Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Book Packagers

I was reading an interview with Seth Godin --not exactly the reading material of a would-be fictionist--and unexpectedly comes along a book concept I'm unfamiliar with: the concept of book packaging (hint: it's related to ghost writing).
Book packagers do what movie producers do, except instead of making movies we make books. I would find teams of people who could put together a book worth reading that was too difficult to be written by one person. I came out with about a book a month, on everything from gardening to business to computers. I did a book called The Internet White Pages, some books about words, and books about stain removal.

There's no question that if the Internet had existed then, I would have been the kind of person who was building websites. But instead of building websites, I built books. The advantage was that you got paid up front, and you got a royalty if it worked.

I did that for five years. I started in the same office as the company that became Yoyodyne, which is where I met Mark Hurst. He came to work for me.

I ran Yoyodyne and the book business for about six years. Then the book business got too big and I got too tired, so I sold it to my employees. Then the Yoyodyne Internet business got too big and the timing was good so I sold it to Yahoo!.

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