professional self-publishing

this book chooses to be advertised generously—multiplatform

this book chooses to be advertised generously—multiplatform

“Every entrepreneur should self-publish a book, because self-publishing is the new business card. If you want to stand out in a world of content, you need to underline your expertise. Publishing a book is not just putting your thoughts on a blog post. It’s an event. It shows your best curated thoughts and it shows customers, clients, investors, friends and lovers what the most important things on your mind are right now.”

James Altucher has published his 11th book. One of the books I probably won’t read. His article on tech crunch however, touches on some very interesting issues. He establishes self-publishing as way to run business. According to him (“I hope that everyone self-publishes”),
“the distinction now is no longer between “traditional publishing” versus “self-publishing.” The distinction now is between professional versus unprofessional publishing.” And the benefits for professional self-publishing seem enormous: more money, foreign rights, special packages you can offer, control over design, speed, content control and you can choose everything yourself (!). For James, the potential to publish on multiple platforms provides for a comprehensive cross media advertising campaign. Besides the book he has a video trailer, an ebook, an audio book, slide presentation, special packages and a special market offer. He is present on twitter, in the Bitcoin discourse, and of course has a well-maintained blog with a solid number of regular followers.

Noteworthy, he breaks down the recent publishing history into three stages:
“1 was publishing with a traditional publisher. 2 was when the stigma of self-publishing went away and an entire new artistic outlet was open to millions of people (15 million books published last year versus 300,000 10 years ago). And 3 is starting right now — where you can self-publish better, more successfully, better edited, better designed, better marketed, and make more money than if you go any other route. The reason this is possible only now is because for the first time, the best editors, designers, marketers are no longer working at the big publishing houses. Instead, they are striking out on their own and independently charging for their services. The demand is there. This route is more expensive than “publishing 2.0″ but is much more lucrative.”

In all this he remains very faithful to the book as a book.

And what would a good how-to book be without a clear cut how to professionally self-publish your next book? Nothing!
(slightly abbreviated)
1) BUILD YOUR PLATFORM: Twitter following, Facebook following and/or a significant blog following.
2) HOW DO YOU BUILD YOUR PLATFORM: Have an honest voice. Provide unique perspective. Blog on bigger sites that aggregate bloggers or podcasts or whatever.
3) WRITE: write 500-2000 words every day to keep exercising the writing muscle. And read good writers every day. Get a high-quality foreword for the book.
4) KNOW WHAT YOU WANT:
If you are self-publishing then you can publish your book right now without any other effort. Go toCreateSpace (owned by Amazon), check the box that you want to be both paperback and Kindle (it costs an extra $69 to be on kindle), pick a cover, upload your manuscript, and in a few days you will be published on Amazon and people can start buying your book.
If your goal is to have a published book and use it to get customers, consulting gigs, speaking gigs, etc., or a beginning set of readers for your next book, then by all means publish this way. It’s the fastest way to do it. I highly recommend it.
But if your goal is to put out the best possible product, maximize the money you make, and get the most readers, then follow the next steps, what I call “Publishing 3.0.”
5) EDITING
copy editors for basic spelling and grammar.
and one prime editor to structurally edit your publication (a la Maxwell Perkins in the 1930s)
6) DESIGN
Hire a designer (of your choice) to do your cover and interior design.
7) AUDIOBOOK
two things about audiobooks:
1. “When people see you have an audiobook, they see your book as even more credible. It stands out from the average self-published book when you have an e-book, a print version, and an audiobook. Plus, the audio book is more expensive, so even though there are fewer sales, it’s decent money.” By the way, if you self-publish, always do a print book at the very least. Even if 99 percent of your sales are going to be e-book.
2. “Make an audiobook. For your kind of book, people will love listening to it while they drive into work.”
Again, professionalism when recording an audiobook (perhaps get a voice coach, too)
But the best reason for doing the audiobook is it forces you to really look at your writing and hear what works and what doesn’t. I rewrote about 20 percent of the book after reading things that didn’t quite sound right out loud.
8) TITLE
Total control over the title.
9) MARKETING
Get a good agency (60 podcasts, radio interviews, speaking engagements and guest posts on popular blogs and websites) providing SlideShare presentation, Bitcoin press coverage (a month before I released the book and became the first book ever pre-released solely on bitcoin. we got several key media sources to cover this), a special market offer (I OFFER TO PAY PEOPLE BACK FOR THE BOOK IF THEY COULD PROVE TO ME THAT THEY BOUGHT IT AND READ IT) and a video trailer.
10) FOREIGN RIGHTS
Get a foreign rights agency to handle all of the foreign rights on a commission basis. They go to book conferences all over the world and have connections in each country.
11) OTHER MERCHANDISE (yes, mugs, posters, etc.)
12) THE NUMBERS
“In the first month I sold 44,294 copies between my paperback, audio, e-book, and even hardcover versions.”

For the full article visit tech crunch.

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Marc Saporta’s Composition No 1

composition no 1: the box of unbound pages

composition no 1: the box of unbound pages

The Guardian released an article on Marc Saporta’s Composition No. 1, which was first conceived in 1961, and re-born digitally (~2011) as an iPad app by Visual Editions.

composition no1: the ipad app

composition no1: the ipad app

“[…] the overall effect is one of poetic parataxis, disjunctive but coherent.

