Hello!

Hello and welcome. My name is Stephen Black and I work with media, words and art. Media: VR, computer-generated environments,video and photography. Words: articles and books, including Bali Wave Ghost,  I Ate Tiong Bahru (a national bestseller in Singapore), Tiong Bahru Mouth, Obama Search Words and a few others. This post is gives you some idea of my current projects. Thank you for stopping by. Stephen Black physical laborers
black and white image of man dropping vase

Ai Wewei, Yesim Agaoglu, Stephen Black, Eugene Soh collaboration in gallery.sg

Jeff Koons Balloon Dog in SPOKEN

Nhung: Floating

low tech in hi tech

Works created with ink

two men smiling

If one person can be said to symbolize the Tiong Bahru Market, it might be this guy in the hat...

SB & 3D (Why I’m excited to be in Eugene Soh’s virtual gallery project)

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 IATB in virtual gallery Cheers, Eugene! Cheers, George!

Ebooks: Born to Click (1 of 3)

Preface 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  

The Tiong Bahru Poster

This is a placeholder...to be filled in soon.  
The photo about black and white carrot cake is from Kampung Carrot Cake. Stall number 02-53
 https://rubbisheatrubbishgrow.com/.../best-carrot-cake.../
http://www.sgfoodonfoot.com/2015/11/kampong-carrot-cake-tiong-bahru-market.html

the Tiong Bahru Poster Adventure (your selfie here…)

Hi. My name is Stephen Black and I am crowdfunding a campaign to make a poster about Tiong Bahru. A brief bio of me can be found at the bottom of this post. This is an adventure, because I know where I want to go, but I do not know who will come with me nor do I know exactly how we will get there. For example, many people may send in photos or selfies and some of their images may be large on the final poster, some may be small. The poster adventure begins with this "protodesign". tiongbahruposter_fa-2 Again, this is only a starting point. The squares you see are (presently) 3 x 3 centimeters and the poster is A2, which is 42 x 60 cm. Other points to be aware of are:
  • the images are NOT color corrected. Color correcting takes time and not all of these images may continue to the final version. Very likely, the final version will include some photos that are black and white, though they were originally in color.
  • the final design will be unique, but will reference Art Deco, Chinese calligraphy, food magazines, contemporary design and "retro" TB. Aiming for a "visual kampung" where all of these styles can be independent yet part of a community.
  • Monkey God and Hungry Ghost images will appear!
  • Next mock-up will include food porn!
  • Next mock-up will include a few selfies-hopefully yours!
The crowdfunding campaign is on Zingo, here. Zingohub is where I successfully launched the i ate tiong bahru glassware campaign. (i ate tiong bahru is the name of a book I wrote.) So that's all for now. To review:
  • the size, layout, colors and number of photos in the final version will be different than the sample above.
  • if you would like your selfie or photo of Tiong Bahru  to be in the poster, get in touch now!
  • This campaign is for the design of the poster.Posters will be printed for particiapants, but unless there is a large amount of money received, this campaign does not include printing a large number of posters. I do plan to print many posters, but for the moment, there are too many unknowns to plan accurately
If you would like to see the mockup in person, I will be at MAAD on Friday, and in the Tiong Bahru Market from 7AM to 2PM on Saturday. I will be in the Tiong Bahru Flea Market on Sunday morning and after that will be in the market, near the escalators. Thanks for checking this out! See you in Tiong Bahru! Onward! Stephen Black PS I do a lot of things like art, VR, photography and video. This link takes you to info about my books. I have lived in Singapore since 2002 and lived in Tiong Bahru for three years. I come back as often as I can and am doing a number of projects about my experiences in the "mouth" of Tiong Bahru. Follow this blog if you would like to be updated. Also, if you like haikus, you may be interested in this.
  • PSS  Are you a designer? This campaign includes a budget for design! If you would like to be considered as a designer for the final version, get in touch. If you are selected, it would work like this: I would give you a very well-prepared brief. We discuss. Then, off you go.
I am extremely grateful to Phillipp Aldrup for participating in the adventure, in the "proto-design" part of this project. (We became almost completely naked on the day we made the mock-up, but that is another story.)        

