400th Executive Staff And Strategic Editorial Board Meeting

Blogger informs me that this is the 400th post to the self publishing blog. There's something scary about that, especially since the law of diminishing search engine returns took over around 350 posts ago, but I suppose it's not as frightening as being a long-time newspaper columnist or cartoonist. My first reaction to the impending anniversary was to produce a little lecture about the dangers of falling into a rut in your publishing business and writing life:

But on further reflection, especially thinking about some of my earlier posts making fun of big trade publishers and their staff meetings , it occurred to me that this blog has become the Foner Books executive staff and editorial board meeting all rolled up in one. While most self publishers don't think of themselves as publishing executives, it's a fair description if your publishing business is a going concern, and those of us functioning as sole proprietors pay an appreciably higher tax rate than the corporate trade publishing executives. So, from the nuts-and-bolts of my publishing business to blue sky projects for the future, this blog replaces the strategic staff meetings with coffee and donuts I'd be holding if I had an office in Manhattan.

It's a funny thing, waking up one morning and finding out that you've become a publishing executive holding weekly staff meetings. And it's even funnier if you consider all of the unpaid executive interns who have participated in stress testing the Foner Books publishing strategies by way of comments to the blog. I do appreciate it, and I'd buy you all a coffee if you were here (but I'm not letting go of my key to the executive washroom). Since I finally got around to enabling a feed a while ago, the meeting has picked up a hundred or so subscribers who may very well be reading along over their fourth mid-late morning or coffee break.

Unlike my memory of business meetings back in my youth when I worked for the man, this forum does keep me interested, probably because I get to do most of the talking and have the last word. I intend to bring in more guest speakers, by way of interviews, and write more about Internet centric publishing strategies and business development. And I'll keep hammering away at the basic truth of Internet age publishing, that information and ideas trump production values and packaging for all but the fattest wallets.


Kim Greenblatt said...

Congrats on hitting the big 4-Oh-Oh. Buy your staff a bagel or donught or something extravagant.

Speaking of feeds, do you or any of your readers use or plan on using feedburner? I am a little leery because I heard that feedburner throws ads on the feeds and that also may monkey with my feed that I have on my site already.

In any event, congrats!

Kim Greenblatt

Morris Rosenthal said...


I though of giving everybody a free hat, but the company I used is a pain to work with. Maybe if I find a better supplier.

I don't use feedburner myself, but I thought they were owner agnostic, so that anybody could burn a public feed. Never really looked into it, but I've stopped worrying about ads on third party tools, it's just the price of Internet admission.


Anonymous said...

one of the problems with type A entrepreneurs is that they get bored right when they get proficient and have optimal earning power. This is certainly the case with me. Now I'm working on sticktoitiveness (sound it out).


Anonymous said...

1st, congratulations on reaching 400, that's one 'ell of a feat for a one-man-band.

2nd, you may not have been able to get us all hats but we can make our own applying a simple origami trick. See how here:

3rd, you don't know why we continue to follow you? Me, I think you're a fine guy, and tell some pretty neat home truths in a very nice way. I'm not into fixing vehicles, but I'm sure your guidance on that subject is just as 'watchable.' In summary, you seem very friendly and I'd almost include you in a bunch of names of people I call friends....except you don't know me etc etc.


Zoe Winters said...

bwahahahaha @ get to do most of the talking and have the last word.

It's a perk.

Congrats on 400 posts. I've found your blog and your POD publishing book very informative!

Thomas Huynh said...

Congratulations on your 400th blog entry, Morris!

As an "unpaid intern" commentator, I come back here on a regular basis because of your analysis of the book business; it's always clear, balanced, and logical. In a world filled with hype and flash, you provide me and other readers a sensible and thus profitable approach to book marketing in its various facets. And so although I'm a trade author, I still go here because whether the book is self-published or published elsewhere, the author's main job will always be selling his or her book!

Thomas Huynh

Thomas Huynh said...

Also I thought to mention that this morning I referred my entire local writer's group to one of your blog entries because someone in our group had a question about self publishing. This unpaid intern asks that his pay be doubled. :-)

Thomas Huynh

Morris Rosenthal said...


Well, I'd give everybody a raise, but I figured but dropping my posting frequency to once a week, I've effectively cut your hours without cutting your pay, which amounts to the same thing.

Sort of:-)