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.

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.

The Future of Books

Photo courtesy @drewbordas

As the CEO of a large book company, I am often asked about my opinions on the future of the book and the industry.  Just last week, CM Rubin interviewed me for a piece on How We Will Read published in the Huffington Post.  In that piece, I talk about everything from self-publishing to my recommendations for brick & mortar bookstores in an increasingly digital world.

The interview prompted me to review a piece I wrote almost two years ago for the Daily Beast.  Because I believe it is still valid, I am reposting it here:

Discussing Escape Velocity with Geoffrey Moore

Photo courtesy Geoffrey Moore

One of the most thoughtful voices on transformative challenges and disruptive change is Geoffrey Moore.  His books are must-reading in business schools, but are applicable to anyone seeking significant growth or change.  I’ve spoken on the topic of personal and industry change at various conferences.  After one of my speeches, someone connected me to Geoff.  I enjoyed meeting him since all of his books are in my private library at home:  Crossing the Chasm, Inside the Tornado, The Gorilla Game, Living on the Fault Line, and Dealing with Darwin.

A Conversation with Condoleezza Rice

Extraordinary, Ordinary

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has written two memoirs of her life.  Read Extraordinary, Ordinary People and you will feel like you really know her personally.  She writes about her parents’ unconditional love and the values that helped her grow into a polished diplomat.  Read her latest memoir, No Higher Honor, about her time serving in the Bush administration and you will follow her experiences from National Security Advisor to Secretary of State in the aftermath of 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond.