Posts Tagged: books

Go The F*ck to Number One

I’ve long been a fan of artists, publishers and film studios using piracy and peer to peer to turn a profit, instead of fighting the tide. I talked about it for film here, and for music here and here.

Is it a simple solution? No. Does it have pitfalls (mainly, are their folks out there who won’t ever buy your stuff legally)? Yes. Can it work? Yes. There have been several case studies in music (mostly the “pay what you want” model, as espoused by bands like Radiohead and concept companies like 1band1brand, in which the “what you want” part is occasionally zero but the overpayers/true fans often make up for that) and a couple in film (mostly movies obtaining small release deals from the peer to peer buzz they generated).

Now we have a solid book publishing case study in the new children’s book “Go the F*ck to Sleep“. Instead of rewriting the Fast Company article that gives more detail on the story, I’ll point you to it and let you form your own opinion.

If the creative industries who are feeling their old business models crumble under their feet are seeking a one to one replacement for the old business model, they aren’t going to find it. We are now in a fluid creative content economy based in a la carte sales and peer to peer recommendations, dependent largely on reach.

Am I encouraging people to pirate? Heck no. I’m a big believer in paying the artist who makes what I like. Am I encouraging people who have things to sell to think creatively about price structure and sales tactics and be fluid in getting the message out? I am indeed.

I’d love it if you shared your stories about pirating helping (or hurting) your content and business model in the comments. Only by examining both sides of the peer to peer coin can we develop new ways for people to support themselves with their art.

Reaching Out To NH Book Curators

This is a bit of a personal post for this blog, but I thought my network may have access to a better solution than I could find on my own. I am a book lover. A serious book lover. I have hundreds and hundreds of books. I adore the written word. I will most likely never be a Kindle user or PDF edition reader unless paper books stop being made, in spite of the number of ebooks I’ve actually written. There is just something about the heft of the book in my hands, the smell of the pages, the feeling of really getting a chance to be offline for a bit when I’m online so much for work.

I always have a space issue. To that end I tend to donate a lot of books that are not “keepers”, like grocery store paperbacks picked up for summer reading and the like or literary works I’ve re-read so often I have them memorized, to senior centers and libraries. I also store a few of my books to leave more room on bookshelves, though I have so many I could probably insulate a house with walls of bookshelves if I wanted to.  This brings me to my dilemma.

I had stored about 6 fruit boxes full of books in a dry attic. They got moved without my knowledge to a leaky area, where they stayed for about four years.  I found out and got, well, “upset” is really too mild a word, but we’ll go with that for now. I had the person who did that move them to a dry spot – and the person chose the porch. This is where they have been all summer. All rainy, rainy summer. They’ve dried out a bit but I never got to lay them out in the sun like I wanted to in order to fully rid them of any mold and mildew since this state got about 4 years worth of rain in 4 months.

With a fairly severe allergy to mold and mildew, my ability to bring them in and manually fix them is curtailed (this would also risk spreading the mold to the books already indoors that are fine). Is there any book lover, book curator, librarian or library out there willing to help me dry these out and curb the mildew? In exchange, some will be donated to you – I can’t really examine the boxes to find out which ones yet due to allergies and asthma. It would break my heart to toss them all if I can’t find a solution, though.

If you can help, do let me know. As an aside, it is getting to be time for the annual Fall book purge for donation anyway, so if you want your organization to be on the list of the books I’ll be donating from the house that aren’t mildewy, and from these boxes if I can save them, comment and let me know.

A Little Light Reading

What’s on your nightstand or in your beach tote this summer? My summer reading looks like this:

Currently finished:

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (2nd reading)

Groundswell by Christine Li and Josh Bernoff (2nd reading)

The Moral Animal by Robert Wright (TERRIBLE book, btw)

On the nightstand:

Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Planet Google by Randall Stross

Spent: Sex, Evolution and Consumer Behavior by Geoffrey Miller

Rules of Thumb by Alan Webber

The Power of a Positive No by William Ury

On Order:

The Fourth Turning by William Strauss

The Extreme Future by James Canton

The Transparent Society by David Brin
Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore; Regis McKenna
The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder

What is on your must read list? I have a few projects coming up that require researching and studying a variety of theories and viewpoints, and I’m actively seeking books I have not considered yet. Do you have a seminal work not listed here you rely on for future theory or psychology/sociology of technology? Does one of these works speak to you? What resonates with you?

note: links in this blog may be Amazon affiliate links

Give A Little Get A Little With BookMooch

Are you a bookworm? Does your budget for dead trees and new ideas exceed your means? Do you have a jones for reading that rivals the national debt in expense? BookMooch is here to help.

Other services offer related services. Most notable of these is BookCrossing, combing a love of books, a need for books on a budget and scavenger hunts in one web application. What do you do if you don’t have the time or inclination to go digging around a random local park bench for a book someone left there in a baggie a week earlier? Sign up for BookMooch.

BookMooch is the individual, personalized version of exchanging books online with strangers. Sure, BookMooch also offers a certain social aspect key to any Web 2.0 application these days. You can’t have a Web 2.0 presence these days without friendships.

On BookMooch, you can make friends with other people who share your taste in books. You can join their forums and discuss your recent reads with other users. You can even find BookMooch on the ever popular game SecondLife, proving you can be literary andtechnical at the same time.

BookMooch works on a point system. You accumulate points by sharing your finished books with the world. Each time you list as book as available for mooching, you gain a tenth of a point. Once you accumulate a full point, you can mooch a book off of someone else. Each time you actually mail a book to someone, you also gain a point.

The only real cost you incur as a member of BookMooch is postage. You can restrict where your books are available for mooching to keep the cost of your postage down. When I set up my account with BookMooch I restricted myself to the United States, knowing I had limited funds for mailing books to people.

BookMooch also works with several charities. One example of BookMooch working with charities allows you to give your points to local childrens’ hospitals so a sick child can have a free book. You can also give your points (which translates into free books) to local libraries and other charitable causes.

BookMooch makes money by having affiliate links from Amazon on their site. Each time you click on one of the book descriptions, you are taken to an Amazon page. If you make a purchase, BookMooch gets a small percentage of your purchase.

The BookMooch interface provides a smooth way to search for and obtain books with no fuss, no muss. It also helps you reduce clutter by getting rid fo the books piling up on the floor by your bed before they take over your space, not to mention offering you a chance to do some good for charity if your heart desires. Plus it does all of this without breaking your wallet.

My original version found at Profy site.