Month: December 2012

What About Foreign Translation Rights?

By Shawn Coyne | 13 Comments

Steve and I have received a number of offers from foreign publishers to translate and publish Black Irish Books in other countries. We’ve—I hope tactfully—declined all of them. It’s not that we don’t want our books to be available in every language around the globe. It’s that the old way (and still current way) of selling foreign rights is ludicrous. We really aren’t in business to tear down the walls of legacy mainstream publishing. We’re two guys running a pizza shop. Are the future Formidable Five or Four irritatingly overbearing, overconfident, condescending and exclusionary? Of course they are. But without…

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A Pro Recognizes Another Pro

By Steven Pressfield | 14 Comments

If you’ll forgive me for quoting myself, here is a (very short) chapter from The War of Art: A PROFESSIONAL IS RECOGNIZED BY OTHER PROFESSIONALS The professional senses who has served his time and who hasn’t. Like Alan Ladd and Jack Palance circling each other in Shane, a gun recognizes another gun. I’ve been thinking about this in light of our last two weeks’ posts on depth of commitment. What exactly is it that a pro recognizes in another pro? Skill, yes. Experience, no doubt. But more than any other quality, I believe, it’s depth of commitment. How do we…

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The Right Thing

By Callie Oettinger | 5 Comments

I’ve reread Bob Garfields article “Suffer in Silence” a few times since it was posted. Short version: Garfield’s piece is a call to brands, cautioning them to restrain from inserting themselves into news stories about the tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school.

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Depth of Commitment, Part Two

By Steven Pressfield | 17 Comments

We were talking last week about depth of commitment. I was saying that the main difference between an amateur and a pro is their depth of commitment. The amateur’s commitment is shallow. The professional’s is deep. The question then becomes: Can depth of commitment be increased? Can we move from shallow to deep? My answer is an emphatic yes. If fact I believe that’s how we all learn. That’s what improvement is. It’s not only an increase in skill or knowledge. It’s a deepening of commitment. I have a friend at the gym named Craig. He’s not a gigantic bodybuilder,…

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How Pro Are You?

By Steven Pressfield | 23 Comments

[Quick note: we’re having a Holiday Gift Special right now on www.blackirishbooks.com. For that special someone who could use a good kick in the ass: 6 War of Art/Turning Pro for the price of 3. Help your friends and colleagues keep their New Year’s resolutions!] The question is, “What’s the main difference between a pro and an amateur?” My answer: depth of commitment. I’ve always wanted to meditate. But my depth of commitment is unbelievably shallow. I can’t count my breaths past twenty. And pain in the knees? At the first twinge I’m up and outa there. It’s pathetic. I’m…

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Outreach, Part IV: Making New Connections, Finding Lines of Drift

By Callie Oettinger | 4 Comments

If you watched our show, you’d know we didn’t cover that. Yes, but I – Click. Just out of college, my Rolodex was limited to family, friends, and take-out restaurants. The senior publicist charged with training me through my first PR job forwarded me to the company database and suggested I pull a call list off of it, and start pitching. I still remember the awful black screen and green type of the database, full of names and addresses, void of information about the outlets and contacts. It didn’t occur to me to dig deeper, go outside the company’s list.…

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Built for Adversity

By Steven Pressfield | 13 Comments

Human beings are built for adversity. Probably all extant species are, or they wouldn’t still be extant. But we humans in particular—lacking claws, fur, fangs, etc.—have needed the evolutionary edge of being designed for hard times. Almost every great book or movie is about adversity. Moby Dick, War and Peace, The Hangover. The whole concept of “story,” of three-act structure, is about a protagonist confronting adversity. As Billy Wilder used to say, “Act One, get your hero up a tree; Act Two, throw stones at him; Act Three, get him down out of the tree.” Or Kurt Vonnegut: all stories…

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