Why Are These People Smiling?
Margaret Langstaff -- 6/26/00
With the Internet bringing about widespread changes, new management topics are emerging and sales are booming
If there's an unhappy business book publisher out there, please call PW right away--we haven't been able to find you. The triumph of the Internet, combined with the warp speed of change in the business world, have created an unprecedented demand for business books. Lacking any tried-and-true formulas for operating profitably in the New Economy, millions of suddenly clueless executives are craving information about managing on a vastly altered playing field.
"Companies interested in transforming into e-businesses have an array of management issues to address," says Jeffrey Krames, publisher and editor-in-chief of the trade division of the McGraw-Hill Business Reference Group. According to Adrian Zackheim, associate publisher of HarperCollins and editor-in-chief of HarperInformation (which includes HarperBusiness), "The biggest phenomenon today is the Internet. Publishers are still trying to cover it from a range of perspectives, and readers want to know how to make the most of the new business realities." As Dearborn business management editor Jean Iverson puts it, "E-commerce is evolving at hyperspeed. It's not going away. The Internet is part of everyone's business model, part of the essential mix." Roger Scholl, publisher of Doubleday/Currency agrees: "The Internet revolution continues and books on how that is changing business are very hot." At Simon & Schuster, v-p and senior editor Fred Hills observes, "There is a real hunger to understand the new directions in the networked society--a strenuous effort underway by managers at all levels to stay on the cutting edge."
The Internet's Insatiable Maw
|Adding a personal voice|
The business reader d s appear to be ravenous, and for many it is a matter of survival. "With the new profit emphasis now in e-business, the big question is who is going to survive," says Jossey-Bass publisher Cedric Crocker. "Probably as many as 90% of the dot-coms will be bought out or go out. Everybody wants to know: 'What are the business models that will work?'"
Sales are such that many publishers are having a hard time meeting demand. Jenny Wesslemann, trade sales manager of Amacom, remarks, "E-commerce books have been blowing out of the stores. We haven't been able to keep our lead titles in stock." And the fact that the gospel on the subject remains to be written has created a gold-rush situation for publishers. Almost any book with the words "e-commerce"or "online" in its title is going to draw significant consumer attention. Observes Danielle Egan-Miller, business book editor for NTC/Contemporary, "People are hungry for this information and no one has come up with the magic formula." John Wiley publisher Jeffery Brown notes, "People are looking for strategic frameworks, signposts and benchmarks. And it's hard to see the rate of change slowing down. A book forces you to stop for a moment and get perspective."
Publishers have created an endless feast of titles to meet the appetite for information about e-commerce and online business. Given the fact that many of the titles sound similar, it will be interesting to see which books succeed in the marketplace. In this regard, the designation "first" in catalogue or publicity copy carries with it an irresistible cachet, publishers hope. HarperBusiness, for example, describes one of its September releases--The Eng@ged Customer: The New Rules of Internet Direct Marketing by Hans Peter Brondmo--as "The first book to show you precisely how to master e-mail marketing and build lasting, profitable, one-on-one relationships with your customers."
|McGraw-Hill is bringing out several titles that fit the "first" bill. The Last Mile: Broadband and the Next Internet Revolution by Jason Wolf and Natalie Zee (Aug.) is "The first strategy book for the business community on the impact and implementation of broadband." Due the following month is The Interactive Marketplace: Prepare Your Company to Profit in the Interactive Revolution by Keith T. Brown--"The first in-depth exploration of the most important innovation in e-business today: mass customization."||There's more!|
Still another "first" is coming in November from Wiley, a veteran player in the business arena that "feels very good about where we are today," according to publisher Brown. This anxiety-reducing (or producing) title, 90 Days to Launch: Internet Projects on Time and on Budget by Shayne Gilbert is described as "The first project management guide for launching and managing Internet projects." Due the same month is Wiley's Doing E-business, in which David Taylor and Alyse Terun offer "strategies for thriving in the digital marketplace."
A Prodigious Fall Lineup
Not surprisingly, the coming season brings a plethora of titles targeting the many new developments in this category. Crown Business, which changed its name from Times Business as of May 1, "is aiming to be a major new player in the business book market, in all subcategories, including management," says publicity director Will Weisser. (He explains that the New York Times took back the Times name after licensing it to Random House Inc. for 16 years; Crown Business is now part of the Crown Publishing Group within Random House Inc.)
