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THIS post was written before SPOKEN started. SPOKEN is a project I am doing with Eugene Soh, an experiment in which art, text, virtual reality and social media intersect. Learn about SPOKEN here.
To enter gallery.sg and experience SPOKEN, click here. Here is the extremely short version: from 2002 until 2008 I was involved with a visionary virtual reality project that combined educational practices with gamemaking and multimedia. However, the spiritual captain of the project was part Disney, part Microsoft and part Sex Pistols. An unexpected death, treachery, incompetence, inexperience, bureaucratic boondoggles and more made my life "interesting"... I have pages of notes about the events and the spirit of the times. We were doing things like Youtube and Second Life before they started. The project was so close... and yet so far away. (Actually, now that mobile technology has settled down, I hope that the lessons and products of that experience can be revitalized. But that's yet another story.) In 2006, as a way of showcasing our technology, I entered a gamemaking hackathon. A theme was given on a Thursday morning and the next day at five the results were judged.The theme was something about healthy eating, I think. Working with my programmer in Hong Kong, we made a game in which the viewer learned about the calorie count of certain foods. The player competed with an AI character. It was fun to do.
However, what I remember most was a team that made an incredible flash game. I don't remember if they won or not, but I do remember two guys on that team very well. George Parel and Eugene Soh were full of energy, knowledge and bursting with creative ideas.
They still are. I've been lucky to work with George and Eugene on a few projects since then. In 2008 I finally had to put the educational gamemaking project on hold while I waited for a programmer and the mobile device situation to stabilize.I put more time into writing and art projects. George and Eugene (that dude from Singapore) however, have kept on doing remarkably creative things with IT, art, design and more. Virtual reality may seem to be an artificial place, but the gallery Eugene has created fills me with memories and hope. I am honored and very thankful for I Ate Tiong Bahru to be on display in gallery.sg
Here is the extremely short version: from 2002 until 2008 I was involved with a visionary virtual reality project that combined educational practices with gamemaking and multimedia. However, the spiritual captain of the project was part Disney, part Microsoft and part Sex Pistols. An unexpected death, treachery, incompetence, inexperience, bureaucratic boondoggles and more made my life "interesting"... I have pages of notes about the events and the spirit of the times. We were doing things like Youtube and Second Life before they started. The project was so close... and yet so far away. (Actually, now that mobile technology has settled down, I hope that the lessons and products of that experience can be revitalized. But that's yet another story.)
In 2006, as a way of showcasing our technology, I entered a gamemaking hackathon. A theme was given on a Thursday morning and the next day at five the results were judged.The theme was something about healthy eating, I think. Working with my programmer in Hong Kong, we made a game in which the viewer learned about the calorie count of certain foods. The player competed with an AI character. It was fun to do. However, what I remember most was a team that made an incredible flash game. I don't remember if they won or not, but I do remember two guys on that team very well. George Parel and Eugene Soh were full of energy, knowledge and bursting with creative ideas. They still are.
I've been lucky to work with George and Eugene on a few projects since then. In 2008 I finally had to put the educational gamemaking project on hold while I waited for a programmer and the mobile device situation to stabilize.I put more time into writing and art projects. George and Eugene (that dude from Singapore) however, have kept on doing remarkably creative things with IT, art, design and more.
Virtual reality may seem to be an artificial place, but the gallery Eugene has created fills me with memories and hope. I am honored and very thankful for I Ate Tiong Bahru to be on display in gallery.sg
This informal essay is my way of marking the end of a certain era in ebook history. It's part snapshot, part reference materials, part journal.At the end of this post are notes about me, my experiences and my books. Thanks to Doug Rolph for his insights on economics, Eric Hellman for his input and my dad for having taken care of our family by selling books.
το πνεύμα του Ιανού
After I finish writing eight books, I will begin marketing. Until then, I'll probably study the ebook world less and hopefully do more writing, arting and engaging with Life. When it does comes time for me to contribute to the marketing conversation, I hope I have something to say. For now, I present the following notes, quotes and thoughts as a means of punctuating a phase in the development of ebooks as I have seen and experienced it.
