Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Present : Jane Green

Thanks Santa for the Jane Green book!

Looking forward to reading it. That makes about 250 books I have on my Kindles and nightstand and bookcase and everywhere in my house.

Can you ever have too many books?

I've been binge reading all the remaining Barry Eisler books I hadn't read. John Rain mainlining. Almost done with all of his. Ready to dig into some new ones.

Monday, December 10, 2012

People Going Gorillas for APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch

I know a few million of you have probably already bought and read APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur - How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch which came out last night at midnight Pacific Coast Time, but for the rest of you, what's taking you so long? Just kidding, a little, but this is a book that so many people will find
Full disclosure, I know Guy and Shawn and worked with them on the last book, What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us, so I am a friend. Guy gives me cred in the acknowledgements section of this new book for just about forcing him to write it, so I am biased. But this book has so much more to offer than I thought it would in the beginning, I'm seriously impressed. It's so useful and practical, as well as amusing and inspiring, which you can count on from any Kawasaki book. As I wrote in a review of the book on Amazon, I can't think of anyone who shouldn't read this book. If you're a reader it's a must own. If you're a writer, it's essential. If you're a publisher, you can't live without it. And of course, entrepreneurs will love it.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Crossing i's and dotting t's -- I mean ...

Ever think about all the work that went into getting these books on a shelf?!   I do!   That's all I've been thinking about lately.

Exciting times here with my Kickstarter book project.  Again, thanks so much to all my supporters.  I've been meeting with editors and proofreaders to line them up -- a bit like finding a good midwife for a baby due in a few months.  They make it or break it honestly!  And as the title suggests, I can write the thing but I need someone else to cross the t's and dot the i's thank you very much.

Picture Credit:  CalTech Library

Monday, October 1, 2012

We Blog The World Relaunch!

I was glad to hear what Renee Blodgett of We Blog the World has been up to lately.  She's just done a relaunch of her site and I asked her about it. 

1.       Why did you do the relaunch?

Renee Blodgett at We Blog The World
At We Blog the World, we realized that while there’s a lot of content for travelers out there on the web, there’s not a lot of content that is tailored around events, festivals and culture, specific to so many different countries under one umbrella. In other words, there is a wealth of resources on tourism sites for events and festivals specific to a region, however that content is hard to find and you have to do serious digging every time you want to go to a specific country or city. The content is fragmented at best.

Secondly, a lot of travel sites focus on either high-end luxury or they focus on adventure travel for backpackers when most of the world falls in between the two. Where does the discerning traveler go who’s already been to the popular hot spots and is yearning for more? We want to provide that content and a community that supports that interest and desire.

2.       Who’s your best audience and who do you want to reach?

We are trying to reach an educated savvy traveler who has done a lot of traveling but is yearning for more. We’re after those who think and ask:  I want to experience cultural events around things I care about most that will expand my mind: food/wine, arts, culture, entertainment, music and green/sustainability and what’s out there that I can experience beyond the traditional tours where I can expand my horizons, meet interesting people, grow and make a difference in the world? In other words: Renaissance thinking meets travel and cultural events. We are a catalyst that will connect the forces at play: those creating the experiences and those wanting to experience them and this is obviously worldwide not just in the U.S.

3.       Are you a global social media site? 

We’re not really a "social media" site, we’re a travel and culture site that is social media savvy. Our readers are heavy technology and mobile users who spend a lot of time online but also yearn for adventure. They also like to travel and want to expand their minds through new and unique experiences. Social media is a catalyst to help make that happen. Because We Blog the World heavily engages on a number of social media networks, we engage with our readers regularly and learn about what works and what doesn’t. Social media mobilizes things so much faster and we use social media to engage with our readers and to learn about what people love and don’t. We Blog the World readers come from the U.S., England, Canada, India, Australia, France, Singapore, Germany and the SE Asia in that order, although South America is growing organically.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Wow! Very exciting day here. My Kickstarter project was FUNDED! If you missed out and still want to fund my project, you can use my PayPal link here!

My fully funded project:  Founders Less Than Three video below!

Click here to check it out!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Getting Down to the Wire!

My Kickstarter project has one week to go! Please feel free to back me for $25, $50, $100. Best of all, if you pick the $125 level, you help me create a fictional start-up company and even make up a fiction CEO male or female. And that fictional way they will change the world with their fictional product -- it's all waiting for you!

Click here to check it out!

