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Soul Shelter lives!

Yes, long inexplicable silence has its mystique, but enough already! In the time-honored tradition of “What I Did on My Summer Vacation,” we are now back to tell you, loyal Soul Shelter reader, what exactly we’ve been up to while not blogging these last few months.

Many thanks to Allie, Lindsay, Chris, Steve, and other friends who sent e-mails over the past weeks, checking in and gently reminding us to write. Now, how to explain ourselves? Mark?

Well, we haven’t exactly been sitting around.

True. We’ve each been sunk deep in our respective core projects. In past months those included completing a new novel, editing a best-selling business book, and finishing a doctoral thesis.

Mark’s too modest, so I’ll tell the latest about his writing: he completed his third novel and immediately won an offer, so the book will be published next year. What’s the new title about, Mark?

Part-love story, part-historical mystery. It follows five generations in an American family, beginning with an immigration in the 1820s, continuing through the Civil War, and concluding in the final years of World War II. Wow, that sounds extremely tedious. But I promise, lots of stuff is left out and I kept only the juicy bits.

You also participated in that wild artist retreat in upstate New York in August. I imagine that involved lots of drunken skinny dipping, orgiastic body-painting, and so forth?

Well, ahem, I had to sign this non-disclosure thing… What I can say is … it was very nice and everybody was, ahem, well-behaved. Also, lots of work got done. But what about you, Tim? You’re even more academically distinguished these days, aren’t you?

I wrapped up my doctorate of business administration (DBA), a daunting task, believe you me. The degree was awarded August 27. My thesis dealt with the question of why some business models transfer more readily to overseas markets than others. As I see it the answer lies in how business models are “culturally imprinted” — and how those imprints affect a business model’s viability outside country of origin.

But you had more on your plate than that.

Yep. While finishing the research, I served as editor and co-author for an extraordinary new book. Business Model Generation is the first book I’ve been involved with that’s sold more than 7,000 copies, so it’s been a thrill (95% of all books published sell fewer than 5,000 copies).

How many copies are we talking? (Author to author here.)

55,000-plus in print.

Whoa, Holy Gutenberg! And overseas?

Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Dutch, and Indonesian translation rights have been sold.

What, no Antarctic?

I wasn’t supposed to say anything. The contract isn’t quite finished.

Remind me to ask you more often about success in one’s writing life. Now, there’s an interesting story behind the way this book was put together, right? You helmed the editing part of a really sharp team.

Yes, the project involved a remarkable entrepreneurial network (about which more later).

Where can I get a copy?

Barnes & Noble stuck their neck out for us: they ordered an average of more than four copies each for all of their almost 800 U.S. stores (that’s unusual for a $35 business book). So please consider buying it at Barnes & Noble — we’d like to support the remarkable commitment they made to us.

You got it. Well, as for Soul Shelter, the way we’ve kept things shuttered here lately, I think we owe ourselves a reminder of why we started this blog in the first place.

We had a wonderful book of medieval Japanese parables to promote, but more important, we wanted to experience this remarkable medium for ourselves.

Right. We wanted an outlet for the ideas we always tossed around between us in regular conversation. But I think it’s become clear that we lack the, uh, stamina of real bloggers.

Are you saying we fizzled?

Fizzled? No! Flagged a little, maybe. The ideas are still there in abundance. The tough part is the regular blogging thing — the format and upload business…

True. It’s safe to say that we are absolutely, positively, incontrovertibly convinced that we will never, ever, be pro bloggers.

You said it. Blogging is hard, incessant work.

Uh-huh, and to be successful, you’ve got to either 1) have good products or services to flog, 2) write about a subject that’s attractive to advertisers, or 3) be so crazy about writing and self-publishing that you’re care-free about any financial return on your efforts.

That’s why with this post, we’re switching to an occasional rather than a regular posting schedule (actually, we made that transition months ago, but hey, here’s official notice).

And how should we define “occasional”?

Let’s just say, stretches of quietude will not be rare.

And quietude is good for the soul!

Yeah, nicely put. Quietude: un-blog-like, but not without soulful benefits!

Meanwhile, the Soul Shelter archives are fully accessible via the categorical groupings in our sidebar, or via the search box on the bottom right side of all full-post pages.

Soul Shelter lives, and more good writing is (occasionally) on the way!

Tim Clark and Mark Cunningham are both writers, and welcome any inquiries. Write to <authors> at this domain.

10 Comments to Soul Shelter lives!

On Oct 6, 2010, Hank commented:

I was among those who had wondered where you’d gone. Congratulations that the two of you could celebrate success this year. Your stuff is too good to give away for free!

One of my favorite writing quotes applies here:

“No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” Boswell: Life of Johnson.

On Oct 7, 2010, John Bardos - IdeaEconomy commented:

It is good to hear from you two again. Congratulations on your offline success! Blogging is over-rated anyway.:-)

Your writing style is too good for the typical blog format. Long, contemplative posts can’t be properly digested with a quick scan of an RSS feed reader.

You might want to consider turning your posts into shorter ebooks with appropriate images and graphics. I think readers still want higher quality and more in depth articles, but they have come to expect something different from blogs. I rarely read blog posts; I always skim so simple and short content with clear headings wins out.

However, I love to read books where I can get more immersed in the topic. A short ebook from you two every month or so might prove popular. The ebooks would likely be forwarded often so you would expand your readership.

On Oct 7, 2010, Meg Boone commented:

Thank you. I was feeling guilty about neglecting my blog for my ‘real life work’ and you just reminded me….ummm…whatever. Who cares but me about my blog ( i do care, but I don’t obsess) Do this as a pro? ummm probably not. So thanks for going and accomplishing things in the real world and reminding me I’ve got things to do.
Congrats on all your epic mountain climbing feats!

On Oct 7, 2010, Matt commented:

Glad to hear of your successes, and know that I can look forward to more of your insightful and thought-provoking posts! (Even if only occasionally)

On Oct 7, 2010, by Tim commented:

Everybody, many thanks for the kind words. We’ve missed you too :-)

Now I find myself struggling to “compose” a long, contemplative comment.


Hmmm…think I’ll give up on that, and save it for the next (occasional) post.



On Oct 7, 2010, Steve commented:

Glad you see you are back. This summer I dug into the archives and read both the Prosperous Peasant and Business Model Generation. Waiting for the (occasional) posts is worth the wait.

On Oct 12, 2010, Allie commented:

Hi, guys! Congratulations to both of you! I’m noticing a bit of a shift in a few of the blogs I read and my own, and I think it’s reassuring that the balance is shifting a little bit back towards life-away-from-the-screen. Thanks for continuing to share your wisdom.

On Oct 16, 2010, JKC commented:

I appreciate the thoughts you have shared on Soul Shelter. Your words have been motivational over the past many months (years?) that I have been reading.

One recurrent theme has always been: “Get away from the screen”. The most important things in life happen when you are out in the world, and not viewing it through your desktop portal.

Congratulations on your recent successes, and I would certainly appreciate future thoughts and words – even if shared only occasionally.


On Dec 12, 2010, J.D. Roth commented:

More please! :)

On Dec 12, 2010, by Tim commented:

Thanks, J.D., more is (occasionally!) on the way :-)

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