This is an exciting time. The ebook delivery platforms are finally stable, self-publishing has proven to have great value and a number of services have recently appeared that shorten the distances between readers and authors. It seems to me that indie ebooks and ebook marketing are about to enter a new era.
This blog post makes little mention of traditional publishing. This is simply because, as much as I would like to enjoy the benefits of being a Big 5/6 author, that fruit is not now within my reach. I am however, considering joining the Author's Guild.
Although I've done almost no marketing, I have studied the environments in which ebooks are created, presented, bought and sold. Some observations:
1. Except for uploading, nothing about ebooks is easy. Writing is the anti-social social media, full of long, long hours of pressure-filled solitude. Assembling an error-free book is never simple. The social part, finding an audience, is an immense challenge. I respect all of the authors mentioned in this post for they have successfully met these challenges and more.
Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. Stephen King
Based on my experiences, the work breakdown of an 88,000 word novel looks something like this: 1000 words a day (88 days) or, more likely, 500 words a day (176 days). Call it 200 days to prepare something for a proofreader. Two months for corrections, art, and ebook conversion. So, a book takes about 300 working days to finalize. About... And then there are the thousands of actions needed to connect with readers... The title of Guy Kawasaki's excellent book says it all: APE, meaning Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur
This document, by Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, is a data-based analysis of the ebook market. Highly recommended, it covers topics important for newbies and veterans. It touches upon issues like word count, pricing, marketing and more. For instance, his research shows that the average bestseller on Smashwords is 100,000 words, and the average romance is 112,195 words. (There are more links to resources at the end of this post.)
Very few traditionally published authors became bestsellers; the same is true for ebook publishing. My goal is not to become a bestseller, but to connect with the largest possible community of people who enjoy the art of reading.
2. A great writer or a great marketer...
....or, the frustration of being caught between not doing enough writing and not doing enough marketing. A writer writes, a salesman sells.
Self-publishing does not equal self-marketing. Spending money wisely on promotion money means income and time to write. (See the links below)
Twitter, Goodreads, FB, LinkedIn and blogging? All have their advantages and disadvantages...
3. There are no independent, hugely successful ebook-only self-publishers. Note: Two days after this post went up, I became aware of this great piece by Dana Beth Weinberg on Digital Book World. Thank you Jacqueline Church!
Amazon is huge, Apple is huge, Kobo and Smashwords are very big. Unless you are selling from your own website or the back of your car, you're not truly independent.
OK, A bit of an attention grabber there...but the author's need for a partnership with Amazon and ebook distributors is a dependence that cannot be overlooked. These "automatic partners" will always protect their interests first. They call the shots. Amazon is a business, not an author.
Amanda Hocking is a hugely successful author. At one point, the average daily sales figure of her self-published ebooks was 9000. Again: average DAILY book sales: nine thousand! Her success was based on hard work, technological first mover advantage and an indirect tie-in with Hollywood.
Consider: -the successful and pioneering integration of ebook readers into tablets and mobile as well as the launch of the Kindle (2007) and the iPad(2010)
-the large demographic of young women who bought readers and tablets - the fact that, having written many books, Hocking could quickly provide a new and large market with a variety of new titles - writing books about the paranormal when Hollywood is pushing the same cannot hurt. Twilight, the hugely successful series of movies about teen vampires began in 2008. Hocking's first book, My Blood Approves, began selling in 2010.
E.L. James' book phenomenon began in the fan fiction chat rooms for Twilight. The characters in Fifty Shades of Grey were originally the characters from Twilight. Could Master of the Universe, as her series was originally called, have achieved its success without an existing network of thousands of Twilight fans?
