Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halley & The Innocats! Join us at 12:00 EST for #Innochat Today

HOW TO JOIN: Thursday at 11:45 EST (try it out early, we start at 12:00 EST) Go to It's web only. You simply login to Twitter go to the Tweetchat site and share your Twitter login which links your account to the app. Add the #innochat hashtag at the top and you're good to go.

Someone funny -- actually @TeteSagelyn (aka Teresa Valdez Klein) tweeted that I'll be hosting Innochat today at 12:00 noon EST on Twitter -- all true -- and she called me Halley & The Innocats! Love it, now I star in a rock band! I wish.

Here's what I really do -- I'm the founder of Halley Tucker's BoOkBoX -- right here where I tell you news and what's cool about the evolution of ebooks. I'm the author of a short new ebook called, "Does This Start-up Make Me Look Fat?" about women starting businesses. Here's the link to Amazon to buy my book (it's only $2.99).

Here are some more links we'll probably discuss today at the #Innochat.

My book: Amazon: Does This Start-up Make Me Look Fat?

Business Week by Scott Shane piece on women and small business:
We Must Change Girls' Perception of Business

Small Business Administration data/census stats about who's starting small businesses (piece mentioned in Business Week article.)

Change This: The Art of Female Alpha Blogging
By Halley Suitt

Change This: The Six Rules Women Must Break in Order to Succeed
By Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt.

Piece on Mothers vs. Single Women wage gap.

Book: The Price of Motherhood by Ann Crittenden

BIG THANKS: to our hosts the incredible Gwen Ishmael and the illustrious Drew Marshall! And of course to Renee Hopkins, Inno DJ the Master

Monday, October 24, 2011

Steve Jobs Book Arrives Instantly!

Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs was on pre-order and it suddenly appeared after dinner last night.

Got the book sent directly to my Kindle last night around 9:00 pm, a bit earlier than the promised publishing date of today. It was fun to have it just populate my Kindle without having to blink.

Plowing through the book. It's nicely written and is frank about Jobs' difficult personality. If you knew anyone who worked for him, you heard he could be ... challenging.

Back to my book!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Everything you ever wanted to know about Zines, don't be afraid to ask

Good piece in the Sunday New York Times Business section about Zines (short form of "fanzine" -- a short, often handmade limited-run magazine in tribute to a very narrow subject or particular person) by Jenna Wortham called Raised on the Web, But Liking a Little Ink this morning.

This supports my personal ebook and epublishing theory that most publishing will be very digital, very ubiquitous, very fast, but another side of the business will be customized, handmade, unique, slow, one-of-a-kind publishing.

As the fountain pen was a mainstream, must-have item you could buy cheaply anywhere in 1900 and now is more likely an expensive, rare objet d'art, serving less as a writing instrument and more as a collectible -- so goes the book, in my opinion.

A quote from the piece:
For Barbara Frankie Ryan, 19, a graphic design student in London who recently curated an exhibition of zines at a boutique there called Tatty Devine, the Internet and handcrafted publications exist in tandem. She runs a popular fashion blog and also makes a series of zines — although she said she wasn’t even aware of the rich history of zine culture when she started creating them in her bedroom at the age of 15.

Instead, she was looking for an outlet for her drawings and innermost musings on popular culture and romantic crushes. And she wanted to be able to experiment. While Web sites come and go, in another sense the Web is eternal: tidbits can be searched and found when you least want them to be. That can be inhibiting.

“I’m becoming more aware how permanent and accessible things are online,” she said.

Ms. Ryan also said zines have an air of exclusivity: they are like other artifacts that were never intended for mass consumption or distribution, like a scarf knitted by a friend, a sketch or a cassette tape filled with handpicked songs.

“I like the idea that I’ve only made 40 copies, and only 40 people will see it,” she said. “It’s really easy to reveal a lot about yourself, and so this is a way of getting control back, and I find that quite comforting.”

They also talk about the work of Malaka Gharib who's food zine, The Runcible Spoon, is pictured here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

You're Just My Type!

I was writing about printing presses yesterday, so it was fun to learn about a traveling printing press today from a post on Facebook.

If you can read backwards you'll see it says "You're just my type" on the type tray.

Check out this cool piece from Esty about the Type Truck! The Type Truck is visiting Brooklyn today!

These days, travel is all about packing light. If you can’t fit it into a carry-on bag, then chances are you don’t really need it, right?

Not so if you’re Kyle Durrie, proprietor of Power and Light Press and driver of a refurbished 1982 Chevy step van, dubbed the Type Truck. Since June of this year, when Kyle set off from her Portland, Oregon home, she’s traversed the country, visiting cities and towns large and small, sharing her love of letterpress printing.

The idea to take her art on the road emerged during the summer of 2010, when she toured with her boyfriend and his band.

