Friday, 15 August 2014

The List 2.0

Just update the list with suggestions from Michael Bhaskar (on his second batch), Andrew Casey, Terry ClagueRuth Killick, Sam Missingham and Joanna Penn.

Next step (besides actually reading some of them) is to categorise these and add some useful links, as suggested by Sam.

Velocity: The Seven New Laws for a World Gone Digital – Ajaz Ahmed and Stefan Olander
The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More– Chris Anderson
The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves  – W. Brian Arthur
Stet: An Editor’s Life – Diana Athill
A Life with Books - Julian Barnes
How to Market Books: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Profit and Exploiting All Channels to Market - Alison Baverstock
How To Talk About Books You Haven't Read - Pierre Bayard
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom - Yochai Benkler
Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age - Jonah Berger
The Content Machine: Towards a Theory of Publishing from the Printing Press to the Digital Network – Michael Bhaskar
One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com – Richard L. Brandt
Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes - William Bridges
Inside Project Redstripe: Incubating Innovation and Teamwork at the Economist - Andrew Carey
The Glass Cage: Automation and Us – Nicholas Carr
Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration – Ed Catmull
The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail - Clayton Christensen
The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth - Clayton Christensen
Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media by Noam Chomsky and Edward S Herman 

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini
OBD: Obsessive Branding Disorder - The Illusion of Business and the Business of Illusion – Lucas Conley
The World Outside Your Head – Matthew Crawford
This is Not the End of the Book: A conversation curated by Jean-Philippe de Tonnac - Umberto Eco and Jean-Claude Carriere
The Business of Enlightenment: Publishing History of the "Encyclopedie", 1775-1800       - Robert Darnton
Understanding Fandom: An Introduction to the Study of Media Fan Culture – Mark Duffett
Blockbusters: Why Big Hits - and Big Risks - are the Future of the Entertainment Business – Anita Elberse
Let's Get Visible: How To Get Noticed And Sell More Books - David Gaughran
Tribes – Seth Godin
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants - Malcolm Gladwell
Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure - Tim Harford
The Blind Giant: How to Survive in the Digital Age - Nick Harkaway
Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator – Ryan Holiday
Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising - Ryan Holiday
Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography – Walter Isaacson
Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide – Henry Jenkins
Where Good Ideas Come From: The Seven Patterns of Innovation – Steven Johnson
The Amazon Economy (FT Edits) – Barney Jopson
The Truth About Bookselling - Thomas Joy  
You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto – Jaron Lanier
We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production- Charles Leadbeater
Free Ride: How the Internet is Destroying the Culture Business and How it Can Fight Back - Robert Levine
Penguin Special: The Story of Allen Lane – Jeremy Lewis
The Curve: Turning Followers into Superfans – Nicholas Lovell
Unbound - Marshall McLuhan
Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption - Laura J Miller
Strategy Safari: The Complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management - Henry Mintzberg , Prof Bruce Ahlstrand, Joseph B. Lampel
The BookStrapper Guide to Marketing Your Book: Creating a Bestseller By Yourself - Tucker Max and Ryan Holiday
The Net Delusion: How Not to Liberate The World – Evgeny Morozov
What is the Business of Literature? - Richard Nash
Politics and the English Language - George Orwell
The Ascent of Media: From Gilgamesh To Google via Gutenburg – Roger Parry
How to Market a Book – Joanna Penn
Write. Publish. Repeat.: The No-Luck Guide to Self-Publishing Success - Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant
Unspeak: Words are Weapons - Stephen Poole
Get up to Speed with Online Marketing: How to Use Websites, Blogs, Social Networking and More to Promote Your Business - Jon Reed
The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses – Eric Ries
Age of Access: The New Culture of Hypercapitalism, Where All of Life is a Paid-for Experience – Jeremy Rifkin
Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell and Live the Best Stories Will Rule the Future – Jonah Sachs
The Business of Books: How International Conglomerates Took Over Publishing and Changed the Way We Read - Andre Schiffrin
The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business – Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen
Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age – Clary Shirky
The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction - Nate Silver
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon - Brad Stone
The Late Age of Print: Everyday Book Culture from Consumerism to Control – Ted Striphas
Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century – John B. Thompson
Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping - Paco Underhill
The Truth About Publishing – Sir Stanley Unwin
Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World - Gary Vaynerchuk
The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It - Jonathan Zittrain

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The Initial List

This is looking like a beast of a post already so I won't add too much to it. After an initial blast of digging here's my starting longlist of 50-odd titles. 

My highly unscientific sources - besides the contents of my own head - are; a series of emails and tweets from a number of wonderful people (Michael Bhaskar, Suw Charman-Anderson, Matt ClacherDan Franklin, Will Hammond, Eric HuangRebecca SmartKieron Smith and George Walkley); the bibliography of Nicholas Lovell's The Curve and a very enjoyable half hour wandering around Foyles

This isn't intended as anything like a complete list, in fact I've added a couple of titles that came to mind in the process of drafting this post, so please keep sending suggestions. I'm particularly keen to hear some suggestions of books about successful self-publishing and any recommendations from authors.

