P – Publisher

PAfter a fun diversion yesterday, I guess I am back at it with a more serious topic! Today I wanted to consider publishers, an industry we have had around probably since the printing press, and which is full of big publishers and independent. I am even helping finalize and edit a book right now which will probably at first just be locally published, at the printer’s, and distributed from there. Hmmm… should make sure we end up with a copy at the library…

As someone who is not published, and not yet at the point to try or be turned down, I am still new and bright-eyed and optimistic about the world of publishing and publishers. Well, other than all of the stories around being turned down by publishers. Those leave one feeling a bit nervous.

Listing myself as a “writer” on Twitter has led to an additionally interesting connection, though, as I see so many authors there, who are talking about their publishing, or else I am seeing the independent (and big) publishers there. Probably a good starting place for figuring out how/where to try to get published, and trying to make a direct connection.

So what advantages do there seem to be with the big publishers? Well, there’s the marketing they have behind them, and their ability to let people know about your book. Whether that’s in publishing catalogs or through all sorts of advertising channels, they can help make these sorts of things happen. I wonder how this relates to getting books at libraries, since there is the added layer of the vendors generally, and of the librarians making decisions.

But increasingly, you have people turning to e-publishing options, which seems to be increasingly dominated by Amazon. Amazon will help promote these books, or at least the ones that get popular, and then they are readily available on the Kindle. And if your goal is “to be published,” this seems like a fantastic route.

By this point in the challenge, however, I have writers and bloggers aplenty reading this site (say thankya), and I would welcome any and all of your thoughts on publishers or the publishing decision process. Self-Publish? Big publishing houses? Independent? Weigh in with your thoughts!

K – Kindle

KThe Kindle was designed as a game changer. And it has filled the role of being the brand-name replacement for e-reader, like Kleenex for facial tissue, Q-Tip for cotton swab, or Hoover for vacuum (if you’re British).

And they’ve kept updating it over time. Adding the touch screen, having lots of versions available. We got some of the cheaper ones with ads for the lock screen: not intrusive, and some nice savings. Because where there’s money to be made is in the e-books.

I wrote about e-books the other day. And I’m honestly not sure what I was thinking, including e-books with Kindle in the list. Maybe I wanted to talk about e-readers as well as e-books. So while the Kindle itself is neat, let’s talk e-readers in general.

You can search them, adding search to a book. That’s neat and handy with non-fiction, and great for us quotes freaks trying to find a quote in a book. You can adjust the font, so that if you have a vision problem you can match what you are reading with what is comfortable. You can even have it read the words to you.

In fact, you can skip that and get your hands on audio books one your e-reader as well. I’ve only listened to a few, but Wil Wheaton’s reading of Ready Player One is worth the time, I assure you.

Add in the neat functions of e-books, like how many you can fit easily on a device and carry with you (or not fill up your bookshelf), and you have a strong case for saying that this is a game-changer of a device.

Yet here we are, still with books. The newness is still definitely a factor: the business side is all still being figured out. And the rights issues! Do we really own these books? Or if they magically disappear from the Cloud, what can we do about it? I know that subscription-based services are pretty strong business models these days, from Hulu to NetFlix, or even World of Warcraft. And there’s Amazon’s Prime service, giving you access to shows and movies and such as well. Maybe that’s a future business model for their e-books?

Gee, that sounds a lot like a library…

Is that Amazon’s future? After replacing bookstores, will they replace libraries? I guess time will tell! Or you could, in the comments below!

Options for adding Advertising to a Blog

Recently I was saying I want to do some redesign and cleanup on Comparative Geeks. A major reason why is that we are considering doing this sort of work is because we are thinking about taking our now year-old blog and making it more our own. Registering a real, paid domain. Adding advertising to make a little money from the blog – maybe enough to cover the domain cost? Or how about all the various media that we consume to talk about on the blog?

So I am going to consider some of the things we are going through in our consideration process, for moving towards making a little money with the blog. There are other, major considerations – such as, blogging consistently, and having content, and readers, and commenters. Building a community, and delivering consistently. I’d like to think we at least have the solid start to this. I talked about a lot of what we’ve done with community building recently as well.

So I have done some research, and it’s told me that I likely don’t have good answers for you. So instead, I have links and my thoughts, on adding advertising to a blog.

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