Posts Tagged ‘publishing’

Read a good vook lately?

October 5, 2009

No, that’s not a misspelling.  It’s just a description of a new combination of book and video.  How would you like to read one of your favorite books but find it interspersed with frequent video clips to help bring the story to life?  Obviously, it’s a natural integration and now technology has made it quite easy to do. 

My son Jared and I are writing a book on the differing generational approaches to work.  Do you think a traditional 240-page tradebook is the best format to reach the 25-35 yr-old audience?  What about a vook that provides the concepts of new work models, combined with video that shows his work with the women they are bringing out of poverty in Rwanda?  And rather than just a word description, how would you like to see a one-minute video of the lady carving two large faces on the sides of a tree in my yard; providing a real example of the non-traditional work options available today.  Rather than having a clunky book to lug around in your backpack you can pull the vook up on your computer screen or simply download it to your iPhone.  And instead of $24.95, how about paying $6.99 for regular download or $4.99 for the iPhone version?

And here’s another indication of change.  Knowing people’s increasingly short attention span, iMinds has launched a series of eight-minute audiobooks that offer compact overviews of general knowledge subjects ranging from a history of whale hunting to creationism.  For $0.99 you can choose the MindTrack that appeals to you. 

Dan & Jared #13

What is it in your world that needs a serious update?  What process or product are you still trying to use or sell that simply needs to be discarded?   Have you developed or at least imagined a newer, better way to serve the same purpose?  How could your work be done quicker and more efficiently? 

The U.S. automobile industry waited too long to make the necessary changes.  The music industry is reeling from the changes demanded by their consumers.  The publishing world is being torn apart by readers sharing digital content as opposed to buying a heavy, eco-negative book.  Universities are struggling to maintain fancy campuses as students prefer simple distance learning. 

Not all change is progress – but all progress requires change. 

Can’t Stop me Now

January 26, 2009

Is your industry getting killed with all the changes that are happening right now?  We know people in real estate, banking and construction are running out the door in search of new opportunities.  Here’s another one you may not hear as much about – publishing.  Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Harper Collins are laying staff off left and right.  Salaries are being frozen or eliminated.  Publisher’s Weekly predicts that 2009 will be “the worst year for publishing in decades.” 

But what does that mean if you’re a wanna-be-author?  Are all your hopes dashed – or do you perhaps have better opportunities than you’ve ever had before?  In this week’s issue of TIME, Lev Grossman writes in Books Gone Wild that people are reading more and it’s never been easier to get a book out to an eager audience.  Wooing agents, begging for a publisher, fat advances, printing on paper and shipping on consignment are probably things of the past, but there are no barriers for delivering a complete manuscript via a blog, podcast or cell phone.  Let the readers decide – and if they like it, the product can then be created in another profitable form.  (More about turning your writing into income in Write to the Bank.

Most every industry is the same.  If you are in the restaurant business it may not make sense to be open every day, just waiting for customers.  In New York City there is a restaurant that is only open twenty times a year.  You have to have an appointment and pay in advance.  No empty seats, no wondering if you’ll cover the overhead.  I’m talking to mortgage lenders who can’t keep up with the flood of new customers for refinancing, builders who do nothing but specialty work and can’t turn out the work fast enough, and bankers who have plenty of money to lend and invest. 

People ask about my business.  Here’s the deal.  If the economy is great, people know they have options so my business is great.  If the economy is bad, people have to be looking for new solutions, so my business is great. 

What about your business?  I suspect the same can be true for you.