These two women made their mark upon society in two different ways. As shared, collective book-based experiences: WOW! However, the writing is..."not terrible" or worse
I remember SF/F authors complaining (back in 2011) that their readers hadn’t switched to e-books yet, casting jealous eyes at the outsized romance audience. But as readers did move across, we saw people like David Dalglish and BV Larson breaking out, and the rest of “genre” fiction soon followed. http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/amazon-makes-life-easier-for-authors-of-historical-literary-fiction/
There are "indie success stories" about authors who "rode into town" on the backs of traditional publishing. Funded by Big 6 money these "indies" were advertised and publicized, sent on book tours and given things like business cards. Possibly, audiobooks were made. Hundreds, if not thousands, of their books were given away, many to reviewers. As the 'first mover'possibilities of the ebook market became clear and realistic, these authors, knighted by the Big 6 and armed with credibility and connections, rode onto a battlefield with little opposition... Undoubtedly hard work was involved, but to label them as indies brings to mind the quip about George Bush: "...was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple."
There certainly are "ebook only" indies connecting with many readers and enjoying sales. I just don't know of any. (FOUND SOMEONE: LINDSAY BUROKER Please tell me about others!
them! Somewhat related to this, are there any "ebook only" awards?
Here, authors talk about their sales experiences.
4. The ebook world evolves to reward the reader; the prepared author benefits from this. Fan fiction. Goodreads. Ebook readers on mobile phones. The mashup between big data and metadata. Entrepreneurs with vision who see ways to connect authors and readers in a new ways.
It is an exciting time.
Ebooks: Born to Click, Part 2 of 3 visit www.blacksteps.tv for parts 2 and 3 of this post, as well as information on art, books and ebooks
I am soon releasing what will be a historic AR project.
However, as I write this, on October 23rd, 2017, AR is almost completely unknown. Definitely this will change. Very soon hundreds of millions of phones will be able to use AR technology for entertainment, educational and industrial uses.
It would be understandable if people thought I was crazy. I am constantly talking about a little chef named Bubiko Foodtour and a photo exhibition "that you can see in your phone, but isn't really there". I don't have a demo or a mockup. I obviously need a haircut and a new pair of shoes. Life is nebulous.
And yet, the following people have supported me. (IN ADDITION TO MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS.) These people "get it". I cannot thank them enough. Very soon the app will be ready and things will become even more interesting. I will never forget this year, with its stops in Johor Bahru, Jakarta, Bandung, Kuala Lumpur, southern Thailand and of course, Ipoh. THANK YOU.
Abby Hotel: Mr. Liew and his team have been incredible. This hotel has been like a home. A home with a great view, and surrounded by some of the best food in Southeast Asia!
So... you post something on the social media groups for professional AR/VR people. You are not a company; no logo, no track record in AR... you ask if anyone wants to lend their logo as a sign of support. If you are as fortunate as I was, you establish contact with a company like Baltu Studio. Peter Costa, the CEO and I hit it off immediately. Baltu specializes in VR/AR, especially audio. I was delighted to discover Creative Director Justin Leo Kennedy's board game synthesizer! (Let me repeat that: board. game. synthesizer.)
BridgesSome people do not see how everything is connected; others do. Bridges "gets it" and specializes in communicating messages that all can understand, that all can connect with. When I think of Bridges, I think of stories, decisive actions and the Bonzo Dog (Doo Dah)Band.
Emily Lowe and Emily 2u.
Emily and I met just before I started a 72 hour Facebook Live broadcasting marathon. As unusual as that was, she not only understood, she made it possible for me to do another, the 60 hour Symphony Suite Session. Emily's website is the place for Ipoh info.
From Casablanca to Secret Donut World, from Dexter's Lab to The Dundercats; I have known Stuart Rankin since my days at Cartoon Network/Turner Classic Movies.Now he is producing the Dundercats, whose musical misadventures take place in a variety of media, soon to include VR. Stuart is also a producer and editor, and his visual works are music to my eyes.
Jane, being as professional and visionary as she is, makes me wonder about what she might do with the potential of AR combined with tourism. Jane's Singapore Tours website.I was honored to become acquainted with the amazing people of JDMIS in 2002, just after I first arrived in Singapore. Since that time, we have shared countless personal, artistic and IT-related experiences. JDMIS combines old world craftsmanship with cutting edge technology, including 3D prototyping. The friendly people at Hock Moon Hiong and I have had great discussions about the future of food and AR. Their bak kwa, barbecued pork jerky, is legendary in Southeast Asia. I hope that some day, I can have a meal with Antony Vitillo, one that starts before twilight and finishes long after. We only know eachthrough online discussions. Antony has empowered me with his questions and advice. His company, Immotionar, creates full body VR experiences.Antony's online magazine is here. The second durational Facebook Live broadcast I did took place at the Symphony Suites Hotel in Ipoh..The room and the view were fantastic and the session was very productive: part artist-in-residence, part research, part content producer. During this time, free downloads of IPOH: 88 iPhonephotographs of Ipoh by Bubiko Foodtour were available on Amazon.
