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TOC Recommended Reading

What’s Really Killing Newspapers (Jack Shafer, Slate)

Other institutions do far better jobs at issuing social currency these days. What is Facebook but the Federal Reserve Bank of social currency? And it’s all social currency you can use! Like cocktail chatter, a Facebook posting–be it a link, a list, a photo, or travel plans–conveys the message, I am here. Listen to me. A well-executed Facebook presence, like a superb pontification at the bar or a great phone-in to sports talk radio, demonstrates one’s status within one’s existing social network. If skillfully wielded, a Facebook page can increase a person’s status by attracting “cooler” or more influential friends. These days, you can’t raise your status more than a bump by carrying the Wall Street Journal under your arm.

The Plight of Politico — And Everyone Else (Ezra Klein, The American Prospect)

A year-and-a-half after launch, [Politico is] getting 3.5 million unique visitors per month and 25 million page views. And yet not only is it unprofitable, but 60 percent of its revenues come from advertising in the 27,000 circulation print version. In other words: Politico got the online readership it dreamed of, but it hasn’t come even close to figuring out how to monetize it.

Secrets of book publishing I wish I had known (Mark Hurst, Good Experience)

Publishers and bookstores are in it for the money. But you, the author, can’t be in it for the money – it doesn’t pay enough. You should write a book because you believe in it. And that’s the trouble: what you love isn’t necessarily what publishers believe will sell. If you can find a topic that you love and that will sell in the market, well then, go forth and type. You’re one of the lucky ones. [Emphasis included in original post.]

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  • http://publishingmojo.blogspot.com/ Victor Curran

    “If your book will sell, it doesn’t matter what you’re writing about.”
    Why doesn’t Mark Hurst flip that argument around? If what you’re writing about matters, it will sell, whether it’s a book or not.
    Why doesn’t this acclaimed Web innovator counsel aspiring authors to say, “Here are my ideas. What channel(s) will they sell best in? Traditional book, e-book, web site, TV show, movie, etc.?”
    Don’t blame the book publisher for putting you through the old-school publishing wringer. That’s what book publishers do. But they’re not the only game in town anymore.