Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: ebooks

Fake News ~ in Self-Publishing . . .


This makes the 38th post where I pass on information from Joel Friedlander.

fake news or alternative facts

Fake News or Alternative Facts

He’s the power behind The Book Designer.

Today, I’ll share a few excerpts from his article, Fake News! In Self-Publishing, in the hope that you take that last link and read the whole thing…

Fairly soon in the piece, Joel says:

“…it’s undeniable that there’s plenty of ‘fake’ news out there, and although it may not be coming from teenagers in Macedonia, the sooner we learn to spot it, the better off we’ll be.

“Here are some examples I’ve come across recently. I bet you’ve got plenty of examples of your own.”

And, here’s a list of his examples ( you get to go to the full article to see what Joel says about each one :-)

“Nobody makes money self-publishing, it’s basically an ego trip. Sad!”

“Really good writers don’t need to self-publish, so obviously you are all losers. Sad!”

“Everything that’s self-published is low quality crap and can’t stand up to books from trade publishers. Sad!

“Subsidy publishing is a great way to make your book available to readers.”

“Completely automated social media sales funnel guarantees massive passive income.”

“Ebooks are the future of books, print is dying. Sad!”

“Let me show you my 7-step method to write a bestseller this weekend!”

So, that’s all the fake news headlines that are fit to print today…

Do go check out Joel’s  facts
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Should an E-Book Merely Copy a Print Book in Style and Function?


It seems certain folks in this day-and-age love innovation for the sake of innovation.

That kind of motivation usually indicates that deep and effective change is beyond the efforts of those who are “innovating”…

It could also mean that the “innovators” are bored silly…

Take e-books.

I do a lot of scanning of news and other sites looking for material I can report on here; and, one of the trendy fads for the last few years is to encourage changes in how e-books function and how they’re constructed (there have also been actual “new and improved” versions of ebooks produced).

Most of the articles didn’t make the cut for what I consider “worthwhile”; yet, the senior editor at Digital Book World, Daniel Berkowitz, gave me a reason to introduce the idea of e-book “innovation” in his article, Do We Really Need to Innovate the Reading Experience?

As usual, I’ll excerpt enough of the article to give a hint of what you’ll experience if you take the link :-)

Daniel introduces the topic:

“I hear a lot of talk about how ebooks didn’t innovate enough, or how ebooks are unsatisfactory—that they’re stuck in this ‘print-under-glass’ model that offers nothing new to the reading experience.”

Daniel challenges that:

“…for those of us who grew up on print books and for whom ebooks and audiobooks are viable alternatives, what is it in our reading experiences that we are so sorely lacking?”

He elaborates:

“…what is so wrong with the print-under-glass model of ebooks? What else were we expecting? To my eyes, an ebook on my Kindle looks a lot like a print book in my hands. And that’s exactly how I want it to be.”

Are you pretty much like Daniel?

Are you, rather, a person who wants all the innovation possible?

I encourage you to not only take the link to Daniel’s article and read the complete version; I encourage you to read the fascinating comments folks have left after that article………
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#E-Books Inside The Digital Book World


So much business these days is built on lies and broken promises.

But they package it as Branding and Influence.

We’re led to believe (if we’re unthinking folk) that dealing with a top brand that has market influence is the best thing we can do.

The fact that our world is splitting some seams and losing its stuffing through climate change and economic peril (to mention only two of the major crises underway) is primarily due to “top brands” that have major “market influence”.

I scan a ton of news to find material for this blog and, some days, finding information of solid worth is severely hampered by a flood of nearly meaningless drivel

There’s an organization called Digital Book World that says some strange things about itself:

“…Digital Book World has evolved into a year-round platform offering educational and networking resources for consumer publishing professionals and their partners — including agents, booksellers and technology vendors — online and in person.”

That seems straightforward and yet, why do they call themselves a “platform” rather than an organization or company?

And, rather than addressing the needs of “book publishers” which one might think would follow from their name (Digital Book World), they say they’re helping “consumer publishing professionals”, which lets them focus less on authors who write books and deal more proactively with “content producers” who create maybe not books perhaps “content containers”?

So, these folks just had their 7th Digital Book World Conference + Expo.

And, Publishing Perspectives just published an article entitledAfter DBW: ‘Perhaps We Don’t Know Anything’. (“DBW” being the Digital Book World Conference + Expo…)

A few excerpts:

“…one of the recurring ideas of this year’s event was a series of cautious admissions that perhaps we don’t know anything.”