Friday, August 31, 2012

I Get Knocked Down; Still Anything is Possible

It's the Friday morning of Labor Day weekend and I dropped a bunch of teens off at coffee shop in Arlington. They're young, sexy, pretty and handsome, thrilled to be heading into Harvard Square on the bus to knock around. And they are excited, happy, silly. Are you?

I pull away and I'm trying to put my finger on that feeling. It's the feeling that anything is possible.  Anything!

And I'm thinking,  Shit, that's it!  That's what it feels like to be an entrepreneur! That's the feeling you get in an accelerator! You are surrounded by BRAVE, CRAZY, ANYTHING-IS-POSSIBLE people 24x7 and once you've experienced that, it's a bitch to live any other way.

I mean face it, most businesses are all about, "Oh sorry, we don't do that here," or "Oh no, we've always done it this way," or "Why reinvent the wheel?"

Okay, ready, SOMETIMES THE WHEEL NEEDS REINVENTING! And that's what enterpreneurs have -- insane amounts of optimism and the ability to jump on an opportunity and make something happen.

Whether they're chasing a hot girl down the street, chatting up a stranger in a bar, reimagining how a time-honored practice can be completely revamped, they are open to all possibility.

What a way to live! On the edge of possibility, creativity, chutzpah and welcoming new ways of thinking and bringing new products and things into being.  They try things.  They fail on a regular basis.  They are ready to try try again.

Oh yeah! They get knocked down but they get up again!  He sings the songs that remind him of the good times.

And that's what I'm writing about.  Thanks again for all the support.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Thanks to my fellow Kickstarter project managers for sharing their stories last night at our event at the Microsoft NERD (New England Research & Development Center) in Cambridge. Laurie Kahn, who just hit her pledge goal yesterday spoke about her project Love Between the Covers, a documentary film about romance writers. Joel Brown left beautiful Newburyport to visit the city and talk about his guide book to the gorgeous area around his home -- The Essex Coastal Byway Guide. Check it out here. Ian Schon added his great Pen Project to the other bibliophile projects. His pen is terrific and like the others, despite making their goals, you can find them all on Kickstarter and still buy into all three. And my project is starting to take baby steps -- it's only 2 days old -- and you can find my Founders Less Than Three video here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kickstarter LIVE!

So here goes! I'm kicking off my Kickstarter project today, with a little help from my friends. It's called Founders Less Than Three and you can support it right here!

It's a novel all about entrepreneurs -- five CEO guys and five CEO girls and their teams are building new companies from scratch and racing to get funding.  Boston is the best place in the world to found a start-up and my enterprenerds come from all over the world.

It's early here in Boston and I am thinking about my characters getting up, washing their faces, getting ready for the day. It's 5:30am, so a bunch of them have been working all night at their offices at Kendall Square. It's just one of those things, you figure you'll grab the T in time to get home late and then you just keep working through the night instead.

If you haven't tried Kickstarter, this is a great time to join. You can support my project for as little as a $1.00 and there's no complicated sign-up process and all that. Have you ever bought anything from Amazon? If so, then that's all you do with Kickstarter -- it all runs through Amazon and you don't even pay for a month (and only if my project gets fully funded.) So try it out and be sure to peruse the other amazing creative projects over at Kickstarter as well.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Guy Kawasaki New Cool Stuff

Guy Kawasaki's set up a mailing list if you want cool stuff about his upcoming books and other projects he's been working on.  Just go to this link.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Big Excellent News for Yahoo!

So glad to hear Marissa Mayer will be the new Yahoo CEO and then to hear the even better news!  She's pregnant!  Bravo for her on both counts!

We were on a panel together a long time ago and a few people didn't seem to take her seriously because she was so young.  Boy did they get it wrong!

This is a day we will all spend imagining the cool and innovative things Yahoo will do with her at the helm.  Yes, words nobody's been pairing with Yahoo recently -- cool, innovative -- but watch what happens! Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer Reads

Since I read all the time, just about every day, every week, every month and certainly every season, I find this whole "summer reads" concept a little shaky. Tell me -- does it mean people don't bother reading except when they are on vacation?! Arghhh! I hope not.

Is there a reason there should be only one season of literary binge eating?! I'm jamming my mind (not mouth) full of adverbs, adjectives, action and adventure on a daily basis.  Shouldn't you read books every day, like healthy eating, swallowing big delicious novels full of crazy characters in faraway places, redolent of cinnamon, spice, some girls, not so nice every chance you get? 

