Friday, January 29, 2010

...iPad and ebooks.

...iPad has arrived. Apple’s new entry may change the industry. They will have there own bookstore called iBook (what else?). They’ll compete with Amazon and Barnes and Nobel for ebook sales. Apple’s books may be a smidgen more expensive. I’m wondering if they think they can ace Amazon by cutting a deal with big publishers who want the ebook pricing to be higher than $9.99 (remember, big publishers said they would hold ebook intro’s for 90 days after new hardcover releases). All Apple needs is a 30 day advantage on Amazon to sell these new releases for more than the price you’ll pay at big ‘A’. It’s a coup between Apple and big publishers. They want you to pay a higher price.
To no avail I believe. The market (book pricing) is trending down. When you can get reads now from zero dollars to maybe $3.99, where you gon’na buy? More dedicated ereaders (devices specifically made for reading ebooks), from $99 to $249 will capture the attention of many book readers and some gadget freak’s, so more ebooks will be sold.
  The Apple iPad will certainly make incredible inroads. It does have a lot of accoutrements. (see video) But dedicated ereaders and some smartbooks at the $500 price point and below will continue to steal significant share.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

...ebooks and publishing

...the book industry is changing. Amazon will now offer 70% royalty to authors on ebooks. The caveat: you must offer your ebook for sale between $2.99 and $9.99. The math results are: a profit for the author of $6.99 on the more expensive ebook or $2.09 profit for the ebook selling for $2.99. Do you know what an author normally makes on a ‘printed’ paperback selling for $15.00?, maybe $1.50 or 10% if their lucky. Publishers previous to this were wholesaling to Amazon, like any bookstore, this same paperback for approximately $11.50, whereby Amazon lost money on each ebook they offered for $9.99 retail. No more! Times have changed. As more authors go direct with Amazon circumventing the publisher, either the publishers marketing model will change or they'll perish. Good I say, they are leeches and deserve what’s now happening. See complete story here. Amazon Fires Missile

  Who sells ebooks besides Amazon? Hardly anyone! All the others account for 10% share and Amazon captures the remaining 90% of all ebook sales. For you marketing neophytes; a 90 share not only drives the industry, they dictate terms. See previous discussion (above) of book publisher’s quandary. The math: through 10/09, industry ebooks sales totaled $130M approx., and the big ‘A’ accounted for $115M of the total. Get the picture?
  When you’re that big in the market you get tough, you dictate! However, my prediction is that Amazon will forego the DRM chip that prevents other devices from downloading from their store measuring over 300K ebooks. They know it’s better to open up formatting to allow readers who’ve bought other devices to shop Amazon. So smart on many levels. See complete story here. A 90 Share
  Check out this link about authors (the King, OMG) cutting their own deals ‘direct’ with ebook publishers, not the traditional publishers like Harper-Collins, Simon & Schuster, et. al., but Smashwords and Amazon. Times, they are changing. This can only bring reading back into vogue and perhaps reach some populations who need a break on price.
  Thanks for following Character Happens!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

...a listing of virtues

...Winston Churchill no less. He was quoted as saying: "In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill."
  It is this word; magnanimity that focuses this post. A virtue defining individual ‘greatness in mind and heart, absent pettiness, courageousness and acts for noble purposes’
Aristotle described it as a ‘crowning’ virtue. Are you magnanimous?
  A listing of 112 virtues is now posted on my website. Never knew there were so many? Actually there may be some missing, you decide. Some have asked why the books’ chosen five of: Honesty, Integrity, Courage, Compassion and Humility. Aside from my personal choice, I believe they represent the list well and do more bidding for the general population of virtues. And, historically they have caused the greatest confusion.
  ‘Character Happens!’ tells five simple stories. The books value is in rewarding the reader...aiding, perhaps reminding them of decisions better made, of choosing in a selfless way.
  Act in a magnanimous manner. Possess this virtue. Ask others to do so as well. Do not look for glory or material, as this virtue will be your assured legacy.
BTW...editing/polishing/fixing continues with the book. It is hoped for a great audience prior to its introduction, please inform your family and friends of Character Happens!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

...the Humility virtue...

  “ don’t understand!” 
  “Me not understand? You’re the one who doesn’t understand. Moreover, you’ve not thought this thing’re pissing away a big opportunity,” I barked with an expression of condescension and scowl to complete the emphasis. I loved to scold as I was quite practiced at it. What affect would my scolding have—would he heed my advice or dismiss it out of hand? Nevertheless, he, along with his brainless thought process would get my full treatment.
  It seems the newest member to our golf group, Rick Wyatt, has lost his mind at the tender age of seventeen. He decided to forego an upcoming big regional golf tournament, an event he’s favored to win, to attend a ceremonial recognition function for his older brother...the druggie.

Humility and The Rick Wyatt Story
  Spencer, like so many of us who are older...are opinionated and vociferous, a combination that spells trouble on many levels. Never mind he has a little education...making him all the more dangerous. His day will come.
  Perhaps the ‘Humility Dilemma’ which capstones the book Character Happens!, final chapter may very well stir peoples conscious into action. Action being the ‘thinking’ variety. The Humility virtue is greatly fleeting in most of us and non-existent in many. The only person who need measure its personal strength is you, only you. Begin now.
  There will be situations in your life, like Spencer’s, when others will teach you how to ‘do better’ by your actions. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll have the insight to understand.
  BTW...have you wondered about the significance of the book’s logo, the Angel? Marketing dictates an embedding of this icon to readily identify the book. It’s imperative this be done, everything today is logoed, even people. Interestingly, from the books beginning in ’04, the logo has become quite comforting to me. Maybe you as well.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

...ereaders, netbooks, smartbooks, wha!?

...ereaders, netbooks, smartbooks, wha!?

Enter upcoming CES (Consumer Electronic Show), to begin Thursday 1/7/10. Apple and Google are absent as usual. However is reporting on what they see. Freescale introduced a tablet, a 7 inch with camera, Bluetooth and optional keyboard dock. Wuah!

These new devices go beyond the netbook (just a smaller laptop), into what’s now known as a ‘smartbook’. They combine all features of the latest in netbooks with features of an iphone or blackberry (or smartphone, if you will).
Here’s another unit, the ‘IdeaPad U1’ by Lenovo (who bought the old IBM line). An 11.6 inch tablet with dockable keyboard. It has 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, other accoutrements for around $1000.
Here’s a beauty, again from Lenovo, called the ‘Skylight’ featuring an ultra-slim profile... "Skylight combines the long battery life and connectivity of a smartphone with the full web browsing and multimedia experience of a netbook...” This unit below is around $500.

What’s all the big deal you ask? Ebooks my friend, ebooks! There’ll be more readin’ going on in them thar’ hills my friend, more readin’! If you are not connected with some ebook etailer like Amazon with Kindle for PC’ then you’re falling behind. Don’t want to do that, do you?


Friday, January 1, 2010

...holy cow! (shameless marketing)

...I’m such a pathetic marketer! Again...remembering these contemptible words (coming from a publisher no less), ‘non-fiction works sell better as a result of marketing the book as opposed to what’s between the covers.’ How is that suppose to make an author feel about his writing abilities, his prowess with the pen, his enviable arrangement of words to paper? How? I’ll tell you how...enlightened!
  Soon the book will be finished...the editing, the formatting and all necessary structure contained within and including, covers. The process is slow and meticulous, which is needed, however; it’s particularly slow when the author is racked with ‘book ending complex’ plus still stuffed from Christmas and New Years Eve dinner. Ugh!
  Question is... ‘Will you respect me in the morning?’ Yes, yes, yes...I’m a marketing guy, no two ways about it. Is the books storyline entertaining? Yes it is. Does the book convey an important message? Yes it does. Will you be a better person to have read it? Maybe! Why? It’s because some people have chosen malevolence as their personality and life-quest...and nothing I can say will change it.
  Caveat emptor...not really. For those who are ‘good’ by nature (or family, or learning, or proclamation, or personal decision, or faith, or readings, etc.), then Character Happens!, will indeed NOT surprise you. It’s you others (you know who you are); the stories might just have an impact. Should it help you...great, we all benefit from you learning to ‘do better.’ If not...then the rest of us will be more aware of your kind.
  BTW...did I mention that I’ve updated the book’s site with a ‘Gear’ page? The shirt (click on it), blog-top right, will take you to the page on the site. Someone said if I had 1000 fans it would be helpful to my message. That’s all...just a 1000! I’m eight and counting...


What are "The 5 Most Important--But Fleeting Virtures?"

Honesty, Integrity, Courage, Compassion and Humility.

.....this is a portion of the "introduction" or prologue to the book (not yet completed) with your comments.

The books title; Character Happens! The 5 Most Important—But Fleeting Virtues, describes my belief these five important virtues (Honesty, Integrity, Courage, Compassion, Humility), are sporadic in use and diminishing in personal character. The books message is in recognizing this “fleeting” nature and from that reinstitute a more virtuous choice in your decision making.

The paradox of the two words; Character Happens, with another two words: “S### Happens”* (decorum prevents use of actual word) is not without merit. My belief is that observed human character is much like, well...s###! This kind of observation can be disconcerting at times. So confusing that society can hardly make the distinction between the two words and there obvious different meaning. Individuals make virtuous and un-virtuous choices/decisions for innumerable reasons, both consciously and without deep thought. If we postulate; can an individual make a 'more' virtuous choice in life’s decisions should they want to do so? Answer—perhaps. How does one 'reinstitute a more virtuous choice' into their personal makeup...making the response more automatic? Answer—practice. With a concerted effort at 'practice' I individual might just develop a more 'repetitive' decent response...much like grooving a golf swing.

I love golf. I think the game is like no other. The five stories that make up Character Happens! have a golf storyline. Some readers may not be able to relate to the game of golf or its vernacular or for that matter, why people...a large number of golf. Too bad! You should try it sometime...because it’s more than a can be a life experience. The golf course environment alone is enough to put most people at ease.

Golf is a game played by the individual as opposed to being a member of a team, like baseball. Baseball has umpires who enforce the rules of the game. In golf you are the umpire. Because of this unique method of enforcing the games rules—golf is a “hotbed” for testing the players character...their honesty, their integrity, their courage and sometimes their compassion. And, because all golfers started from knowing nothing about the game; like how to swing, how to putt or chip... they also learn of humility. Now doesn’t it make perfect sense that a book about character would juxtaposition a storyline with the game of golf? Anyway, I thought so.

There are five stories, one for each virtue. The book has six main characters that make up a group of what I call 'golf buddies.' The storyteller, Spencer Madison, in reality is me. Well, somewhat like I have a better golf game than Spencer. The five others vary in age, gender, education, religious beliefs and definitely personality. The 'binder' of the group or what brings them together; golf.

The reader will hopefully discover in their own lives a similar incident with one of the story’s in Character Happens! If not, that’s okay the stories are earnest while humorous, carefree yet compelling. And, I believe each chapter or story makes a 'point' in this wonderful, wacky, dynamic world in the 21st century.

The stories are fictional as are the characters. Names, personalities or incidents are fictional and in no way resemble or refer to a living person. I’ve used paraphrasing of many authors’ ideas and concepts and have referenced them in a special section. Because of these references and the specific genre where the book is to be found, it’s categorized as a non-fictional, personal development book.

for the language but this word best describes the thought I want to convey. In Forrest Gump the term was used to describe situations that happen to all people for no particular reason.