Secret Donut World: a deck of 52 playing words

Did you ever get the feeling that the story's too damn real.. and in the present tense... ..and that everybody's on the stage and it seems like you're the only person sitting in the audience? Jethro Tull, Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day
OK.. It is very likely that you are here because of a  SlideShare deck, one that has only 52 words!You obviously enjoy and understand the importance of fun and games. THANK YOU. This post is a brief introduction to myself, David Severn and the story behind Secret Donut World. To introduce David Severn is easy. David (Dr.7 as I call him), is a British artist and illustrator, whose work has appeared in international publications of all kinds as well as galleries great and small, including the tiny, tatami-floored art space I co-founded in Tokyo a few decades ago. David's strengths include storytelling and the ability to create characters that are strikingly original, yet feel like old friends. David is based in Tokyo and his website is here: http://www.david-severn.com/ To introduce myself thoroughly would take quite a few paragraphs. I have been based in Singapore since 2002 and have lived in Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Manhattan and Bali. From 2002-2007, I worked on a 3D game creation software (CDK) as a producer/creative director and later used it to teach a great variety of students: from Malay schoolchildren to university-age programmers in Yangoon to Singaporean senior citizens. I am also a visual and conceptual artist, and have  great deal of experience in the music business, both recording and live. In 2007, while waiting for mobile technology to stabilize and the VR ecosystem to become mainstream, I began writing books, one of which, i ate tiong bahru, became a bestseller. I am now working on a book called Cinematography 8.0:light, color and motion in the age of VR, AR, AI, CG and Drones. I have written scripts, theatre pieces and studied with Robert McKee both in a weekend long auditorium class and an invitation-only three day workshop. Beach Road: a co-produced with Hiverlab, I wrote, starred in and helped structure the editing and audio. Beach Road was featured in the 2015 Brisbane Film Festival and nominated for Best Experimental Film at the 206 Las Vegas VR Fest. SPOKEN Located within a virtual gallery built by The Dude, Eugene Soh, SPOKEN features a diverse collection of artists and writers curated by myself. Together, David and I have created Secret Donut World, which is a collection of characters, assets, animations and environments that, from the very beginning were created with VR in mind. We have ideas for stories, games, haptic experiences, movies(3D, 360 and 2D) and amusing experiences which do not have yet names. (Angry Birds and Job Simulator were difficult to accurately describe before they were made. Once made of course, they seemed obvious.) We look forward to speaking with those experienced with character and IP licensing as well anyone interested in the storytelling/moviemaking possibilities of VR and 360. 2017 is The Year of the Donut, a great time to get our characters and ideas out into the world!. Thank you for your interest. Drop me a line at bookmerah16 at mark g mail dot com to discuss any of this and learn more about our latest adventures. You can be among the first to sample Secret Donut World. Onward! Stephen Black PS.I recently attended the  Asia VR: VR Content: The Making of and the Asia VR/ HTC Vive One Day VR Development Bootcamp. This week are two more events, one by Eon and the other by IBM. Next week the Singapore Media Festival starts. Attendance at these events allows us to show the possibilities between the latest technologies and Secret Donut World.
PPS. Yes, the featured image for this post is the cover of a  book, Flame Magnet, by Stephen Black. The image is a pencil sketch of Lance, one of the characters in Secret Donut World. PPS I should mention that I have in various capacities for companies like CNN, MTV, France 2, Fox, Fuji TV, Cartoon Network  and Turner Classic Movies.

everything

You are probably here because you received a piece of paper from me.   HELLO   I am writing this on Thursday, November 24....  a very full day. Probably on Sunday I can come back and fill this page full of descriptions and links about my projects. For now... SPOKEN at www.gallery.sg this was created with Eugene Soh and is full of art and writing. It requires a 10 meg download, which is free. Beach Road You'll need a VR viewing device to see this short film which was featured at the 2015 Brisbane Film Festival and nominated for Best Experimental Film at the 2016 Las Vegas VR Fest. Descriptions of my books including videos and reviews. Please consider taking a look at my crowdfunding projects for a Tiong Bahru poster AND a book on the way that technology has affected cinematography. And, scattered throughout this blog are posts about art, post full of photography, short stories and posts about all kinds of things.   THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!   Stephen Black    