Coming in September is The Ten Second Internet Manager, which Crown bills as "modeled after The One Minute Manager, a short but highly practical guide to working on Internet time." Author Mark Brier is a veteran exec of Amazon.com and Beyond.com. November brings How Digital Is Your Business? by Adrian Slywotzky, author of The Profit Zone, and whom Industry Week has hailed as one of the six
most influential management thinkers of our time (the other five are Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Peter Drucker, Andy Grove and Michael Porter).
As of this writing, Amacom still has a firm grip on the bestseller lists with Leading at the Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition by Dennis N.T. Perkins et al. Two October Amacom titles that address the emerging "e-"trend are E-Service: 24 Ways to Keep Your Customers--When the Competition Is Just a Click Away by Ron Zemke, author of the publisher's successful Knock Your Socks Off series; and The E-Commerce Arsenal: 12 Technologies You Need to Prevail in the Digital Arena by Alexis D. Gutzman.
As of last spring's list, Dearborn launched a new line of business management books "for today's business leaders facing the challenges of the new economy," says the Chicago-based publisher. A trio of fall releases are aimed at helping profit-challenged dot-coms survive and thrive. Entrepreneurship.com by Tim Burns covers everything from "identifying online opportu-nities to constructing a dot-com business plan to connecting with venture capital." Net Strategy: Charting the Digital Course for Your Company's Growth by Robert Speigel, a senior editor at E-Commerce magazine, explains what it takes to profit in the online economy and what changes are imminent as the Internet economy evolves. Ban the Humorous Bazooka: and Avoid Other Roadblocks and Speed Bumps Along the Innovation Highway by Mark Henry Sebell with Jeanne Yocum focuses on the importance of creativity and innovation as competitive advantages in the Internet Age. ("Bazooka" refers to those smirking, sarcastic remarks some people fire off in brainstorming sessions that squelch the creative juices of others.)
Jere Calmes, editor at Adams Media, is sending three wired titles to market this fall. Web Sites Built to Last: Lessons from Leading E-Commerce Sites on Creating Enduring
|Hot topics times two (Doubleday/|
Currency and Adams Media).
Success on the Internet by Mark Kramer and The Streetwise Maximize Web Site Traffic by Robin Nobles and Susan O'Neil are due in September, followed in October by B2B.Com: Cashing in on the Business to Business E-Commerce Bonanza by Brian O'Connell.
From Sea to Shining "E-"
The call for titles in any number of new niches is being heeded by publishers all across the country. Harvard Business School Press, says marketing director Gayle Treadwell, has evolved from its brainy UP image and is a prime player in the business trade book world. Treadwell adds that the publisher's biggest fall titles deal with the Internet coup and what it is doing to companies. Leading the Revolution by Gary Hamel (Sept.) is the house's first four-color title, featuring an arresting graphic design, and presenting "a radical new agenda for companies to survive in the age of revolution." It will have a 150,000-copy first printing. Somewhat more than a business title per se, The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander and Boston Philharmonic conductor Benjamin Zander (Oct.) "offers a breakthrough set of practices for encouraging creativity in all human enterprises."
On the opposite coast, Crocker at Jossey-Bass tells PW, "We're in the midst of the first era of e-business, characterized by experimentation, vague or nonexistent business models and dubious value propositions. This era is driven by technology, first and foremost. Neither businesses nor investors truly understand what will work and what won't, and we're all holding our breath." The San Francisco-based publisher hopes to clarify a perplexing issue with its August publication of From .com to .profit: Inventing Business Models That Deliver Value and Profit by Nick Earle and Peter G.W. Keen.
And in Chicago, Egan-Miller at NTC/ Contemporary points to Internet Direct Mail: The Complete Guide to Successful E-Campaigns by Robert Bly et al as being of special interest to the often dazed and confused Internet marketer.
Coming in September from Naperville, Ill.-based Nicholas Brealeyis The Electronic B@zaar:From the Silk Road to the E-Road, which the publisher says is "in the tradition of such high-profile titles as The Cluetrain Manifesto (Perseus) and Clicks and Mortar (Jossey-Bass)." Author Robin Bloor offers a recipe for transforming any bricks-and-mortar business into an e-enterprise and explains how to exploit the evolving world of e-commerce.
|Caught in the brimming|
business Net (Nicholas
Another September release, Viking's Staying Street Smart in the Internet Age: What Hasn't Changed About the Way We Do Business is designed, says publicity manager Alisa Wyatt, to help businesses ramp up to the new realities. Among author Mark McCormack's 20-some books is the bestselling What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School.
