Healthy Brain Food

In this social media-saturated world where everyone seems to have an opinion about everything, it is very important to quickly determine those voices you pay attention to and those you tune out.

When it comes to the book publishing business, I narrow down who I pay attention to simply because I am convinced my head would explode if I listened to everyone.

Probably because the end-product of book publishing is for the consumer and not only for a select few of privileged people, there are as many opinions about book covers, writing quality, marketing, ebooks and finance as there are published books (over a half-million per year in the United States, counting self-published titles).

Everyone has their own list of favored information sources, but here are those people and organizations that keep my attention: (in alphabetical order because all are of equal importance and I don’t want to get anyone mad at me if I tried to rank them)

Amazon.com
 It is just about half of the entire publishing industry, so watching it, reading about it, and listening to what they have to say is pretty important.

Digital Book World
A solid online source of information, free and paid webinars and also a major annual convention. Sign up to get e-newsletters and other info by clicking here (Digital Book World)  and scrolling to the bottom of the page.

Michael Shatzkin
The smartest guy in publishing other than Steve Laube. Subscribe to his free blog by clicking http://www.idealog.com and entering your email address.

Monday Morning Memo
There are a lot more people than just James L. Rubart and I getting this blog every Monday morning. A marketing “school” focusing on radio advertising, but having some amazing things to say about story-telling and life. This is a real gem to read every week. Click here (Monday Morning Memo)  and subscribe. You will be very happy you did.

Paidcontent/GigaOM
A daily feed of information you can customize to your needs. Click here (Gigaom)  and go to Subscribe in the upper navigation bar.

Publishers
Of course. Agents sell proposals to publishers. We pay attention when they communicate anything. Clients of our agency expect that!

Publishing Perspectives
An excellent aggregator from across the world. Click here (Publishing Perspective) and subscribe to their news from all over. Amaze your friends at dinner parties with what you know. (If you think everything starts and ends in the United States, think again)

Seth Godin
Getting great business advice is imperative. Click here (http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/) and soon you will want to run out and shave your head and wear yellow glasses.  Seriously, the smartest marketing and business guy in the world.

Steve Laube
Authors are not the only ones who think he is smart. He really is. No, really. Even Karen Ball and Tamela Murray think so and they are hard to please.

Todd Busteed, Wes Bleed and Wayne Shepherd
Three long-time friends who gather once per month for breakfast and talk about what we have been observing in the world of communications. All have professional radio voices and compared to them I sound like Elmer Fudd ordering breakfast, but I deal with it because these are three of the smartest guys I know. You should find a small group to meet regularly to talk about writing or communications. It will make you better at what you do.  After all, social media means sometimes you actually talk to people.

Wired
Like them on Facebook here (https://www.facebook.com/wired) and you will get a steady stream of amazingly cool technology updates on a regular basis. Really smart friends will think you actually understand what is happening in the world, and that is important to keeping up a professional appearance!

7 Responses to Healthy Brain Food

  1. Avatar
    Sue Raatjes November 4, 2014 at 9:44 am #

    Thanks, Dan. You’re always educating writers. Know we appreciate the info you’ve shared. I’ve missed your blogs lately so I’m glad to read this post.

  2. Avatar
    Jeanne Takenaka November 4, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    These sound like great resources, Dan! I “Liked” Wired just now. And, I already read Steve Laube (and his amazing agents) regularly. If I only had time to actively read and engage with one of these resources, which would you recommend? Thanks so much for providing the links, too!

    • Dan Balow
      Dan Balow November 4, 2014 at 11:44 am #

      Most of the recommendations are pretty short, but I would always default to Seth Godin as a start. A wide range of topics for sure.

      • Avatar
        Jeanne Takenaka November 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

        Thanks, Dan! I’ve heard a lot of good things about Seth Godin. Going to sign up now. 🙂

  3. Avatar
    Jenelle. M November 4, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    Woohoo, more education! I will take a gander and see which ones will help me during this season of my writing journey.

  4. Avatar
    Julie November 9, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

    Thanks for sharing Dan! Really appreciate the information.

  5. Avatar
    Antony November 29, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    Needs some skill to manage information overload on internet era. nice, thank you 🙂

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