Quite a busy first half of the week, as Friday and next Monday are public holidays in the UK and I promised the family I wouldn’t work—so two weeks of getting five days work done in four.

The main thing this week was a couple of onboarding meetings with publishers for Xigxag: having done commercial agreements with them, we need to agree how metadata and master files will be supplied. Even after so long in the book business, there’s a lot to learn in these meetings, in particular how non-standard some standards are. For example, this week I learned that there are six or seven different ways of expressing the duration of an audiobook in ONIX. But even with those complications, the meetings are always positive as they mark the transition point between the abstract (what might happen and how do we address it contractually, or minimising downside risk) and the actual (getting files and making sales, or maximising upside opportunity).

I also took part in a Zoom workshop for a strategy and content company: a really nice mix of several people I knew and had worked with before, and a wider group of people I hadn’t met and found fascinating.


This week marked the end of the quarter and a much needed catch up on admin: invoicing, timesheets and the VAT return. Looking back the first three months saw seven clients served, over 230 Zoom meetings, some promising leads, a couple of setbacks, and almost zero travel. It’s a small business, but it’s mine.


Currently reading: Tarzan Economics: Eight Principles for Pivoting Through Disruption (just published), A Memory Called Empire, The Economics and Financing of Media Companies.