Monday, June 22, 2009

Using the domino effect

Today, Seth Godin wrote an extremely important blog entry. He said:

"Envision the events that might happen to a brand (shelf space at Walmart, an appearance on Oprah, a bestseller, worldwide recognition, a new edition, worldwide rights, chosen by the Queen, whatever) as a series of dominos.

"It turns out that if you start with all of them at once, you'll fail.

"And if you start with the big one, you'll fail.

"But if you line up all the dominos one by one, in the right order, you may just have enough energy to push over the first one. That one, of course, adds momentum so that when you crash into the second one, that one goes too. All the way to the Queen."

This is a monumentally important post for anyone who has to promote a nonfiction or how-to book. In this post, Godin essentially tells how to plan and implement a successful marketing plan for your book.

1. Envision all the events that might happen (for Digital Video Secrets it might be something like... David Pogue recommends, reviewed in DV magazine, shelf space at B&H Photo, book review on Cool Tools.)

2. Line the events up from small to large (reviewed in DV magazine, book review on Cool Tools, shelf space at B&H Photo, David Pogue recommends)

3. Start pushing on the smallest domino (reviewed in DV magazine) and don't put your effort into anything else until you push that domino over. Once that domino begins to fall, you use it's momentum to help you crash into the second one (book review in Cool Tools) and so on, all the way up to David Pogue.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Writing about cameras

When I wrote Digital Video Secrets, I decided that I would buy everything I wrote about. If I reviewed a camera, it would be one I personally owned.

As my books begin to sell and I gain credibility, I'm faced with the decision of whether to accept cameras from manufacturers on loan, and to then review them.

The advantage of accepting cameras on loan is that I get my hands on a wide range of equipment and do a better job writing about cameras.

The disadvantage is that I could conceivably write about a camera that I, myself, would not buy.

Lately, I'm favoring the idea of sticking with my original approach. Write only about cameras that I own.

New cameras

Digital Video cameras change so rapidly that I sometimes tell people "'if you've opened the box, it's obsolete' ".

This is one reason why I wrote Digital Video Secrets so it applies to *any* camera, new or old. I didn't want to see the book become obsolete the day after it was printed.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Writers notebooks and journals

Links to notebooks that I have tried and can recommend.

Weather-proof reporters notebook.
Write in the rain. Great way to take notes in the rain, on a boat, or in a sweaty gymnasium or practice hall.

Ampad reporters notebook.
Excellent, but I find the 8-inch notebook a bit awkward for carrying in a pants pocket.

Moleskine 5.3 x 3.5 inch pocket notebook
The classic. Expensive, but they work. The one that I use.

Writersblok notebook
About the same size as a US passport. Soft covers, easy to carry with you everywhere. Good quality writing paper.

Friday, June 12, 2009

TitleZ is back online

TitleZ, the most excellent Amazon sales-tracking tool, is back on line.