Tiong Bahru Poster Project (Crowdfunding)

I am writing this on Saturday morning, 12:12 on November 19. This is a placeholder, with only a little information.This will be updated soon. I am starting another crowdfunding campaign with Zingohub, as the first was very successful: 174% over target. This campaign is for a poster that will include photos from the public, photos taken by me for someone and my own photos. At the moment I have a number of ideas on what the poster will look like. I will reveal them soon. For now, a poster from a previous project, this one designed by Roy Chan. The design for the Tiong Bahru poster will likely be much simpler.
SPOKEN poster

SPOKEN was co-produced with Eugene Soh and features a wide range of artists and writers, some world famous, some not. www.gallery.sg

grid of minimalist text patterns

Roy Chan's preliminary designs.

Stay tuned to watch how the Tiong Bahru poster develops...

Superinterview: April Eberhardt,”literary change agent”

I wish I could find the  Digital Book World article that gave me the first glimpse into the work of April Eberhardt. The article included a mention of her--or, maybe she made a comment.(Found it! It was actually on Publishers Weekly.) I looked at her website and immediately sent an email, asking if I could interview her. She agreed. That was about five months ago. Both of us have been busy. If you know me, you know that my father sold/sells books. You also may know that I have been involved with the creative/writing side of the internet for quite a while. When Amazon began selling a device only for reading books in 2007, I finally committed myself to writing books/ebooks.  Since then, I had been waiting for someone like April Eberhardt. I didn't think that traditional publishers would drown in the wave of  self-publishing, but I did believe that there would be a third possibility. When I saw the phrase "literary change agent" connected with April Eberhardt's name, I was thrilled. Although I may be an April Eberhardt fanboy, I am not writing this to kiss her elbow and hope she will pick up my books. I don't think she works that way, number one. And, number two, it is premature for me to think about changing the course I have chosen for my writing career and my other pursuits. This post is mainly for my own reference and enjoyment... it's something like an experimantal portrait. OK..here we go... We open with an excerpt from a recent interview conducted by  Chicago Women in Publishing.
You describe yourself as a literary change agent. What does that mean? 
The publishing landscape is changing rapidly and drastically, to the benefit of the informed author. I embrace that change, and seek to help authors understand the full range of their choices and how to select among them strategically and successfully.
Continuing on that thought, from an interview with Ms. Eberhardt conducted by Naomi  Rosenblatt from Heliotrope Books. The interview appeared on the Blk Neon website.
"I live in San Francisco,” April Eberhardt explained in her indie publishing seminar. “I overlook the bay, and watch big tankers struggle to change course—unlike the agile sailboats that navigate easily. But of course tankers have the advantage of more power than sailboats. This has become my metaphor for the respective strengths of big publishing conglomerates and smaller indie presses.”
Next, a description of Ms. Eberhardt from the Art Of Writing/ A Writer's Retreat in Tuscanny Workshop...
April advises and assists authors worldwide as they choose the best pathway to publication for their work be it indie or traditional, digital or print. She serves as an industry advocate for establishing quality standards for non-traditionally published work to increase the acceptance and success of independent publishing. April works frequently with authors to critique and hone their manuscripts prior to submission or publication. She describes her approach as “kind but clear” with an eye toward commercial success. “There’s the sheer enjoyment of the writing from the author’s viewpoint,” she says, “and then there’s the expectation readers have for a sharp, compelling story. My objective is to help authors achieve both. I focus on identifying and underscoring the strengths that each author has, while at the same time finding ways to keep the story lean and taut with strong reader appeal.” Above all, she says, she wants to “encourage each author’s momentum and sense of satisfaction with the process and result. We want you to keep writing!” Math! Needles in haystacks!  How does Ms. Eberhardt find a great book and how often does that happen? from Chris Jane, of 5 On, a regular feature found on the extremely helpful website of Jane Friedman. CHRIS JANE: ... Of the 10,000 submissions you receive every year, you’ve said, you find fifteen to twenty to be exceptional. Is “exceptional” a matter of substance, marketing potential, both, or something else? APRIL EBERHARDT: To me, “exceptional” means an utterly compelling story, one that’s original, beautifully written and tightly told, one that I can’t put down. I see five to ten of these a year. Marketing potential comes second. While I realize that the traditional market may be looking for something easier to sell (translated, that means similar to other recent successful work), when I find a wonderful manuscript, I’m prepared to champion it until it gets published (which increasingly is via indie means—either partnership publishing or self-publishing.) From the same interview: Why are publishing houses ignoring the same perfectly good writers you’re passionate about helping? It’s their bestseller/blockbuster orientation. The most common reason cited by editors turning down the manuscripts I submit is, “We can’t break it out big enough,” meaning sell thousands of copies in a period of a few weeks. There are now a million books published annually. It usually takes more than a single swift push to bring a good book to the attention of its readers. Big Pub can’t afford to do more than that for most. They put their money on a relatively few books that are similar to recent successes. Next, from the Hippocampus website, from an interview conducted by  Lori M. Myers, Senior Interviews Editor. Lori: I’ll never forget what you said during your presentation at Chautauqua. It went something like “Traditional publishers aren’t failing, but they’re flailing.”   