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Tuesday, September 02 2014 @ 07:03 AM CDT

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The Lafayette Deception: Chapter 6: Me Client, You Server

Lafayette Deception (a Cyber Thriller)

Welcome to the sequel to The Alexandria Project, a cybersecurity thriller.  If you'd like to read the book this series is based on, you can read the first three chapters for free here (just click on the cover of the book). You can read a new chapter of The Lafayette Deception here every Monday.

Frank was only a couple hundred yards from his camper, but already he was gasping for breath.  He wanted to blame the 8,000 foot elevation of the North Rim, but suspected he couldn’t pin all of his distress on the thin air.  After all, he hadn’t engaged in anything more strenuous than a fast walk since high school.  And he hadn’t been in great shape then, either.

He lurched to a halt and leaned forward, hands on his knees, gulping in the cold, clear air of the morning.  Surely this was hopeless.  What had he been thinking?   

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Adventures in Self-Publishing, Chap. 5 Understanding POD Business Models (Part II)

Adventures in Self-Publishing

This series highlights aspects of my experience self-publishing The Alexandria Project.   If you'd like to read the book this series is based on, you can read the first three chapters for free here (just click on the cover of the book). And you can read a new chapter of its sequel every Monday here.

Photo courtesy of "Visitor7" at Wikimedia Commons.  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 UnportedLast week we looked at how Amazon, Apple and Google make money by working with self-published authors, what they do for them in return, and what that means for you.  As promised, this week we'll take the same kind of look at the myriad POD outfits that provide a wider range of services.

As you'll recall, Amazon, Apple and Google each have quite different motivations, based on the significant differences in their overall business models.  One result of the fact that self-published authors generate a very small part of the revenues of each of these companies is that each offers very few services in return, and most or all of those services are automated.  Another is that none of the three companies has an incentive to make it easy for a self-published author to sell through any of its competitor.  Indeed, quite the opposite.

In contrast, for most POD publishers, helping you get your book to market in every logical distribution channel is their only business.  So that should be good, right?  Well, yes and no.  Here's why.

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The Lafayette Deception, Chap. 5: Report of the Marvinites

Lafayette Deception (a Cyber Thriller)

Welcome to the sequel to The Alexandria Project, a cybersecurity thriller.  If you'd like to read the book this series is based on, you can read the first three chapters for free here (just click on the cover of the book). You can read a new chapter of The Lafayette Deception here every Monday.

Courtesy of Maurizio Vicentini & Massimo Grosso.  This Wikimedia Commons file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licenseFrank gazed out over the immeasurably vast canyon that stretched for miles before him, bedazzled by the silent, bright sunlight of an early autumn morning.  The enormity of the view was so overwhelming that the infinitely crenellated details of mesa and river, cliff and spire seemed dimensionless and unreal.   

It was unusual for him to sit so placidly for so long.  Usually he would notice an internal flaw of logic in some random thought passing through his mind, setting his brain in motion until the underlying, disharmonious  concept had been identified, the random thought properly rephrased, and the result mentally stamped as ‘resolved.’ Or perhaps some inscrutable object or action would catch his eye, presenting a puzzle that needed solving before his mind would permit his eye to move on.

But not today. 

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Adventures in Self-Publishing, Chapter 4: Understanding POD Business Models

Adventures in Self-Publishing

This series highlights aspects of my experience self-publishing The Alexandria Project.   If you'd like to read the book this series is based on, you can read the first three chapters for free here (just click on the cover of the book). And you can read a new chapter of its sequel every Monday here.

Albion Press, woodcut by George Baxter, Courtesy of Wikimedia CommonsLast week I identified the different types of Print on Demand (POD) publishers that are active in the market today and provided tips on how to decide which type would best meet your needs.  Before we go on to talk about how to select a specific publisher, it's worth pausing to look more deeply into what each type of POD publisher actually does, and how it makes its money. 

Why?  Because knowing what a POD publisher wants to get out of your partnership makes it easier for you to pick one where your interests and theirs will most closely align.  That's what you want, because if the POD publisher wins, then you will as well.

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The Lafayette Deception, Chap. 4: Got a Match?

Lafayette Deception (a Cyber Thriller)

Welcome to the sequel to The Alexandria Project, a cybersecurity thriller.  If you'd like to read the book this series is based on, you can read the first three chapters for free here (just click on the cover of the book). You can read a new chapter of The Lafayette Deception here every Monday. 

It was early afternoon when Frank and Josette rolled slowly into Gerlach, following a 1960’s era VW minibus.  Behind them was something that resembled a cross between a Viking long ship and a Mississippi river boat.  (“Ah! An Art Car!” Josette exclaimed.)

They hadn’t expected to find much in Gerlach, since Josette had already looked the hamlet up on the Internet.  A typical description read:

Welcome to Gerlach, Nevada (pop. 450). In this thriving metropolis you will find one elementary school, one high school, one post office, one propane distributor, one gas station, one motel, 3 bars and that's it.

