Jim Sturdivant

I'll admit that it still thrills me to walk past and gaze up, wide-eyed, at the Empire State Building. Nonetheless, no tourist am I (proven by the fact that three people so far have asked me for directions). I am here to do business.

We Book Business and Publishing Executive editors are a peripatetic lot. Earlier this week you heard from Jim Sturdivant reporting from New Bern, N.C. (Yes, he’s on vacation—what dedication!) Now I am in New York to meet with some of the speakers for our forthcoming Publishing Business Virtual Conference & Expo.

The literary lunch is legendary. We’ve all heard of, and perhaps even partaken in, those long, meandering 3-martini events, filled partly with professional chat and partly with gossip, and cemented together with the sort of unstructured, casual banter that frequently leads to the next great book, story or idea. Lunch is often the place where the real business of publishing is conducted.

Last night a friend told me a hilarious story about how she managed to purchase a copy of the paperback of this book at Barnes & Noble without her children noticing what she was buying (with an assist from a discreet cashier). This phenomenon of a book has been featured in numerous news stories, some of them in our publications, but my friend’s story was an amusing angle I had never before heard.

One concern (paranoid obsession?) of the publishing industry is going the same route as the music industry.

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