1) Stress less. The gulls do not store up for themselves fish and shrimp and yet they do not starve. If a bird can find food enough each day so can a man, woman and child.
2) Love more. Love is free. Taxed, but still free. Families and friends remain the true source of significance. A life loved and being loved will outlast any economic downturn so share more, not less.
3) Give it all to God. Nations rise and fall. Economies expand and collapse. Through it all, God remains on His throne. Whatever financial difficulties you face today God foresaw it long ago and will see you through. During tough times you may be tempted to recoil, retreat and redouble your efforts, but God’s economy calls for to a radical departure from our human response. God says, “Give it up.” Not quit, but let go. Work, yes. Budget, yes. But give whatever remains of your wealth give to Him and trust that He’ll make it stretch to provide for your daily needs.
4) Dream big. Dreams do not die, they only go dormant. A nut buried in the ground does not remain a nut. In time it becomes an oak. You may not see your dreams come true but that doesn’t mean they won’t. History is replete with discovers born from the grave. Make a photo album of places you’d like to visit and give it away as a gift. Write a letter of past memories and share it with your spouse and children. Our plans for the future begin with our desires of today.
5) Smile often. You matter less than you think and will be missed more than you know so be careful how you live. Your actions and attitudes matter.
6) Trust others. Trust begins with an open hand. We cannot reach for the future with a closed fist. If you want to move forward you will have to trust again. Be wise, be discerning but trust. This is, after all, the lifeblood of our economy.
7) Let go. You cannot make a sun rise, sparrow sing or rain cloud bloom. You control less than you think so relax, let go and help those you can.
8) Travel more. Memories cannot be reposed or auctioned off and their value does not fluctuate with the market so travel more, not less. Time is the only contraband you have and what you don’t spend on others you should exchange for memories so take trips—even if it’s only around the block to a new park, creek or community center. Moving gets us going. (‘Kay, Yogi Berra didn’t say it but he could’ve.)
9) Spend less, savor more. A small meal eaten slowly can fill a hungry belly. Give thanks for the small things and do not begrudge the tough times. You can endure more than we think. You’re an American.
10) Look up. A bowed head will miss the sunrise, sunset and silver lining. Of all creatures man stands nearest to heaven so lift your chin, open your eyes and gaze toward the stars.
A F&F extra from the book, Faith & FINANCES: In God We Trust
About the Book
Jesus spoke about money and material possessions more than he talked about heaven, hell, or prayer. He noted the relationship between a man's heart and his wallet, warning, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be." This contemporary retelling of the Rich Young Ruler brings a fresh look at the relationship between a person's faith and their finances.
Great faith calls us to trust God, not our wealth. Read how others have cast off the golden handcuffs and learned to live the abundant life Jesus promised in this contemporary retelling of the Rich Young Ruler. Faith & FINANCES: In God We Trust, A Journey to Financial Dependence - turning the hearts of a nation back toward God one paycheck at a time.
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Simon & Schuster eliminated nine salespeople and leaving just seven reps calling on buyers. ( sort of hard to harvest new sales when you've fired the field hands ).Telemarketing reps based in New York will call on "a core group of more than 400 independent booksellers, distributors and educational wholesalers." That team is expected to be "in place and selling to accounts by February 15.
Twitter lit up today with comments from disgruntal book sellsers.
"I am super bummed about the S&S rep news"; "SO pissed to see my rep go. My one link to you is now someone who has NO idea about my store."; "Wasn't even my rep but would advise me on kid bks... Continues to be most short-sighted thing pubs do."; "This is ridiculous. My rep was let go. Do you hear me, @simonschuster?"; "What is Simon thinking? Don't they know how important sales reps are to us?"; "Our Simon and Schuster sales rep was laid off. We're saddened for her and for the entire indie bookselling industry."
Losing touch with book buyers and readers will not reverse the decline in book sales.
Here in, no particular order, are sales totals for the big 10.
1. Mc-Graw Hill $4,645.5 (in millions) (18.32% market share)
2. Random House (Owned by Bertelsmann) $1,760.8 (6.9% market share)
3. Harcourt General (owned by Reed Elsevier Group) $2,408.2 (9.5%
4. Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck $2,214.4 (8.7% market share)
5. Scholastic $1,962.3 (7.7% market share)
6. Pearson $6,290 (24.8% market share)
7. Houghton Mifflin (owned by Vivendi Universal Publishing) $1,027.6
(4%) ( Remember on Nov 24, 2008, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt told its editors to stop accepting new manuscripts )
8. HarperCollins (owned by News Corp.) $975.5 (2000 figures) (3.8%
9. John Wiley $613.8 (2.4% market share)
10.Simon & Schuster (owned by Viacom) $648.7 (2.6% market share)
If I've done my math correctly ( and there's a chance I haven't ) the combined annual sales of the big 10 is around 22 billion. In 2008 Apple's net worth was $158.66 billion. So with a little creative financing Apple could buy the whole basket. ( Note, if you don't have a relationship with the book stores and the only value you bring to the market is author contracts and 22 billion in sales, your net worth is low. It's not like the publishers own the printing presses. )
Will the last of the big 10 please kill the lights when you exit the building?
