Daily Archives: February 3, 2011

Self-Publish Does Not Mean Self-Edit!


First rule of self-publishing

Previously at The eBook Test:

Love Your Copyeditor

Previously at Mike Cane 2008:

Writers: Hire Professionals
Writers: Would You Call A Doctor Or A Healer?
Writer 2.0: Professional Editing Blog


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Filed under Writer, Writers, Writing

People Often Move Faster Than Turtles

Today’s litany of print book unsurprise:

H.B. Fenn initiates bankruptcy proceedings

U-District bookshop relinquishes corner to Chase, moves online

Final chapter for much-loved Dublin bookstore

And the usual turtleness:

Four Reasons Why the Sales Growth of e-Books Will Be Slower Than Industry Executives Think

He argues eBook sales will be 25% by 2014, not 50% as Forrester (which doesn’t have the greatest predictive record anyway) says.

What they are all missing:

1) As local stores disappear, people will order even more from Amazon

2) As they order from Amazon, they will continue to be hit with the Kindle sales pitch

3) At some point they will realize they can pay less for an eBook than for print and they don’t have to wait for delivery

4) They will invest in a Kindle or use Kindle software and switch to eBooks

What part of this is difficult to understand? Hyatt argues about digital downloads vs. physical CD sales, but music is a different case. Just ask anyone who has lost their iTunes-purchased library about the ease with which they can get it restored by Apple. Bad experiences like that have spread across the Net, making people cautious towards digital music. For the most part, eBooks are now stored online and can be re-downloaded at will. Everything is on the side of eBook adoption accelerating.

This same kind of turtle speed gave Blockbuster a false sense of security.

And did the same for Borders.

Move faster. Everyone else is.

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Filed under Amazon Kindle, Books: General, Books: Internet, Bookstores, Digital Overthrow, eBooks: General

Unemployed? Are You A Victim Or A Winner?

Laid-off architect builds success one iPad at a time

Angie Davis of Minneapolis was laid off from her project-architect job on a Monday in the fall of 2008. Her fiancee lost his job the following Friday.

The couple faced financial peril at a time when the economy was tanking and work was scarce. Perhaps worse, they had to get through a long Minnesota winter without driving each other nuts.

And so, Davis began to sew, and sew, and sew.

Out of these desperate circumstances emerged a thriving home-based business, Byrd & Belle, that sells cases and sleeves for popular electronic gizmos such as iPods, the iPhone, the iPad, the Kindle and the MacBook Air.

Davis said she can’t keep up with demand for her gadget protectors, which are made out of fine wool and leather, and she’s often backed up two to four weeks with orders — her customers can see where they are in the queue via her website.

Davis now scoffs when asked whether she would consider returning to her old employer and her old, office-bound professional existence. She’s making much more money than she earned as a project architect, for one thing.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Recently someone tweeted a link to a blog post by someone who was unemployed and bewailing being bored and not getting responses to job inquiries. I tweeted a reply that said no one should wait for a damn job.

The free time that paid unemployment offers is a very rare and precious thing and should be squeezed dry for all the opportunity it offers.

And above, that story is proof that the best thing to do is something for yourself, instead of waiting for someone to deign to “give” (as if it’s a handout, and not an exchange of value for money!) you a job.


Filed under Uncategorized

Standards Don’t Just Happen

There are days when I want to bring everyone in tech into one big room and knock all their skulls together until they wake the hell up.

It’s clear that tech is overwhelmingly ruled by children who have no sense of history and no sense of duty to anyone’s welfare other than their own. (See Exhibit A for this week: Apple.)

Really, how many damn web browsers are there in the world? And yet website developers have to go through all sorts of contortions to deliver what should be a simple experience that’s identical for everyone.

Tech children out there will say this is the “market” at work. Having never had an education in economics, free enterprise, ethics, and political economy outside of a sociopathic Ayn Rand novel, they think the chaos and frustration they inflict on the general population is the way things should be.

Here is a bit of a history lesson to start all of you off and to begin your sorting out:

[President Herbert] Hoover had also created a Division of Simplified Practices, whose job it was to standardize and harmonize the distressingly fractious and unresponsive manufacturing and construction sectors. In those days roads were often still paved in brick, and brick was a typical example: sixty-six different sizes were being produced by manufacturers when Hoover ordered research on the topic. This was sheer waste, as far as the utilitarian Hoover was concerned. He therefore pulled the nation’s paving-brick firms into a room and settled the matter; the range of sizes dropped from sixty-six to eleven. Emboldened, Hoover also looked into brick for homes; here he claimed victory outright, for the number of sizes went “from forty-four to one,” the praiseful Irvin reported. Then there were beds. Seventy-four different sizes were available; as a result of encouragement from Hoover, the figure went down to four.

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Put down your damned book about HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, Objective-C and the rest.

Pick up a history book instead.

Get some damned education into your head and start working for the good of the general population instead of only your own.


Filed under Digital Overthrow, Friction, Minimalism, Reference

iOS Developers: You’re Next In Apple’s Sights

Now that it’s finally been established that Apple wants to be a combination of Nathan Myhrvold and that face-sucking vampire squid Goldman Sachs by taking a 30% cut of all periodicals and books sold via an iOS device, the next move by Apple is clear.

No more totally free software for iOS.

Hey, Apple kicked out the free digital editions of print publications in Europe.

What’s next is that any software offered for free in the App Store must have iAd built into it so Apple can make some coin from it.

All of you asshats who think what Apple is doing is somehow “fair” or “right,” I want you to be transported to that alternative universe where you have to buy a TV for each television station you want to watch. You want to watch ESPN? Buy the ESPN TV. Want HBO? You have to buy the HBO TV also. Why not? It’s ESPN’s and HBO’s software — shouldn’t it be available only on their hardware? Do any of you really think a scheme like that makes any sense?

The iPad is a damned device, like a TV. Like a radio. It’s not a colony by Imperial Apple.

Apple had better grow the hell up. It’s acting like a greedy child.

And governments around the world better start hauling its face-sucking vampire squid ass into court for monopolistic practices and restraint of trade ASAP.

Previously here:

Apple’s Content-Creator Recruiting Poster
What Apple Looks Like Today
Apple’s Greed Will Keep This Going
All Devices Should Access Everything. Period.
The Day Apple Became Nathan Myhrvold


Filed under Apple: The Company