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Mike Shatzkin

Mike Shatzkin is the Founder & CEO of The Idea Logical Company and has had a 50+ year-long career in the book publishing industry as a supply chain expert, digital change leader, strategic consultant, and as the author of nearly a dozen books.

Mike has been involved in the book publishing business since his first job on the sales floor of the new paperback department of Brentano’s 5th Avenue bookstore in the summer of 1962. After graduation from UCLA in 1969 and two years working on the McGovern for President campaign, Mike joined his family enterprise, The Two Continents Publishing Group, as Director of Marketing. At Two Continents, Mike worked with dozens of publishers whose books the company distributed.

In 1979, Mike established Idea Logical and became an independent consultant, providing services to small publishers seeking distribution and strategic insights to larger publishers about managing their supply chain.

In the early 1990s, Mike began seriously exploring book publishing’s digital future, at first working on a series of “Publishing in the 21st Century” conferences and White Papers that were sponsored by VISTA Computer Services. His speeches at those conferences, many of which are archived on his website, were the beginning of more than a quarter-century of envisioning the changes digital communication would bring to the industry.

In 2008, Mike co-created Publishers Launch Conferences with Publishers Lunch founder Michael Cader. PLC organized and ran many industry conferences about digital change, including creating and hosting the first seven Digital Book World conferences. In 2014, Mike and his Idea Logical colleague, Jess Johns, teamed up with publishing’s most knowledgeable digital marketing expert, Peter McCarthy, to create the Logical Marketing Agency. The group late founded, a digitally-sophisticated service to optimize discovery and online purchase of books.

In the Fall of 2016, Mike sold his interest in to Ingram, which has been (before and since) a consulting client. McCarthy and Johns joined the Ingram team, and Mike cut Idea Logical back to the things he could do without a staff. All of that was intended to free time for him to work on climate change.

Shortly thereafter, Mike teamed up with Lena Tabori, and they started building Since 2016, Mike has continued his publishing activities while becoming a climate activist. His “pet” causes are carbon-fee-and-dividend, by which fossil fuels are taxed, and the money is used to create a universal income guarantee and preserving the US’s nuclear power generation, which is (so far) always replaced by more fossil fuel burning when operating plants are retired.

But he continues to think and write about publishing’s digital change. His Shatzkin Files blog remains active, and in March 2019, Oxford University Press published Mike’s latest book, “The Book Business: What Everyone Needs to Know,” co-authored with the late Robert P. Riger.


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