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Adventures in Self-Publishing, Chapter 3: Selecting a Print on Demand Publisher (Part I)

Adventures in Self-Publishing

This series highlights aspects of my experience self-publishing The Alexandria Project.   If you'd like to read the book this series is based on, you can read the first three chapters for free here (just click on the cover of the book). And you can read a new chapter of its sequel every Monday here.

Like just about every other step in self-publishing a book, researching and selecting a print on demand (POD) publisher can be a time-consuming and even bewildering experience.  The problem arises not from a lack of choices, but just the opposite.  Today, there are scores of publishers to choose from, with significant differences among them in business model, cost, speed, quality and reputation.  The challenge is therefore to figure out which one is just right you.

The first step in that process is to understand the high-level differences between the alternatives available.  At the highest level of categorization, there are currently three models from which to choose:

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The Lafayette Deception, Chap. 3: Frank’s Long Day’s Journey into Night

Lafayette Deception (a Cyber Thriller)

Welcome to the sequel to The Alexandria Project, a cybersecurity thriller.  If you'd like to read the book this series is based on, you can read the first three chapters for free here (just click on the cover of the book). You can read a new chapter of The Lafayette Deception here every Monday.

Thanks to Leland at Wikimedia Commons.  Image under GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2The sun was once again shining the next morning as Frank drove west on Route 50. The harsh glare made it as hard to see as he was finding it difficult to think. Just the day before, he had been sitting in his clearing swearing at his laptop, and now he was off on what could prove to be two wild goose chases – the first, to find someone a government agency that didn’t exist was convinced was hacking into the pollsters’ computer systems, and the second to chauffeur a young French woman to a countercultural festival for reasons he was trying hard to pretend he did not understand.

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Adventures in Self-Publishing, Chapter 2: eBook or Dead Tree?

Adventures in Self-Publishing

This series highlights aspects of my experience self-publishing The Alexandria Project.   If you'd like to read the book this series is based on, you can read the first three chapters for free here (just click on the cover of the book). And you can read a new chapter of its sequel every Monday here. You can read a new chapter of its sequel every Monday here. 

  Medieval copy of a book by Gautier de Metz, "L'image du Monde" - Wikimedia, public domainIf you are of a certain age (and I, most regrettably, am definitely of a certain age), a book means a certain thing, and that is this: something that you can hold in your hands, keep on a shelf, pack up and carry in a box in move after move (after move, after move…), and generally treasure for life, if it’s a good read or a valued resource. Kept indoors and absent a natural disaster, it can – and does – live on for centuries, always there, patiently waiting to be discovered anew, generation after generation.
 
It should therefore come as no surprise that the book I wrote last year, The Alexandria Project, will soon be available in tangible as well as eBook form. This is not to say that this makes a terrific amount of sense, viewed from any rational economic point of view. After all, it’s not likely that any bookstore will ever stock it. Moreover, because of costs of production, it’s also not likely that many people will buy it in soft cover, as compared to electronic form, let alone hardcover.
 
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The Lafayette Deception, Chap. 2: Shelter From the Storm

Lafayette Deception (a Cyber Thriller)

Welcome to the sequel to The Alexandria Project, a cybersecurity thriller.  If you'd like to read the book this series is based on, you can read the first three chapters for free here (just click on the cover of the book). You can read a new chapter of The Lafayette Deception here every Monday.

It was only an hour after the helicopter’s departure, but Frank was on the move, driving carefully down the jeep track through the wind-whipped, driving rain, periodically blinded by vivid flashes of lightning. This wasn’t the usual afternoon thunderstorm, where few raindrops survived the long descent through dry desert air without evaporating before reaching the ground. This was the product of a full monsoon front sweeping up from the Gulf, the kind the ranchers relied on to refill their stockponds and green up the grass again for their cattle.

Now that he had signed on with whoever it was that he would be reporting to, Frank was anxious to get started, and he wanted a change of scenery to go along with the new objective. It hadn’t taken long to pack up. But by then the storm was breaking over him.

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The Lafayette Deception, Chap. 1: Hi Ho, Adversego!

Lafayette Deception (a Cyber Thriller)

Welcome to the sequel to The Alexandria Project, a cybersecurity thriller.  If you'd like to read the book this series is based on, you can read the first three chapters for free here (just click on the cover of the book). You can read a new chapter of The Lafayette Deception here every Monday.

Charlie Neibergall, courtesy of WikiCommons - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.A wide, Nevada valley stretched before Frank Adversego - stretched as far as he could see.  Something about this particular vista, though, pricked at his memory.  Something about the way the mountains converged in the hazy perspective of the distance. 

Ah - that was it.  This was the road he’d traveled in ghostly moonlight a year ago, wrestling with various demons, both past and present.  Happily, they had now all been laid to rest.  And who knew what might lie ahead?