Coming Soon to a Water Cooler Near You
The New Economy, driven as it is by the Internet phenom, is sending yet another groaning board of books to famished business readers. "The new economy and the unprecedented business cycle have made this an exciting time to be a business book publisher," says Elizabeth Murray, senior editor of economics, finance and business at MIT Press. Brown at Wiley sings a like refrain: "It's a fascinating time to be in business publishing. The e-business need will last for a long time."
Krames of McGraw-Hill takes on the role of devil's advocate when he says, "The water-cooler debate of the day focuses on the question of whether the Internet has really catapulted the world into a new economy. Or has the world seen this before, with the advent of such inventions as the light bulb and the telephone? Wall Street believes in the new economy, and has put its money where its mouth is, placing billion-dollar bets on new economy stocks."
At HarperBusiness, associate publishing director Lisa Berkowitz observes a subtle change in the character of business books, dependent on the business cycle. "When there is volatility in the stock market and the rules are being re-invented every day, books by consultants do well. When there is stability in the market, books by CEOs do well. Right now, for the most part, it's a golden age for books by consultants." The publisher, whose April title Cracking the Value Code: How Successful Businesses Are Creating Wealth in the New Economy by Richard Boulton et al. is in the Amazon.com top 500, hopes to match that success in August with Living on the Faultline: Managing for Shareholder Value in the Age of the Internet by Geoffrey A. Moore. A February release addressed the critical topic of change in the business world: in The Visionary's Handbook: Nine Paradoxes That Will Shape the Future of Your Business, Watts Wacker, Jim Taylor and Howard Means "welcome readers to the epoch of uncertainty where, because life has never been easier, it has never been more difficult."
Like the Energizer Bunny, books on the New Economy are marching relentlessly to market. In September, Amacom is publishing Net Value: Valuing Dot-Com Companies--Uncovering the Reality Behind the Hype by Peter J. Clark and Stephen Neil, which it says "looks at the dot-com phenomena, its impending downfall, and the likely repercussions for individuals and institutional investors, the economy and the Internet."
Out this month from Crown Business (where publisher Steve Ross calls the NASDAQ "the most fun adult video game in history") is The Wealth of Choices: How the New Economy Puts Power in Your Hands and Money in Your Pocket by Alan Murray. Ross promises a major promotional push, with lots of advertising. And living on the edge takes on an added dimension with Crown's forthcoming Surfing the Edge of Chaos: The New Art and Science of Management by Richard Pascale, author of The Art of Japanese Management. His new book "focuses on the parallels between living systems of nature and the way that businesses operate in the real world."
And, lest anyone conclude that discounting rules in every business situation today, Dearborn checks in with Full Price: Competing on Value in the New Economy by Thomas J. Winninger (Oct.). "To be truly successful, businesses need to stop competing on price," the author declares. Winninger, one of the world's leading business strategists, teaches companies how to maximize the value of their products and services and meet the needs of the business' premium customers.
Citizens of the Earth
|Running a really|
big business (Wiley).
It's no coincidence that Perseus's sleeper bestseller, The Cluetrain Manifesto (Book News, April 3), opens with the salutation, "Citizens of the Earth." Globalization, a mega-trend that's been gaining momentum for years, is now an inescapable part of business life. "The context of business is global," says Wiley's Brown, "and we, as business publishers, live it as well as talk it." Wiley has editorial offices in the U.K. (Wiley Europe), Toronto (Wiley Canada) and Singapore (Wiley Asia). "The challenge is to coordinate our publishing programs and exercise care in choosing which titles are local, such as real estate, and which are global, such as e-commerce."
"Inasmuch as the Internet has arrived and business is dead serious about it, everyone is in cold, hard cyberspace together," observes Calmes at Adams Media. "It is one world, after all." Adds McGraw-Hill's Krames, "In the digital world there's no such thing as borders."