Publishers Marketplace’s Michael Cader said:

“Our industry is full of anomalies…”

New York University Prof. Scott Galloway said:

“These four companies (Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google) have effectively seceded from the US.”

Annenberg Innovation Lab Director Jonathan Taplin said:

“The result of this industrial hegemony is that platform, and not content, is becoming king.”

So have we come from “books” to “content” to “platform”—from “objects of value” to “aggregations of data” to “an empty stage”?

I’m sure there were a few presenters at the conference who made sense; but then, that’s just a bit of sense in a stew of nonsense

If you’re wondering how folks who think this way make money, it’s pretty much the same way astronomers hold on to their jobs of “studying” proposed fantasies instead of the actual universe—they’re capitalizing on a financial climate that is no-holds-barred: do-whatever-you-can-get-away-with. And, wrap it in addictive packaging with elusive promises

So, where are e-books in the digital book world?

It depends on which kind of e-book you’re after

The content producers standing on compelling platforms will sell you run-of-the-mill genre stories.

Independent authors will sell you books that may be of lasting worth.

But then, my last two statements are generalizations

The scary thing to me is that those generalizations seem to be rapidly transforming into accurate perceptions………
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In Memoriam ~ Dan Poynter ~ Thanks for Helping This Writer . . .


No re-blog today………

Many folks who’ve self-published had never heard of Dan Poynter until he’d already passed from this earthly realm

I’m one of those folks—only knew of Dan’s death and his legacy because of an article in my email today from the Smashwords blog by Founder Mark Coker: Dan Poynter, The Father of Self Publishing, Passes Away

Mark’s article is worth reading in full; but, here are a few excerpts:

“Dan led the indie author movement long before the movement had a label, and long before many of its current beneficiaries were even born.”

“Dan was a mentor to me, long before he even knew me.  I first read his Self Publishing Manual about 12 years ago, before Smashwords was even a glimmer in my eye.”

“He provided writers the tools to think, act and publish like professional publishers.  If you’ve followed Smashwords at all over the last eight years, you’ll see the DNA of Dan pervades much of what we do at Smashwords.”

“Dan changed the world.  All of us — Smashwords and every indie author — are operating in a world that Dan first envisioned and, more than anyone, helped to encourage in his multiple decades of self publishing advocacy and education.”

“Above all, Dan was an incredibly nice guy.  He made himself available to every writer any time, whether at a writers conference or on email or when they called him at home.  He wanted to help writers achieve their dream.”

And, finally (with Underlining by me):

“In many ways, the rise of ebooks helped Dan realize his vision too.  Ebooks enabled every major retailer to stock self published books, so it was this democratized distribution that finally helped the world realize, appreciate and enjoy the extraordinary talent locked between the minds and fingertips of ordinary writers around the the world.  Dan believed in the potential of every writer when the rest of the industry thought most writers weren’t good enough.”

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Do You Own Your E-books?


I remember the first time I heard that Amazon can take e-books back after you buy them—I felt violated…

But, I recently published my second e-book, this time directly with Amazon, and discovered I have some control over what they do.

I discovered, as the author, that I could choose whether or not the book had DRM applied.

I chose to let the reader have some say—without DRM the purchaser can copy the e-book to another device and e-book format.

Of course, the person buying the book needs to know they have these options—I feel most readers don’t know…

And, today I opened one of the email subscriptions that helps me find things to blog about and saw an article from Good e-ReaderDo We Need Consumer Protection for eBooks?

I encourage you, whether you’re a writer or reader, to take that link and read the full article; but, here are just a few excerpts:
{ apparently, they didn’t know an author can control DRM on Amazon—many authors don’t know… }
“When Amazon sells you an an eBook for the Kindle they have the right to remove it at any time. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is referenced and Amazon can take your books away if it finds you’ve been naughty.”

“There are only a few online bookstores of note that do not sell their books using Digital Rights Management (DRM) and allow for a somewhat clearer path of ownership.”

“Ebooks now account for 27% of all adult trade sales. With this much money at stake and more customers adopting them, consumer protection for digital books is going to be needed.”

Do we really need some kind of governmental control?

Is it possible for e-retailers to realize their business would actually be more secure without DRM?

If you’d like some really good reasons why DRM is silly and dangerous, check out the video at my past post, Distributors of Books Are Oppressing Authors?

What are your thoughts and feelings about who actually owns e-books?
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