Living in More Than One World,

The Blog of Bruce Rosenstein

Samantha Shannon: A Literary Star is Born

Maybe I was living under a rock, but until late last week I had never heard of the 21 year old British author Samantha Shannon, whose futuristic debut novel, The Bone Season, hit #7 in The New York Times September 8, 2013 Best Sellers list (hardcover fiction) in its first week. It also became the first book chosen for the Today show book club.

science fiction book image 9-3-13

What drew my attention was a headline in my alma mater, USA TODAY, “Is Samantha Shannon the Next J. K. Rowling?” I didn’t realize that there were other articles going back more than a year raising that comparison, when she was still a student at St Anne’s College at the University of Oxford.

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Peter Drucker and The Washington Post

The surprise sale of The Washington Post to Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has been the buzz of the media world this week. The news prompted me to recall Peter Drucker’s brief involvement with the newspaper in the late 1930s, soon after he came to the United States from Europe.

Peter Drucker, Claremont Graduate University; Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management

Peter Drucker, Claremont Graduate University; Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management

The Austrian-born Drucker was in his late twenties when he did a brief stint as a freelance foreign correspondent for the Post, during a return visit to Europe in the spring of 1938. This is recounted in Drucker’s charming memoir originally published in 1978, Adventures of a Bystander.…

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Books Alive Conference Recap: Part Two

The tone of the June 8 Books Alive! 2013 conference, sponsored by the Washington Independent Review of Books, was optimistic, upbeat and positive. The consensus seemed to be that books have a bright future, regardless of current or as yet unimagined formats.

By the end of the all-day event, which I also wrote about earlier this week, it was reinforced that authors, whether with a traditional publisher or self-published, have many avenues for self-promotion and to increase opportunities to earn money. (Although a recurring theme, besides that of continuing to hone your craft as a writer, was “don’t give up your day job.”)

The State of the Market panel; photo by David Gelin

The State of the Market panel; photo by David Gelin

During a morning panel session, the novelist/freelance journalist Jennifer Miller related her promotion efforts for her novel The Year of the Gadfly, originally published last year and now out in paperback.…

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Learning and Networking at Books Alive

The first annual Books Alive! 2013 conference was a terrific all-day event for authors (published and aspiring) and book lovers. It was sponsored by the Washington Independent Review of Books and held June 8 in suburban Maryland at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center. It featured panelists and speakers on writing, publishing (including self-publishing), marketing, publicity, promotion, platforms, income and related topics. Attendees also had the option of pitching book ideas in brief individual meetings with a variety of literary agents.

booksalive logo

The luncheon speaker, Maria Arana, detailed her fascinating career working in publishing, editing, reporting and writing books, including her memoir American Chica and the new biography Bolívar.…

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Spiritual Writing Revisited

Writing my blog post last week gave me the impetus to update my post on spiritual writing from March 2012. As we go into the summer season, we need the messages of spiritual writers, both contemporary and classic. As I mentioned in that post last year, the best spiritual writers help us to uncover and understand the deeper meanings of life. I have relied on a number of sources to help point me toward some of the most valuable writers in this genre, and it is rewarding to find that some of them have been updated.

Watkins’ Mind Body Spirit magazine has published its 2013 list of the “100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People.” The top five: 1.…

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Guy Kawasaki and the Self-Publishing Revolution

Guy Kawasaki is Exhibit A for the power of personal branding. So when after writing best-sellers for traditional publishers he began to self-publish books, lots of people were likely to have taken a more favorable view of this burgeoning end of publishing. Now, along with co-author Shawn Welch, he has written a comprehensive guide to the process: APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book. Guy, whom I also wrote about last July when we were at the SLA Annual Conference in Chicago for different reasons, is well-connected because he works hard at it. He produces quality products and wants to help others succeed.

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Business Books of the Year: 2012 edition

The holiday season marks the publication of various business-oriented best-of lists. I always enjoy reading these roundups, and also wrote about them in 2011 and 2010. Jack Covert and his colleagues at 800ceoread have picked The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni, as the business book of the year. Earlier, they released the “elite eight” of picks, subdivided into categories, with The Advantage picked in management. Other winners included Cal Newport’s So Good They Can’t Ignore You (personal development), which, along with Lencioni, also appears in the Top 10 Business Books of the Year, by Harvey Schachter, in Toronto’s Globe and Mail.

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