More here on Esty.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Room (and a Printing Press) of One's Own

I've been reading about Virginia Woolf's life and how she and her husband decided they needed to self-publish. In 1917, that meant buying a printing press. (Too bad she missed the e-book revolution by a hundred years or so.)

Check out this great site at Yale University called The Modernism Lab and this fascinating piece by Jessica Svedsen about Virginia and Leonard Woolf starting Hogarth Press. Their reasons for starting the press will sound all too familiar to ebook writers.
Leonard recalled that one of the major reasons for beginning the Hogarth Press was to publish small books that would otherwise have little chance of being printed by established publishing companies—small volumes that “the commercial publisher would not look at” (Woolf, Leonard 234).  The majority of Hogarth authors were a part of the Woolf’s Bloomsbury circle—Clive Bell, T.S. Eliot, E.M. Forster, Roger Fry, Katherine Mansfield, Vita Sackville-West—and they were allowed to escape from the unpleasant pressures of editors and publishers.
Of course the notion now that “the commercial publisher would not look at” writers like T.S. Eliot, E.M. Forster, Katherine Mansfield, or Virginia Woolf sounds completely crazy. But escaping the pressures of the editors and publishers in 1917 sounds more than reasonable, even to the present day.

Virginia Woolf being 1) a woman writer and 2) a highly experimental writer, meant she had two strikes against her from the start in terms of getting a publisher and her husband Leonard understood this. Thank goodness they decided to start Hogarth Press. It meant we know Virginia Woolf's work, just the way she wanted to present it.

Photo Credit: The painting is "Portrait of Virginia Woolf" by George Charles Beresford via Wikipedia

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Finally, those heavy textbooks are going "e"

This is very good news for students. No more dragging heavy textbooks around. But why isn't the US leading this?

Here's a piece from the BBC by Gary Eason about the initiative in South Korea to digitalize the classroom in four years.

South Korea, one of the world's highest-rated education systems, aims to consolidate its position by digitising its entire curriculum.

By 2015, it wants to be able to deliver all its curriculum materials in a digital form through computers. The information that would once have been in paper textbooks will be delivered on screen.

South Korea's Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Ju-Ho Lee, said that his department was preparing a promotion strategy for "Smart Education", focusing on customised learning and teaching.

The project, launched during the summer, will involve wireless networks in all schools to allow students to learn "whenever and wherever", as well as an education information system that can run in a variety of devices including PCs, laptops, tablets and internet-connected TVs.

Here's the link for more: BBC: Digital textbooks open a new chapter
By Gary Eason

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

USA Today Does A Lot of Book Blogging

USA Today does a lot of coverage of books and now they've added a Romance Novel blog, Happy Ever After to their other book blog, Book Buzz.

If you're a Romance reader or writer, do check it out. Here's the link to Happy Ever After.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nicki Minaj says: "Books First, Music Second!"

I love Nicki Minaj telling these great little girl rappers, "Books first, music second" about staying in school being most important. Go #Minaj girl go!

What we do here at BoOkBoX

We're just starting up, but we will be a great place to follow all the news in the world of ebooks, Kindles, Nooks, and catch up on all the many ways the publishing industry is going digital. Just like you go to TechCrunch for tech news, you can go to bOoKBoX for ebook news.

Like my new logo? Susy Pilgrim Waters designed it for me as we talked about how digital publishing is going crazy -- a veritable revolution -- and even the letters are scrambled and don't know whether they are up or down, upper or lower case. See the big ABC's behind the words "bOoKBoX" -- it's a big lower-case "a" in green, a baby "b" thats falling over backwards in puce, and a "c" that fell down on its back in dead grass green and looks like a staple. Even the ABC's are all mixed up.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

pRoOfrEaDinK mAtTeRs!

Yes, proofreading matters, and don't think for a minute we don't all make mistakes. But here's the inside dirt -- I ran a Proofreading Dept in my last position -- never do it yourself. After a while you are just plain BLIND to errors. Always get a "fresh reader" to review it the last time.

Authonomy is the cool social media ebook community run by HarperCollins. They just put this up on their blog.

We're taking a one-week break from One to Watch to make an important announcment. Last month we announced that Scott Pack, Publisher at The Friday Project, had been appointed the new head of

Find the typo? Scott Pack will not be happy!

Do check out the site, it's cool. It's just

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Are ebooks just a new "get rich quick" scheme?

My ebook poster boy, Barry Eisler, is here to help me answer the question people are always asking me lately, are ebooks just a new "get rich quick" scheme? BTW, I don't know Eisler personally, but I've read his books and they are great. He deserves every e-dime he makes. Has he gotten rich quick on ebooks? We'll talk about that after defining some terms.

Let's talk about the words "rich" and "quick" -- but not in that order.

