Home > Standards Blog

Advanced Search 

Welcome to ConsortiumInfo.org
Monday, September 22 2014 @ 05:21 PM CDT

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

The Lafayette Deception, Chap. 7: What a Difference a Diet Makes

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.

Kennedy - Nixon Debate, 1960.  Courtesy Wikimedia CommonsFrank was sitting inside his camper, a bowl of diet popcorn at one elbow and a small dumbbell at the other. The elbow next to the popcorn was getting most of the exercise. On the opposite side of the camper hung a large flat screen TV, and on that set the latest, pre-primary season Republican debate was about to begin.
Like many other Americans, and indeed like a surprising number of satellite viewers around the world, Frank was curious to see how Lamar Wellhead, the latest entrant to the Republican field, would fare in his first performance under the scrutiny of the public and the national media. As usual, he had rocketed to the top of the polls within days of announcing his candidacy, but few besides Frank knew that this was almost certainly a manufactured illusion.
Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Adventures in Self-Publishing, Chapter 6: Profiling, Researching, Interviewing and Selecting a POD

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.

Pubic domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Livius_ed._Heusinger_vol._2_%281821%29,_marbled_paper_on_cover.jpgFor the last several weeks we've looked at how the various types of PODs differ in their business models and in the services they offer.  We've also looked at the importance of ensuring that your goals align as well as possible with the POD you eventually select.  This week we'll use that background to construct a decision tree and question list you can use to find the POD that's best for you.  I'll also suggest (from painful experience) how you can avoid some of the problems I've encountered.

As you'll recall, some of the ways in which PODs differ include price, personal service level, range of services offered, ability to place your book into all channels, and ability to make hard copies as well as eBook copies available.  If all of those capabilities are of importance you, then you'll want to look at one set of PODs.  But if not all of them matter to you, then you may decide to limit your review to a far smaller set of candidates.  Given how many businesses have jumped into this pool, anything you can do to narrow the field will be a time saver.

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

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?   

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

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.

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

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. 

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

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.

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

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.

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

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:

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

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.

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

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.