I'll aim to get the first batch of reading done and the first proper post up by the end of next week.

The List

Velocity: The Seven New Laws for a World Gone Digital – Ajaz Ahmed and Stefan Olander
The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More– Chris Anderson
The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves  – W. Brian Arthur
Stet: An Editor’s Life – Diana Athill
A Life with Books - Julian Barnes
Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age - Jonah Berger
The Content Machine: Towards a Theory of Publishing from the Printing Press to the Digital Network – Michael Bhaskar
One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com – Richard L. Brandt
Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes - William Bridges
Inside Project Redstripe: Incubating Innovation and Teamwork at the Economist - Andrew Carey
The Glass Cage: Automation and Us – Nicholas Carr
Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration – Ed Catmull
Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media by Noam Chomsky and Edward S Herman 
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini
The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail - Clayton Christensen
The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth - Clayton Christensen
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini
The World Outside Your Head – Matthew Crawford
This is Not the End of the Book: A conversation curated by Jean-Philippe de Tonnac - Umberto Eco and Jean-Claude Carriere
The Business of Enlightenment: Publishing History of the "Encyclopedie", 1775-1800       - Robert Darnton
Understanding Fandom: An Introduction to the Study of Media Fan Culture – Mark Duffett
Blockbusters: Why Big Hits - and Big Risks - are the Future of the Entertainment Business – Anita Elberse
Tribes – Seth Godin
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants - Malcolm Gladwell
Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure - Tim Harford
The Blind Giant: How to Survive in the Digital Age - Nick Harkaway
Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator – Ryan Holiday
Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising - Ryan Holiday
Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography – Walter Isaacson
Where Good Ideas Come From: The Seven Patterns of Innovation – Steven Johnson
The Amazon Economy (FT Edits) – Barney Jopson
The Truth About Bookselling - Thomas Joy  
You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto – Jaron Lanier
Free Ride: How the Internet is Destroying the Culture Business and How it Can Fight Back - Robert Levine
Penguin Special: The Story of Allen Lane – Jeremy Lewis
The Curve: Turning Followers into Superfans – Nicholas Lovell
Unbound - Marshall McLuhan
Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption - Laura J Miller
Strategy Safari: The Complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management - Henry Mintzberg , Prof Bruce Ahlstrand, Joseph B. Lampel
The Net Delusion: How Not to Liberate The World – Evgeny Morozov
What is the Business of Literature? - Richard Nash
Politics and the English Language - George Orwell 
The Ascent of Media: From Gilgamesh To Google via Gutenburg – Roger Parry
Get up to Speed with Online Marketing: How to Use Websites, Blogs, Social Networking and More to Promote Your Business - Jon Reed
The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses – Eric Ries
Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell and Live the Best Stories Will Rule the Future – Jonah Sachs
The Business of Books: How International Conglomerates Took Over Publishing and Changed the Way We Read - Andre Schiffrin
The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business – Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen
Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age – Clary Shirky
The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction - Nate Silver
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon - Brad Stone
Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century – John B. Thompson
Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping - Paco Underhill 
The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It - Jonathan Zittrain

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Introducing The Modern Publisher's Reading List

I had a brainwave recently. I didn't know as much as I wanted to about some bits of the business I work in, and being somewhat bookish I decided I'd read my way around the problem.

I had visions of a recommended reading list for publishers, authors, booksellers and anyone else with an interest in the modern book business; a carefully-curated list brimming with valuable information about where it’s come from, where it might be going and the skills and knowledge we all need in order to tackle the challenges we're facing.

As with so many of these good ideas the reality was more prosaic. I spent five minutes trying to find this mythical list, realised it didn't exist and quickly shelved the idea in the "it's a shame someone hasn't done this already" pile. Then I got a coffee, went to a meeting and never did any of the reading. Lazy boy.

Unlike most of these brain-fart moments though, this idea didn't go away. I work with business books and I try to keep up with the state of the industry, so every so often something would come along that felt like it might deserve a place on the list. So after a considerable amount of procrastination I've finally decided that since no-one else is likely to solve this problem for me, I'd probably better do something about it myself.

My plan - to give credit where credit's due - is stolen wholesale from Josh Kaufman's wonderful The Personal MBA. I'm going to try and read my way through as many relevant books as I can, blog my thoughts on each as I go, and try and come up with a manageable list of recommended reading.
  
Without further ado I'd love to hear your suggestions. What should go on the reading pile? I’m particularly interested in:

-          * Books about the business itself e.g. Merchants of Culture, Michael Bhaskar’s The Content Machine
-          * Books about the wider media business and the cultural and economic context in which publishing operates  e.g. The Everything Store, Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent
-          * Books on the future of business in the digital age e.g. The Curve, The Lean Startup, The Innovator’s Dilemma
-          * Practical how-to books about skills e.g. Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday, Contagious by Jonah Berger
-    
If you have any recommendations please comment here or get in touch via twitter (@richardmlennon). You'll earn my eternal thanks.

I'll post again next week with a long-list based on your suggestions and a bit of my own research, before hurling myself headlong into the reading.

Wish me luck.