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I am late writing about BREAKS. I left Bali at 8:30 PM. After arriving in Singapore, I took a bus to a friend’s house and talked til 3AM. Coffee, a shower and then a meeting at 10AM. A big breakfast at 11 (wanton soup, duck rice and soymilk. A meeting at 11. Pick up mail from virtual office and another short meeting. Arranged for On Seng Poh Road to be printed. Back to my friend’s place for a nap. Then back to the copy shop. The internet café. At 7 the screening of a film about Daido Moriyama. The Aya Sekine and the Turn Around jazz Festival. A murtabak for dinner. The internet café from 1 Digital odds and ends and preparation for this: https://unglue.it/work/88498/ The writer in Bali part… Again notes, fragments 1. A very thorough description of the road in Sanur and concise descriptions of Balinese traffic and traffic conditions. 2. Bombing as a shadow, not a described event http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19712683 3. Photography and photos as a character? Focus and shake Moriyama’s copy no sekai…the world of the copy 4. 4. Characters: the gardener who drinks only water. Nick Cavehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrxePKps87k 5. http://nickcave.com/
OCTOBER 10 II Defining the Present Situation which seems to be highlighted in blue, despite my efforts. Also, I would like to once again thank this lovely laptop for not providing me with spellcheck. I arrived in Bali expecting to work only on book about Tiong Bahru, a historical area in Singapore. I have been researching, photographing and writing for two years. I expected to complete a draft that could be then sent to editors and proofreaders. On my first day I received an email request for an interview from Encounters magazine . I agreed, and in the process of researching and writing the answers, two points became obvious. One was that the time was ripe to promote Obama Search Words. The other point was that I had never promoted any of my books. I had thought it best to work on craft and produce a few works before looking for a publisher or self-publishing.(Although the books were available on Kindle, my opinion is that an unpromoted book on Kindle
is basically the same as an unpublished book, as the sales are likely to be extremely close to nil.) Bottom line: as soon as I finished the interview, I began to study ebook marketing. I planned my free download days. Reviews. I realized that Book Merah had two books of my own and one by the poet Cyril Wong. Obama Search Words had one review of five stars. That was it. On a Friday night, after a pot of Balinese coffee, I launched the Charge of the Book Merah Brigade. That was a simple document on Scribd which offered the books as free downloads for that weekend only. By Sunday I was very encouraged that over 600 people had read the document. At the same time I was disappointed no one had requested a free PDF. I needed to learn more. To say I was thrown into the world of ebook marketing and publicity is a spineless description. The reality was something like being both a mountain climber and a kitten in a heavy sack tossed into the English Channel. In December. The experience was physically and mentally overwhelming. No sleep for one thing. After I reactivated my twitter account, I realized that it would need feeding three or four times, a day at least. For some reason my Tweetdeck and the Bali internet did not get along. As I was awake almost always, it was logical to tweet live to the peak hours in the various time zones. I also posted on Facebook and LinkedIn. And what did I post? Furikake: unknown author + bad cover+ no reviews = #1 on Amazon. PAID! I did everything I possibly could to make it happen. Why would I announce such a thing to everyone in the digital universe. Simple reason: WHY NOT? Would I be arrested, banned, or worse for posting such a claim and then working hard to make it happen? No. Would I force myself to be efficient, learn like crazy and create some buzz? Yes. It was at this time I discovered a troublesome ally. The KindleNation tracker reports sales rankings based on information it gets from Amazon. That certainly seemed official to me. When I saw my titles rise in the sales ranks I was elated to see my hard work manifesting itself. On days when Book Merah titles were free, they shot to the top of the sales ranking charts. I documented this, of course. Now, some may think this is how It should be: hardwork= increase in sales ranking= income. Those experienced with ebooks, however, are still laughing a laugh that began in the third paragraph. Sales ranking is not sales. Let’s say you sold three books by noon today and no more. At noon, no one else had sold any. So, at noon, you are ranked #1 in sales. At 1PM 10 copies of a cookbook were sold, moving you to #2 in sales ranking. By 11PM 235 copies of a Stephen King book are sold. Your three books close the day ranked at #3 in sales. Now, imagine thousands of books in the equation. And, the equation is more complex than my example indicates. No one really knows how Amazon’s sales ranking works.(later, links to support) The only thing that matters is the sales report. Here is an example of someone actually doing what I am trying to do:http://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanholiday/2012/06/12/is-youtube-and-chartsensation-alex-day-the-future-of-music/ Can I do what Alex Day did? I am trying, that is all I can say. I did not set myself a time limit BTW, Ryan Holiday’s writing is often very informative.
