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The New Publishing

Posted by Bob on December 31st, 2010 under Bob's Book, Coaching Session

The most famous book on cloning was published about two months after the sudden announcement that the sheep Dolly had been cloned. The book was written by a top supreme expert and was dedicated to the proposition that cloning was impossible.


The publication was technical and only a small number of copies were to be printed for the first and probably the only edition. The author probably expected to be on a few academic panels where he would summarize his book along with other academic authors.

Needless to say, the book was a major seller when it came out. I doubt people READ it, but it was something people wanted to own. The author became a very minor sensation on interviews world-wide.

It was like Coca-Cola when it switched to new Coke and then back to Classic Coke, a stupendous error that paid of astoundingly.

We all know WHY a book that had just been proven wrong was published anyway. But, like most things on BUGS, we need to THINK about this simple reality.

Book publishing, from final draft to the bookstore, has always been a process discussed in MONTHS. After you have rewritten portions of the book until you never want to look at the thing again, you send in a final draft, of which a copy is sent back to you.

Then you get the Galleys. The galleys are exactly what will go onto the printing press, they look different, though I don’t remember them from almost thirty years ago, the last time I did a book for a major publisher.

If you want to make any change in the galleys, you have to pay for it out of your own pocket beyond a low minimum of changes. This is a book you’re getting paid for.

The publicity has long since begun. You are doing interviews months before the book hits the presses.

The possibility of withdrawing a book from publication two months after all this cost has been incurred could only come up if it was libelous or a point of heresy to our established religion came up.

BoardAd is now preparing Why Johnny Can’t Think for publication on the web, while White Rabbit is planning a pod cast, whatever that is, of it.

I am one of those who bridges the generations. I published books under the old system, and this one is an entirely new experience. BoardAd is a bit puzzled, I think, when I show the old apologetic panic about some typo that needs correcting.

BoardAd is one who takes the new age for granted, “I’ll just change it. What’s the problem?”

Well BUGS, BoardAd, White Rabbit and the rest of you snotty-nosed young brats out there, my only communication besides the telephone used to be TELEGRAPH ham radio. My mind is still back in the Galley Days.

The New York-based publishing industry, like so many others of the Genius Conspiracy, is on its way out of business.

I know how us depressives hate good news, but there it is. Those who THINK about ALL the implications of this new age will be the ones who win.

  1. #1 by Dave on 12/31/2010 - 1:06 pm

    Books are written to bait some target audience into paying attention to the author and his or her issues.

    The implication of our new Internet blog age moves things far more to spontaneity. I think of this as the “bait-to-going viral” phenomenon.

    Think of the man using his cell phone to video record his protest of his TSA airport roust. He baited TSA and because all the conditions were right for it, his video blog post went viral, zero to millions in literally seconds, a “made-to-order” worldwide political event ignited by one man.

    Wikileaks is also a “bait-to-going viral” phenomenon by journalist types that are out in front of everybody else in mastering the IMPLICATIONS of the Internet. Overnight, a few clever people were able to take over the news distribution business and lead the global media around by the nose.

    Who is in power?

    When all the conditions are right things happen, with little predictability. The Establishment faces a political volatility that is of a different order than what it has ever faced before. It is far more susceptible to being blindsided.

    I can’t believe old school types stupid enough to waste energy in organizing street protests in this environment. Where is the “bait” in that? What is the point in crowd demonstrations in this era? These people are two hundred years behind the times.

    The Internet cedes the world to a different type of person. Mommy Professor and the Establishment should be trembling but they are so incredibly arrogant they are blind to their peril.

  2. #2 by James Edwards on 12/31/2010 - 5:36 pm


    I recently posted an article asking my listeners who they’d most like to hear interviewed on my show in 2011 and YOU were a top vote getter!

    (Granted, my fans have very bad taste, otherwise they’d not listen to me every week!)

    All kidding aside, we need to have you back on the show. I tried calling the number I have on file for you and it had been changed. I’m not sure if the old e-mails I have for you are still active either.

    So, e-mail me when you have the chance and give me your new phone number.

    We must placate your legions by giving them a live offering of Bob!

    Your old friend,


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