Friday, September 30, 2011

Love Talbot's

Love Talbot's, love Julianne Moore and love their recent commercials here -- and don't miss the "Behind The Scenes" one either.

Seth Godin's Publishing Pledge of Allegiance

Poke The Box from Seth Godin on Vimeo.

Here's Seth Godin on Poke The Box. Watch it if you haven't seen it yet. His new book, We Are All Weird, is even more exciting.

Been poking around Seth's Domino site. He's so RIGHT ON about publishing.

He's doing a great seminar on Monday -- be there or be square. Admission fee: buy 6 copies of his NOT-AT-ALL-WEIRD BOOK: We Are All Weird

We are reinventing what it means to be a publisher, and along the way, spreading ideas that we’re proud to spread. Our core beliefs:

-- Exceptionally high quality ideas, created without regard for what bookstores and middlemen want.
-- Ideas packaged with cogency and urgency in mind, not a word wasted, no filler.
-- Permission at the heart of the model. Ideas for our readers, not more readers for our ideas.
-- Virality first. An idea that requires a direct sale won’t thrive in a world where the most powerful ideas spread from hand to hand. Create content that works best when spread, and then package it so it’s easy to spread.
-- Reward the sneezers who stand up and spread these ideas.
-- No patience for obsolete institutions. Bestseller lists are not worth compromising for.
-- Speed triumphs. Rapid time to market, rapid evolution, rapid response to reader feedback.
-- Format agnostic. Kindle, audiobook, paperback, collectible… all good.
-- Different products for different customers. A variety of price points and formats to match audience desires.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Go Shopping at J.A. Konrath's New EBook Store

Have you been to Konrath's new ebook store? Go check it out here.

Also read this from Konrath's blog about why he set up the store (link):
Ebooks A La Carte

Last month, I did a blog post with Blake Crouch about the future of ebook sales. In that blog, we talked about the only two parties needed for a transaction: the author, and the reader. Everyone else (agent, publisher, retailer) is a middleman, taking a percentage.

But if a writer already has loyal fans willing to seek him out, why should the middleman get a cut? Couldn't the author and the reader complete a transaction (the reader buying the book) where the writer receives all of the profit?


Konrath is such a wildman innovator. Love that guy! Hat tip to Barry Eisler for this.

Postcards from New Orleans

Here's some great postcards we got down here in New Orleans. You can get them too here at Art and Cards. They have lovely old cards.

Postcards from New Orleans

Here's some great postcards we got down here in New Orleans. You can get them too here at Art and Cards. They have lovely old cards.

Postcards from New Orleans

Here's some great postcards we got down here in New Orleans. You can get them too here at Art and Cards. They have lovely old cards.

Amazon Silk -- Very Important

Dear Customers: A Letter from Amazon posts a letter to customers as their homepage today:
Dear Customer,

There are two types of companies: those that work hard to charge customers more, and those that work hard to charge customers less. Both approaches can work. We are firmly in the second camp.

We are excited to announce four new products: the all-new Kindle for only $79, two new touch Kindles – Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G – for $99 and $149, and a new class of Kindle – Kindle Fire – a beautiful full color Kindle for movies, TV shows, music, books, magazines, apps, games, web browsing and more, for only $199.


Check it out here: Amazon

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Publishing an ebook -- Day Five

Okay, I even slipped with posting yesterday, but I was a LITTLE BUSY. Still proofing and formatting and you might get the idea that having someone else do your proofing and formatting could be worth the costs. Lucky you! There are a bunch of great people who do just that. Amazon will give you a list here:
Professional Conversion Services

Professional conversion services are available to publishers seeking help with the adjustment to self-publishing and eBook integration. Here is a list of companies specializing in eBook conversion services:

Aptara: A leader in content transformation solutions, Aptara provides a variety of eBook services including eBook creation and content conversion in all eBook formats.

Booknook: Specializing in the affordable creation of ebooks, both fiction and non-fiction, for all platforms from Word, PDF, Text and other input file types.

CreateSpace: A leader in on-demand publishing and part of the Amazon group of companies, CreateSpace offers Kindle conversion services starting at just $69! *Available only for titles previously published through CreateSpace.

Digital Media Initiatives: Where complete automation is not possible, Digital Media Initiatives undertakes manual conversion of print books to ePub format and other popular formats.

IT Global Solution- Office Conversion Partner for Amazon’s Mobipocket file format: IT Global Solution can help you with all of your data conversion services.

Innodata Isogen: Innodata Isogen is promoted as the industry’s leading provider of eBook services to major publishers and leading eBook device makers such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Sony.

Kreutzfeldt Electronic Publishing: Offers conversion services for German and English reference content. (Web site is in German)

Leer-e S.L.: Leer-e offers conversion of digital formats, scanning, translation and a complete range of publishing services including Mobipocket and POD. (Web site is in Spanish)

LiberWriter: LiberWriter is promoted as a friendly, easy system for creating well-formatted Kindle books. Their software helps you get the details right, and offers publisher support if you have questions.