“My story about Facebook advertising was the top read story on Forbes and did more than65,000 views in 24 hours.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanholiday/2012/05/18/why-the-media-loves-writing-aboutfacebooks-ipo-or-any-ipo/The effort I put into promoting this bare-bones document http://www.scribd.com/doc/106449871/BOOK-MERAH-Download-Schedule-Update was rewarded. In my obsessive desire to get to #1, I managed to secure an interview with The Authors Show http://www.wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow.htmlThe show has a reach of 800,000 and repeat podcasts can increase that number. In the indie book world, this is like headlining Madison Square Garden. If it were not for my quixotic quest for #1, I doubt I’d have had the nerve to try. I made many connections, was the subject of a Q and A on Goodreads and did some other nice stuff. The 5 star review for Furikake is
genuine and thoughtful. It was not paid for.http://www.amazon.com/Furikake-ebook/dp/B002PAQAXE(LATER put in examples of “funny” #1 tweets and links. Explain the sensation of the “rising tide” when reports about long dead twitter accounts suddenly began appearing. Other examples of the internet “tide rising”:suddenly I was in a new place. LinkedIn profile seen by more people, greater variety of friend requests. StevenEva resurrected Analogy between internet/ ocean?)I should also explain that the drive for #1 is much more about efficiency than ego. I have worked in promotion(Fox TV, Cartoon Network, Fuji TV) and sales. There are onlyso many hours in the day and whether you are trying to sell something that costs 99cents or $9.99, the manhours involved are the same. And , Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are important, but my goal is the mass media. Which do you think has more appeal to a TV news producer: Furikake is a wildly varied collection of short stories, some romantic, some funny; all are well-written and thoughtful. Furikake, the Japanese rice seasoning, is a common theme throughout. OR Furikake: unknown author + bad cover +no reviews =Amazon #1! The second piece of text stands a much better chance of getting attention than the first. END FOR NOW...........................the rest are unedited notes. I am not saying the above is finished...it is, how do you say, whatever it is that comes before a first draft. Need to mention this: http://redpenofdoom.com/2011/11/20/why-blog-hits-dont-really-matter/ For those of you catching up: (1)The Twitter, it is NOT for selling books , (2) Forget the Twitter: free ink and airtime are your MOST DANGEROUS WEAPONS and (3)Using free ink and airtime to BUST THROUGH . 30 OCTOBER 9
I am posting this before the power goes out for the SIXTH time. I will keep writing/rewriting and post more as soon as I can. Self-publishing creates the obvious opportunity for a writer to connect with a paying audience.The many challenges of self-publishing, however, are not obvious. With this writing exercise, Iwill do three things:- Comment on my self-publishing/marketing experiences from 8/6 to 10/10, 2012- provide links as references, information and inspirations- imagine possibilities Although l often use the prepositions "I" and "my", I think of myself, to a certain degree, as arepresentative of many beginning self-publishers. I hope that other writers can share thebenefits of what I've learned and can avoid repeating my mistakes. I welcome
questions.This following text is raw, something between a diary entry, a blog post and the firstdraft/outline for a chapter. What follows is incomplete. BREAKS is ongoing and will evolve intosomething less theoretical, something more for a general audience. Finally, the photos onFacebook add another dimension.Thanks for stopping by. I hope this entry is helpful and stimulating, even in its state of incompletion.Stephen Black I SB HistoryI have lived in New York, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore. I am an artist, a writer, aproducer, a videomaker and a photographer. The following activities are from the past twoyears, but they represent what I do. For a more detailed history, visit these two sites: http://www.obamajalanjalan.com/stephen-black/press-publicityannouncementshttp://www.scribd.com/doc/79168211/Stephen-Black-2012-resume 2 0 1 2 O b a m a S e a r c h W o r d s /Unglue campaign. OSW’s bid to become the first American-themedunglued book in the world. https://unglue.it/work/88498/begins October 15 th 3how:TheRiverwalkSession , coproducer of the groups first album:www.3how.info Depth : appropriated underwater imageshttp://domainartgallery.com/artist/stephen-black I ’ m a K w a y , Y o u ” r e a K w a y , Conceptual art project involving the Tiong Bahru community and kway, a Chinese pastry. Using 3D techniques, a mold based on SB’s thumb was created] The internet computer is not letting me copy and paste in a logical way…will replace this within 24 hours…