Archive for March 2011

Cory Doctorow, Author of “For the Win,” and Seth Godin, Author of “Poke the Box”

For this week’s podcast I had the good fortune of interviewing two people who are both New York Times bestselling authors and who are also both trailblazers in the world of publishing, Cory Doctorow and Seth Godin.

Cory and I talked about:

The world of gold farming depicted in For the Win; in 2008 there were roughly 400,000 people making a living in the developing world from doing repetitive tasks in online gaming worlds to amass game currency and goods to sell to players in the developed world;

Why the gold farming world was a great setting for a story of global labour activism;

Writing about virtual and real worlds, and how those people experience life and experience games;

Using the dynamics of science fiction to explain the invisible technology of economics;

The war on kids who are being pushed out of society’s real spaces on the one hand, and restricted from virtual spaces as well;

Lenore Skenazy, author of Free Range Kids;

The peer pressure parents experience from other adults about parenting;

Cory recounts the genesis of his essay about the reproductive strategy of dandelions that Seth Godin discusses in Poke the Box;

Giving books away for free as a marketing technique and the satisfaction of promoting his books in a way that is consistent with his ethics and moral principles.  You can get “For the Win” free from Cory’s site here;

Cory’s thoughts on copyright regulation in the modern world;

The program Cory has for fans to purchase copies of his books for school classrooms and libraries;

Cory’s self-published short story collection With a Little Help;

Book donations to Worldreader to give Cory’s books to kids in developing countries;

“Transmedia storytelling” and Jack and the Beanstalk;

Turning fictional worlds into game worlds.


Seth and I talked about:

Poke the Box is a book about taking initiative, so we discussed why initiative is so important now, both in business and in society, and why it is so scarce;

The Resistance, as Steven Pressfield calls it (see his upcoming book, Do The Work);

How when failure is not an option, then success is not an option;

How to get past the fear of failure, and the incredible competitive advantage that you get when you learn that failure is not fatal;

The story of giving away Unleashing the Ideavirus for free (you can get the free PDF here);

Why we need to renounce the tyranny of being picked and pick ourselves;

The Domino Project and how it is powered by Amazon.

Traditional publishing’s value proposition in a world where self-publishing is a viable alternative for authors.

Next Week’s Podcast: Eric Lamet, author of the memoir A Child Al Confino.

Some Cool New Features!

It seems like this has been a long time coming, even though we launched just over two months ago, but today’s the day! Check out these new features that will making browsing and using even more enjoyable …

Browsing by Genre: You’ll notice that there’s a dropdown menu above the eBook of the Day in the right-hand column of inside pages. If you would like to suggest a genre we have missed, please email us at To see how neat it is to browse by genre, check out Bestselling, Romance, Non Fiction, Business & Investing or Young Adult & Children.

No More Book Overwhelm: Go to your profile page to set the maximum number of book loans you would like to receive each week. Right now, the default is one loan per week. You can set it to No Books (this pauses loans) up to three books max per week. You may or may not receive your max number of loans in any given week, but you will not receive more than your max.  Click here for a screen capture video that shows exactly how to change your maximum books on the profile page.

Unlimited Borrow Requests: Say goodbye to our five-per-day limit.  Request as many books as you like (think of your list of requested books as a Netflix queue for book loans).

Read It Today Category: The Read It Today category features the books that are in greatest supply. If you’re fresh out of reading material and want to get a new book loan today, this is your category.

Stay Posted With Twitter: Follow @blfeed to get real-time automatic updates about borrow requests and new books as they become available  (our regular, chatty Twitter feed is @booklending).

No More Blushing: Last, but not least, the erotica books have their own Erotica category [NSFW] now and they have been filtered off the non-erotica pages.  Our software is doing this filtering automatically with about 95% accuracy – if you see anything that has been miscategorized, let us know at and we’ll fix it.

The 25 Most Wanted for the Week of March 21

1. Water for Elephants (mass market e-book) by Sara Gruen

2. Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

4. Medical Error by Richard Mabry

5. Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins

6. Leaving Home: Short Pieces (Kindle Single) by Jodi Picoult

7. Divine by Karen Kingsbury

8. Bone Thief by Thomas O’ Callaghan

9. Night Road by Kristin Hannah

10. Freedom: A Novel (Oprah’s Book Club) by Jonathan Franzen

11. Night Life by Caitlin Kittredge

12. Don’t Die, Dragonfly by Linda Joy Singleton

13. Torn (Trylle Trilogy, #2) by Amanda Hocking

14. Saving Rachel (A Donovan Creed Crime Novel) by John Locke

15. NSFW Hidden Desires by Elle Kennedy

16. NSFW Displayed (Purgatory Club) by Eliza Gayle

17. KILLER by Stephen Carpenter

18. Ascend (Trylle Trilogy, #3) by Amanda Hocking

19. The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

20. The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch

21. NSFW Gabriel’s Mate (Scanguards Vampires) by Tina Folsom

22. The Spark: The 28-Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit, and Transforming Your Life by Chris Downie

23. A Scattered Life by Karen McQuestion

24. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

25. Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas