On Life and Love

Weekly linkage

Everything’s a day behind this week. I wanted these out yesterday. Anyway, here’s this week’s internet cruising:

  • The Little Easy – OMG, can I move into this house, please? Please?
  • White Bean and Onion Confit (recipe) – I'm totally going to try this. Healthy and yummy-sounding (although that's quite a bit of oil).
  • Graphic Designer’s Journey: Freelance to Freedom (Infographic) – Apparently I'm on a freelance kick today. This totally resonated with me. As much as I like people, client work can be rough. It's hard to maintain the cheerful and patient "service industry" outlook 40 hours a week. It feels much more satisfying to do your own work or select volunteer work, especially if you think your work has redeeming social value.
  • Aggressive Expansion: 8 Tips for Finding More Clients Now – I saw a lot of these techniques (sans the job boards) used to good effect at Skookum. Were I to go into freelancing, this would be an awesome guide. It's good anyway.
  • Winning a User Experience Debate – "To bring UX to the heart of the business, you must persuade colleagues to trust your opinion and expertise. Handling critique well is an important way to earn trust. It’s easy to undo your hard work with rash disagreement. Never dismiss stakeholder feedback out of hand."
  • YouTube – Speed Up Your Iphone backup with Itunes – Easily done. I was having 1+ hour syncs. Here I was (apparently) trying to be nice, sending in diagnostic info.
  • Reader Story: How I Purchased Private Health Insurance – I've thought about going independent myself with health insurance, just so that I won't be shackled by a job. That said, some companies offer better benefits than I'd want to pay for out of pocket, especially since I do need more than just preventative care on a regular basis… This article explores a couple of good options.
  • 22 seconds of joy – A confused puppy.
  • POD is Bad Business – An interesting perspective on publish-on-demand. It hinges on writers wanting their books on bookstore shelves. I'm not sure the argument holds as much water if you care more about online sales through Amazon (etc.).
  • Buttersafe – The Portrait – I almost peed my pants on this one.


  • Bill Housley

    Thanks for the link…and you are correct.

    The key is where the spearhead is for putting the book in front of people.

    If you are like me, attractive, good at meet and greet, living in an area where B&N has nearly conquered the local market so that you cannot afford to ignore them, with cover art that is designed to grab the browsing shopper, then POD will kill a lot of potential sales. My marketing plan does not rely solely on bookstores, but the above criteria apply to me so being listed as POD is a very serious handicap. If my book takes off through online sales then maybe I won’t care so much.

    How will people notice you among the thousands? How many of your potential customers would have picked up your book on a “browse” through a B&N or online through Amazon? With online sales, as with any web presence, you are a much smaller fish and have to do more to bring folks to you. There are also, potentially, a lot more books that are inferior to yours because the looser vetting process that made it so much easier for you to get published worked the same way for a lot of bad books and you are numbered among them. You have to have a way to rise above them. In a bookstore, during a signing, it is only you and you can shake a hand, make a friend, and sell a book. If you do well, the store keeps your book on the shelves. If it sells well in that chain store you might get into other chain stores where you will never travel.

    But if its POD, then local B&N stores (you may actually like you and your book) are forbidden to purchase it for any purpose.

    • Melissa

      If I may ask, what area do you live in? I’m not sure what the dominant book chain is here in Charlotte, NC, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Books-A-Million and Borders have similar restrictions on purchasing POD books. I should see what the market is like here in Charlotte.

      I agree with you about the difficulty of getting noticed in an online-only market, unless you’re targeting a specific crowd. For instance, if you’re a webcomic artist selling a book of your comics, your primary source of sales will be your site visitors, rather than in-store browsers. For a novel or non-fiction, though, I think you’re on point.

      • Bill Housley

        I live in the Inter-mountain area (UT, WY, ID). There is one Borders in SLC, but they are known to be openly unfreindly to new authors, more than B&N, and I have heard that the company is in trouble. I think I’m listed online with Books-A-Million, but there are none of those stores in my working area that I have found so far.

        My book is Science Fiction.

        I have a signing four hours from now at the Hastings in Rock Springs Wyoming. Their coorporate office was much easier to work with than B&N, but it almost didn’t happen even though the store wants to do the signing. B&N does not do consignment, so that was never an option with them. I have a “Local Author Showcase” signing at King’s English Bookshop an Indie in SLC on Tuesday, also on 60/40 cosignment. However, next week I am at Starry Night Booskstore, an indie in Tooele Utah, who bought their books.

        I’ll be selling at scifi and gaming conventions, but will have to carry my own books to those as well.

        • Melissa

          Never let it be said that once you’ve gotten a book to the publishing point, your job is done. 🙂 That’s just the beginning of marketing time, it seems. Of course, my understanding is that even if you publish traditionally, you’re pushed pretty hard to market the book.

          Best of success with the signing today!

  • Ryan Mitchell

    Thanks for the link 🙂 It is an awesome house! Now if we could just start building more houses like this that have character!

    Ryan Mitchell
    Tiny Houses, Tiny Living