Monthly Archives: April 2014

Amazon E-book Sales

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahunahttp://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2014/04/02/estimating-kindle-e-book-sales-for-amazon/

I finally got around to reading an article that I’ve been meaning to read for the past couple of weeks. It was an article in Forbes that did the unthinkable: it actually did an educated “guesstomation” on how many e-books Amazon has been selling over the course of the past few years. We all know that Amazon holds this information very close to the vest as a trade secret. The breakdown of how Forbes figured out these calculations was very telling and actually had a very scientific approach to deliver the deducted answer.

Forbes began this article by figuring out how many Kindles and Kindle offshoots have been sold by Amazon since the initial introduction in 2007.

“Amazon launched its Kindle e-reader in late 2007. Assuming a 3-year replacement cycle, we conclude that there may be approximately 30 million Kindle e-readers currently in use.” 1

Once the total number of kindles in use has been arrived at, the average of five e-book purchases and downloads per year was introduced as part of the equation. Now people have 30 million active kindles each with an average download of five per year at an expense rate of $4-$10 per download, you came up with a formula that looks something like this:

30,000,000*5*7 dollars =1,050,000,000*.30= $315,000,000

You might be asking yourself where the 30% came from. That would be the percentage that Amazon gets from every sale as a handling a distribution fee. If you read the article which I have accessed and embedded for this blog post, you will find that the estimated amount Forbes came up with was somewhere between $260 million and $530 million annually since 2007. Since Amazon is a multibillion dollar company, this amount seems paltry but will continue to grow with time. Again, you have to factor in the equation that Amazon is not really using its publishing arm to drive revenue. Amazon is using its publishing arm which is inclusive of selling kindles and selling e-books to drive customer base to other products on the Amazon website.

It’s always been known that Amazon would take a loss just to ensure a larger segment of market-share. It is nice to know that the largest e-book player is making significant sales which are transferring hundreds of millions of dollars into their corporate earnings. It’s always great when you can use deductive reasoning to pull away the drapes to reveal the underlying information range.

Information from the Forbes article was supplied by the Trefis Team.

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The Golden Nugget of Opportunity: Publishing Layoffs!

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2014/rich-pickings-for-the-small-and-beautiful/

I read with profound interest the article on the DBW website by Tom Chalmers:  Rich Pickings for the Small and Beautiful and wanted to use this blog post to convey some of my thoughts on his article.

Mr. Chalmers has given us a snippet glimpse into his point of view with initial comments about his Communist- leaning father’s mindset. I think it is an admirable quality to feel empathy for those who are displaced by corporate upheavals. The immediate impact of the layoff or job loss is disastrous and financially catastrophic as well as emotionally and physically draining. Having been through this series of events four times in my career I can speak from a point of experience on this issue:  the latest event coming in February 2013.  Eventually I will have to thank ABC-CLIO for taking the direction they decided to take!

Not being a free market thinker, Mr. Chalmers has missed the point that a layoff or job loss can also be the staging platform for a complete transformation and career reinvention. If you continually go from day-to-day with the mindset that you owe something to a corporate structure, then that corporate structure will always have you at a disadvantage in any rational thought process about finances and career goals. Being able to process and use your own intelligence and academic credentials is something that is challenging and rewarding to the person who steps out and plays the role of maverick. The people who do not “color within the lines” are usually the ones who innovate and expand the knowledge base of the field in which they are associated. Steve Jobs is a perfect example of someone who did not play by the rule-set of the corporate and business structure model that was in place at the time. Thomas Edison did not play by the rules of his time. And even in the arena of politics, although now we think of him as a great statesman, Winston Churchill was a reviled maverick for most of his political career. It is lucky for us, that the most important five years of his political career took place during World War II.

The book publishing industry right now is going through a convulsive period. I have been lucky enough to be in this industry for the past 30 years, and also advanced my skills by getting an MS Degree in Publishing Science. I did not go back to school because I wanted to continue to be laid off and work for other corporate entities that might lay me off again. I went back to school because I am a maverick in this industry and I want to see other people succeed and breakout of the mold that the publishing industry has created. You do not have to sit and work for a company and get laid off every three or five years to be successful in this industry. The way to get ahead is to continually advance your skills, move up the ladder within corporate enterprises and then strike out on your own to create a business model that is new and innovative. Also if you can brand yourself with a catchy moniker, that doesn’t hurt either.

To summarize the article:  I think Mr. Chalmers has every good intention in feeling sympathy for the people who are laid off or displaced by corporate contractions, but I think that he has a mindset that does not look beyond the workstation cubicle to envision displaced workers striking out and forming business entities that will make them successful in the market without being part of a traditional corporate publishing structure.

