Social media doesn’t sell books. It lights sparks.

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When it comes to book sales, does a social media following guarantee sales? Of course not. That’s what’s behind the New York Times piece, “Millions of Followers? For Book Sales, ‘It’s Unreliable.’ ,” a naive and oversimplified take on what it takes to sell books. How books sell In the olden days — before COVID … Continued

How important are bookstores to business authors?

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If you’re a business book author, you are probably imagining your book on the shelf in the local Barnes & Noble, independent bookstore, or airport bookstore. But before you pursue that vision, you ought to think it through, because attaining bookstore placement comes with lots of challenges. As context for this discussion, consider two sales … Continued

If books are so great, why is it so hard to give them away?

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Books are great individually. But in big bunches, they’re not as sacred as they once were. I’m in the process of moving and I have a lot of books. I’ve been collecting science fiction books since I was a teenager — I’ve accumulated hundreds of hardbacks and hundreds more in paperback, with special bookcases to … Continued

Understanding Dr. Seuss — and why his books were cancelled

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I have been in love with Dr. Seuss since childhood, and happily raised my own children on his lyrical work. Much of his imagery is delightful because it is so exaggerated; some of it is racist. If you want to understand why the company that manages his content has ceased to publish some of his … Continued

The moral conundrum of Books by the Foot

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A Maryland bookseller will outfit your bookshelf with books of any description — liberal history, musty old tomes, or just “green.” What are the moral implications of treating books as objects and not content? Politico describes Books by the Foot‘s business. Its clients vary. Some are set decorators for movies and plays. Others are people … Continued

Trademarks in books and other prose: how to mark and when to claim them

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Trademarks confuse writers. Here are some tips on how to address trademarks in prose — and whether you ought to protect your own special names for things with them. Start with this: I’m not a lawyer. I hope you find this helpful — it’s based on decades of experience as a writer — but if … Continued