April: Big publishers continue to believe they’re the arbiters of taste, and the most desirable gateway to being published. That’s all changing–the internet has opened a multitude of possibilities. Most importantly, readers and authors can connect directly without middlemen, and readers decide what’s worth reading and recommending. So should writers steer away from “Big Pub?” While some authors do desire traditional publication, its value proposition to authors is weakening. Until Big Pub figures out a way to give more to authors (which involves a complete overhaul of their financial and operational model,) other new, profitable and more satisfying ways of being published will continue to lure authors away from traditional publishing. Having options is good, but there seems to be so many! There’s partner publishing, assisted publishing and hybrid publishing, along with self-publishing.  As one attractive new option, partner publishing offers high-quality services from publishing professionals, along with curation and distribution, enabling authors to pay for selected services and receive a top-quality book. Next up: a 2014 interview between Ms. Eberhardt and Mary Rowen, author of LEAVING THE BEACH (a 2016 IPPY Award winner) and LIVING BY EAR. MR: In addition to traditional and self-publishing, there are so many other options available now. For example, there are many publishing companies that will edit, proofread, design, and publish a book for a writer for a fee. The books produced by these presses often look very professional, and many writers are drawn to them. But from what I’ve heard, they’re not all great. Are there any pay-to-publish presses that you’d recommend? Any that you’d advise writers to avoid? And what sorts of things should a writer look for in a pay-to-publish press? AE: Above all you want experience, transparency and references in a partner publisher. You also want curation and distribution. Companies like She Writes Press, White Cloud Press and Turning Stone Press are led and managed by people with long experience in traditional publishing. All are open about their approach, costs and clients. They are selective about which authors they publish, and have clear contracts granting all rights to the author, along with offering distribution, usually through Ingram. The legitimate ones will happily refer you to other authors who have published with them so you can learn more about their experiences. I’d suggest steering clear of subsidy presses like Author Solutions that accept any and all manuscripts, tend to produce inferior-quality books priced at non-competitive prices, don’t offer distribution, and sometimes pressure authors to buy more services than they need. Research, email exchanges and the links above answered all of my questions about Ms. Eberhardt except for three. She replied to my first two questions with her latest bio. It summarizes some of the points above. SB: Was there one moment when  you decided to enter into a business that was not yet clearly defined? Was it a well-researched plan or a leap of faith?
AE(from her bio):April Eberhardt is a literary change agent and author advocate passionate about helping authors be published in the most effective and satisfying way. After 25 years as a corporate strategist and consultant, Ms. Eberhardt joined the literary world, where she saw strategic opportunity to play a role in the changing world of publishing. Ms. Eberhardt advises and assists authors worldwide, as they choose the best pathway to publication for their work, be it indie or traditional, digital or print, and serves as a consultant to new publishing startups. Ms. Eberhardt divides her time between San Francisco, New York and Paris. She also is a reader for the Best American Short Stories series published annually by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 
AE (continuing via email): The above may in part answer your question as well—how and why did I get into agenting and publishing consulting? I entered the field with the intent to play a role in the evolving world of publishing. While I recognized that the direction and speed of change would be unpredictable, I was completely comfortable with that. It’s exciting to be part of an industry undergoing a major transition, especially publishing since its product—reading—is of such keen interest to many of us. Good consulting is about keeping an eye on the shifts and trends, asking thoughtful questions about a client’s (in this case, an author’s) goals, dreams, likes and dislikes, and aligning the two. There’s always a lot of experimentation that occurs, and it’s easier to discern the right next steps when you’re working as a team vs trying to navigate it alone.
SB: E-books can be said to symbolize the possibilities of self-publishing. What was your first
e-book experience?
AE: E-books are obviously an important format in publishing’s evolution, particularly since they allow for experimentation in a broad number of ways (content, marketing, etc.) and provide a relatively easy, inexpensive way to make quick adjustments. I don’t remember the first e-book I read. 
I would like to sincerely thank Ms. Eberhardt for taking the time to be a part of this informative experiment. I enjoyed it very much and hope many others will as well.
And, if you are in Boston in May, Ms. Eberhardt will participating in the Grub Street Writers Conference: THE CHANGING FACE OF PUBLISHING: WHAT ALL AUTHORS NEED TO KNOW In this illuminating workshop, Literary Change Agent and author advocate April Eberhardt examines the state of publishing today along with the implications and opportunities for authors. She presents five different paths to publication, including a candid discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of each approach from an author’s perspective. Discover what partnership publishing is, along with hybrid authorship, and collaborative (also known as cooperative) publishing. Learn how to choose the right path for you and your work, which sometimes involves different paths for different projects, and how to develop a publishing strategy and approach that meets your goals, dreams, timetable and budget. Ms. Eberhardt's home page: http://aprileberhardt.com/  

