusiastically. Then, to watch the entire place go nuts when they played Oh Canada…wow! The hockey game almost seemed like a letdown after that performance.

Ivan Hoffman’s Articles for Writers & Publishers

Ivan is a highly experienced lawyer with a rich website full of articles for authors and publishers. You could spend hours reading through all of this. It’s a great reference to bookmark, but I really wish he’d add RSS feeds. In addition to the “For Writers and Publishers” list, be sure to check out his articles on Internet and Electronic Rights Issues and Web Site Designers and Site Owners.

The Ten Key Negotiating Points in an Author-Publisher Agreement should be required reading for any new author; I’m not saying I agree with all of Ivan’s points of view, but he does a great job explaining the issues.