Books are nicely designed to be consumed in all seasons -- for winter, spent it with Zhivago at Varykino, greet spring in a boring Yonville with an dissatisfied Madame Bovary, and for summer camp chose Humbert Humbert as your guide, and finally when hit with a bit of back-to-school longing, feel free to follow Stephen Dedalus to the schoolyard in autumn. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Yes, it's apparently called a "p-book"

I think we've gone full circle when someone has to make up a new word for the thing that is the opposite of an e-book.  You remember, that thing that used to be called a "book"  -- plain and simple.  Now I just heard someone refer to it as a "p-book" -- aka a paper book or physical book.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Blogger has a new look!

It looks ugly and hard to use like WordPress!

Honestly ... who's great idea was this?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I'm at Libboo at TechStars Boston!

If you're looking for me, I'm working at Libboo over at TechStars Boston!

Libboo -- Home of the Next Digital Bestseller -- come see us here.

Demo Day is May 3.  It should be a great day.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Most Important Thing An Author Can Do

Seth Godin points us to this interview on Media Bistro and wonders about the logic of the statement:

The publisher of one of the leading book imprints says, “The most important thing an author can do is have his or her book in on time.”


That’s the most important thing an author can do?

Seth disagrees and writes:  "... the most important thing an author can do is write a breakthrough book, one that makes readers gasp and talk and share. And the second most important thing an author can do is build a tribe, a significant connection with a growing number of people."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Amazon per BusinessWeek

[Sorry about the ads -- believe me I didn't put them there and I don't actually earn any money from them.  Thank BusinessWeek for the ads.]

Friday, January 27, 2012

Seth Godin on the "Downside Up" of Publishing

As usual, Seth Godin gets it.  Here's his latest post.  The red highlights are MINE. 

"The single biggest change in book publishing is this:

The industry was built around finding readers for its writers.

And new technologies and business models now mean that the most successful publishers and authors find writers for their readers instead.

Traditionally, a book is signed, written, edited, designed, printed and distributed and THEN the publisher runs around like crazy trying to alert people about the book, get shelf space and media attention and reviews… all a way of finding readers for the writing that was published.

In the era of permission marketing, the writer already knows her readers, the writer already has the ability to contact those readers. If not the writer, then the publisher or the bookstore.

And that connection is an asset, a valuable one. It means that the attention is already there but must be re-earned regularly. So someone like John Scalzi or Cory Doctorow wakes up in the morning thinking about what he can write for his readers, not how to get more readers for what he’s already written.

[Think about a successful conference. They can invite high profile speakers because they already have an audience. Or think about being asked about appearing on a talk show. You go for free because the talk show already has an audience. This isn't new, it's merely new to publishing.]

And thus, everything changes. The risk. The timing. The deals. The personalities. The books themselves.

The losers at the end of this round are obvious: entities that haven’t bothered to build a direct connection with readers. Everything else is commentary."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Barnes & Noble will carry Amazon titles

Laura Owen Hazard at describes the new unhappy "marriage" of Amazon and B&N -- not even sure if you can call it a marriage.
Booksellers should not expect to be visited by a friendly Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) Publishing sales rep anytime soon. Rather, in an agreement announced today, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will publish the print versions of all of the adult titles from Amazon Publishing’s New York-based division (run by publishing industry vet Larry Kirshbaum), and will distribute them everywhere in North America outside of

Best of all from Amazon’s point of view: Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) will not get a penny from the e-book sales of Amazon Publishing titles.

Check out the piece "Well, Here’s How Amazon Publishing Will Get Its Books Into Barnes & Noble" here.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My Romance Novel, or My Novel Romance

I'm in a odd position of feeling so happy and proud and satisfied and gaga about my husband in a world of couples who are not doing so well, I am torn.  Show me your rooftop, I'll shout from it, I LOVE MY HUSBAND!  But wait, I better do my SHOUTING ... quietly, so as not to upset the other guys and gals we know who aren't so happy.

He made me the most wonderful dinner last night -- pasta, wine, candles, the works -- and we whispered to one another in candlelight, just us two, co-conspirators, "If they don't like the person they are with, why don't they try to fix it or leave?!"  Shhhhh!   We can't share our dirty little secret -- that we're happy as can be.

Do we anger the gods by being so happy?  Will the plot of our story twist and turn and our tale will end badly?  Maybe, but not for now.  Are most people unhappy?  There are days when it seems that way.

Friday, January 20, 2012

How to Borrow "Free Books" for Amazon Prime Members

I've been seeing a lot of confusion around this subject -- how you actually get "free" books if you are a Kindle owner with a Amazon Prime membership.

