Every Book Is a Startup
The New Business of Publishing
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: December 2015
Pages: 78

The publishing industry has responded to the emergence of digital technologies with many useful and innovative products, but the business of publishing has not yet reinvented itself for this new era—old, outdated models prevail, limiting both vision and opportunity.

Every Book Is a Startup provides a roadmap for publishing professionals interested in bringing a fresh, entrepreneurial approach to the business of book publishing, based on techniques proven effective in the world of tech startups. This book shows you how to apply tech industry concepts such as customer development, validated learning, and pivots to create publishing business practices that are agile, flexible, and highly profitable.

Here at O'Reilly Media, we've incorporated many of these techniques into our own publishing business, including "release early, release often." With that in mind, the initial release of this project discusses two core ideas for how this new way of thinking can be applied to book publishing, and solicits your ideas about what we might include in future releases of this book. What do you want to know more about? Would a variety of case studies be helpful? Let us know!

Table of Contents
Product Details
About the Author
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
oreillyEvery Book Is a Startup
 
3.9

(based on 7 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

83%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Helpful examples (5)
  • Well-written (4)
  • Easy to understand (3)

Cons

  • Not comprehensive enough (3)

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Designer (3)

Reviewed by 7 customers

Displaying reviews 1-7

Back to top

 
4.0

Very Good So Far

By Stephanie

from San Francisco, CA

About Me Designer, Maker

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

  • Not comprehensive enough

Best Uses

  • Intermediate

Comments about oreilly Every Book Is a Startup:

I've been reading/watching a lot of books, blogs and talks in this "publishing entrepreneurship" genre lately, and along with the vital few is a lot of unsubstantiated fluff. I was skeptical that this would be worth the $9.99 price tag, but Todd hooked me in the sample and I bought in.

I'm glad I did because this book takes a very broad, history-conscious, empirical, and yet pragmatic approach to the publishing profession and does add value to the discussion. What's here now as of December 2012 is not *quite* worth $9.99, but I have faith that the finished product will be great.

I would advise reworking the Pitch section so that it's of use to those working with fiction. As is, I skimmed it because it didn't meet any of my felt needs as a fiction writer/publisher.

*************

The rest of my comments are for the author and those who've already bought/read.

Re: "Heavy users who searched deep into the tail rated the obscure non-hits consistently lower than the light users and rated popular hits higher."

Although I agree that the sorting of book titles into the Long Tail and Black Swans is not 100% rational, I'd venture to argue that the reason why heavy users rate Long Tail books lower on average than popular books is that the Long Tail books on average are not as appealing. (And I say this as a self-published author with books in the Long Tail.)

I do agree that a certain flock mentality is human nature - it is inherently painful to disagree with popular or other established opinion (the Pulitzer committee, for example), and inherently pleasurable to be validated by others, especially others of influence and status.

It's not that I do not think that the Long Tail does not contain diamonds in the rough. However, I believe that most of the Long Tail's diamonds in the rough probably fall into the category of the great but difficult book (Moby Dick, The Sound and the Fury, etc.) not the great and accessible book (The Corrections, The Great Gatsby, etc.)

Additionally, aren't heavy user Mavens usually also first-movers, and therefore would be analogous to (in the Krause study he cites) the subjects who had explicit instructions to move in a certain direction? They would then of course agree with popular opinion, because they had CREATED popular opinion, not WERE INFLUENCED by it.

I think that the author's argument that Mavens are taste-followers, not taste-leaders is premature without further evidence.

Responses are welcome.

 
5.0

Great info you won't find elsewhere

By Anne

from Bodega Bay, CA

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Concise
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

  • Typos in front matter

Best Uses

  • Intermediate

Comments about oreilly Every Book Is a Startup:

Reading Todd's book was really inspiring. First, I appreciate his willingness to not only try out new forms of "minimum viable product" publishing, but to be honest and transparent about the results.

Second, I think he is right to apply the startup model to publishing. I especially like his explanation of the trap inherent in the long tail, and how careful attention to the felt needs of your readers can help authors overcome those obstacles.

I am really looking forward to reading the completed book, but meanwhile I feel like I've gotten lots of great ideas to mull over and tips to follow from the book as it stands.

 
3.0

Great book idea that does not work

By DC Crowley

from Netherlands

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Helpful examples

Cons

  • Book is a half product
  • Not comprehensive enough

Best Uses

    Comments about oreilly Every Book Is a Startup:

    This is a work in progress and as such I cannot recommend it. There are six chapters currently written. In appendix A Todd offers suggestions for further chapters he will write. I don't find this approach useful for the reader.