Creating at Thanas Digital Studio has been a blast! Photoshopping Bubiko Foodtour while babies are being photographed: what a delight!
Andrew Chen and the We Love Ipoh- City of Goodfood Facebook page are inspirations for photography and food ideas.
The title of this post is a combined reference to "leap of faith", 'thanks' and 'Magic Leap', a company whose name is associated with AR.
Magic Leap, an augmented reality company that has never shipped or even shown a product, has just gotten a $502 million investment on top of its nearly $1.4 billion in existing funding. The round is led by Singapore holding company Temasek, and includes major existing investors like Google, Alibaba, and J.P. Morgan Investment Management. It adds to the mystique around the secretive company, which has been on the verge of unveiling a pair of compact augmented reality glasses since at least 2015. Two years later, its main output is still flowery paeans to its own greatness.
The 'you create your own dream' photo was take in a shop near the Symphony Suites hotel.
I will soon be doing a press conference/demo for an AR app of the world's first AR exhibition of photographs. Ipoh, Malaysia is the theme of the photographs and the photographer is Bubiko Foodtour.
If you or your company would like be included in the press materials, get in touch immediately. The premiere will take place in Ipoh on Friday, October 27. This event will generate articles and videos which will then be used for a larger opening/launch in Kuala Lumpur. Other press conferences/demos are being planned for Tokyo, Singapore and New York City.
Anyone can be a supporter and the amount or form of support is up to you.Your name or logo will appear on the promotional materials for Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and Manhattan.Whether you are a penniless fan of AR/Photography/Ipoh, an angel investor, an Ipoh-based business or a well respected AR giant like Unity, Apple, Microsoft or Google I hope to hear from you!
Supporters so far, l;ogos already received: All About Ipoh (Facebook group with 65K + followers),Jewellery Design and Management International School,Symphony Suites Hotel, Thanas Digital Studio, Hock Moon Hiong bak kwa, The Dundercats, The Abby Hotel and emily2u (Ipoh-themed blog).
I have recently started durational projects, such as the Symphony Suites Session, which lasted 60 hours. This is a scrapbook of the first 12 hours, and it is full of information and impressions about Ipoh.
The photos in the AR exhibition are taken from the book Ipoh: 88 iPhone photographs by Bubiko Foodtour, which is available on Amazon.
Samsung J6 Prime (4 months old)
- Unable to open file.
Htc one m8
- Android 6
- Two apps successfully installed. One is a slideshow with a countdown with very nice pictures.
-The other app only starts my camera, but I can't do anything with it. There are no instructions or menus.
-the icon is incomplete
Would like to redo icon: dimensions?File format?
instructions for use/how to create a marker can be included? Something like this: On a clean white piece of paper(at least 3 x 5 inches/80 x 130mm, write IPOH. Point phone at IPOH and the exhibition will begin.
Description: These 38 images of Ipoh, Malaysia were taken by Bubiko Foodtour, who is little chef from Thailand.The images reflect her love of food and culture as well as the aesthetic influences of artists such as Stephen Shore, Daido Moriyama and Edward Hopper.
This AR photographic exhibition was produced by Stephen Black. Copyright 2017
This is a proposed idea; THIS IS NOT CONFIRMED. All comments and suggestions welcome.
IPOH-THEMED AR PHOTO EXHIBITION IS WORLD's FIRST
Journalists, bloggers and members of the press, tourism, food, art and technology communities are invited to come and experience AR in person.
Augmented Reality(AR), the new information and entertainment technology appearing on millions of phones worldwide, is now also a medium for viewing photography. Photographs taken by Bubiko Foodtour of the food, spirit and heritage of Ipoh, Malaysia are now available to anyone with AR software in their phones or tablets.