If you go to Amazon, you will see many books listed as $0.00 for Prime members, and below this, you may see a price like $3.99 to buy, but don't click BUY.   You'll notice even if you are a Prime member, you will be billed for the "free" book.  "Huh?!"  you may say.  It's all about language.  The key word here is "borrow."

What you get as a Prime member is the ability to "BORROW" one book per month for free, read that book and then return it.

And how do you "borrow" free books?  You do not borrow the same way you buy books on the Amazon site page for a given book, but rather you initiate "borrowing" on your Kindle device.

This link will explain all the details.  Start here.

As you'll see here, you must click the "BORROW FOR FREE" button which appears on your Kindle screen, not on the site.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kindle Fire Test Drive

I loaned my Kindle Fire to a friend since she was thinking about getting one and wanted to give it a try. I loaned it to her a week ago ... and big surprise, she still has it and keeps coming up with good reasons to keep it longer. Makes me laugh. I knew she would LOVE IT! Who doesn't it?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Paint It Black

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Is It Really 5 Degrees Here? Great Weather For Reading!

Yes, this lovely Sunday morning started out at 5 degrees F... warming up now to 12. What a perfect day for reading. How about Dr. Zhivago?! You can get it here on Amazon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Are You Important? Social Media Thinks So.

With Steve Job's death last year, it's hard to be in the world, or particularly in the world of technology and not be thinking about death and what matters.  As you get older and see people around you die, you should be asking yourself, "what really matters?"  

Life is strange.  We know we were born and celebrate that fact yearly, but we have an odd way of avoiding the only other fact we can count on -- we die.

Yes, even you.  You WILL die.  (Unless biotech gets really innovative!)

So you will die and when you think that over, you should wonder, who will care?  Who will think my death matters?  Who will think my life mattered?  Who thinks I am important?

People who lived before us became known, or famous or important by waging wars, inventing things, writing books, building buildings, painting paintings, giving birth, curing diseases, traveling to unknown places, among other things.  

In our times, I think social media has given us all a new way to be important.  We might never be "famous" but we are important to our social media followers.  

We matter to a group of people -- some family, some friends, some strangers.  We matter right now thanks to social media.  We are famous to our circle of friends.  They miss us when we don't tweet or post.  They worry about us.  They learn from us when we link to interesting things.  We can make them laugh with YouTube videos.  We can stop dictators.  We can share a recipe and help them make dinner.    

When you rush to see who's been writing on your Facebook wall, you do it because the secret of social media is that it makes you matter.  Social media thinks you are a very important person. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Best Books According to Whom?

There are so many "Best Books of 2011" lists circulating and as a book lover, I want to blow a whistle and yell back, "best according to whom?"  

Take this book I had been hearing a lot about -- The Art of Fielding -- by Chad Harbach.  There were endless rave reviews about it and I ended up getting the idea that it was about publishing.  I bought it.  I read it.  I had the completely WRONG idea about it.  This is likely because half the reviews went on and on about how this book was changing publishing forever, or some nonsense.  This book is about BASEBALL and I hate baseball.

I mean, this book is about a shortstop. A guy on a baseball team.  (Insert a big "Who Cares?!" here please.)  I didn't really know what a shortstop did, nor did I care.  I spent the first half of the book figuring the guy who was a shortstop would graduate, go to New York and work in publishing and that was going to be the interesting part.  That never happened.

And I also don't know why anyone thought it was such a great book -- even leaving the baseball stuff aside -- I didn't think it was particularly well written.

So I guess I would say that finding a TRUSTED source for book recommendations is different from trusting a list of someone's idea of "best books."  

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Now For A Really Happy New Year!

I've made my tea, it's early as can be and I'm thinking about 2012.  Back to work and school here today, so now it feels just really 2012-ish to be sure.

Repeat after me, "Twenty Twelve, Twenty Twelve, Twenty Twelve!"  And get out your checkbook and scribble some "2012's" on the date lines.  Go ahead, it might be in a different ink, but who cares.

There was nothing much 2012-ish about Sunday morning, but today, now that we have to get back to the real world -- it's a very big new year.   Make it even better in a simple way.  Walk.

I don't want to say the "R" word, but if you do want to make some changes in your life and get into some healthy new patterns, try to add one hour more of walking to your day.

I've been doing it for the last few days and it does make an amazing difference.  I'm feeling better and sleeping better.  Your body wants to move.  You body wants to get up from the desk and leave the computer for at least an hour.  Get up and move.  I'm not asking you to add an hour of running, or jumping or more obvious full throttle exercise, just trying adding an hour of walking, you'll be glad you did.