That sound moving across America is from writers slitting their wrists.
If you are not visiting the blog of Bob Lefsetz daily, you need to deduct at least ten points from your IQ self-estimation. Because reading Lefsetz will automatically add ten points.
While all of the particulars are not applicable to writers, so many of them are that it’s worth your time to not simply read this post — but to thoroughly study it.
It shows the kind of work that will separate those who have a chance of success from those who will guarantee their own failure.
At Topspin we generally talk about three stages of development:
1. Creating awareness
2. Making connections
We sometimes hear artists complain: “Dammit! I’m not selling anything!” Usually it’s a result of skipping straight to #3 above and not concentrating enough on #1 and #2.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
And they’ve opened my eyes to one thing I’ve complained about in the past: asking for an email address.
I’m no longer going to complain about that. It makes sense to me now.
Go read or perish.
People who read the Napoleon Hill classic Think and Grow Rich often wonder what the “secret” hidden inside of it is. I’ll cop to having been one of those people too when I read it years and years and years ago. But I re-read the book recently and It Was Right There.
And today Warren Ellis did a post that I get to rip off because it’s exactly the point Napoleon Hill was trying to get across.
Ready for the big reveal?
Back in the late summer movie director/entrepreneur Ray Griggs, for whom I did all that art for his movie “Super Capers”, approached me with an idea for an iPhone app. The concept was a database of all the members of the United States Congress which allowed the user to find the names and contact information of their senators and congressional representative either via zipcode or by using the iPhone’s GPS location services. He wanted the visuals to be more than just a bunch of pictures, and asked me to do caricatures for each senator and representative.
That’s 540 caricature if you are keeping count (including those non-voting members of the house from Puerto Rico, Guam, etc.). FIVE HUNDRED FORTY. Five-four-Oh. Whew.
The caricature “heads” would be placed on one of 12 different bodies I has also drawn to make a cartoon, virtual “bobblehead” for each member of congress’s page. You can make the heads bobble by shaking your phone or flicking the head with your finger. Of course that’s just a novelty, and the real purpose of the app is the database that allows you to find out who your representatives in Washington are and how to contact them.
A humorous depiction such as this …
… Apple rejected on this basis:
“Applications may be rejected if they contain content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, sounds, etc.) that in Apple’s reasonable judgement may be found objectionable, for example, materials that may be considered obscene, pornographic, or defamatory.”
At this point, I have to wonder if Apple even employs earthlings in its App Store approval process.
These caricatures are exactly the kind of thing I would have found in MAD magazine when I was a kid!
Here’s an example to give those sensitive dweebs over at Apple a fatal heart attack:
Once that image wipes out the current App Store approval staff, maybe Apple can hire some human beings for it.
This is getting beyond ridiculous.
Has Saturday Night Live skewered Apple’s approval process in a skit yet? They should!
Maybe widespread nationwide ridicule is required to wake up Apple.
Previously at Mike Cane 2008:
Apple Approves Of Shooting Nurses In The Face!
God Bless Writer Derek Raymond
How Many Of THESE eBooks Will Apple Ban?
Apple Bans ANOTHER Book From App Store!
Apple And A Tale Of Two Bannings
Apple Forfeits eBooks By Banning A Comic Book!
I missed this very interesting post published months ago:
$3,500 for editing
$100 for a final proof
$70 for a newer version of Photoshop (eBay)
$25 for the ISBN
$2.50 for front cover image (stock photo, what can I say)
$24.95 for eBook Studio (the eReader format)
$99 to turn it into an iBook application for the iApp store*
Cost per ebook FORMAT (not including in-kind labor costs for markup): $382.15.
There are also expenses listed for print.
Still, you’ll notice that whether I had put it in print or not, editing was the biggest expense and that would have been spent regardless.
Unless you know good, professional, and free editing labor …
You cannot calculate the unit cost of the e-book because the unit price will always be as X approaches zero. You can only calculate the cost PER FORMAT (which may or may not include DRM). You have the opportunity for an unlimited number of e-book sales without further cost (not including web and shopping cart, etc.). For every print book I sell, I have to spend another $15.00. For every e-book I sell, I have to spend ZERO.
There are those who will argue with that. But we’ll see.
What’s exciting to us is that we’ve bypassed the entire old media publishing model. We have sought no advance, edited the whole thing ourselves, paid no agent, had Dish readers select the cover image, and asked no old media publishing house to take on the project.
It’s a book more in the vein of Seth Godin’s term for them: souvenir.
In addition to What Would Google Do? the book, the ebook, the Kindle book, the audio book, the video, and the PowerPoint, we were planning to release a so-called V-book with videos interspersed throughout the digital text. Never happened.
Jeff Jarvis is the author of the book What Would Google Do?
Who knew other writers wanted to do digital books?
It makes me wonder just how many of my fellow writers look at the current ePub paradigm and want to throw up.
If Vook is smart, they’ll jump at this chance.
Apple Will Break Open The Digital Book Floodgates
Reading Is NOT Sacrosanct!
ePub For Seniors
The eBook Bubble: Save Your Money!
Creating The Breakthrough Digital Novel
Electronic Arts Enters Digital Books
Digital Books: More About Video Use
The Essential Ingredient For Digital Book Video
Why Digital Books Will Win
How To Properly Integrate Video Into Fiction Digital Books
Eveda: How NOT To Do A Digital Book
Vook Debuts Digital Books
Disney + Pixar + Marvel + Apple + iTablet
Smart Digital Books Vs. The ePub FAIL Model
He Understands Something Is Missing
English-Subtitled Editis Smart Digital Book Video
Why eInk, ePub, And eBooks Will Fail
Dumb eBooks Must Die, Smart eBooks Must Live
ALL eInk Devices: BAD For eBooks!
PETER: Or you could accept the fact that this city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
MAYOR: What do you mean, biblical?
RAY: What he means is Old Testament biblical, Mr. Mayor. Real wrath-of-God-type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming from the sky! Rivers and seas boiling!
EGON: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes! Volcanoes!
WINSTON: The dead rising from the grave!
PETER: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!
Jane realized she could pitch a nontraditional story and potentially be amply rewarded if she hit a popular vein.
This part of our lunch I’d been expecting – I’d even honed my talking points – when the completely unexpected happened. Jane pitched me a book. A historical military mystery.
And I began to get excited. In the olden days when I used to edit print books, I would have been intrigued by this idea but I would also have been trying to fit it into an existing category. After all, I couldn’t just make up a category. Instead I would most likely have asked Jane to increase the romance, make the mystery more thriller-like or women-in-jeopardy type storyline and possibly move the story to Regency times.
But now I’m free. I can ask Jane to write the book she envisions and if I love it as much as she does then we’ll publish it. Our brilliant marketers will create a plan on how to sell it as a historical military mystery. Boo Yah!
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.