What Publishing Can Learn from the Music Industry

The digital age has already come to music, and now publishing is in the same awkward adolescent phase. Record labels didn’t handle it well–think acne, voice squeaks, and a truly disastrous first date with the prom king. So how can we learn from their mistakes? Weird is in! An interesting tidbit: studies show that when people move from shopping in brick and mortar stores to shopping online, they make more esoteric, niche purchases and aren’t as likely to buy the same few bestsellers as everyone else. That’s not just because there’s a wider variety of products (even when selection is the same, people buy more niche online) and it’s not just because weirdos do more of their shopping online (even the SAME people will display more niche/unique buying habits when shopping on the internet). That means authors outside of the...
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How to Fight Book Pirates

As soon as a product goes digital, people figure out how to steal it. It used to be just songs and movies that were pirated, but now ebooks are beset by the same want-it-for-free crowd. Even if you’re not a writer trying to keep the lights on, this is bad news for you. Studies have shown that widespread piracy decreases revenue and QUALITY OF PRODUCTS. Basically, if you don’t pay for stuff, stuff becomes increasingly shitty. Because people have no incentive to make good stuff, and even if they want to, they can’t afford to make it as good as they did back when they were, you know, actually getting paid. The good news is, there are a few simple strategies that have been shown to reduce piracy. So how do we fight pirates? Sell Everywhere Make your product available...
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Zombies, Beer, and the Key to Creativity

There’s an annoying thing that happens to writers, artists, and other creative types. Namely, that ideas rarely come at convenient times. They don’t like to show up for their appointment at 7:15 am when your freshly-scrubbed hands are poised on your keyboard, your coffee is still warm at your elbow, and your schedule for the day has not yet been hopelessly derailed. No, ideas like to show up just when you’ve laid down to go to sleep, or when you’re in the shower with no way to jot them down, or twenty minutes into a yoga class (far past the time when you could slink off to make a note without girls with OM tattoos giving you the stink eye). The reason for the terrible timing of epiphanies seems pretty clear, and I’m reminded of it every time I go...
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