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Pub Talk! With Faith Young: What Would Faith Do?

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

 

Faith Young is an inspirational author and all-around person!  I interviewed her on Friday and got to ask the question:  What Would Faith Do?

At this time of religious and spiritual renewal and thanksgiving, it was refreshing to speak with such a highly energized and dynamic motivational spokesperson.

Faith can be reached at:

Whatwouldfaithdo.com

Fan Page:  What Would Faith DO

Fan Page:  365 days of gratitude

 

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The Ride of a Lifetime

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

 

This is an ongoing series of videos and blog posts detailing how I am progressing through my speeches in my Toastmasters group. I belong to a Toastmasters group in Louisville, Colorado that has been designated the “Speak with Ease” group. Last night I gave my fifth speech in the group. The fifth speech in the Competent Communicator’s Handbook is all about using your body language to add enthusiasm and extra significance to each individual part of your speech. For a speaker to be successful, they must be able to use movement and body language to convey various aspects of the storyline.  Using movements, facial expressions and gestures will maintain the audience’s attention for the complete duration of the speech.

To view my speech please start the YouTube video embedded below.

 

The Book Kahuna

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What’s Important?

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

I was recently involved in a business conversation that was put on video when one of the participants started to ask me about my “Naked Blogging” Campaign. She wanted to know how deep into my own psyche I was going to delve to come up with pertinent topics to pass to my audience.

I thought about this question introspectively. I wondered what I could tell my readers that would make them understand who I am, why I work in publishing, and why I so desperately want to give back to the people within this industry and the authors who want to write for this industry.

At this point I am 52 years old.  I’ve been married once before and now I am not. I had a long-term relationship with a woman who passed away from Ovarian Cancer. I had another long-term relationship end recently after we had been engaged for four years. I’m reaching the point in my life where some of the goals that I wanted for myself are slipping away, and that’s okay.

Growing up I knew that I had a great father. I had an equally great mother, but knowing what kind of man my father was made me realize that I could also be a great father if given the chance. I didn’t marry until I was 35 years old, and that marriage ended in divorce four years later. We had been talking about children and I was fully prepared to be a father. I was ready to love someone so much that I would give part of myself to them to make another human being. I would sacrifice everything in my life to make sure that child grew up to be a wonderful part of the American dream. Even after my marriage ended I still had hopes of finding someone who might love me and want to be a parent with me within a loving family environment. I’m not the easiest guy to get along with, but I do have some qualities that are wonderful for parenting skills.

I realize now that my calling may not be to be a parent, but to be a mentor of sage advice to those who want to know about the publishing industry. My parenting skills can be utilized as teaching skills and refocused to aid those who need a hand up to live a happy productive life. It’s not life changing or life-threatening to write a book or to work in the publishing industry, but to be a help and possibly put someone on the right track for success is as admirable a goal as any for an individual.

My figurative “children” are those people I can reach and help along the way.

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Pub Talk! The High-Heeled Ninja: Leslie Lane Peabody!

The Book Kahuna

Because Publishing Discussions Need to Take Place!

 

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Naked Blogging!

The Book Kahuna

I’ve been meaning to start doing this for a while now and I thought this would be the best time to get this going. I’ve been blogging for about three years now and I have put many bells and whistles into my blog-posts including photos, videos, and music videos. I thought it was time to cut to the unvarnished part of the blog structure.

What makes someone read a blog?

What gets someone interested in what you have to say?

How do you get people to look at what you’re talking about?

I think the answer to these questions is to get to the point where all you’re doing is putting words, sentences and paragraphs into the mainstream that build concentric ideas people can follow and are relatable. It’s not a difficult thing to get moving on writing about what is happening with EPUB, or why marketing is so important, or even why customer service is dead. The basic form-follows-function of the blog is to inform your readers and make sure that the content you’re producing is in a structure that is easily understood and summarily executed so that your message gets across.

No, I am not sitting in my home office naked right now doing this blog. I know that many of you are also glad that I’m not home naked writing this blog as well. It all comes down to the words, the content, and the direction on where you want your audience to go. Also, another important part of this process is what is the feeling you want your audience to come away with? Where are you driving them? What is the focus of where you are going with your written words? For the next few weeks I am going to be producing blog posts that will just be blog posts.  There will be no videos, no photos, and just the logo appearing on the top of the blog post itself. I want feedback from everyone who looks at my blog. I want to know what you want me to produce. I want more interaction with my readers. I want to hear from you letting me know what you are thinking, what directions I should be pursuing and topics I should be articulating in this blog.

