Month: December 2010

On Sharing

By Callie Oettinger | 14 Comments

Steve’s blog was created to serve as a vehicle for sharing his video series “It’s the Tribes, Stupid.” His goal was to share information about a common thread that had presented itself throughout his years of research. He wasn’t interested in financial gains or promoting his books through this outreach, so we focused on sharing rather than selling. The lessons we learned led us to where we are with the blog and outreach today. How We’ve Shared

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When It Crashes, Part Two

By Steven Pressfield | 15 Comments

Did you ever see the movie Wag the Dog, starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert Deniro, directed by Barry Levinson and written by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet? The film is about a lot of things, but at its core it’s a portrait of a Hollywood producer. The character of Stanley Motss, played by Dustin Hoffman, is, by all accounts, a spot-on portrayal of Robert Evans (who produced The Godfather and Chinatown, among many others.) What does a producer do? Nobody knows. Even in the movie biz, no one appreciates the producer’s art. “Did you know,” Dustin Hoffman complains at one point…

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The Elephant in the Room

By Callie Oettinger | 14 Comments

[This Friday’s “What It Takes” is the first from my publicist Callie Oettinger. I’m sure the first thing most readers will think is, ‘Does a writer really need a publicist? How can you afford it? Isn’t that over the top?’ I first worked with Callie on a job-by-job basis. Her forte is the military; she’s based in Washington, D.C., and has done outreach for a number of successful military writers. She helped me on the launch of The Afghan Campaign. Her work has been invaluable. But what really got us working together full-time is this blog. “Writing Wednesdays” was Callie’s…

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A Safe Space

By Steven Pressfield | 12 Comments

I did an interview for Ishita Gupta and Matt Atkinson’s online magazine fear.less that’s going to run in January. I was proofing the text this morning and I thought, “There’s a section in here that’ll be perfect for an end-of-year Writing Wednesdays post.” The section was about Mike Nichols. His AFI Lifetime Achievement tribute had just aired a couple of days earlier. On the show a number of actors including Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep had thanked Mr. Nichols, quite emotionally, for among other things creating a safe space for them in front of the camera. It struck me that…

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The Sell In

By Shawn Coyne | 13 Comments

I ended last week’s post discussing “publishing meeting” Personae.  As Steve’s manager/agent, one of my jobs is to secure the best possible sales campaign for THE PROFESSION.  Easier said than done. As Steve’s representative, I went to the Crown marketing meeting with an internal agenda.  Just as a publisher needs to define the proceedings of a marketing meeting with an agenda, so does the manager/agent.  If the manager/agent’s goal is to goose the meeting into breaking precedent and discussing new initiatives that could help sell your client’s book (which it should be) then he has to not only accept that…

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When It Crashes

By Steven Pressfield | 22 Comments

In our “What It Takes” series (adjacent), we’re getting into the inside stuff of publishing, marketing and promoting The Profession, my upcoming novel. Here, for a look at the other side, is an event from the writing of the book. Here is every writer’s worst nightmare: When it crashes. When the wheels come off smack in the middle of the project—and you’re left dazed by the side of the road, staring at the smoking wreckage of your work. That happened with this book. Last Christmas, two years into it. I thought I was finished. I thought the book was done.…

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Sean Van Vleet

By Steven Pressfield | 19 Comments

Sean Van Vleet is a Chicago-based musician, songwriter, and lead singer of the alternative-rock band Empires. In March, Empires released their highly-anticipated sophomore effort Bang and have spent much of 2010 on the road in support of the release, with stops at SXSW, Verve Music Festival, and CMJ Music Fest. MTV.com called the album “great, all ethereal and doomy like the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or the Black Angels, but with a little bit of My Chemical Romance snarl thrown in for good measure.” Alternative Press said the band has “set about doing this right. It’s a sentiment reinforced by these…

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The Empty Chair

By Shawn Coyne | 9 Comments

[This is post #2 of a story by Shawn Coyne. Read post #1, Getting the Meeting.] So there we were . . . On Wednesday Dec. 1, 2010 at 10:37 a.m. Steve and I took the two seats at the head of the 14th floor conference table, in the Random House building in midtown New York. Steve was in the left chair. I was on the right. Counterclockwise from me sat the head of Crown’s eBook group, then Steve’s editor, Steve’s editor’s assistant taking notes, an empty chair, Crown’s head of marketing, Steve’s in-house publicist, the head of Crown’s publicity…

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Horror Stories

By Steven Pressfield | 32 Comments

[Continuing our “What It Takes” series, an inside look at the process of publishing and promoting a book in 2010-11 … here’s Post #3:] The first book signing I ever did was for The Legend of Bagger Vance. It was at a Books-a-Million store in Lakeland, Florida. I flew 3000 miles from Los Angeles. Nobody showed. Not a soul. I felt terrible for the store manager, who had set up a beautiful table with stacks of books and even a poster-sized photo of me. We were there at seven in the evening, all alone. It was like a scene out…

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Getting the Meeting

By Shawn Coyne | 16 Comments

[Two days ago—Wednesday—I put up a post titled “What It Takes,” which promised an insider’s look over the next few months at the campaign to market and publicize my upcoming novel, The Profession. Response was so enthusiastic that we decided not to wait till next Wednesday to follow up, but to plunge in right away. Herewith Post #1, from my manager Shawn Coyne. With Shawn’s post, we’ll establish a “What It Takes” slot on the blog every Friday until publication in June. “What It Takes” will rotate with “Writing Wednesdays,” here in this space. When each post has been up…

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