Quick -- well, yes in a way, a writer can write a book and get it in front of a reader more quickly than before thanks to ebooks and Amazon. The long time it took to get an agent, get the agent to send your book out to publishers, get a publisher interested, get a contract signed, get an advance, get the book produced (many steps here) and get the book in bookstores -- all that is gone, so the process is decidedly faster now.

But to go back, anyone who thinks it's easy and quick to write a book has NOT written a book. And anyone who has any sense knows there is nothing quick about writing a good book well -- yes, read those words over for effect (or is it affect?) -- WRITING A GOOD BOOK WELL. (It's effect. I checked.) So let me say it's still going to take TIME (and it should) to write a good book well and after all that, it is quicker to connect with readers thanks to ebooks.

Rich -- Many good writers know that if you chose to be an author (or the universe choses for you, making you one of us word people who can't stop writing anyway) you soon learn that you will write no matter what -- no matter if you make a lot of money, a little money or no money at all. Mostly most writers make NO MONEY at all. So "rich" is a relative term.

Let's say ebooks finally let many GOOD WRITERS make SOME MONEY from writing. Ebooks let some very good writers who want to do the HARD WORK of writing a book well and the harder work of promoting their book, actually MAKE A LIVING as a writer, without having to waste time with legacy publishers. And making a living as a writer is a big thing for writers -- it would make most writers feel pretty RICH. We're not talking "Wall Street rich" here.

But people who don't write, just don't understand how "rich" writers already are. Even writers who have never made a dime with their writing are lucky bastards. Writers are rich in narrative, wealthy in words, loaded in language, pockets filled with filthy lucre, like jetsetters on the Cote d'Azur swimming along in the bright blue ocean of amazing words in their own language and others, and rich in friends who share their love of writing and reading and most importantly, richly endowed in esteemed colleagues, all the wonderful writers who have gone before them and all the writers who are living and writing as their contemporaries.

So is it a "get rich quick" scheme? If we can define "rich" as "actually make a living as a writer and maybe even hitting it big" and if we define "quick" as "faster than it used to be to get your books in front of readers" I'd say it's a "actually make a living and get paid sooner" scheme.

Now, about Mr. Eisler. He's one of these ebook heroes who can "Just Say No" to the drug of legacy publishing deals. In fact, he turned down a big paper book deal from a big paper book publisher, saying like Bartleby, "I'd prefer not to." Read this for more.

But is Eisler a "get rich quick" kinda guy? You tell me. His books are well written. I know that takes time -- a lot of time and hard work. Did you watch the video here -- he's showing the pile of books he reads for research even before he starts writing. So much for "quick" -- forget about it.

His first series of thrillers have a clearly defined intriguing character, an ex-CIA guy named John Rain. Eisler WAS in the CIA -- you want to spend time doing that so you might write books as well as he does? I don't.

I don't know the details but I'm sure he spent years trying to get published -- everyone does, even really wonderful (now famous) authors. Nothing quick about it.

And as for "rich" -- I have to assume he had many lean years before his books hit and so feel free to do the math -- average in whatever money he might be making now (I hope it's really big for all his hard work ) with YEARS of making no money.

Again, I don't know about Eisler's personal wealth, but let's play with the numbers of an author who's making "a million dollars!" If you have made $250,000 every year for the last four years (= $1M) you might be called a millionaire, but if you made roughly $0 for 21 years before that ... are you a millionaire? You're barely earning a janitor's wages -- since you averaged $40K a year. (And it's really less since I didn't account for taxes.)

So I'm here to tell you the big news. Ebooks are exciting! Ebooks are amazing! Ebooks are wonderful! And writing is hard work! Sorry, had to tell the truth.

Yes, no big news that writing is still hard work, but thanks to ebooks, writers can finally make a living writing ebooks which reach readers relatively quickly.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Digital Reader : FNAC in France to Sell KOBO

Please don't tell me you don't read Nate Hoffelder's excellent The Digital Reader blog. Check this out:

Fnac to Sell Kobo Ebooks in France – Will They Carry the Kobo Vox?
October 11th, 2011 by Nate Hoffelder

It looks like France’s largest bookseller has given up on their plans to go it alone in the ebook market; they announced a partnership today with Kobo. Fnac will act as Kobo’s local retailer for the French ebook market. They are taking on a role much like that of Whitcoulls (NZ), Pearson (AUS), or the now deceased Borders books.

The new ebookstore is going to launch next quarter, and readers will be able to find demos in all of Fnac’s 81 stores as well as on the website. Customers will be able to buy from the over 2 million titles that Kobo reportedly carry in stock, as well as the 80 thousand French language titles that Fnac stock. In comparison, Amazon only have around 35, 000 titles in the French language Kindle Store.

Read more here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Frankfurt Bookfair this week!