I’d feared the stochastic arrangement might lessen the overall thrust of the piece—why read to the last page when any page could be the last?—but I hurried to reach the ending. Another reader may have ended on a note of circularity. (“The couch, along the wall, is covered with a Mexican serape. Dagmar is sitting there with her legs folded under her. Above her head, contrasting violently with her blond hair, the dark abstract painting with clots of color that seem to be on fire is still unfinished. It is called Composition No. 1.”) My Composition ended with a bloody ambush of a hideout by the Germans, while two French fighters, sitting quietly out in the woods, listened to the screams. The last line—“A tall German woman with queenly bearing nonchalantly crosses the barnyard. She would be beautiful without her uniform.”—might have had little significance elsewhere, but here I was stunned by its eerily flat tone and sculptural asymmetry. It was not so much what the author did that was impressive, but what he, deliberately, did not.” —Robert Moor

instructions again

instructions again


Reminds me of the Book of Answers, now also available as iPad app, and Brian Eno & Peter Schmidt’s Opaque Strategies.

Open Structures // Grid, components, parts

the atom of the grid, infinitely expandable and versatile

the atom of the grid, infinitely expandable and versatile

“The Open Structures project explores the possibility of a modular construction model where everyone designs for everyone on the basis of one shared geometrical grid. It initiates a kind of collaborative meccano to which everybody can contribute parts, components and structures.”

modular cuisine, a grid provides

modular cuisine, a grid provides

“Can we design hardware like we design software?” is the guiding questions driving the developments of OpenStructures.

All OpenStructures should be conceived as interdependent, dynamic puzzles.
This means that they should be designed for disassembly and according to the same dimensional framework (the OS grid).

There are a few principles guiding the project. Design for disassembly: Favor assembly techniques that allow deconstruction without damage or loss in order to facilitate the re-use of components. Design with recyclable materials: Favor, whenever possible, 100% synthetical or biological recyclable materials for your parts and components in order to support infinite material cycles. (after disassembly). Design from the OS grid: Use the OS grid as a design tool when choosing dimensions, assembly points or interconnecting diameters
in order to make your parts compatible with those of others.

Let’s look at Open Structures from a dynamic publishing perspective. There is rule-based design supported by a very flexible grid. With the pre-condition that the modules are self-standing, distinguishable yet interdependent. And they can be connected in various fashions to create new structures, systems, or stories.

What would be the parts and components in writing? Quotes, ideas, arguments, problems, facts, visualizations, lists, etc.? What would happen if writing started from a grid? Along with a set of rules to guide the writing process, and the goal to create components and parts that can be assembled in multiple ways creating new meanings and new stories? A first attempt to answer the three rules above in terms of publishing (this will need to be revised!): 1 write in short and concise form, that is self-standing yet allows for connection. 2 write sustainable—creating material that allows for further use and application 3 Use a grid or a platform to start your writing. That would be writing keeping its modular capacity in mind.

A bit like dance, too. How dances are created, how they are taught and altered. They are copied, mashed up techniques and choreographies, routines, steps, and translated emotions etc. In other words: a vibrant mixture of rules, parts, components and structures. The grid (perhaps the dance floor) to bring it all together and to bring it to live.

closed modular system vs. open modular system, clearly.

closed modular system vs. open modular system, clearly.

open structures

open structures

Bibliotype // bed, knee, breakfast

http://craigmod.com/bibliotype/demo/

adjust the screen and typography according to your reading gusto

adjust the screen and typography according to your reading gusto

Craig Mod is an independent writer, designer and publisher, who produced a number of templates for formless content to be adjusted according to your reading needs, especially suited for iPad.

He also published an interesting view on the future of the book and the challenges and chances for tablet design and reading experience.

Craig on Craig: “I believe there is an emerging confluence of simple technologies around books, publishing, networks and education that can be leveraged to change the way we think about learning and information accessibility. If you’re working in this space, I’d love to chat.”


Consider reading needs on different devices
Consider reading needs in different situations
Consider choice (a design that holds option for the end user not the producer)

Dumb Store / to brighten up your feature phone

how to make your dumb phone work for you

how to make your dumb phone work for you

http://www.dumbsto.re/

When we talk about dumb phones we still have to distinguish between basic phones (just call or text) and feature phones (limited access to the internet and some apps). I believe at the dumb store they mainly serve feature phones.

According to Allison Burtch and Ramsey Nasser, the authors of Dumb Store, “The Dumb Store is a demonstration of what can be done using dumb phones. It’s an exploration in resisting planned obsolescence and using current technology to its fullest capacity.”

In the online store you can get stock prices delivered to your phone, turn it into a flashlight, play rock, paper, scissors, have access to the first three sentences of wikipedia entries, you can tag or view a public wall, get your TV program, quotify, see if the L train is fucked again or receive random Haikus.

Extra resource on dumb phones here.

Outer Limits, the Edge and Storify

“Outer limits: Forget everything we know and love about physical magazines. Forget their length. Forget their size. Forget their weekly or monthly publishing schedule. Forget all these qualities except for one: What it’s like to come to an end, and to take a deep breath.

What does a bookend — an edge — mean for narrative arc? Broadly, it helps define the shape of the arc. The experience of a bundle of content changes depending on how it’s packaged.

Storify exemplifies this: By bookending a cohort of tweets, you remove them from the firehose and create a coherent, consumable narrative.

In other words: It’s difficult to shape a narrative without a pause, just as it’s hard to craft a beautiful page without whitespace. Possible, but unlikely.”
—Craig Mod

https://storify.com/And one nice example by Gary Stager.