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February 2012

The Shopify winners…

Alert Domino readers will remember that Shopify was a sponsor of one of our book launches. At the time, we announced a contest they were launching for online businesses. (I get to cook them lunch, which should be a lot of fun). The winners are in, the prize money is generous and there’s a lot [...]

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Who decides what gets sold in the bookstore?

We can probably agree that the local supermarket has no moral or ethical or business obligation to sell cherry-flavored Cap’n Crunch. If the owner doesn’t like cherries, she doesn’t have to sell them. And the cereal maker shouldn’t work under the assumption that every store that sells food will necessarily carry the Cap’n, even on [...]

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Launching a new idea in a post-paper world

Today my new manifesto Stop Stealing Dreams goes ‘on-sale’. On-sale is in air quotes because it’s free, but we don’t have a word for the on-free date. Ideas that spread are worth a lot–to the community and to the creator of those ideas as well. When they’re bound up in a book, an object that [...]

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Music Lessons (that work for publishing, too)

I wrote this four years ago, worth a revisit: Music lessons Things you can learn from the music business (as it falls apart) The first rule is so important, it’s rule 0: 0. The new thing is never as good as the old thing, at least right now. Soon, the new thing will be better [...]

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The end of paper changes everything

Not just a few things, but everything about the book and the book business is transformed by the end of paper. Those that would prefer to deny this obvious truth are going to find the business they love disappear over the next five years. The book itself is changed. I’m putting the finishing touches on [...]

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Effects: Hawthorne, scarcity and showroom

The Hawthorne effect describes how people react to changes in their environment–particularly to the knowledge that they are being paid attention to. Turn up the lights in the factory and productivity goes up. Turn them down and productivity goes up. It turns out that the Hawthorne effect works at retail too. Tell the buyer at [...]

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Keeping the trains running

In any business with a lot of moving parts, sooner or later the practice of running the business stops being about strategy and growth spurts and starts being about keeping the process you’ve built from breaking down. Spin enough plates and soon you will end up keeping the plates spinning instead of finding new plates [...]

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