Monthly Archives: December 2013

T’was the Night…

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

A Visit from St. Nicholas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads,

And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap —
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:

“Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer and Vixen,
“On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donder and Blitzen;
“To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys — and St. Nicholas too:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack:

His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples: how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight —
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

—Clement Clarke Moore

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CrowdSourcing or CrowdFunding: Small Donations Bring Big Benefits

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

In the Beginning, Was the Crowd…

I’ve been thinking about doing a blogpost on Crowdsourcing for a while now, and since I have my own campaign going on at this particular point in time through GOFUNDME, there’s no better time than the present to start discussing this new and innovative technique for raising seed capital.

What is Crowdfunding or Crowdsourcing?  The basis behind Crowdfunding is to use your social media contacts to make small donations toward a larger goal.  Whenever someone started a business in the past, there was always a bank loan involved or begging for money from family members.  Although a family member may still be connected through social media outlets, Crowdfunding cuts out the banking aspect completely by building a predetermined cash goal through very small donations.  If you have 250 Facebook connections and each one contributed $5.00 for four months, the total cash value of the individual $20.00 donations would be $5000.  The Internet has become the equalizing factor in getting your word out to build a corporate structure and also have financial resilience to see your dream enterprise through the inevitable hard times.  It’s amazing to think that having a very large social media framework can be a godsend to start a business or continue to keep a business viable whenever cash flow is needed.

I Need Money to Start a Worm Farm…

When I was going through the GOFUNDME website, I found that there were many people involved in personal campaigns who had various other fundraising projects:

  1. I need to raise money for a new car.
  2. Help me pay my tuition.
  3. Help me fund my trip to Italy.
  4. I’m looking to play bass in a rock band and need to get to Vegas
  5. Help me snowboard in Aspen this winter.

For whatever reason, people have varied interests and goals and there is no judgment call as to whether someone’s goals are worthy of funding or not worthy of funding.  I looked at this backdrop and decided that my goals are worthy. My business is about helping people get their message out through book publishing or learning the way to get to the corner office and move up the ladder. Someone with 30 years experience should give the sage advice back to those who can use it and prosper from it.

Click here to donate—> http://www.gofundme.com/5qk2mo <— Click here to donate!

Shake Your MoneyMaker and Get it to Work…

I don’t know how my campaign is going to end, all I know is that I am going to attack this project in the same way that I attacked every project in my working life and that is to go for the throat and make this work.  I see this resource as a great democratizing factor in helping people get cash through nontraditional and easier accessible pathways.  This could be a way that opens up the spigot of cash that banks have been sitting on since the economic downturn began in 2008.  If businesses start to grow and expand based on capital sources that are not traditional in nature, then the banking establishment will need to wake up and see that they have been circumvented from the process of small business loans.  People who do not have the time to wait for a loan to be processed and approved can now go online and start a campaign through their social media network connections that will give a higher yield of success in a shorter amount of time with no interest payments.

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The Electronic/Digital Revolution in Book Publishing:  History, Industry Perspective (Print and E-book) and “How To” Publish Your E-book for Amazon Kindle

The Virtual Squeegee Man?

I know at this point in time, with the economic climate that we are in, that money is tight and asking for donations to fund a small business is not in the forefront of anyone’s giving this season.  No matter how my campaign turns out, I can make one guarantee: That any funds I receive are going to help me get more reference materials into the mainstream to help self publishers and independent publishers with their publishing needs.  I am all about giving back to my industry and helping other people to be successful.  I want to help young, inexperienced publishing professionals succeed and prosper.

Spend a Buck, and Launch a Dream…

I will be giving blog updates on this campaign as it progresses.  Since it has just started, there is not very much to say but I am looking for a very successful conclusion within the next few months.  It’s amazing to be blogging about something that’s new on the Internet, and be a part of it as it’s growing from infancy.  Crowdfunding could be a way to keep economic chaos from occurring and could kick-start the economy to greater productivity.  More people working is more people earning and not getting government checks.

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The Day My Hard-drive Died!

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream…

Now before I get into the meat of this post, I want to assure you that the words that I will use in this blogpost will not mirror exactly how I have been feeling since this catastrophe occurred.  With all deference to Don McLean, I really did want to drive my Chevy to the levy.  Without backing up your material your life can become a living hell.

What Say You, the Problems Cometh…

You may ask me, “So Don, what did you actually have on that hard-drive?” I am very glad you asked that Mr. Blog post reader, I will let you know exactly what was on my hard-drive.  To begin with I and painstakingly loaded all of my CD’s into iTunes.  This would entail a length of songs that would run for 3 to 4 months if played continuously from start to finish.  Also on my hard-drive, pictures that I had been scanning for years of family, friends and various historical places that I had visited and wanted to keep remembrances of in photo form.  Also contained on this Seagate 1 TB hard-drive were all of my papers and class notes from my recently completed graduate studies in publishing science.  These I had been hoping to keep and possibly turn into blog posts in the future.  I still have hopes that I will be able to find someone who can access this information and pull all these files into a format that I can then load onto another hard-drive.  I am also looking into cloud technology that will allow me to disconnect and not have a hard external piece of equipment that could fail in the future.

The wheel is come full circle...

