My Visit to Lakewood Church

Photo courtesy of Lakewood Church

Joel Osteen is the Senior Pastor of Houston’s Lakewood Church, the largest church in the U.S.  He’s immediately recognizable from his television ministry, bestselling books and stadium appearances.

Pastor Osteen has a consistent message of encouragement and hope.  That inspirational message resonates with the members of his home church and also with the millions who tune in to his weekly broadcast.

Wagging the Tail

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com/toddtaulman

Seth Godin recently wrote a post in response to my Huffington Post interview on the Future of the Book.  In it, he claimed that the long tail has hit the book business hard, and e-books will exceed a million new titles in 2012.  Because of this, all of the ideas I discuss (which he calls “breathtaking visions of the future” like embedded video and audio, plot twists, or alternative endings) he characterizes as “economically ridiculous.”  The reason is because the explosion of titles will force production costs down and, therefore, there will be no room for any enhancements for the book.

New Year’s Resolutions: Beyond the Book Cover

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto/alexsl

Yesterday’s post was a celebration of the best book covers of the year.  The graphic designers who create such works of art deserve recognition for their work.

As the year winds down, I’m struck by these cover images and the metaphor that they offer.  With a quick glance at a book cover, we judge the content and the author.  What the world sees of us is like that jacket, covering the real person inside.  And just like a book cover, we are judged.  Many times, it is before anyone ever took time to read our story.

We work hard to improve our external image.  Whether through fashion, diet, exercise or even plastic surgery, we spend billions on physical improvements.  It’s not just physical appearance either.  We want our presence to be positive online.  There are now various “reputation defender” services to combat unwanted reviews on the Internet.  How we look to the outside world is important to most of us.

The Best Book Covers of 2011

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto/mattjeacock

All year long I’m around books.  At home, in the office, in warehouses, in bookstores, in libraries and book tradeshows, I see them everywhere.  It’s difficult for me to walk by them without stopping and picking one up.  Why?  The cover.

A cleverly designed book cover can propel a book’s sales.  Each of us has a different visual perspective, but you know a great visual design when you see it.  Some covers simply stop you in your tracks and almost make you pick up the book.  Other covers just fall flat, dooming the book before it even has a chance.  And a little known fact:  authors generally have little to no say in the cover design.