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.
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.”
copy editors for basic spelling and grammar.
and one prime editor to structurally edit your publication (a la Maxwell Perkins in the 1930s)
Hire a designer (of your choice) to do your cover and interior design.
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.
Total control over the title.
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.
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.)
“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.


How to Consume this Issue

another attempt in ebook publishing.

Watch Info trailer and see if you agree:
“Our Choice, a multimedia book app from PushPop Press, opens with a video of Al Gore’s tanned, waxen face speaking directly into the camera. “Welcome to Our Choice,” he says, making a point to refer to it as an app and not a book. He then presents a tutorial on how to read the book, or app, which I found mildly patronizing the first time I launched it (part of the fun of electronic literature lies in mastering a new text’s mechanics) and downright annoying the second and third time. (I did not open it a fourth.)” —Robert Moor


I came across more examples of how-tos and a nice critique by Craig Mod (below).



“To worsen matters, the navigation was confusing — each application a little different. The clarity of physical magazine usability — ‘just keep swiping’ — was lost in an effort to ‘innovate on’ and shoe-horn print workflows into a digital box. The apps just didn’t work.” — Craig Mod

More on that phenomena here and here.

Game Theory // how to turn a book into a digital stack of cards

how to read this book

I took the description of how to navigate through this book experience from the book’s website.

  1. Navigation. The top row lists the chapters in the book. You can choose your chapter (there are nine of them) by title. The second row lists the number of ‘pages’ in the chapter. There are 25 page cards, divided into sets of five. Clicking on a button in the second row will take you to that set. Some chapters have figures. The figure link appears at the end of the second row and pops up a new window.
  2. Link into the past. These links show the corresponding pages (as much as possible) to the original GAM3R 7H30RY 1.1 version. Sometimes things have changed, sometimes they stay the same. Explore and find out!
  3. The page cards. Oh novelty. You can click on a card to bring it to the front. The comments associated with that card will appear on the right (E). The number in the corner is the page title (it is also the paragraph number in the book. Yes, Ken writes in numbered paragraphs)
  4. The title is also a permalink. If you think that this particular paragraph is worth sharing, you can click on the title and copy out the link that appears in the top. Send that to your friends and they’ll be able to get right to your favorite parts.
  5. The comments on a particular page card. You can leave a comment on the card, in which case you use the “Leave a new comment” link, or you can resopnd to a comment that has already been made, using the “Reply to comment” that appears below each comment. Discussion will accumulate. Luckily, you can scroll.
  6. This is a short list of the most recent comments/discussion in the forum. You can click on of the titles to go right to that topic, or use the Go To Forum link to check out the full discussion from the top.
  7. Search it. More comprehensive than a book index. Faster too.
  8. More navigation: flip through the pages using these arrows. You can start at page 1 and go all the way to the end if you want. Or you can start at page 225 and read it backwards. We’re flexible.
  9. The running footer. A leftover convention from book design, we’ve added a link to that glorious networked bookk, Wikipedia. Find out more about the games, or if you’re feeling ambitious, write more about them. Because you can do that.
  10. The footer. Links to the FAQ, about the author, and to the page where you can subscribe to the feed (if you prefer a feed reader to this interface). Also, on the right, a way to contact us, find out more about the Institute for the Future of the Book, and the Creative Commons License.
  • Notes! We’ve included all the endnotes (which included some of the comments from GAM3R 7H30RY 1.1). Keep your eye out for the small asterisks. Find one and click to get a pop up with all the notes for that card.
the book broken up into a stack of cards. each one can be commented on the write. this seemed an important feature to improve and change from version 1 to the current.

the book broken up into a stack of cards. each one can be commented on the right margin. this seemed an important feature to improve and change from version 1 to the current.

the table of content to this book—an exploration in form or a book turned into a website

the table of content to this book—an experimentation in form or a book turned into a website

This has become a common feature in digital publishing to explain how to navigate through the book and find orientation. Another example for a tablet Magazine can be found in this post.