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New Thought Leadership Books from Our Authors

Posted on: December 1st, 2018 | No comments 

Congrats to our authors, published in 2018. We loved helping these thought leaders bring their books to life.

  • Rabbi Mark Wildes, author of Beyond The Instant: Jewish Wisdom for Lasting Happiness in a Fast-Paced World (Skyhorse, 2018). Rabbi Wildes has mentored thousands of Jewish millennials in NYC, helping them achieve career, personal and spiritual ambitions. In this book, he condenses 4,000 years of Jewish wisdom into a relatable take on how spirituality can guide millenials—living in a world of high tech and high speed—to enrich their lives through faith.  We loved helping Rabbi Wildes illustrate ancient lessons with dramatic stories of real people.
  • Rich Donovan,  Unleash Different: Achieving Business Success through Disability (ECW Press, 2018).  In this highly relatable combination of hard-headed business analysis and moving first-person memoir, Rich gives the reader a peek into how he rose from a Canadian school for “crippled children” to manage $6 billion for one of Wall Street’s leading firms and later create the Return on Disability Index, which was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014.
  • John Wood and Amalia McGibbon, Purpose, Inc.: Turning Cause Into Your Competitive Advantage (Big Purpose Press 2018).  When Herb was at Harper Collins, he acquired John’s bestselling book about leaving Microsoft to found the global charity Room To Read, which today has transformed the lives of millions of children in low-income communities around the world. As an editorial consultant, Big Fish Media helped John and Amalia finish their latest: a revolutionary book that makes a powerful case that purpose is not the enemy of commercialism, but the key to it.  As Seth Godin described it: “Do work that matters, and make a difference that you care about. Too often, we forget these two simple rules, but John and Amalia are here to remind us

4 New Book Proposals Going on Offer to Publishers

Posted on: July 1st, 2014 | No comments 

Big Fish Media is preparing four proposals going on offer to publishers this July (contact us if you are an interested editor):

Spinning Into Control: Timeless Skills for Incubating the Sustainable Startup:  Amiel Kornel is a venture capitalist and board member at Innocentive who has co-founded 4 startups, helped incubate over 15 other early-stage ventures and advised more than a dozen multinational companies seeking to strengthen their corporate venture investing and innovation activities.

The Co-Creation Edge: Transforming Sales and Procurement for Business Value: This book is co-written by Francis Gouillart, President of Experience Co-Creation Partnership, a management consultancy affiliated with PWC, and Bernard Quancard, the President of the Stategic Account Management Association.

Get a Dayjob: How to be An Artist Without Losing Your Mind, Your Shirt, or Your Creative Compass, by JoAnneh Nagler.   Successful author Nagler returns with the most practical and game changing book ever written for artists of all incomes, all walks of life, all disciplines.

The Invisible Cage: Living and Working with Schizophrenia, Marjorie Baldwin, Arizona State University.  A major contribution to the literature of mental illness and labor policy, that expertly combines a mother’s memoir of her experiences helping her son when he became mentally ill, and evidence-based arguments that the victims of schizophrenia can be successfully treated and join the workforce.

Six Steps to a More Engaging Author Website, Part 2

Posted on: November 2nd, 2013 | No comments 

In our latest post, we shared three out of six steps many of the most engaging effective author websites have in common.   In part two, we provide three more.  I’d love to hear your ideas about what we missed!

4) Hosting a Dynamic Blog: Websites with a built in blog get 55 percent more traffic than websites without a blog. While that’s a compelling argument to have a blog our recommendation is to only maintain one if it’s updated at a minimum once a week—if not more. A good blog should offer a steady flow of insight into the author’s activities, thoughts, and ideas.

  • Author and NYT journalist Daniel Coyle (The Talent Code) blogs frequently on his site. In fact, his blog is front and center: it’s the main feature on the homepage. In addition to its frequency, Coyle integrates pictures and videos and has catchy post titles—“How to Spark Motivation? (Step One: Shut Your Mouth)”; “A Two-Minute Video That Might Change the Way Your Kid Thinks”; and “Best Parenting Tip Ever.”
  • Dan Ariely, (Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions) an author and professor, posts his “Ask Ariely” Q&A column from the Wall Street Journal to his blog. The questions are varied and Ariely’s responses are brief and interesting (he incorporates plenty of behavioral science research into his answers). The bottom line: Ariely blogs prolifically about his field of interest and expertise making the blog a must-read.

5) Having a “Rockstar” Testimonial: It’s always better to have other people talk about how great you are and author Richard Florida (The Rise of the Creative Class) hit the jackpot on this front. His homepage features a video clip of U2 front man Bono recommending Florida’s bestselling book to a panel

Five Big Insights on America from Working Scared

Posted on: April 9th, 2013 | No comments 

Three of every four U.S. workers were personally affected by the Great Recession—either losing a job themselves or knowing a family member or close friend who lost a job during the period.