The Frankfurt Bookfair is this week -- it's the big annual booksellers conference for (mostly) legacy publishers, agents, some authors. If you want to know more about it -- go read about it in English here or in German here!

Their theme this year is Renewal. Hmmm ... lots I could say about that ... like legacy publishers better start rethinking how they will approach the tsunami known as epublishing! Standing on the beach and getting swept away is not an optimum strategy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Google's Ebook Store -- Tough Sledding in the UK

Check out this piece in The Telegraph:

Google's ebook store opens to face struggle against Amazon

Google’s ebook store opens for business in Britain today, but the web giant faces a struggle to gain a foothold in the growing market.

Major publishing houses including Hachette, Random House, Penguin have signed on to provide content for the new service, which will also offer free access to more than two million out-of-copyright titles.

Google eBooks will be available to anyone via the web, with app for iOS and Android, plus integration with the Android Marketplace.

It represents a big step for the firm towards becoming a major content provider, but compared to Amazon and Apple it's a complete novice.

Here's the link.

Photo Credit: Cindy Swan's Life

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ebook Pricing Wars Continue: Apple in Collusion?

So this should be of interest to those wondering why ebook pricing seems so confusing. This piece by Barbara Hernandez is available here at PBS Mediashift. Thanks to Len Edgerly from Kindle Chronicles for this.

Did Apple Collude with Publishers to Fix Prices on E-Books?

Apple's iBookstore wields enough power to change how electronic books are sold and priced, according to plaintiffs in class-action suits against the Cupertino, Calif., company and several traditional publishers. The complaint alleges that Apple violated antitrust laws by colluding with publishers to keep e-book prices high.

Hagens Berman, a consumer rights class-action law firm, filed the original complaint in U.S. District Court in California in August alleging that Apple, HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group, Simon & Schuster and MacMillan teamed up to force Amazon to raise its $9.99 e-book pricing to a new, and often more expensive, "agency model" where publishers set the price. The complaint also alleges that "Apple had strong incentives" to help the publishers because the Kindle is "a competitive threat to Apple's business model," according to court filings.


The e-book market isn't a huge one yet, but it definitely is a growth market now with the affordability of e-readers and widespread wireless networking. Only about 3 percent of adults even download e-books, but those who have e-readers buy 66 percent of their books in digital form, according to Forrester Research. Sales are expected to grow from $1 billion in 2010 to $2.8 billion by 2015.

Apple maintains a 30/70 split with publishers, with Apple getting a 30 percent commission on any e-book sold, with 70 percent going to the publisher.

Wait a minute, with Amazon ebooks an AUTHOR gets 70% and Amazon gets 30% ... it's important now to distinguish the "who gets what" part of ebook revenue split numbers people toss around. You will hear people say "30/70 split" and "70/30 split" or other numbers and you need to be sure you know who's getting which part of the split and don't assume it's obvious.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Publishing an ebook - Day 451

Just a nod to Farenheit 451 and also a self-kick-in-the-pants since I've been doing a lot of other things and have not published my ebook yet. It's done with proofreading, got a cover and I'm ready to share it on the KDP -- Kindle's ebook publishing arm.

It's called "Does This Start-up Make Me Look Fat?" It's about why women don't start more companies and how they should and how it's easy to do it. If you're a woman, please buy it. If you're a man, buy a copy for every female you know!

Madeon / Mashup

Check out this Madeon remix -- a song of songs:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs: We Were Just Not Ready.

The news came just after dinner in Boston. The grown-ups were in the kitchen still eating, my 16-year-old son had finished first and asked to be excused. He was in the dining room on the MacBook Pro.

"Did you see this?," he called, "Steve Jobs RIP?"

"No!" I said, leaving the table and my programmer husband behind. "That can't be right, let me look."

I went to Twitter -- it was spilling across the screen like blood.

"Oh no," I said.

We were warned and we all had friends who were one or two connections away, so we knew Steve Jobs was very sick, but we just didn't want to think of a world without him.

"I figured he wasn't the kind of CEO who hands over a company easily," my husband said as he came into the dining room to join us, "in August, that news, that he was stepping down, it was almost worse."

We were just not ready to even imagine it. It's one leap of faith and imagination Steve could not help us make. He'd helped us imagine a brave new world of computing, but not this.

RIP Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs' Design Mentor: Paul Rand

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Deals! Deals! Deals!

Yes, a photo of a real paper book I saw in New Orleans at the Faulkner Bookstore. We did buy paper books there, rather like buying antiques.

I am buying most of my books in the Kindle version. They make it so easy and so cheap! If you have a Kindle, you KNOW they have the greatest deals they throw your way on a regular basis. When you think about the Kindle Fire, the "deal flow" will be amazing. It makes me wonder where Groupon will be after 2011 ... it will be interesting to watch!

We're all waiting on the Apple announcements ... more on this soon.