"The emergence of wide popular interest in globalization," says Ross at Crown Business, "strikes me as perhaps the most telling example of how the Internet's immediate accessibility has resulted in not only economic empowerment, but in a broad sense of involvement in issues that traditionally played out in the most obscure and elite realms of academia and government. As people scurry to catch up in their grasp of these issues, I suspect they'll continue to turn to books to fill in the gaps." He cites as one of these titles A Future Perfect: The Challenge and Hidden Promise of Globalization by John Mickelthwait and Adrian Wooldridge, published in May.
The human factor is Cornell UP's angle on the subject. Profits and Principles: Global Capitalism and Human Rights in China by Michael A. Santoro, was released in April, "just in time for the debate on granting China permanent normal trade relations," says special projects manager Andrea Fleck Clardy. How to reach the diverse world marketplace and communicate effectively with consumers is
covered in NTC/Contempo-
rary's Communicating Globally: An Integrated Marketing Approach, a March title by Don E. Schultz and Philip J. Kitchen.
Likewise, Simon & Schuster scores with Global Literacies: Lessons on Business Leadership and National Cultures by Robert Rosen, a February title that continues to perform well. With an early 2001 S&S title, Rule of 3: Evolution and Revolution in World Markets by Jagdish Sheth and Rajendra Sesodrae, Fred Hills says the house will continue to mine this rich vein of reader interest. "The book grew out of a New York Times Op Ed piece," he explains, "and shows how all mature markets are dominated by three big marketers, as in the auto industry. The other players are relegated to niche markets."
The Anatomy of Buzz, a Doubleday/Currency October title by Emanuel Rosen, tells the reader about word-of-mouth marketing in etherworld.
In The Weightless Society, Charles Leadbeater, British author and former editor of the Financial Times and the Independent, "maps out a new constitution for our high-tech times, one that is innovative and inclusive and organized around the creation of 'weightless' knowledge and social capital," says new publisher Texere. Collaborative competition will become the norm around the world, claims the author, and companies will need to be structured as if they were "brains." Networks will become the main way of organizing the knowledge economy.
Wiley has globalization covered with Global Smarts: The Art of Communicating and Deal Making Anywhere in the World by Sheida Hodge (May) and, coming in October, the second edition of Virtual Teams: Reaching Across Space, Time, and Organizations with Technology, in which Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps explain how to create and sustain a virtual organization. NTC/Contemporary's entry, due in October, is Global Engagement: How American Companies Really Compete in the Global Economy by Joseph P. Quinlan.
All About Brand Names
In an era in which the ground keeps shifting under our feet and companies seem to morph hourly from one avatar to another, shedding names and corporate missions with chaotic unpredictability, the issue of brands and customer loyalty is a huge concern to executives. What constitutes a brand? What is the value of a brand? How do you create customer loyalty to a brand? It's a multidimensional discussion that generates considerable dialogue.
HarperBusiness has two entries in this sweepstakes. One is Building Brandwidth: Closing the Sale Online by Sergio Zyman and Scott Miller. Zyman, who wrote The End of Marketing As We Know It, is the former chief marketing officer of the Coca-Cola Company and co-founder and chairman of Z Group, a "strategy house" that advises companies on how to be leaders in the e-commerce revolution. On the loyalty issue, in November, Harper is doing e-Loyalty: How to Keep Customers Coming Back to Your Website by Ellen Reid Smith.
Dearborn's contender is Loyalty Marketing for the Internet Age: How to Identify, Attract, Serve and Retain Customers in an E-Commerce Environment by Kathleen Sindell (Oct.), and NTC/ Contemporary joins the fray this fall with Branding.com: On-Line Brand- ing for Marketing Success by Deborah Kania, which, the publisher says, "reveals the secrets to brand marketing strategies specifically geared for the Internet." Frederick Newell, author of The New Rules of Marketing, offers sage advice in a McGraw-Hill March title that cunningly includes several "hot-button" terms--Loyalty.com: Customer Relationship Management in the New Era of Internet Marketing.
|Running in high|
As publishers will attest, the brand-name author him- or herself, or, as the case may be, brand-name company, carries the day in the sale of business books. Put Jack Welch or Cisco or eBay on a jacket and, whatever else the words may imply, book buyers feel they're getting the same kind of reliable product they would if they reached for Dial soap. Says Krames of McGraw-Hill, "Brand names are very important. Everyone wants to learn from the big names. And there is a new spirit of sharing information in a knowledge-based society; not trade secrets, but management methods and wisdom. CEOs are trying to dispel the NIH [not invented here] attitude and speak to other companies' managers."