Smart Site: Smart Site provides ebook conversions for Kindle and Mobipocket. Reasonable fees-fast turnaround!

SilverChair: SilverChair specializes in medical content and develops high-value, information-critical products for the health care community.

Note: Amazon does not endorse or recommend any one company over the other. Promotional copy is credited to the respective company and modified to suit this page.

Also check out 52Novels -- excellent ebook design services

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I can hear you writing ... I read between the lines

Publishing an ebook -- Day Four

Been reading and researching the many rules and regs on Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing, as well as reading a lot of threads by e-authors about things to be sure TO DO and things NOT TO DO.

Also ... still proofreading. Sometimes, you just have to put the bread aside, let it rest and rise again, punch it down and then get it ready for the oven.

BTW, here is what Kindle Direct Publishing tells you about formats:
Types of Formats

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) lets you upload and convert your final draft from several formats. For best results, we recommend that you upload in DOC (.doc) or PRC (.prc) format. Be sure to read through the format you are using to upload below prior to publishing your work with KDP.

To learn more about the recommended PRC format, be sure to read through our Simplified Guide to Building a Kindle Book, which walks you through editing a DOC file in word, saving the file in a format accepted using Mobipocket Creator, and converting for optimum usability with KDP.

We accept the following formats:

Word (.doc or .docx)
ePub (.epub)
Plain Text (.txt)
Mobipocket (.mobi or .prc)
HTML (.zip, .htm, or .html)
Adobe PDF (.pdf)
Rich Text Format (.rtf)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Publishing an ebook -- Day Three

Now we've nailed a few things -- the cover is done -- the writing of the book is almost finished-- still have to write up a description, but what's really taking time today is proofreading.

Another colleague of mine is proofreading my quick biz book idea of 12 pages and I'm proofreading her volume of short stories which is about 45 pages. I'm the loser in that deal, I suppose. Her writing is very funny and good to read, so I find I'm slipping into just plain reading, instead of red pencil aggressive proofing and copyediting.

We should be done by tonight. Her stuff is really funny. She has a long conversation with her college roommates about whether they would prefer having their hands or feet chopped off first, related to something she was reading about attending medical school and doing autopsies. I guess it's hard to imagine that being a funny subject, but with her as the writer, it is.

Picture Credit: Under Autopsy on Wikipedia, Rembrandt's The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Publishing an ebook -- Day Two

So as you saw from the video yesterday, there are three things you need to move ahead with publishing your ebook:

1. Your ebook (in WORD format is fine);
2. Your cover art
3. A description of your book.

I met with a friend at Starbuck's yesterday afternoon who did the cover art for me quickly -- good to know graphic artists -- but if you don't any, there are many resources for this now -- just Google "ebook cover art" and you'll find someone to help you. It shouldn't cost much over $50.

I'll finish the description of my book today. The book was one I drafted about a month ago and yesterday I cleaned up and edited more carefully. I will ask someone else to proofread it. I ran a proofreading department recently and I know one thing very well, you can't proofread your own stuff, it's just impossible to see the errors after a while.

With any luck I'll publish by the end of the week. My very short book is about why ALL WOMEN SHOULD START A BUSINESS -- it distresses me that more women don't try it.

It's called "Does This Start-up Make Me Look Fat?" My logic is that women have everything they need to start businesses -- they're smart, they're good at making things, promoting things (like their kids and clubs and charities), they are creative and brave -- so why aren't they starting companies. Finally it occurred to me -- maybe they will think they'll end up looking like some fat old rich guy if they start a company. And women don't like looking fat.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Why I Joined the Pixability Flash Mob

Okay, you might think I'm completely crazy, but I joined the Pixability Flash Mob and we performed in Copley Square on Wednesday at 5:00 for one reason -- I really wanted to watch leadership in action. And they delivered!

Seriously, to get over a hundred people to embarrass themselves in public (and on video), you must have some serious leadership skills. To convince people in and outside your company to do a flash mob you need no small amount of operational smarts and overall charisma and enthusiasm. Bettina Hein and her crew of leaders at Pixability have those skills out the wazoo.
She said doing a flash mob might be on our bucket list. Well, I don't really have a list, or if I do, there's only one thing on it -- never being afraid to try new things. If you're an entrepreneur, you better have that mantra on your list too.

Picture Credit: Mass High Tech

Thursday, September 15, 2011

James Taylor: Fire and Rain

Reading a great book

Don't you just love diving into a great book, like a deep pool of water, quiet and private and refreshing.

I'm reading: Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970 by David Browne

This one is a biography I would never have bought if Amazon hadn't done a great deal on bios for a very low Kindle price. It's kind of a "group bio" of the musicians of 1970 -- think the Beatles ending, James Taylor starting, Crosby Stills Nash and Young going nuts, Simon and Garfunkel coming up with something called "Bridge Over Troubled Water", just to name a few.

