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He Once Hitchhiked: Morning Chat with Reed Hastings, CEO Netflix: “Disruption, Culture, People and Leadership”
Barry, Wow. You asked me to write about your experiences at Souphanouvong University on September 7, the day that Obama hosted a town hall meeting that you almost attended. Although you have read a couple of my books, I don't think you know that the first book I wrote was about Obama. I started that book well before he was even nominated for the Presidency. When I went to Jakarta to research his childhood years there, no one knew he was. I had no idea he would become President, and to cover my bets, I started out writing a "safe" book, in which I used food as the basis for a biography. With an African father, a childhood in Hawaii, years in Indonesia and Chicago, as well as an awareness of gourmet food, the book would have attracted an audience even if his political career flopped. The book was to be called Obama Jalan Jalan--I even had a cover made. But then...Everything Happened. I felt that I had a chance--and an obligation, to use text to respond to one of the biggest, if not the biggest social vents in my lifetime. The food book became: Obama Search Words. OSW was, most likely, the first ebook made in Singapore to be uploaded on Kindle. OSW is full of graphs and photos, which were "cutting edge" at the time, as 2008 Kindles were only set up for displaying text in greyscale. I have been lowly updating OSW myself, meaning reformatting, which is now a pleasure thanks to Reedsy. I had been thinking of adding an afterword, something to conclude the book. I ended the book with an image of his Inauguration. So, to finally get to the point, your request has given me much to think about. Can't say too much more except that I am writing a little and thinking a lot. What is the deadline? Finally, this excerpt from Obama's speech leapt out at me: This is my 11th visit to Asia as President of the United States, but it's my first visit to Laos. And in fact, I’m the first United States President ever to come here. And with the kindness that you’ve shown me, I’m sure I will not be the last. Other Presidents will want to come as well. And I promise you I will come back when I'm no longer President. (Applause.) And the good thing about when I come back and I'm not President I won't have so much security. (Laughter.) And I can sit and relax and have some food, and I won't be so busy. Thanks for asking me to write something Barry. May end up being two pieces, one for your newsletter, one to conclude the updated book. Onward! SB PS..I do not know why the format of this is like it is... When I preview what I have written on this blog, it looks fine. Once I hit publish, however, all formatting seems to disappear. The photo used as a header for this post is from Reuters and is used without permission for noncommercial purposes. Barry Graham was in Laos doing sound recording for a movie project. The website for his company, Speakeasy, is here. Part of the reason Barry was in Laos was because he worked on movies like this. And this. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/x08uLnSryXs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 6, 2016
Office of the Press Secretary
DAILY GUIDANCE AND PRESS SCHEDULE FOR
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2016In the morning, the President will tour the Cooperative Orthotic Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE) Visitor Centre, where he will meet with unexploded ordnance clearance teams and survivors of UXO blasts This tour will be pooled press. Later in the morning, the President will deliver remarks at the COPE Visitor Centre. These remarks will be pooled press. Afterward, the President will depart Vientiane, Laos and travel to Luang Prabang, Laos. The departure from Wattay International Airport and the arrival at Luang Prabang International Airport will be open to pre-credentialed media. In the afternoon, the President will tour Wat Xieng Thong Buddhist Temple. This tour will be pooled press. Later in the afternoon, the President will hold a Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) town hall at the Souphanouvong University Auditorium in Luang Prabang, Laos. This town hall is open to pre-credentialed media. Afterward, the President will depart Luang Prabang, Laos and travel to Vientiane, Laos. The departure from Luang Prabang International Airport and the arrival at Wattay International Airport will be open to pre-credentialed media. In the evening, the President will participate in an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gala dinner hosted by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos. There will be a pool spray at the top of this dinner. The President will remain overnight in Laos. Out-of-Town Travel Pool Wires: AP, Reuters, Bloomberg Wire Photos: AP, Reuters, AFP TV Corr & Crew: NBC Print: Wall Street Journal ICT 10:20AM THE PRESIDENT tours the COPE Visitor Centre Vientiane, Laos Pooled Press 10:50AM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks COPE Visitor Centre, Vientiane, Laos Pooled Press 11:20AM THE PRESIDENT departs Vientiane, Laos en route Luang Prabang, Laos Wattay International Airport Open to Pre-Credentialed Media 12:05PM THE PRESIDENT arrives Luang Prabang, Laos Luang Prabang International Airport Open to Pre-Credentialed Media 12:30PM THE PRESIDENT tours Wat Xieng Thong Buddhist Temple Luang Prabang, Laos Pooled Press 2:35PM THE PRESIDENT holds a YSEALI town hall Souphanouvong University, Luang Prabang, Laos Open to Pre-Credentialed Media 4:25PM THE PRESIDENT departs Luang Prabang, Laos en route Vientiane, Laos Luang Prabang International Airport Open to Pre-Credentialed Media 5:10PM THE PRESIDENT arrives Vientiane, Laos Wattay International Airport Open to Pre-Credentialed Media 8:00PM THE PRESIDENT participates in an ASEAN gala dinner hosted by Prime Minister Sisoulith of Laos National Convention Centre, Vientiane, Laos Pool Spray at the Top
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.
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
Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. Stephen KingBased 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!