Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Apple tablet

Apple Tablet with a 10.5 inch screen looks like a winner. I want one, unless it uses the same obscenely expensive wireless scheme as the iPhone. If it does, then I'll pass.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Michael Moore interviewed at the Commonwealth Club. 30 min. video, followed by 30 min Q/A.

Recommended for doc filmmakers, and anyone concerned about the financial crisis and the Great Recession.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Arts Journal -- publishing

Arts Journal publishing page. Very good.

Building your own audience 3

The Adderall Diaries. The author sent out copies of his book to readers as a "lending library."

Building your own audience 2

100 Skulls began as a blog. It was hugely popular.

1. build a media channel (blog)
2. build an audience
3. publish a book

A good example of an author building his own audience.

Building your own audience 1

Another brilliant post by Seth Godin. The relevant paragraph for authors is:

Authors have traditionally relied on publishers to bring them readers. The author gives up the majority of the income and the publisher brings them the readers. But then you see someone like Frank at Post Secret who builds his own audience for his (sometimes nsfw) content. He owns a platform, it's not something he rents. Now, using a publisher is a choice, not a necessity. Just about every successful author going forward (except for the lucky exceptions like Dan Brown) will own her own media channel. Not just authors, of course...

Again, Godin has nailed it. Absolutely. Nailed. It.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

e-book formats

Good article in the New York Times about e-book formats, and the problems that authors and publishers face when selling e-books.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In search of the perfect office

I have been searching for the perfect writing office--or work space--for decades. I've created work spaces in RV's, coffee shops, rented rooms, spare bedrooms, corporate cubicles, VW vans, sailboats, small sheds in the back yard, and remote cottages. I have never found the perfect office. But here are some of the things that worked.
- A North facing window, plenty of natural light and a way to control the light.
- Privacy.
- Quiet.
- Music.
- Long blocks of uninterrupted time.
- Anonymity. (Starbucks coffee shops are good for this.)
- Cleanliness.
- An absence of clutter. Nothing in the room except things related to the book I'm working on.
- Ability to control temperature.
- A blank 8x10 foot wall upon which I can paste post-it notes and index cards.
- A 2x3 foot white board.
- A coffee shop within 20 minutes walking distance.
- Temperate weather.
- High speed wireless.
- A walkable neighborhood, in which I don't need a car.
- Exercise built-in to the lifestyle. Yoga studio nearby, or failing that, interesting destinations to walk to, like a ferry, coffee shop, or bookstore...
- Self contained dwelling, like a small cruising sailboat, hotel room, cottage, or empty house.
- Parcel delivery to front door... like UPS, USPS, or FedEX.
- A small bookshelf (4 feet maximum.)
- A large flat surface to work on. A standard 2' x 5' table seems to work.
- A comfortable chair like a recliner or a decent futon couch.
- Task lighting.
- A dog.

Basically, it looks like I'm a hermit.

Small House Society -- builders/designers

The Small House Society has a long list of designers and builders of tiny houses.

Mobile Hermitage

This looks like it has real possibilities as a small writing office. At one point in my life I spent several years living on a 29 foot sailboat. I found that I really liked the simplicity and efficiency of living in a small well-designed space. This image is from

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Publishing is free

" media is largely free. So why teach it in school as if it were a scary theory? Why encourage people to be afraid? Just do it. Build your own platform. Appear in the places that seem productive or interesting or challenging or fun. Experiment quietly, figure out what works, do it more." So says Seth Godin.

Write articles for "free" eZines. Write your novel, one page a day, in your blog.

As Godin says, "spread yourself thin, don't be afraid of failure." And quietly figure out what works.

Monday, September 14, 2009

pre-release book reviews by true fans

Stephen Elliott sends advance copies of his book to readers. He writes:

"A few months ago, sitting on a bunch of advance copies of my new book, The Adderall Diaries, copies that were supposed to go to well placed media outlets, I decided to start The Adderall Diaries Lending Library. My plan was to allow anyone who wanted to read an advance copy of the book the opportunity to do so, provided they forwarded the book within a week to the next reader...."

Next he plans to follow up with a book tour in which he speaks in people's homes.

A brilliant plan.