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Update on Echoes

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Shlok Vaidya  -  
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Thanks to the hundreds of folks who have grabbed or read the ebook experiment. So far, half read it in the embedded Scribd, and the other half downloaded the iBook version. Would love to hear from more of you. How was the content? Design? Experience?

As of today, you can grab a variety of other formats, including Kindle, PDF, etc from Smashwords here.

The very, very short, free, “Echoes of a Life Well Lived” draws upon the the historic and fictional experiences to reveal how we can mentally prepare ourselves for each stage of our lives, and enjoy meaning and success in an increasingly uncertain world.

Readers will enjoy a fast read filled with lessons pulled from such diverse sources as Michael Corleone, Devdas, Karl Marx, King Ashoka, as well as today’s top technology leaders – Bill Gates, Tim Cook, and Steve Jobs.

You can also grab it from Amazon here, but unfortunately, I can’t set the price to zero. Please, don’t buy it, but if you can, do leave a review on the Amazon page. That would be much appreciated.

Things I’ve learned so far:

  • Sign up for an iTunes content seller account early (here). It is not instantaneous.
  • Adding a book to Amazon takes a little less than 24 hours. Updating it resets that timer. You have no control of pricing at free.
  • Formatting for Kindle can be awful. Figured it out. Protips: Use Sigil – a WSYIWYG ebook editor for tweaking.  Manually create the Table of Contents.


-Shlok
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On The India Book And Publishing

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Shlok Vaidya  -  
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I’m thinking of putting the Naxalite Rage blog to bed. I’ll keep an archive available, and start over with a new India-focused site when I can. Came to this decision after, oddly enough, talking it over with an agent interested in representing the book.

She thought we could be successful with a Naxals proper book with one of the big houses. Which was cool to hear. Assuming a quick sale. I’d have till sometime mid next year to write it, and then it would be published the following year. So in two years, I’d have a book out on the insurgency. But my friend Eric is already writing that book – plus he’s spent more time on the ground than I have in the last few years. Genuinely excited about that coming out, and using it to think about a another India book.

Because, over the past four years, my thinking on India has evolved along with my own general focus. Less of an emphasis on the mechanics of war, and more on India’s systemic flaws and vulnerabilities. A lot more resilient community thinking. And that’s more of the book I’d like to write now. When I asked about that, she said we’d be less likely to pull it off, and suggested I should work on my platform and try again next year for a 2015 book. Which makes sense.

The original intention with publishing an India book was I felt I needed the validation of going through the traditional publishing pipeline. Don’t really feel that way now given the limitations. The timeline is just too long. The content wouldn’t be what I want.

Which is why I may just do the exact opposite.  I’ve been spread pretty thin over the last year or so, and haven’t been able to give it sufficient attention. My schedule is clearing out a bit now, but the next year is shaping up to be hectic as well.

So I’m leaning towards wrapping up the Naxalite Rage blog entirely. Instead, focus on writing stuff of sufficient length and quality to build my reach and succeed through the new publishing channels. Already have some fiction kicking its way out of my head. And there’s a big think India book to be had as well. Just ship.

Would love your thoughts/feedback/suggestions on this.

 



-Shlok
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Some Print on Demand Thinking

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Shlok Vaidya  -  
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In 2005, I pitched this model (deployment of publisher-run expensive print on demand machines in lieu of big box bookstores) to one of those state-run business plan competitions for college students. Was told the technology was at least a decade away. Heh.

Now its just a matter of time before the $175,000 price tag drops (and along with it the price of books). More likely to take off than e-readers – until those drop to the $50 range.

At the time, I also pitched the same type of model for a UPS-run Netflix killer. (Co-locate a DVD-RW press at UPS hubs, burn on demand, deliver, retrieve and re-use the disc until it’s dead.) Cuts out the bloat of Netflix’s own warehouse network. However, that particular idea has been beat out by broadband.



-Shlok
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