Produced by Stephen Black, the 38 images are an ambient slideshow; each image displayed for one minute.
Bubiko Foodtour, AR's first superstar, is a fictional character produced by Stephen Black and Sayuri Okayama.Bubiko is a little chef from Thailand who loves researching food. Her favorite phrases is "aroi mak mak", Thai language for "very delicious." For the past year Bubiko has been travelling across Southeast Asia, introducing herself to all kinds of food professionals, at the same learning about local foods and explaining AR. Bubiko's Instagram account is aroi mak mak! The images used in the AR exhibition are from Bubiko's ebook, which is available on Amazon.(Note: Bubiko is soon to be an AR 3D character.)
About AR (Augmented Reality)
By 2019, hundreds of millions of phones and tablets will be able to display AR. Most newer iPhones are capable of displaying AR now, and AR-capable Android apps are being released constantly.
Although the most famous use of AR is Pokemon, other industries besides gaming are starting to use AR. Food, tourism, medical, educational and industrial applications are being developed.
Those attending the Ipoh AR Photo Exhibition Press Conference will have a chance to experience the excitement of AR for themselves.
OCTOBER 27, 2017
LOCATION: (To be determined.) However, I hope to use a limestone cave,any one of the several in the area.A cave makes for dynamic publicity photos and is an interesting contrast to the hi-tech concept of AR. Finally, the soft lighting of a cave entrance is ideal for photographing and viewing AR.
About Stephen Black: A "futurist Renaissance man", Stephen Black has successfully worked in conceptual art, gamemaking technology (Unity, C++), television production (CNN, Fuji TV, Cartoon Network), photography and traditional/360 filmmaking. His works have been exhibited worldwide and one of his eight books, i ate tiong bahru, is a national bestseller in Singapore.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: bubikofoodtour *AT * gmail.com
This post is a notebook; the first part was posted before the event actually took place; the second part consists of selected images and videos created as records. I am now compiling a concise summary of the activities that took place during the Symphony Suites Session, but it will take time. A lot happened!
https://www.facebook.com/baliwaveghost/ for live broadcast and information.
At 3PM, on October 15, 2017, I began a 60 hour project to create small projects for the internet from the Symphony Suites Hotel.Themes include: Ipoh culture and travel experiences, food, AR (Augmented Reality), all kinds of art, the silly and symphonic Dundercats and live readings.
This project is freeform; a self-portrait and a document about the possibilities of a connected world.
On October 16 and 17 an ebook of photographs will be a free download on Amazon. The portfolio is called IPOH: 88 iPhone photographs by Bubiko Foodtour.
I have no connection with the following video.It gives a sense of what Ipoh looks like in terms of town layout and history.
The following people and companies have been incredibly supportive and helpful. I cannot thank them enough! emily2u website, the Symphony Suites HotelThana Digital Studio, Stuart Rankin, Thanas Digital Studio, Liew Sunchin and the Jewellery Design and Management International School.
4AM: Another hour passes. My nerve cells misfire more and more; my memory and muscle control are breaking down. Concepts like ‘yesterday, ‘five months from now’ and ‘this moment’ are vague. I scrawl important reminders to myself in handwriting that looks like it was written by a shy child on a bumpy bus. I have decision fatigue. I’m lurching along a very narrow path, with fuzzy dreams of hope on one side and and a sharp dark cliff on the other. The window reflects me on the roof of the Abby Hotel, standing in front of a computer screen, overlooking the town of Ipoh, Malaysia.
I am in the darkest part of the first night of a 72 hour Facebook Live broadcast. I experiment, learn, share - and constantly question my sanity. I am hoping to give away my ebooks, and explain my plans and ideas regarding AR, Augmented Reality. Now, with no one watching, with my stomach growling and my eyelids heavy, the project seems to be a mistake. I am a fool. Why should I go on? What is the point of this?
Defiantly, I Yawn.
....this the beginning of an essay which will soon appear in ElevenAsia......
Another marathon live broadcast will take place from October 15-19, at the Symphony Suites Hotel in Ipoh, Malaysia.