Tiong Bahru Time by Stephen Black

  1. This will be a book of photographs, facts, history and stories about  the people, food and community of Tiong Bahru and the surrounding area.
  2. Please note that  Tiong Bahru Time is  a working title that may or may not be used. However, the idea of time is definitely the foundation of the book. Examples: breakfast time, lunch time, Hungry Ghost Month, the Monkey God's Birthday, the pre-war flats, the post-war flats, daytime, nighttime, the seasons, 24 hours in Tiong Bahru, childhood, adulthood, The Sixties,etc.
  3.  The photographs and text will be mainly by Stephen Black, whose previous book on Tiong Bahru, i ate tiong bahru, is a national bestseller. Stephen Black holds Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology and his works have been shown in galleries and museums worldwide. He has worked at various roles for companies such as CNN, Cartoon Network, Fuji TV, Fox and France 2. His 360 short film entitled Beach Road was featured at the 2015 Brisbane Film Festival and nominated for Best Experimental Film at the 2016 Las Vegas VR Fest. Elsewhere on this blog are posts about his involvement with music, CG-generated environments and other artists.
  4. At this time the total number of pages will likely be about 200 pages; size not yet determined.

He Once Hitchhiked: Morning Chat with Reed Hastings, CEO Netflix: “Disruption, Culture, People and Leadership”

reed-hastings

Being a very experienced entrepreneur, I have to strongly disagree with a statement Reed Hastings made last Friday during his presentation for the U Creative community in Singapore.

"An entrepreneur," he said," is someone who jumps out of a plane without a parachute, wholeheartedly believing that a bird will pass by and carry him to safety."

What nonsense!

An entrepreneur works his tail off making plans and researching, so that after jumping out of the plane, he or she knows exactly where and when a FLYING DRAGON will appear to carry him or her over the Mountains of Hardship and the Desert of Loneliness to the Magic Conference Room Where One's Colleagues Are Stunning. Anyhoo... Reed Hastings: "The creative economy is about variability." "Adequate gets a great severance package." Most of the topics Mr. Hastings touched upon are here. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Reed Hastings interviewed by  Motley Fool. "On the Beauty of Making Mistakes" Mistakes however are also learning opportunities and Hastings talked about how his shaped his future decisions during an interview with venture capitalist John Doerr at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers recent CEO Workshop.  (includes the foot mouse story)

