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34 posts from July 2007

Even Scoble's Kid Is a Celebrity

ScobleRobert Scoble, co-author of our popular Naked Conversations, isn't the only celebrity in the family.  There I was, enjoying my breakfast and catching a bit of the Today Show, when all of a sudden Scoble and his son appeared in a segment about the iPhone.  More accurately, Scoble only appeared briefly while his son got most of the attention.

Hey Robert, I see Patrick likes to write, so let us know if he's ever interested in working on a book!

The State of the Tech Magazine Industry

Forbes_2Here's a sobering article outlining the challenges the technology magazine industry is up against.  I know the stack of magazines I read each week is much shorter today than it was even 2-3 years ago, and as the article indicates, much of my information now comes from blogs and other online news feeds, not print magazines.  My new challenge isn't keeping up with the magazines as it is finding ways to get through more RSS feeds without missing anything important.

Susan Driscoll of iUniverse

Book_biz_2iUniverse is a self-publishing operation that has a strategic partnership with Barnes & Noble.  Susan Driscoll, iUniverse CEO and President, is interviewed in this article from Book Business magazine.

She notes that one aspect of her job she enjoys most is the work she does directly with iUniverse authors.  She also points out that she gets to do much more of that with iUniverse than she did in her previous roles with traditional publishers.  Interesting point.  I too enjoy the time I get to spend talking to and working with authors.  I also admit that I don't get to do as much of that as I'd like.  Then again, she says iUniverse publishes about 400 books per month, so it's hard telling how many she's able to hook up with every month.

Susan also has a blog that she posts to once or twice a month and is worth subscribing to.

Taking Books to the Customer...A Novel Approach

BooksGoogle.  Love 'em or hate 'em, you have to admire some of the interesting things they do, the experiments they try and the initiatives they launch.  Here's an article from The San Francisco Chronicle that talks about a Google-hosted author event program.  (Thanks to my colleague Mariann B. for sending this one along.)  It's a great opportunity for Google employees to hear what the author has to say and it apparently creates a captive audience for potential book sales: The article notes how "At public bookstore events, 10 to 20 percent of the people buy books. At corporate events, 50 to 80 percent buy books and attendance tends to be higher."

As an author, you might be thinking, "sure, it's easy for Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's to get an audience at Google.  He's a well-known name and perhaps even a celebrity.  I can't compete on that level."  While you're probably not as popular as Ben Cohen and you may not get into Google (at first), what about other large companies and organizations in your local community?  Are they likely to be interested in a brown bag lunch session, similar what Google is doing on a larger scale?  Start there and work your way up to the Google's, Microsoft's, etc.  And since there are probably opportunities in your own back yard you won't have to spend money getting there.

I also noticed the Authors@Google site referenced in this article.  The site lists over 100 of these videos including many in their Women@Google and Candidates@Google programs.  It's a neat way of enjoying one of the Google employee perks without actually working there.