Try this book, you'll like it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

FutureM Conference: Serious Fun

This has been an interesting week at FutureM and as I have said before about conferences, if I go away with one very good idea after a day of presentations, I consider myself lucky.

I guess in this case I'm very lucky, because the good ideas, insights, inspirations and FUN are flowing freely at FutureM. Still 3 days left -- get into the spirit and come over today to see the Inbound Marketing Summit at the Sheraton! Looking forward to seeing my pal, Guy Kawasaki to get a dose of further Enchantment.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Future M: Contented with Content?

After a day of the FutureM (M=Marketing) Conference yesterday, I'm noticing the word "content" is being tossed around a lot. Like many things I've said and completely forgotten I ever said, I was once quoted as saying "Content is a pimp's word." I simply meant that the people who use the word are not usually makers of it, but purveyors of it.

Marketers want this word to seem elevated, important, serious but all they mean by "content" is stuff they can broadcast across their many media -- especially recent devices and media like cell, tablet, Twitter, Facebook -- to get your attention and make you buy stuff. Like fast food, are they trying to actually nourish you, or just fill you up on empty calories to keep the name of their brand up front and in your face?

Advertising space is born as digital devices multiply and they must be filled with something -- they need content! Are you actually finding lots of excellent content coming across all your devices? I find the speedier things get, the skinnier the content seems to get. Like everyone else, is content on a diet?

Content is a marketing word, so it always makes me laugh when marketers start wandering down the real shopping aisle of content -- claiming story, narrative, tales, and fables as their own. These are the whole foods of "content" -- full fiber and whole grain. This is the stuff we stuffy old readers of books take the time to digest.

If you are a reader of books and/or a writer of books you know "content" can't be put on fast forward and forced to bloom under grow lights over night. Good stories, excellent writing, deep ideas and surprising insights require time and silence and thought to be born.

Are you contented with the content coming across your many devices? Are readers of stories and writers of tales making "content" or doing something else entirely? I suspect we are trying to talk respectfully to other humans about our life here on Earth first. We're not much for used car salesman arm-twisting and "Buy! Buy! Buy!" red fluorescent signs plastered on the walls in the marketplace.

Picture Credit: Jennifer Echols, MTV Books Blog

Monday, September 12, 2011

MITX FutureM finally here!

Are you guys as excited as I am? This will be an amazing week in Boston.

Check it out! FutureM rocks! Don't miss the excellent Jess Greenwood from Contagious!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Be Safe Today

So many great books about 9/11 have been published in the last ten years.

Be safe today -- stay home and READ!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

What's with the goofy caps on BoOkBoX?

Well, you might ask what's with that weird upper- and lower-case spelling of

B o O k B o X
b O o K b O x
b o o k B O X

anyway? It's all about the fact that as books turn into e-books and PDF's and a wide variety of forms, you start to notice how absolutely fluid and funky the digital content of our world is becoming.

Our letters and our lettres and our lEtTeRs are morphing before our very eyes. The alphabet seems to have a mind of its own, jumping up and down and flexing and texting and doing crazy things. Even a bOoK is not a "book" any more it seems to me.

So the uppity and downity of the bOoKbOX or BoOkBoX or bookBOX for me is all about how out of control the digital alpha-beta is these days. That's what Halley Tucker's BoOkBoX is about ... and rumor has it someone is building me an actual box to keep new books and e-books in, so I can pull a rabbit out of my hat (out of the Book Box) which I will be showing off soon.

Got any boxes of books around your house? I sure do!

David Berlind and Fritz Nelson on iPad vs. Kindle: InfoWeek

Very interesting to see how much has changed since this video was made only a year or so ago.

Notice the difference in prices from then to now! The iPad cost $720 according to Nelson and Berlind says, the Kindle "costs half that!" Not any more.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Don't judge a Kindle without a cover!

Do you have a Kindle without a cover!? The poor thing! It's so skinny -- it needs some clothes! Get it a cute leather suit here, since many of them are on sale!

Help me out with The Help!

I know you power readers (like me) hear about a new movie coming out and you have either already read the book, or you jump in quickly and read or reread it and THEN ... make the big decision!

TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE the movie!

So help me out people who have read The Help and seen The Help -- shall I go see it? I finished it about 2 weeks ago.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Back from the Beach -- Happy Labor Day!

If you are an ebook reader, I'm sure you've seen many claims about how you can read at the beach -- or more precisely, how the Kindle is particularly good when it comes to reading at the beach.

I took both my iPad and my Kindle to Crane's Beach today and honestly, I didn't use either one.

Here's something you can do at the beach besides read -- you can swim! You can walk along the shore! You can get down in the sand, build up a castle and then watch the tide come in and wash it away.

I love my Kindle and truly, if I wanted to read today perhaps I would have opened it, but I really don't want to get SAND in it and when I'm at the beach with my family -- I try to resist the urge to read! Call me crazy.

Besides, the best place to read in the summer on a beautiful day is in a hammock or on a porch or (my favorite) up in a tree, and on this subject I agree with Amazon that the Kindle is perfect for that.