Streaming saturation: Netflix to double its original content for 2016

The end of capitalism has begun

Without us noticing, we are entering the postcapitalist era. At the heart of further change to come is information technology, new ways of working and the sharing economy. The old ways will take a long while to disappear, but it’s time to be utopian

i ate tiong bahru limited edition glass sculptures/JDMIS/certificate of authenticity

iatb-glass-signing-at-jdmis I am honored  that the Jewellery Design and Management International School have agreed to oversee the certificates of authenticity for the edition of signed(etched) glass artworks in the crowdfunding campaign now on ZingoHub. (You can learn more about JDMIS here.) As stated on the crowdfunding page,  a total of eighty-eight glasses will be signed with an etching pen and numbered. A certificate of authenticity will be enclosed with each glass. I have known Tanja Sadow, the dean of JDMIS, since I arrived in Singapore in 2002. I know that many jewellery-making success stories are associated with the high standards of JDMIS and I am thrilled that JDMIS has agreed to oversee the authentication process of the i ate tiong bahru glass artworks. iatb-cup-certificate-of-authenticity    

THANKS! Crowdfunding success= free ebooks by Stephen Black and Cyril Wong

BREAKING NEWS! A new book about Tiong Bahru; mainly photos! The i ate tiong bahru glassware  crowdfunding campaign went 30% over target in the first three days... and  ended at 175%- well over target!  To celebrate and say "thank you", I am giving away ebooks. i ate tiong bahru  A national bestseller in Singapore, iatb is a collection of short stories about Tiong Bahru, a community living in an estate composed of uniquely styled Art Deco buildings. "Unlike anything else I've read.""Black's love letter is one of the best introductions to a country and a state  that you might read" Art Review Asia. More reviews here. I Ate Tiong Bahru book cover Free download from Amazon on November 13,2016.
If you are an art collector, an adventurous reader and a drinker of caffeinated beverages, YOUR DREAM HAS COME TRUE...(click to join the club)
Obama Search Words Stephen Black's first book;a dynamic, it captures Barack Obama in a style like no other. Free download from Amazon on November 13, 2016. osw-cover Obama Search Words was once enrolled in an Unglue campaign. Here is the video produced for that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eo-4cmUQubA Furikake Japanese rice seasonings, love and a look at life in Clementi, a small town in Singapore. Free download from Amazon on November 13, 2016
photography as part of book cover design

a photograph of a dancer on a farm, the title and the author's name

Bali Wave Ghost "a mad work of genius", Richard E. Lewis, author of the bestseller Bones of the Dark Moon, a novel set amidst the horrific killings in Bali during the Sixties. Free download from Amazon on November 13, 2016
black and white book covers

Proposed cover for Bali Wave Ghost, the latest book by Stephen Black

Fires by Cyril Wong, who is a Singapore Literature Prize-winning poet, fictionist and critic.Free download from Amazon on November 13, 2016
Red chairs, cyril wong and FIRES

George Parel's design is clean and eye-catching

Flame Magnet- Do not download this book unless you are adventurous. This isn't something you read, it's the start of a lifelong journey. Free download from Amazon on November 13, 2016
lance from Secret Donut World

Flame magnet is go!
Art by David Severn

Contact With Shadow....not free, but becoming unglued! Check out the video as well as a photo exhibition. CWS is an undiscovered classic, full of melancholic swirling laments about lost love. amidst exquisite descriptions of Singapore. Also includes plenty of references to history and little-known baked goods. Contact With Shadow bookmerahatgmaildotcom
Book Merah titles in a free ebook giveaway

Book Merah titles in a free ebook giveaway

..the end... here, however, is an email which I am sending, in various forms, to everyone on my email mailing list... HELLO
Just letting you know that I am starting a new book about Tiong Bahru, this one emphasizing photography. The working title is Tiong Bahru Time.... Here is a brief blog post about it.
And... the i ate tiong bahru glassware crowdfunding project is in the final countdown...less than 24 hours to go!
Finally, there will be another free giveaway of Book Merah ebooks....check here.
As you may know, I Ate Tiong Bahru has sold 2000 copies. It is a bestseller!
All the best and see you in Tiong Bahru!
Onward,
Stephen Black