A statistic like this might be shocking to some.  But it’s a reality we need to accept.  This finding—along with many others—is from a new book titled Working Scared (Or Not at All), by my client Carl Van Horn, professor and director of the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.   The book documents the changes that have disrupted the U.S. economy and American workers in recent years, based on 25,000 scientific surveys and in-depth interviews with American workers conducted from 1998 to 2012—during one of the most volatile periods in U.S. economic history. (The surveys and interviews were conducted by the Heldrich Center.)

Even the title—Working Scared—is telling. It refers to the many millions of employed Americans who are desperately trying to hang on to their jobs and live in constant state of anxiety. As Van Horn writes, “These Americans are “working scared” because, to them, it seems that virtually every job is temporary, threatened (directly or indirectly) by either technological change or global competition.”

We all know the numbers associated with the recession—high unemployment (at one point, more than 10 percent); lay offs (15 million American workers were let go from their jobs between 2007 and 2010); and jobs that were lost (nearly nine million). But Working Scared goes behind the numbers and offers one of the most comprehensive social science portraits ever developed about the views of American workers about their jobs, the workplace, and the government’s role in the labor market. It puts a human face on the crisis by detailing the personal, financial, and psychological toll on what is

How to Negotiate a Good Contract—Essential Tips from The Freelancer’s Bible

Posted on: February 5th, 2013 | No comments 

Every member of free agent nation can avoid headaches and profit financially and personally by reading the new book from Sara Horowitz with Toni Sciarra Poynter—The Freelancer’s Bible (Workman). I’ve read it, loved it, and marked dozens of passages useful to our own goals.

Horowitz is executive director of the Freelancers Union and CEO of the Freelancers Insurance Company; a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” winner; and a pioneer for her work in establishing and advocating protections and services for independent workers. The new book is chock-a-block with tips and guidance on every aspect of being a freelancer or an independent consultant, with parts that include how to get started and find work to how to grow and manage your business.

The Bible’s tips on common contractual issues for freelancers are concise and complete. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Scope and the Deliverables—Clearly define and quantify what you will deliver: nail down specs, and establish processes for reviews and meetings with your client; don’t forget to include a provision for additional work.
  • Approvals—Think about the criteria for completing the project in a satisfactory manner. What approvals will the client have in place? What is the nature of client comments and requests for changes? What is an appropriate revision period?
  • Payment Structure—Horowitz describes various payment structures: payment in regular stages at lower amounts; payment in larger chunks such as half up-front, half at completion; and payment in numerous smaller amounts if you think the client is apprehensive about cash flow. Here’s what I’ve learned: regular, timed payments (monthly, for example) aligned with how the project progresses tends to reinforce the best behaviors and stabilize cash flow. If a client hires you for a complex or unwieldy project that is riskier to complete (for example, ghost writing a

Six Concerns for Authors in the Random House-Viking Merger

Posted on: November 26th, 2012 | No comments 

Here at Big Fish Media, we believe there’s much to consider in news of the merger between Random House and Viking-Penguin, two of the most powerful trade houses with enormous literary histories, deep lists of major authors and steady streams of bestsellers.   Mergers are about gaining efficiencies, and efficiencies are about consolidating costs–therefore, each company’s backlists, talent, and book operations are exposed to risk.

The silver lining for me is that our best indie publishers could step into the chaos and confusion with razor-sharp value propositions for authors.  From the perspective of authors, growing, stronger indie publishers means real alternatives to the Big Six, err Five.

While I would be thrilled if the merger results in innovations and new opportunities for authors, let’s look some potential implications for business and nonfiction authors:

  • Will  the merged houses “strategically” eliminate business or other niche imprints?  During this shakeout, it’s possible that publishers will make priorities of certain categories and eliminate or reduce others.  Keep an eye on the business imprints such as Portfolio.
  • Will editors be intimidated? While curation remains a  buzz word of modern culture, consolidation means fewer editors-in-chief with varying tastes and talent networks.  Consolidations breed group think. With more editor layoffs you get more fear to conform.  To wit: Simon & Schuster consolidated trade imprints, closing the storied Free Press and laying off a number of proven, talent editors (S&S is not part of this merger, but is exploring the possibility of doing so).  Diversity is key to ecosystems and diversity of ideas and judgment is essential to a profitable creative business.
  • Will acquisitions get bogged down pre-merger?  As an observer of business change, I see this as the most acute short-term concern.   Mergers mean some people get to keep their jobs and others don’t.  Bosses will