Jan 16

New Instagram “Bookstagram” Account: MarkedBooks

I’ve been on Instragram for quite a while now, but never really got that into it until about six months ago when I finally started to understand the way it and the community works. Since then I’ve been a fairly active instagrammer (even if I only have about 150 followers) – but recently I was inspired to start a separate, themed, Instagram account.

With all the beautiful photos I see people post of their books, I knew the world didn’t need another cover art Instagram / bookstagram account. So I didn’t go there. I did, however, find inspiration elsewhere¬†– in the notes and markups I’ve found in the used books I’ve been reading.

It’s pretty fascinating, in my opinion, to see what sections people mark or underline when they are reading a book. Not to mention all the interesting notes people actually write in the margins. My new Instagram account (markedbooks)¬†is entirely focused on sharing these finds. I’ve been going through piles of used books and snapping photos of what marks others have made in them, and sharing them now online via Instagram.

Anyway, feel free to follow. I’d obviously love more followers – but I also think it’s just an interesting project. It’s like peering through little windows into other peoples’ brains. I like that.

Jan 16


As I posted the other day, I’m currently in the process of querying agents to look for representation on my new book. I’ve only queried a few agents so far, as I’m trying to be pretty selective and only reach out to people who look like good potential fits – but I did receive my first rejection today!

In all honesty, it was nice to receive the rejection. At least now I know that my queries are going out, and I’ve gotten the first rejection out of the way. It’s pretty likely there will be many more, especially given that according to articles I’ve read online you should expect to query as many as 100 agents before you should even consider giving up.

So, it’s all about finding the right match. It’s a long slog, and I’m only 5% of the way to “quitting time” – but I strongly believe it will be worth it in the end.


Jan 16

Find an Agent or Self-Publish?

If you’re familiar with either of my two previous books, The Trouble With Being God or Starving the Artist, you probably know that I started out as a self-published author. This time around, however, I’m looking to go the more traditional route. As such, I’ve started querying a few agents to get the ball rolling.

Of course, a lot of people are wondering why I’m not self-publishing this time around. My reasoning is pretty clear: I want to put out a better end product. There’s only so far I can get with finding beta readers and hiring editors and working and reworking my book. And in the end, even if I end up with a fantastic final self-published book, distribution and marketing are still all up to me as well.

Yes, I know that publishers expect you to also promote yourself, and that is fine with me. But I’d much rather give a shot at the traditional route, release something very solid, and have partners working with me the whole way through.

It’s a tedious process, to be sure. And who knows if I’ll even find someone – although I do think that it’s basically a matter of finding the right person at the right time. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more along the way here, but it will be an interesting journey.

Right now I’m preparing for the rejection letters (or completely lack of response). But I’m also hopeful and positive. It’s going to take a lot of patience on my part – but in the end I strongly believe it will be worth it.

… and yes, I also know that just having an agent doesn’t guarantee publication by an existing publishing house. It does make it a heck of a lot more likely though.

Jan 16

Beta Readers for ‘A Confession’

The book I wrote over about a two week period in November 2015 is now to a point where I am ready to get some reader feedback. It’s gone through some editing and rewrites, and will be going back for another round of rewrites soon too – but I’m hoping to get some reader feedback too so I can get additional views on what works and what doesn’t. If you’re interested in getting a digital copy of this early draft, let me know – I’d be happy to send a few out.

I don’t have a synopsis written yet – but it’s basically a story of a guy who goes over some “confessions” of his life. Kind of literary, kind of philosophical, kind of a thriller. It’s pretty short though – only expected to be about 150 pages when finally printed.

Anyway, if you’re interested, drop a comment.

Jul 13

Ethical Reminders Have a Positive Impact: Increasing Conversion Rate on Digital Media Sell-Through Via “Morality Messaging”

Some time back, we identified an issue where customers were hitting product pages for our digital media content, but then abandoning the site immediately after. After seeing this, we dug in a bit further and saw that the majority of this was from customers coming directly to the site via Google or other search engines.

The best way to get to the bottom of this behavior, we decided, was to put together a survey and ask customers why they were leaving. After gathering quite a bit of feedback, the reason became abundantly clear: roughly 75% of respondents said they “decided not to purchase” because they “wanted the product for free.” (And that doesn’t include the people who would be too embarrassed to admit such a thing!)

Well, obviously making product free wasn’t an option – at least not if we actually wanted to retain licenses, continue to exist as a company, or follow any sort of ethical standards we have in place. So we struggled a bit – was this group of visitors simply a lost cause? Were they people who just weren’t going to be converted to customers? Continue reading →

Jan 12

Starving the Artist is FREE Forever. Download the Free E-Book.

My book, ‘Starving the Artist: How the Internet Culture of “Free” Threatens to Exterminate the Creative Class and What Can Be Done to Save It’ is, from this point forward, free FOREVER as a PDF download.

Yes, it sounds ironic – but if you read the book you’ll understand the point here. I wrote Starving the Artist. It is mine. I alone have the right to determine how much it should cost. And now, with all the back-and-forth over property rights, I’ve decided it’s more important for people to read my book and gain some perspective than it is to try to convince them to pay for it. After all, the book is not meant to preach to the choir. It is meant to be a thoughtful conversation on the value of intellectual property and how property rights encourage quality creative works to continue to be created.

Anyway, just go download your free copy here.

Just promise you’ll actually read it.

May 11

Apple’s Mid-Stream Policy Changes Kill a Successful Business

So iFlow Reader is being forced to end their app due to Apple’s policies requiring in-App purchases. Two key quotes from them that are definitely worth reading:

All you have to do is put the book in In-App Purchase. Sounds so reasonable, doesn’t it? But do you know how you do that? You go onto iTunes Connect, OK? And then you press some buttons and you get to a page that lets you create a new In-App Purchase item. You sit there and type in all the information, this description of the product and whatnot so Apple can presumably use that description to decide whether to approve it or not. There is no way to bulk load this. You can’t just copy your database in there. You have to do this all manually. We have access to 250,000 titles, not counting public-domain titles. We’re supposed to enter them all in manually?

What people don’t understand is that if you’re selling an app on iOS, Apple hosts that app on their server. You upload it, the customer downloads it, it gets downloaded from their servers. OK. With In-App Purchase it doesn’t work that way. You host everything. You ship it directly to the customer. All Apple does in the process is collect the money and basically give you a token that says it was collected and you do everything else. It’s essentially doing exactly the same thing as a credit-card processing company for this 30 percent. Nothing more.