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xvii

Introduction

My friend, Joe Esposito, frst told me about blogs in the early part of the frst decade of the 21st century before just about anybody else I knew had heard of them. I am not sure why it took me many years to start one of my own.

I’ve been training for this gig for a lifetime. My Dad insisted that I learn to touch-type when I started fooling aroundwith a typewriter at the age of 8. (As he said, “either we teach him the right way, or he’ll teach himself the wrong way.”) Three months of twice-weekly lessons got me up to 42 words a minute on a manual typewriter, but trainedmy fngers to do the right thing so that today on a computer I can do about 3 times that speed. By the time I was 11, I was fling copy on a weekly basis on the Litle League games for our local newspaper. I got paid too: 15 cents a column inch. The newspaper job actually continued for the next sev-eral years as I moved on to covering high school sports.

In my junior year of college, I started writing a weekly column I called The View from Underneath for the UCLA Daily Bruin. I don’t know how good it was or how many people read it, but it got me a cer-tain amount of notoriety. Because of the column, I networked my way into the Bobby Kennedy presidential campaign and, after his death, a slot as an assistant to Pierre Salinger on the 1968 McGovern efort at the National Democratic Convention. (That was the one in Chicago that featured police against protestors in the streets and which villain-ized Chicago’s frst Mayor Richard Daley to that generation of young liberal activist Americans.)

Between the end of The View from Underneath and the commence-ment of The Shatkin Files blog, 40 years passed. I did plenty of writ-ing in the meantime: some books (mostly about baseball), a bunch of articles about publishing in trade publications in many countries, and, starting in the mid-1990s, speeches on publishing and digital change delivered at industry forums and then preserved on my website. The posted speeches were a great boon to my professional career, making it possible to build credibility (and “brand”) among people who never atended these live events.

Others I knowhadbloggeddaily, or almostdaily. RichardCharkin, now ManagingDirectorofBloomsbury,wroteeverydaywhenhewashead ofMacmillan.My friendGwynHeadley,ManagingDirectorof the stock agency fotoLibra, toldme thatwhenhe startedblogging, hedidsowitha list

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