Month: April 2012

A Pro Seizes the Day

By Shawn Coyne | 11 Comments

I met with a client on Wednesday about a new project. He put me right on the spot. Where was book publishing going? How could he stay in the ring? How was I going to help him? For quite a while, Steve Pressfield and I have been kicking around ideas for future Black Irish Books. We want to come up with projects that would be embraced by an audience wide enough to financially support writers we admire. The byproduct of that goal will keep the BIB bank balance in the black too. The way we’ve structured the company is that…

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High Concept

By Steven Pressfield | 10 Comments

Flash back with me to the late 80s/early 90s, the screenwriting heyday of Shane Black, Joe Esterhazs and the spec script. At that time, studios were looking for a very specific type of material. That material was called High Concept. The High Concept era was the exact time I started finding work in Tinseltown. High Concept was what I cut my teeth on. I used to beat my brains out, trying to come up with high concepts. What exactly is High Concept? Let’s start with its opposite, low concept. Low concept stories are personal, idiosyncratic, ambiguous, often European.  “Well, it’s…

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The View From A Year

By Callie Oettinger | 10 Comments

My best friend lives hundreds of miles away. I call her those nights when the moon is full, sitting low and large in the sky, as if George Bailey lassoed it in for a better view. Always, I ask: “Does the moon look the same to you?” I want to know: “Are we sharing the same thing, so far apart?” *** April 20, 2011, The Domino Project released Steve’s book Do the Work and we were gearing up for the releases of The Warrior Ethos and The Profession.

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My Head in the Morning

By Steven Pressfield | 43 Comments

When I get up in the morning, I’m almost always in a foul mood. I’m irritable, I’m short-tempered, I’m irascible. Coffee doesn’t help. I can’t watch Matt Lauer. If I have to drive anywhere I’m always pissed off at the other cars and muttering under my breath. I’m not happy with myself, I’m not happy with the world, I’m not happy with anything. It’s all Resistance. Why Resistance takes this form, I don’t know. Maybe you’re not like me. Maybe you wake up peppy and cheerful. Maybe I’m demented. But this is what my day feels like out of the box.…

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Publishing is Personal

By Shawn Coyne | 15 Comments

I admire Macmillan CEO John Sargent. He had the courage to pre-emptively send an email (read it here) to hundreds of industry insiders this past Wednesday. In that email, Sargent did something that gives me great hope about the future of publishing. He used the word “I.”

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The Professional Mindset

By Steven Pressfield | 15 Comments

Have you ever wondered why so many CEOs and high-achievers (including sports superstars like Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky) are so taken with the game of golf? It’s not just because they get to wear white belts and plaid pants. (With apologies to everyone who lives along the banks of the Cuyahoga, here is Tom Wolfe’s definition of a white belt and white shoes worn as part of the same outfit. Mr. Wolfe calls it a “full Cleveland.”) But back to golf. The reason high-performance professionals are often smitten with golf is that golf, more than almost any other sport,…

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What’s the Five Star Experience?

By Callie Oettinger | 26 Comments

Best Buy and Five Star in China Last week I caught the tail-end of the CNBC show “Best Buy: The Big Box Strikes Back.” According to the show, Best Buy “closed its nine American style stores in 2011.” In China, Best Buy had become the Brick portion of the “Brick and Click” method of buying. Consumers went into the stores to see the product, to research it, but then they “go back home to buy the product online or they go next store to the local competition because it was a lot cheaper.”

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Betting on Yourself, Part Two

By Steven Pressfield | 29 Comments

In the past few weeks we’ve been talking about risk, specifically the universe of hazard that the artist and entrepreneur willingly and consciously inhabit. We’ve talked about operating on two tracks—the commercial track and the pure-soul track—and about betting on yourself. Today I want to take the discussion deeper into the realm of nuts and bolts. When you and I sell our novel or cookbook to Simon & Schuster (or our screenplay to Warner Bros. or our album to Interscope or our videogame to Electronic Arts), we willingly and consciously take ourselves out of the sphere of risk. The company…

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