I received a message on Facebook the other day from one of my friends that said there was a man who is trying to shut down bloggers because they are devaluing and undermining the content streams of authors who write for traditional publishing operations. I think this is a big mistake. There are plenty of good writers who do not work for large publishing operations or write for a living for that matter.

My answer is, and always will be: I blog therefore I am!

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Marketing: The Science that Drives the Sale!

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

I just recently started a marketing intensive to expand my business. I’ve often thought that getting traffic to your website was as simple as making it a “form follows function” well-designed site. The theory in my mind was that if you build it they will come. I have completely reevaluated and readjusted my thinking to the fact that you must put great content out into the field, you must have a doorway that people will find functionally easy to operate, and you must have value for those who come to your site.

I’ve had many people in the past ask me about my business. I am building digital reference materials for authors who do not want to get ripped off when having their books published. This could be in print format or could be in e-book format but there are many people out there who are taking advantage of authors, new and established, who just want to get their stories told.

My other focus is to help those who are new to the publishing industry climb up the ladder as quickly as possible. The publishing industry is notoriously slow in advancing pay for those who work within its ranks, but by taking and making some very easy changes in steps you can get to the corner office in a much more streamlined fashion.

How does marketing play at the wall of this?

What can I do to increase the traffic to my sites?

How I get the word out to as many people as possible that I am unknown quantity in my field?

I have been pondering these questions for the last few months. I have built a social media platform, and I’ve also reached out to many highly regarded executives in my field for interviews. The content I am producing is of the highest quality and includes blog-posts, videos, interviews, Google Hangout’s, and podcasts. I think the major point that I need to key on is that I’ve been looking at this as an overall process instead of 2 separate targets. When I say “an overall process,” I have been marketing to authors and new publishing professionals all in the same communications. The targets must be more focused. The content must continue to be of the highest quality. The posts must be consistently timely.

I am thinking that now I have in my power the ability to build my business the way that I want it to be built. Being a publishing leader means taking risks, challenging yourself beyond all means, and making sure that what you produce is the highest quality material imaginable.

I am learning and will continue to learn but I know one thing for sure: I will be successful!

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Leadership Style: Self-Deprecating Humor Works!

 

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

Let me set the scene for you:

You work for a large publishing company, and the revenue goals are not exactly what the higher-up executives expected them to be at this point in time. The entire company has been called into a meeting to go over the goals and initiatives that should be in place and successfully reaping revenue benefits. The mood is highly stressful and there is not one smile on the face of anyone in the room. People are tense, nervous and fearing for their jobs. There are two distinct ways you could go with the situation.

  1. The first way would be to instill more fear into those assembled in the conference room. This seems to be the tactic that is used most frequently in corporate board rooms these days. “We’re not making money, so we’re going to beat on you some more to drag more and more out of you.” We probably end up with the same result anyway. The high-stress factor meeting will only yield higher stress levels on the staff and make them more afraid. People who are afraid only work hard enough not to get fired.
  2. The second way to handle this situation is for the leadership to actually use humor as a tool to break the stress and instill a higher level of satisfaction in the staff. I’ve personally found that a few well-placed comments joking about your own foibles will go a long way toward breaking the stress monster. I’ve managed many staffs over the past 30 years, and know that managing successfully means instilling confidence and security, while alleviating fear and anxiety. An anxious team is a team on the verge of making high-level errors.

Let your staff see that you are human; it does not diminish you in the eyes of your subordinates but actually makes you look stronger and builds a bridge of loyalty and trust.

 

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Using the Smile as a Tool in Business

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

 

The Book Kahuna

I started to think recently about the best ways that you can get ahead and stay positive in the workplace. I remember reading many articles that talked about the most underutilized tool in the employee’s arsenal. That tool is the smile.
People want to be around those who are upbeat and happy as they do their jobs. Now it is not humanly possible to be happy at all times, but even if you can screw on a smile when times are not going all that well, this will be a help to you in the future. The dour countenance is not one that people want to be around for any length of time. The person who is always smiling, positive and goes the extra mile to get the job completed with a spring in their step: that is the person who gets noticed.

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A Healthy Smile…
Smiling has health benefits as well. If you use those muscles in your face to keep smiling, then this also has a positive impact on your outlook. And as amazing as this may seem, Smiling has a great impact on those around you.
For all the publishing newbies out there: Just remember to smile and things will eventually fall into place. Make it a choice and choose to be happy!

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