    Todd Sattersten is a very knowledgeable person and I am really interested in the future of publishing. Lots of interesting viewpoints are discussed. The style of the book does not work for me, though I will admit this is the first time I have read a 'work in progress'. What is interesting with this book is the attempt to transplant the startup ethos of tech startups to publishing and it may work. I have done quite a bit of reading about publishing and for me the leading voice is Thomas Baekdal who publishes over at baekdal.com. I recommend you take a look.

    I don't recommend this book but take a good look at the contents. It may be just what you need, but I think you should wait until Todd has completed the writing process.

    O'Reilly publishing approached me with a view of reviewing books for them. Having a lot of respect for them I agreed.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Treating Books Like a Business

    By marner

    from San Diego, CA

    About Me Designer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Current
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Quality

    Cons

    • Not complete

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate

    Comments about oreilly Every Book Is a Startup:

    Multimedia has changed how we read and want books, this book talks about book creation in the same lines as entrepreneurship, rather than just ideas on a page. For tech books and their sometimes short shelf life due latest software and hardware updates, develpments, and versions, knowing which ways to put the book in the best possible situation at the beginning is helpful.

    Sattersen has divided Every Book Is a Startup into different chapters with good answers to typical problems with book publishing. Black Swans, Long Tails, and Big Dreams is the first chapter, and delves into what averages are, and why some books due better over time. Help the Heroes is about failure and success. A Book Is a Network chapter goes into how networks can strengthen a brand. The fourth chapter, Add or Subtract, goes into the future of bookselling including niche markets and sustaining innovations.

    This is a work in progress, with later chapters being written and offered to readers in the future. Overall, a good start for those interested in how to publicize writing.

    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    El germen de un buen libro

    By DGGONZALEZ

    from Buenos Aires, Argentina

    About Me Designer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand
    • Well-written

    Cons

    • Not comprehensive enough

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Every Book Is a Startup:

    Todd Sattersten presenta una descripción de las falencias del mercado editorial actual y esboza una estrategia para triunfar en el mercado actual.

    La gran falencia del libro es que son solo dos capítulos que el autor promete ir actualizando en los próximos meses con el aporte de los lectores. No se entiende demasiado el porqué no completó la obra antes de publicarla y después le anexó los comentarios y sugerencias de los lectores.

    Si como dice Sattersten un libro debe publicarse teniendo en cuenta lo que aporta al lector entonces mi consejo para ellos es que esperen antes de leerlo, así como está son solo una serie de consideraciones con mucho sentido común que no aportan nada nuevo pero dentro de un tiempo cuando el autor lo complete se va a transformar en una obra de consulta imprescindible,

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Really enjoying the perspective

    By J. Bolden

    from Orlando, FL

    About Me Editor, Publishing professional

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Publishers and authors

      Comments about oreilly Every Book Is a Startup:

      I was very excited to be a part of this "grassroots movement." This book not only teaches how to rethink book marketing and publishing, but it also is using itself as a testing ground for the proposed principles therein. I think the tone of the writing is wonderfully clear, unassuming, and approachable. I really can't wait for the rest. As a book editor, I feel more empowered already to use many of these concepts in my day-to-day interations with my team, our authors, and their projects. The second chapter "Help the Heroes" is really outstanding. I only gave it four stars because I haven't read the end yet. :)

      (13 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Minimum viable product? Not really.

      By Aaron Shepard

      from Friday Harbor, Washington

      Verified Reviewer

      Comments about oreilly Every Book Is a Startup:

      While this author definitely has things to say, his experiment with this book's publication is not well thought out. It sounded interesting -- buying a book with only the beginning written, with other chapters to follow. But what I expected were introductory chapters mapping out the author's main ideas, with succeeding chapters written to expand on them.

      Unfortunately, the author does not know the difference between a book and a blog. He is structuring this book as a series of loosely related articles about whatever happens to strike his and his customer's fancy. So, instead of a coherent, unified statement from an important thinker, this book at its birth represents no more than a couple of interesting posts such as I would commonly find on the Web.

      Beyond that, why should he ask the reader to bear the burden of downloading a succession of incomplete documents? Isn't one reason we buy books so that we don't have to collect small pieces a bit at a time? This plan might work for one book as a gimmick, but does he really think it's a scalable model for books in general?

      There's also something dismal and depressing about the thought that new posts will be added according to requests by his readers. A book is supposed to represent intellectual leadership, not mere customer wish fulfillment. I want to read authors who tell me something I don't know I need to know. Instead, I got a product to be designed by a focus group.

      I do believe that books can be developed over time -- which is what interested me in this book. I've done it myself, with topics that I originally treated briefly, and then expanded on over time. But each generation was a complete work and could be used alone. With this book, I feel the author has abdicated his leadership role and left his homework for others to do.

      Displaying reviews 1-7

      Back to top

       
      Buy 2 Get 1 Free Free Shipping Guarantee
      Buying Options
      Immediate Access - Go Digital what's this?