THE LATEST INFO AND BROADCASTS ARE HERE: https://www.facebook.com/baliwaveghost/
Stephen Black: The Symphony Suite Session
The 60 hour Facebook Live event will be a freeform mix of AR, food, Ipoh culture,videos and readings from books. It begins at 3PM on Sunday, October 15, 2017 (Malaysia time) and ends 60 hours later. Live and recorded broadcasts will appear throughout.
Specific broadcasts will be about the world's first AR photograph exhibition, entitled IPOH 38 iPhone photographs by Bubiko Foodtour. In keeping with the symphony theme, the Dundercats and their musical adventures will be highlighted. (Did someone say Mozart's Birthday?)
Throughout the broadcast, the ebook of Bubiko Foodtour's Ipoh photographs will be given away, especially on the 16th and 17th, when it is available directly from Amazon.
Bubiko says thanks for stopping by!
You are very welcome to share the IPOH Photograph Exhibition by Bubiko Foodtour. It is a free download on Google Play and the APP Store.
To start the exhibition, you need a marker, or target, for your phone or tablet. Here is how to make one:
1. Get a white piece of paper the size of a dollar bill.
2. Use a crayon or marker to write IPOH in the middle. USE CAPITAL LETTERS.
3. Put the paper anywhere where there is good light.
4. Point your phone or tablet at IPOH.
5. Relax and enjoy the 30 minute ambient exhibition. Each image lasts about one minute.
6. You could also create IPOH with your computer, using A4 paper and the Arial font, bold at 60 points. Other fonts and sizes may also work, but you'll have to test.
Send us your photos of BARPE and we will be happy to share them!
AR is new, revolutionary, unpredictable, and in the painfully ecstatic throes of being born.
With that in mind, I find myself hoping to explore the following situation: Is there a Google Play and Apple App store approved individual or company that can uploading something of mine onto their store?
The "something" is a photo exhibition of Ipoh, Malaysia(PEIM). Kinda arty; nothing naughty, religious or political.. I can immediately send you an ebook of the images. I am hoping the PEIM can be ready for download by Sunday, or as soon as possible after that.
Why this situation?
Well.. I was recently interviewed by the Malay Mail, a large newspaper in Malaysia. I have been told that the interview is tentatively scheduled to be published on Saturday, October 14. In the middle of the night I realized this article is an opportunity to promote PEIM, which I had been working on. Suddenly everything is speeded up.BUT,the PEIM will only be ready on Friday or Saturday!
(Not to mention the 60 hour Facebook Live Symphony Suites marathon broadcast I am starting on Sunday the 15th.)
PEIM would be a free download. I am coming off of a ten year period of only writing books, so I can't really afford to compensate you with $. However I will do all I can to promote PEIM on your sites, so there is a strong possibility your apps will also get some eyeballs.A huge plus for both of us if your app is related to Asia, travel, food, art, filmmaking or photography. And, of course I would be extremely thankful and hope there is way to return the favor/pay it forward someday.
There may be a downside, but at the moment, it seems win-win. Perhaps in the future, when I have time and more apps I will have my own presence on GPlay and the App Store. If the powers that be don't mind, I could just put the same project up on my store, unless that sets off a piracy alarm. Anyway, we can cross that bridge when we come to it. For now I just want to get PEIM on line by Sunday.
Thanks in advance for your comments and ideas.
Thank you for your interest in what may be the first ever AR photographic exhibition. Bubiko Foodtour, the world's first AR superstar, is a chef who loves taking pictures of food, travel and culture. Here she presents her iPhone photographs of Ipoh, Malaysia. Full of natural beauty, great food and a fascinating history, Ipoh charmed Bubiko completely.Ipoh: 88 iPhone photographs by Bubiko Foodtour ebook on Amazon (THIS POST IS A PLACEHOLDER AND LINKS TO BUBIKO'S PHOTO EXHIBITION ARE SCHEDULED TO APPEAR HERE ON OCTOBER 13, 2017. THERE WILL BE LINKS TO iTUNES AND GOOGLE PLAY.)