Morning Cuppa – 04/16/13 – Neil Gaiman! Blogging! Nightshade!

My thoughts are with the city of Boston today, I hope for healing for them in this difficult time.

  • Neil Gaiman gave a speech that he said, “went down like a lead balloon” at the London Book Fair yesterday. He urged people in the book business, especially the major players to, “try everything. Make mistakes. Surprise ourselves. Try anything else. Fail. Fail better. And succeed in ways we never would have imagined a year or a week ago.”
    This is actually a common undercurrent in the publishing industry right now, I recently attended a conference for my day job that was very much about the concept of what’s been coined, “disruptive innovation”. The problem that I’ve seen is that while there are players like Gaiman who have the weight to throw around and say such daring things, the folks who actually hold the purse strings are from the same old guard who rely on conservative business models and depend on the whims of their investors or stakeholders. Ultimately, I think that the real disruption will come from those who aren’t power players. Smaller and newer organizations don’t have the same need to maintain their legacy products that established media brands do. Having said that, to again quote Gaiman, “anyone who tells you they know what’s coming, what things will be like in 10 years’ time, is simply lying to you.”
  • As a constant blogger, it’s challenging to stay fresh and engaging. For example, I do this Morning Cuppa post just about every day. Sometimes I wonder if having it on a daily basis leads to reader fatigue though. One of the trends that I’ve noticed is that on days where I have a unique blog post as well as my Morning Cuppa post, my traffic experiences a significant spike. I’ve played around with the idea of breaking up these posts into several posts and scheduling them to go up throughout the day but thusfar haven’t taken action on it. Also, I know that interviewing authors, writing about my own writing adventure, etc. have been great ways to bring new readers in. It’s always good however, to look at what you’re doing and try to decide if it could be improved upon. Tammy Sparks has 10 good suggestions for improving (or starting) your blog.
  • Michael Stackpole has reversed course and has posted on his blog that he will now be signing the new Nightshade/Skyhorse book deal. He cites that the new contract has been heavily amended from the original. While there are some concessions he had to make, he feels like some of the bigger problems he had with the original deal have been sufficiently addressed.