Business Musings: Your Basket is Leaking

In October 2018, Sears filed for bankruptcy. The form of bankruptcy the corporate heads chose was something called Chapter 11 here in the U.S. It means that the company—once the largest retailer in the entire world—will be able to reorganize and, if they’re lucky and the folks running the company are smart, they might be able to emerge from bankruptcy with some of the business […]

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Business Musings: Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble is undergoing changes yet again. What does this mean for writers?

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Business Musings: Confidential Business Information

So…in this world of celebrity and the internet and data at our fingertips, should we even try to keep our business information confidential? The big companies do so. Smaller companies do as well.

Smart business-oriented writers do.

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Business Musings: Bookstores (2017 in Review)

It is no longer possible for an independent bookseller in the United States to remain in business based on in-store book sales alone. Okay, maybe a handful are doing it in high traffic areas with low rents, but not many at all. The old way is no longer the new way, and unless the bookseller understands that, the bookstore goes out of business.

But readers do want their paper books. And readers love browsing bookshelves. Sometimes readers “window,” meaning they look at books on the shelves, then order them online. Readers recognize that they will discover books that are new to them in person more often than they’ll discover them while shopping online. So book people venture into any place with books.

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Business Musings: Bestseller Lists and Other Dreams

In March, Marie Force announced she would no longer chase the bestseller lists when she released her latest book title. She wrote a great, honest, and direct blog about her thinking, and I urge you to read it all. In the blog, she describes a trajectory of obsession and disillusionment that is very familiar to me. I’ve gone through that range of emotions several times […]

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Business Musings: 2016 Disappointments

As I write this in early January, fourth quarter numbers for all big businesses are just starting to trickle in. The whining about 2016 has commenced, some of it justified, some of it not.

The numbers aren’t just in for the major publishers; the numbers are in for indie writers as well. And the writers who crunch numbers are having varied reactions, often depending on years of business expertise.

I have a hunch that when all of the numbers arrive toward the end of this month or so, we’ll find out that 2016 was truly a mixed bag….

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Business Musings: Good Things

While I was digging deep into the ugliness that traditional publishing contracts have devolved into, the indie publishing world has grown and changed and become even more positive. More than a light at the end of the tunnel, the indie world has become a haven to those of us willing to work hard and to understand that real achievement takes time. It amazes me how […]

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Business Musings: Author Earnings

A while back, I promised I would look at the new report from Author Earnings. I needed time to assess the data for the purposes of this blog. For those of you who don’t know, Author Earnings is a website started by Hugh Howey and a man known only as Data Guy. The site takes snapshots of the Amazon rankings on a given day and […]

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Business Musings: Price Wars and Victims

The traditional publishers are screaming about Amazon. I’ve learned over the years that when someone screams about something, they’re doing so because they feel some kind of pressure, some kind of pinch.

How could traditional publishers be feeling a pinch from Amazon? After all, in the United States, Amazon is selling more books than any other retailer. Why would that hurt traditional publishers? Is it hurting traditional publishers?

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Business Musings: Why I Love Taylor Swift

I love Taylor Swift, and I’m not afraid to admit it. It’s not just because her song “Shake It Off” accompanied me on my daily run during those tough days earlier this year when my world got infiltrated by haters. (Swift wrote the song with Max Martin and Shellback as a response to the criticism she constantly receives.) “Shake It Off” reminded me that I’m better off writing than I am worrying about people who aren’t worth my time.

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