McGraw-Hill Business, which Krames says likes to think of itself as a leader in providing brand-name business wisdom ("we are the 'way' publisher"), has enough titles in this area to fill its own shelf in bookstores this fall. The Disney Way Fieldbook: How to Implement Walt Disney's Vision of "Dream, Believe, Dare, Do" in Your Own Company by Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson (Sept.) is a "hands-on, how-to-workbook that is a companion to the bestselling Disney Way. The 12 Simple Secrets of Cisco Management: How to Think and Act Like a Cisco Manager and Take Your Company to the Top by David Thielen and Shirley Thielen (Oct.) contains "industry insiders' revelations on the company's phenomenal success." Other McGraw "brand-name" titles include several from its new Leaders Edge series: How to Think Like the Word's Greatest High-Tech Titans by Erika Brown (Sept.), How to Think Like the World's Greatest Marketing Minds by Marcia Turner and How to Think Like the World's Greatest New Media Moguls by Dale Buss (Sept.).
According to HarperCollins v-p and senior editor Larry Hughes, the house is doing a bang-up job with brand extension in its Ken Blanchard Library of 16 titles. Blanchard, author of the 1982 megaseller The One Minute Manager, always racks up phenomenal sales, says Hughes. His Big Bucks, out in May, has already sold 85,000 copies.
Everyone wants to know how Amazon.com has become such a phenomenon; perhaps the answers lie in Amazon.com: Get Big Fast: Inside the Revolutionary Model That Changed the World by Robert Spector (HarperBusiness), "the first book to detail one of the most talked-about business stories of the '90s."
More Tickets to Success
Six Sigma, a quality-control methodology that has passionate fans in the business world, is addressed in Doubleday/Currency's recent Six Sigma: The Breakthrough Management Strategy Revolutionizing the World's Top Corporations by Mikel Harry and Richard Schr der. Editor Roger Scholl tells PW that the book has sold 80,000 copies--"all through the bookstores"--since its January pub date. Out last month from McGraw-Hill is The Six Sigma Way: How GE, Motorola, and Other Top Companies Are Honing Their Performance by Peter S. Pande, Robert P. Neuman and Roland R. Cavanagh.
The Balanced Scorecard is yet another ticket to success, says HBSP publicity manager Sharon Rice. Accordingly, the publisher will introduce in November The Strategy Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton.
Hoping to bottle and sell it like the brand it represents, Texere's Absolut: Biography of a Bottle by Carl Hamilton (Oct.) tells, in vino veritas fashion, the real story about who is responsible for the company's great marketing program.
Wiley is weighing in with three heavy-hitter brand names in October--Nortel Networks: How Innovation and Vision Created a Network Giant by Larry MacDonald, The eBay Phenomenon: Business Secrets Behind the World's Hottest Internet Company by David Bunnell and Memos to the President: Management Advice from the Nation's Top CEOs from PricewaterhouseCoopers, edited by James J. Schiro, which counsels the prez (and anyone else who might be interested) about the "ultimate management challenge, that of running the largest organization in the world."
Moving from politi- cos to sports legends, former Cincinnati Bengals manager Homer Rice touts his theories in September's Lessons for Leaders: How to Build a Winning Team. "Rice," says publisher Longstreet, "uses his own story as a compelling case study of how his innovative 'Attitude Technique Philosophy' leads to total success in sports and life. Running Press is racing to market this fall with I Feel Great and You Will Too! An Inspiring Journey of Success with Practical Tips on How to Score Big in Life by Pat Croce (president and co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers) with Bill Lyon. Texere offers a wide-angle take on the sports world's contribution to business success theories: Peak Performance: Business Lessons from the World's Top Sports Organizations, due in October, is by Clive Gilson, Mike Pratt, Kevin Roberts and Ed Weymes.
J. Peterman, as everyone knows, is more than a Seinfeld character, and is remembered for his romantic, adventure-laden catalogues that drove the Peterman Company's business. With Peterman Rides Again (by none other than John Peterman himself), Prentice Hall Press suggests we look thoughtfully at this remarkable man and the business lessons he has learned.
