That's Me...on TV...
Jonathan Karp on Publishing's Problem

My Fox Business Interview

Fox Business host Stuart Varney was in fine form today.  If you missed it, Stuart challenged me to defend the publishing business given all the industry threats he sees (e.g., margin erosion, changing reading habits, etc.).  I only had a couple of minutes but I'd like to think I hit on some of the high points to address Stuart's concerns.  Watch the embedded video below and judge for yourself though...


Lori Cates Hand

Great job! You hardly flinched when he mispronounced your name!

Joe Wikert

Hi Lori. Yeah, it did throw me off a bit, but heck, it seems everyone gets my name wrong, so I'm kind of used to it. I'm thinking of having the phantom "l" inserted and officially changing my name to "Wilkert". It would be much simpler that way, don't you think?

Cecil Vortex

Great job! Though I have to say, I thought you had him kind of scared, Joe. It was like, he threw a jab, and you responded with a roundhouse. That part where he asked about Kindle margins and you were like, Kaboom! and he started apologizing and then he asked if you needed a valet or something -- rough stuff. You should probably send him a muffin basket.

-Cecil "Kaboom!" Vortex

Mike Crowl

I'd think it would be better to stick a 'c' in your name, Joe - Wickert. That's our I misspelled just a few moments ago when I was writing about my blog beating yours to the top of the list on a Google search result (something that amazed me, as it happens!)

Lori Cates Hand

But then what about the ones who call you "Wickert"?

Seriously, you did a fantastic job of thinking on your feet and giving great answers. Very impressive!

Jillian Koeneman

Great interview, Joe. You were both hopeful and optimistic about the future of the industry, but you also were realistic. I found the mention of the chapter on demand development interesting and worth more investigation.

Brent Beckley


Nice job. Varney came in with a hundred preconceived notions about publishing and you dispelled each one of them. I was somewhat shocked when he said profit margins would be so much lower on Kindle products. What was he thinking? Good for you... I'm with you on the misnaming, happens all the time. Hell, if they get the first and last initials right, I'll answer.

Brent "Buckley/Beckel/Buckworth" Beckley

Krisan Matthews

Very nice job, Joe. And highly informative! I, too, always have problems with people mispronouncing my first name. It's always a question of whether you should correct them or just roll with it...and I agree with Lori, you barely even flinched! Also, with the chapters on demand, we keep talking about doing that here. But there are a lot of logistical road blocks we continuously run into. It seems like a great way to repurpose older content, though.

Mark Long

Joe & Krisan . . . don't feel too bad about people mispronouncing your names. I've worked at the same place for 8 years now and there are people who still call me "Mike" on a regular basis.

As others said, great point about profit margins on the Kindle sales. Books may wind up not being the primary delivery system for content, but there will always be publishers delivering content in one format or another or, actually, multiple formats, no matter what.

Sharon J.

Great job with the interview! Have you ever thought of going into broadcasting?

Alas, I too grew up "Wilkert", "Wickert" and "Wiekert". I had to retrieve one of my son's birth certificate for him for his learner's permit when I looked at it closely and saw that my maiden name was incorrectly spelled as "Wilkert". Do you think I should have the state of PA change it after more than 16 years? Maybe we should have just changed the name ....

Joel Fugazzotto

You rock, Joe! You countered all Stuart's assumptions with facts that explained the opposite was true and you rightly pointed out that the industry is adapting to the changing content world. I guess he was looking for a story that doesn't exist. I shudder to think how my name would get butchered in a similar situation.

Jim Minatel

Joe, you did Wiley and Wrox proud. Our Wrox programmers and the broader Wiley audience should be happy to know you know your stuff. I don't know that Stu knows much about Wiley, though, asking you about industry best-selling categories of romance or crime novels. :)

Dave Booram

Joe, as a lover of all things paper that you can take a #2 pencil to mark up I found what you said about margins, distribution and receiving "what you want" of a book compelling. I do think I'll be part of a dying breed that likes the break the spine of a book and dog ear physical pages, but you are describing the future and doing it very well. Way to go good neighbor!

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