Gee Don, how exactly do you know when your hard-drive is failing?  Thank you for that question Mr. Blog post reader, I will tell you exactly what happened with my hard-drive so you’ll be able to have this information available to you for future alert and reference.  Recently I had purchased a USB Power module that would allow me to have 16 devices powered by one USB port.  Unfortunately, you have to manually turn off the switch on this USB power port or it stays live with juice and all of your external devices remain hot.  I made the mistake of leaving the base USB port running with the Seagate hard-drive connected.  Unbeknownst to me, this particular Seagate 1 TB hard-drive does not have a cooling fan.  Now a cooling fan would be a very important item to have in this particular drive.  The hard-drive was fairly expensive and was manufactured by a very reputable company.  On the other hand I have an Iomega 500 GB hard-drive that has a cooling fan built-in.  I would’ve thought that this would be something that was standard with these types of drives instead of being optional.  What happened as the drive died, I started to hear a clicking noise as the drive was working.  I had never heard this clicking noise before.  If I had thought quickly I would’ve moved all of my very important documentation onto dvds or even swapped in the Iomega hard-drive to pick up the slack and get my important documentation backed up to another hard-drive.

The empty vessel makes the loudest sound... 

I tried many different remedies to get my hard-drive to respond.  I tried putting my hard-drive in a zip lock bag and placing it in the freezer.  I tried disassembling the hard-drive and sending the PCB to a company in Canada so that I could have a new board with my original BIOS sent back.  I even bought a new power source because I think my dog had chewed on the wire when he was a puppy.  This was all for naught.

I’d mourn the loss of my hard-drive, but I want to look to a brighter day when a hard-drive problem is not a problem at all.  This is a major annoyance, and when all of your tax information for the year is on your hard-drive, words cannot describe the feeling and mental anguish of having to rebuild your documentation.

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The Electronic/Digital Revolution in Book Publishing:  History, Industry Perspective (Print and E-book) and “How To” Publish Your E-book for Amazon Kindle

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio

Always back-up your computer.  Alas poor Seagate 1 TB hard-drive, I knew you well!

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Dogged Determination

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

Adversity Strikes

There are times in your life when you find yourself dealing with adversity.  You may be going through divorce, looking for a new job, lost your job, grieving for the loss of a loved one, or starting a business from scratch.  As Thomas Paine so eloquently wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Now I am not one to look at the world through rose-colored glasses, but I do believe that how we handle our times of trial will propel us into the next adventure.  If there were no bad times, there would be no fundamental area for comparison.  The bad times are when dogged determination is most necessary to stay positive and on track.

What would George Do?

There are a few different instances from history where the odds were stacked so heavily in one side’s favor that the outcome seemed almost without doubt.  One of the earliest Americans who showed dogged determination was George Washington.  In the summer and fall of 1776 the Continental Army was routinely battered and defeated by combined British arms.  Washington heroically defended Long Island which was the back door to New York City.  The British pushed the Continental Army off Long Island and pursued the Continentals up through the Bronx and into Westchester culminating at the Battle of White Plains where Washington was once again defeated.  The Continental Army then began a retreat whereby they evacuated and gave up New York City and Long Island for the rest of the war.

Choose the Unexpected Route

There were rear guard actions that were fought all the way across New Jersey.  This steady retreat took place throughout the fall of 1776.  As winter approached, Washington was faced with a dilemma: should he continue to retreat and keep his army intact so that the war could continue or should he recommend to the Continental Congress that they look for ways to end the war in the face of overwhelming odds and increasingly costly defeats?  Washington decided to stake everything on one last gamble.  The British army had enlisted Hessian mercenaries from Germany’s Hesse-Cassell region to fight the colonials.  As Christmas approached and the Continental Army continued to retreat across New Jersey, Washington decided to strike back.  Late on the evening of Christmas Eve 1776, the Continental Army crossed the Delaware River from the west side where they had retreated back to the east side and the city of Trenton where the Hessians were billeted for Christmas.  The Continentals took the Hessian soldiers completely by surprise and captured many of them along with their guns.  This was a completely unexpected turn of events, and the battle and victory at Trenton gave notice that General George Washington was going to see this conflict through to a final victory.  This was American dogged determination in its finest hour.

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The Electronic/Digital Revolution in Book Publishing:  History, Industry Perspective (Print and E-book) and “How To” Publish Your E-book for Amazon Kindle

 Sir Winston the Intractable

Another instance of dogged determination was shown by Winston Churchill in the early days of World War II.  By the early summer of 1940, NAZI armies had vanquished Western Europe.  The British Expeditionary Force which was sent to France to stop the German invasion barely escaped destruction during the evacuation from Dunkirk.  The British army escaped, but all of their armaments and equipment were left on the beaches in France.  The German Luftwaffe began a campaign against all of the Royal Air Force bases in the southern areas of England.  Their aim was to eradicate the RAF.  Slowly but surely, the destruction of the RAF air bases and fighters began to take a toll.  It was at this point that RAF Bomber Command decided to send a small contingent of bombers to Berlin.  This small raid on Berlin had the same effect that the Doolittle raid had on Tokyo (see Battle of Midway for more information).

The Luftwaffe switched targets to British cities which gave the RAF needed breathing room to refit, regroup and meet the new threat.  This small air force was instrumental in inflicting the first defeat of any kind on NAZI Germany.  Churchill was the preeminent mouthpiece that vocalized in eloquent speech how the British would react to any possible invasion force.  They would never give up, they would never surrender, they would never submit and they would keep on fighting to the last man and the last round.  This is another case of dogged determination in the face of overwhelming odds.

Don’t Crumble, Fight On

Whenever adversity creeps into your own life remember that the darkest times are the ones that build your character.  Use your dogged determination to get you through to the next level.  You can win against all odds if you believe that you can win.  A person who knows their SELF is impervious to the slings and arrows of any and all aggressors.  Use your dogged determination and win!

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