In a kind of anthology of big name CEOs' thoughts on the future, Perseus is bringing out The Mind of the CEO by Yale School of Management Dean Jeffrey Garten. "It's our lead business title this fall," says publicity director Lissa Warren, "and it's a no-holds-barred look at which corporate problems really keep the world's top business leaders up at night."
The her s of history, evidently possessed of a certain sepia-toned star quality, are often trotted out as models of business acumen. Prentice Hall Press, an indefatigable miner of history for business exemplars (Cigars, Whiskey and Winning: Leadership Lessons from General Ulysses S. Grant, Patton on Leadership, etc.), adds to its Leadership from Famous People in History series in September with Elizabeth I, CEO: Strategic Lessons from the Leader Who Built an Empire by Patton¦ author Alan Axelrod. Queen Liz, publisher Gene Brissie says, was the first modern CEO, because she ran her kingdom like a corporation, and was extraordinarily shrewd and effective. (Maybe so, but could she have coped with Fergie and Diana?) In January Doubleday's Currency imprint published Leadership Lessons from the Civil War: Winning Strategies for Today's Managers by Tom Wheeler (among that book's time-tested lessons: "If you can't win--change the rules").
An April release, Ben Franklin's 12 Rules of Management: The Founding Father of American Business Solves Your Toughest Problems by Blaine McCormick, is billed by publisher Entrepreneur Press as "the first historically based business book that examines an actual businessperson rather than a religious leader, writer, philosopher, politician or warrior." And the Bard of Avon evidently knew more than just playwriting--Shakespeare's history plays and tragedies form the basis for Power Plays: Shakespeare's Lessons in Leadership and Management by John O. Whitney and Tina Packer, a June title from Simon & Schuster. In Hyperion's Shakespeare in Charge by Norman Augustine and Kenneth Adelman (Nov. 1999), the subtitle says it all: The Bard's Guide to Leading and Succeeding on the Business Stage.
Boning Up on the Basics
|Survey commissioned by HarperBusiness and conducted by ORC|
International through its CARAVAN Services.
Internet superstars have a lot going for them, but one thing they don't have (money can't buy everything) is basic business experience. And this has created a surprising demand for books on core management skills and information. The upshot has been new life for backlist titles and a rare opportunity for publishers to fill a yawning gap by supplying the basic how-tos of running a business. A good idea will get you a long way, but ultimately the nitty gritty issues of customer service, hiring and firing, production and merchandising and marketing, etc., demand attention. Not to mention profit. What's that? How do you get it? The dot-com millionaires suddenly need to know.
Says Crocker at Jossey-Bass, "There is a tremendous need for books on the basics. All these 20- to 30-year-old Internet wizards at some point have to get beyond the killer app and deal with the humdrum mechanics of operating a business." According to Mark Butler, senior acquisitions editor at IDG Books Worldwide, "The business community has changed forever, and with this change has come a new breed of young entrepreneurs who need to know the fundamentals, they need the core management and leadership skills--how to make a profit, how to generate positive cash flow, how to retain talented employees, the whole ball of wax."
IDG's popular Dummies series takes on the issues facing managerial and executive novices with new "kits"--packages that include a CD-ROM filled with interactive software, templates and sample documents. Fall/winter titles are The eBusiness Technology Kit for Dummies by Kathleen Allen and Jon Wiesner, The eBusiness Legal Kit for Dummies by Susan P. Butler, The Business Professional's Kit for Dummies by Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts, The Everyday Law Kit for Dummies by John Ventura and Mary Reed and The Public Relations Kit for Dummies by Eric Yaverbaum. Also hitting the shelves this season is Network Marketing for Dummies by Zig Ziglar (author of See You at the Top, which has sold more than 1.5 million copies) and John P. Hayes. The kit packages, says Butler, are "very cool little things. They help business people understand the marriage of technology and serve as business assessment tools."
In its Unofficial Guide series, which was part of the Macmillan acquisition for IDG, the publisher will bring out this fall The UnOfficial Guide to Launching a Home-Based Business by Steven D. Strauss and The UnOfficial Guide to Marketing Your Business Online by Jason Rich. "The UnOfficial Guides are kind of a 'wink-wink' series," Butler says. "They're very matter-of-fact, cut-to-the-chase, and explain how to make the system work for you using insider information."
McGraw-Hill's Briefcase Books series meets the basic info needs of budding business brains with tools, techniques and real-life examples, with a November title trio: Conflict Resolution by Daniel Dana, Leadership Skills for Managers by Marlene Caroselli and Communicating Effectively by Lani Arrendondo.