One of the things that happens when you have a few decades in your rearview mirror is that you witness the passing of your generation of celebrities fromtime to time. When the clock radio came on this morning, the guy said that KarenCarpenter died 27 years ago today. I remembered Karen Carpenter and her brotherRichard. I don’t recall ever hearing Richard sing, only that most of the time theywere mentioned together…..Karen and Richard Carpenter. It could be that Karen’sparents told her that she had to include her brother in her music career and that’swhen Richard was promoted to v.p. in charge of mike-stand adjustment.
Karen’s voice was like heavy cream being poured from a pitcher……softand velvety. Even if it was 95 in the shade, when you heard Karen sing you justwanted to sit by the fire with your favorite girl.
Another couple (I don’t think they were brother and sister) was the Captainand Tennille. Captain wore a nautical hat, had some affliction with one his eyes,not like Sammy Davis Jr.’s, but noticeable, and played the organ. No, I haven’theard of either of these folks passing, but they too performed “love songs.”Whereas Karen Carpenter had an eating disorder that ultimately was responsiblefor her death, the Captain and Tennille might have been involved in drugs orworse. That’s the only thing that could possibly explain a song they did called“Muskrat Love.” Maybe the Captain had spent too much time down by the river.
And recently Pernell Roberts passed away. He was 81. Most of us knewPernell as “Adam Cartright” on that western drama back in the 60’s called“Bonanza.” Bonanza was one of the first series to be broadcast in “living color”on NBC. Each Sunday night the show opened with a map of the Ponderosa, whichmoments later, caught fire and burst into flames, revealing Ben Cartright and histhree sons Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe riding their horseys hard, four abreast, likethey had all been scorched by pieces of the burning map.
For a spread that was supposed to encompass a thousand square miles, thefront yard of Ben Cartright’s farm-house sure had an odd echo. A little researchreveals that Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe were only half-brothers and while each ofthem called Ben, “Paw,” they had different mothers. Seems like Ben ran throughwives like poop through a goose. Turns out, all three women were severelyallergic to monosodium glutamate (MSG) and every time Hop Sing would fixKung Pao Chicken, somebody would have to go into town and pick up a casket.
Yeah, it’s sad to see our celebrities go, but I suppose heaven is going to bean immensely more interesting place for the rest of us. The Cartright family isnow complete. The Carpenters, and the Captain and Tennille will be doo-woppingout in the barn, muskrats will be……loving each other, Lorne Greene and PernellRoberts will be combing their toupees, and Michael Jackson, complete withoriginal skin tones and nose, will be teaching that cone-head Hoss to moon-walkacross the front porch.
Amazon reports: "Macmillan, one of the 'big six' publishers, has clearly communicated to us that, regardless of our viewpoint, they are committed to switching to an agency model and charging $12.99 to $14.99 for e-book versions of bestsellers and most hardcover releases.
"We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles. We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan's terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books. Amazon customers will at that point decide for themselves whether they believe it's reasonable to pay $14.99 for a bestselling e-book. We don't believe that all of the major publishers will take the same route as Macmillan. And we know for sure that many independent presses and self-published authors will see this as an opportunity to provide attractively priced e-books as an alternative.
"Kindle is a business for Amazon, and it is also a mission. We never expected it to be easy!"
The major publishers have set $14.99 as their e-book selling price due in large part... no in ALL part to Apple's iPad. In their current model, Amazon keeps 65% of the profits from each e-book sold. This battle is about profits, power and positioning. The pawns and casualties in the e-book wars remain the authors.
I heard from an author last week regarding a title released by a publishing house. The house had promised a massive marketing campaign for his book but 3 weeks into the campaign they pulled the funding. Now the book sits on book seller tables with no ad buy money and no TV or radio publicity other than what the author generates.
His response: "Thank God I kept the e-book rights. Otherwise I'd never make money off this title." He's sold around 16,000 ebooks from his site.
Moral of the story? Regardless of what the publishing houses, Amazon, Apple, Borders and B&N do, the author needs to retain control of their digital rights. They need to pursue their own iPad and iPhone apps for each book and work with Amazon to cut a better deal for their e-book pricing and share of the profits.
The points made in the "Ten Changes in Publishing Since 2000" below are true and it does make you wonder what role the traditional book publisher will play in the future if:
Look for traditional publishers to struggle as they seek a way to justify their existence when the role they served in the marketplace is now "outsourced" to the author. Once the brick and mortar distribution models becomes obsolete ( and for mid-list authors who can't get their books in stores I'd suggest that channel is already dead ) then the field of publishing is a Wild West frontier.
For as little as $500 authors will develop their own e-reader apps for iPhones and the new iPad. These author-owned apps will included audio, (back ground music ) video, graphics and hyperlinks. Self published authors will sell their books for $.99 and keep seventy cents, bypassing the long wait for royalties on books sold in Walmart for $9 with a thirty cent pay out. To compliment the e-book, they'll offer printed versions.
The first to jump, of course, will be new authors who can't get a look by traditional houses. Then mid list authors. Finally, best selling celebrities will take control of their careers and launch their own imprint. ( i.e. Stephen King )
This is the future of book publishing unless traditional houses can find some way to bring value to the marketplace and right now, they don't seem to be moving in that direction.
In fact, given the state of book publishing, look for Amazon and Apple to launch bids to buy established houses in order to retain the rights to sell books by big-name writers.
If I was a traditional house, I'd be signing more authors not less, make myself more valuable to the marketplace, not less.
Steve Jobs wrapped his arm around the big 8 yesterday, kissed them on the cheek and whispered the words of their obituary at the same time.
Ten Changes in Publishing Since 2000