I have been following Pat Flynn’s Blog and continue to admire his free-spirited style and authentic advice. Here is a link to his ‘Toolkit’ page.
He is about to launch a multimedia iBook about how he overcame adversity at an early stage in his career and found his own path and pursued his true passion. He has helped inspire and educate others on how to succeed with their own careers. Here is the trailer to the launch of his book: “Let Go”
I frequently follow the blogs from Pat Flynn — Smart Passive Income. He occasionally has some tips on marketing eBooks, but so far his ‘eBooks’ have been in the pdf format. He has a weekly podcast in which he covers a variety of topics on how to make money on the Internet — something he has very successfully done. In podcast session #55 Pat interviews Trevor Page who tells his inspirational story about quitting a well-paid programming job to start a web-based teaching site, publishing a best-selling eBook and launching a new career — doing something he always dreamt of doing.
To hear the podcast with Trevor Page go to Pat Flynn’s blog and click on the podcast icon found near the top of the page — see figure below. (In my opinion he could clean-up some of the clutter on his website.)
The perceived wisdom on increasing web traffic is to produce a videocast. After downloading and watching numerous ‘How to ..” videos I made some attempts to set up a high res DV camera, got the correct 3-point lighting organised and formatted a teleprompter. However I soon became stressed out with getting everything to function in sync as well as sending the right message on the video.
In the end I used iMovie on the iPad and sat at the kitchen table. Without any editing I sent the video from the iPad to the Vimeo site and here you have it.
There is something morbidly fascinating in watching the publishing conglomerates Bertselsmann, Pearson, Random House and Penguin huddling together to form ‘synergies’ (aka job losses) to deal with the threat of eBooks from Apple and Amazon.
They failed to understand that by acquiring the small, independent publishing houses that were based on long-term thinking and nurturing of authors and backlists to creating an industry driven by stock markets and mass-market blockbusters, that they themselves destroyed the publishing industry.
The good news is that digital publishing is an alternative and is becoming easier. Anyone can become an author and also a self-publisher if so inclined. But with potentially so many ebooks, how will you decide which to spend money on? This will depend on building a customer base using online networks, online reviews, blogs and catering to the niche markets (‘the long tail’). In other words in the opposite direction of the conglomerate mergers — let the cottage ebook industries flourish!
Tor UK, Pan Macmillan’s science fiction and fantasy imprint, had announced (August 9th, 2012) that it will make its ebooks DRM-free over the next three months.
“Our authors and readers have been asking for this for a long time,” said president and publisher Tom Doherty. “They’re a technically sophisticated bunch, and DRM is a constant annoyance to them. It prevents them from using legitimately-purchased e-books in perfectly legal ways, like moving them from one kind of e-reader to another.”
“DRM-free titles from Tom Doherty Associates will be available from the same range of retailers that currently sell their e-books. In addition, the company expects to begin selling titles through retailers that sell only DRM-free books.”
Hopefully this is the beginning of the Beginning in the change of attitude and business practice for eBook publishing. I believe that if you charge a fair price (less than $9.99) and make them DRM-free, then people will not be tempted to steal. You may give a copy to a friend (as you would with an ordinary book) but if it is distributed widely than you are committing a crime. If we can make this the accepted norm, then the eBook self-publishing community will flourish.
While social media tools are seen as easy to use, their perceived usefulness varies. Moreover, they are considered to be time consuming and distractive. Other concerns, and indeed barriers to the adoption of social media, are linked with the blending of professional and private identity, the merging of working and personal life, and issues surrounding privacy and author’s confidentiality. — from Journal of Electronic Publishing Volume 15, 2012
This is one of the few examples of rigorous, academic research that I have read on the use of social media in the workplace. Here are some further interesting quotes…
The study identified interpersonal utility, information seeking, marketing, and self-promotion as the leading motivators for using social media.
Social media is blending the boundaries between the public and private life, work and leisure time, but the degree of fusion remains in the hands of the social media user. Theoretically, it is up to the individual how much disclosure happens online, what platforms are used, what privacy settings are chosen, who is followed and befriended, what types of posts are sent, what can be automated, and how much time is spent on these activities.
But the big drive by the providers of social media is to aggregate and daisy-chain the different platforms together — all the better to monetise you.
It is important to keep in mind that the definition of a “friend” is much wider in this sphere than in reality, and also that anything posted online is permanent and can become public through cross-posting and because social media sites often change their privacy policies. Moreover, users have little control over what other users can do with the information provided.
However if you have your own website, you can control your privacy and web presence without fear of being monetised or loss of control — a blatant plug for Kalmak Consultancy.
Launching an online bookstore had been something I have always wanted to do — it was on my ‘bucket-list’ The change in the direction of Kalmak Consultancy provided the opportunity (excuse) to do it. One of the main justifications is that New Zealand is poorly served by eBook distributors with only Amazon reaching into the antipodes. There are still issues with DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection that the publishers jealously cling to despite the experience with the music industry and the open-source community.
I think it has been shown that if a product is reasonably priced that people will pay for it instead of stealing it. It will remain to be seen how well this principle applies to eBooks published here.