A big fall title from Doubleday/ Currency, Maximum Success: Changing the 12 Behavior Patterns That Keep You from Getting Ahead by James Waldroop and Timothy Butler, who are both directors of MBA Career Development at Harvard Business School, aims to reach young execs at the starting block before they have had a chance to mess up their careers.
"The reality is the dot-coms are in trouble," says Calmes of Adams. "The market has started asking when these guys are going to become profitable. There is a big slowdown in IPOs." Adams wants readers to know it stands ready to help with a number of recent titles, among them A Crash Course in Marketing: Low-Cost Marketing Strategies That Will Double Your Sales--Not Your Expenses by David H. Bangs and Andi Axman and Streetwise Relationship Marketing on the Internet: Create One on One Bonds with Prospects and Customers and Keep Them Forever by Roger C. Parker.
In the spirit of the K.I.S.S. rule, Amacom released in April Peanut Butter and Jelly Management: Tales from Parenthood, Lessons for Managers by Chris and Reina Komisarjevsky. In October the publisher will lead the uninitiated through the fine art of putting out fires with Managing Crises Before They Happen: What Every Executive and Manager Needs to Know About Crisis Management by Ian I. Mitroff with Gus Anagos. Career Press advises the managerially challenged with two titles early this winter, Let's Go into Business Together by Azriela Jaffe and Indispensable Employees: How to Hire Them, How to Keep Them by Martha Fields.
In an avuncular, friendly voice, Charles Handy takes new managers under his wing with 21 Ideas for Managers: Practical Wisdom for Managing Your Company and Yourself, coming in September from Jossey-Bass. Out the same month from J-B is a compilation of advice for execs on the rise: Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: The Four Disciplines at the Heart of Making Any Organization World Class by Patrick Lencioni.
David L. Harrison, director of Kiplinger Books & Tapes, says its titles are aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, not larval titans of industry. But these readers, too, need a constant diet of the basics, and having looked into the future, he says, "we concluded that these small and mid-size businesses were heading for a crunch." In this month's Raising Capital, Andrew Sherman offers independent business owners a comprehensive and understandable review of debt and equity-financing options and how to best take advantage of them, including how to find venture capitalists on the Internet. With employment at a 30-year high, "finding good people to fill staff openings is especially tough for smaller businesses," Harrison says--hence the July title, Hunting Heads: How to Find and Keep the Best People by John McConnell. In December, Kiplinger will do Cash Rules: Learn and Manage the 7 Cash-Flow Drivers for Your Company's Success by Bill McGuinness. Notes Harrison, "accrual accounting can distort profits. You can actually go bankrupt if you're too successful."
All of these titles are part of Kiplinger's new Business Management Library, launched last fall, a line the house decided to publish, says Harrison, because "we felt our core audience--subscribers to the Kiplinger Letter and other independent business owners and managers--could benefit from the kinds of information and research that officers and directors of large corporations have access to."
And the Net Results Are...
With these major trends, then, propelling the publishing process, publishers have been quick to respond to the market's demand for guidance and direction. Several have started new management lines or imprints, including Dearborn, Kiplinger and Simon & Schuster (partnering with the Wall Street Journal). Others, such as Perseus, have risen to prominence in the business book arena on the strength of a single title. And the changes have spawned at least one brand-new player--Texere, noted above. The world has been turned upside-down in recent years, and the world of business has experienced a particularly acute case of vertigo.
One final prediction: watch out for a wave of titles dealing with spiritual aspects of work and how work relates to life writ large. Says Gayle Treadwell of HBSP, "people are thinking about the world of business in broader terms. They want it to connect with a larger value system that gives meaning and purpose to their lives." Jean Iverson at Dearborn says, "Spirituality in the workplace is going to be very important. It can mean personal issues, ethics, integrity, fostering more respect in the workplace. But the plain fact of the matter is it increases the bottom line. That's what everybody is interested in."
A June 14 editorial in the Wall Street Journal indicates the business world is getting it. Titled "Live Long and Prosper," it cited a recent study that indicates spirituality is good for you: "This study is an encouraging sign that the 20th-century mind set, to toss overboard any and all traditional thinking as mindless superstition, may have more serious drawbacks than we ever imagined."
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