You are a Writer–So Start Acting Like One

I write..a lot more than even I realize. I have regular monthly columns at MSDynamicsWorld.com and the Dynamics Community site. I have book that was a best seller for the publisher and a spin off. I’ve written six well received short stories with another one due soon. I’ve written more original blog posts than I can count…but I don’t think of myself as a writer.
I’m a CPA. I’m a consultant. Now Jeff Goins has made me realize that I’m a writer. I’m not a writer because I’ve done all of those things. I’m a writer, because I write.
Jeff was kind enough to give me an advance copy of his new book You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One).  I’ve mentioned before that Jeff’s previous book, The Writer’s Manifesto, is one book that I never archive from my Kindle. I think that You Are A Writer is the same type of book.
You Are A Writer is a short, easy read. It mixes kick in the pants inspiration with practical tips for getting writing done and getting your writing read. I ripped through it an evening and got up from the couch with a desire to go write something.
Even for people who don’t think of themselves as writers, much of this book applies to other creative endeavors. But, many people write more than they think. For example, a colleague was writing documentation for a project. When she got done, the documentation was 250 pages long. That’s the length of a book, but she doesn’t think of herself as a writer.
Whether you think of yourself as a writer or not, pick up a copy of You Are A Writer, you may be surprised.

eReader eBook Costs

I read a lot. In 2010 I read 110 books and for 2011 I’ve read 113 through Christmas. I read a lot of these books as eBooks and I keep seeing stories about what eReader is better, as if it were a hardware only choice. What about availability of books? What about the cost of books? Surely not all platforms are equal right?

So I did some research and pulled together this infographic based on the 113 books I’ve read so far this year. I wanted to find out how many of those books would have been available as eBooks and what they would have cost on various platforms specifically for Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Google Books and Apple iBooks.

Click the infographic for details.

I priced each book as of 12/25/11 figuring folks would grab their shiny new eReaders and buy a book. The results were very clear.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble stood out for book availability with Amazon having 91% of my books available as a eBooks. If you like anything outside of the mainstream Amazon is your best bet with only one of my titles available as an eBook on other platforms but not on Amazon. Both Google and Apple were hit or miss for a lot of titles with only 59 of 113 titles available on all four platforms.

Amazon was the king of pricing hands down. They were never undersold and if you had bought the 59 books available on all 4 platforms on Kindle instead of Nook, you would have saved just about enough money to buy a low end Kindle.

Borders Book-O-Nomics

So we hit the local Borders bookstore closing sale today. I went through my pile of books and then did the math. Most of the books I wanted were in the $25 range. With Border’s 20% discount, the price drops to $20. Even if I held off a few weeks and waited for 40% price breaks, it falls to $15. Except that most of these books are available today in Kindle format for $10-$12.

I have no idea how Borders’s bankruptcy affects their relationship with publishers but in the normal course of business most books are returnable by stores to the publisher for a full refund. Consequently, it may only be in Border’s best interest to sell the books at a discount that isn’t more than the cost of boxing up and returning the books. Don’t expect fantastic deals at a Border’s out of business sale. Do expect a long checkout line.

100 Books This Year

Inspired by Paul Randal reading 100 books last year, I set out to read 100 books this year, 2010. I figured that I come pretty close to that number anyway but this would formalize it. From my starting point, I’m in week 33 meaning that I need have read somewhere near 66 books. I’ve finished 71 and expect to have book 72 finished before the week “ends” on Friday. Even better I have books 73-78 already in house, no waiting on the library. I also now have a large enough backlog that coming up with a 100 books to read won’t be a problem.

I track my books through Library Thing. You’re welcome to follow along. The 100 read so far this year is here. According to Karl Rove, George W. Bush read 95 books in a year on a bet. I’m betting I can beat that.

5 Books NOT to Read on an Airplane

I spend a lot of time on airplanes and I read a lot of books taxiing with Delta (Doesn’t Ever Leave the Airport). As a result, I’ve compiled 5 books you do NOT want to read on an Airplane plus a couple of bonuses.

  1. The Bourne Identity – I read the opening paragraphs about Carlos the Jackal bombing planes in Europe (including Frankfurt) while sitting on a plane in Frankfurt. We were delayed because a passenger decided to get off and they had to remove his luggage to ensure that it wasn’t a bomb. Talk about a scary book.
  2. Turbulence – I never want to fly in plane where the pilot and copilot are so out of sync. This book even freaked out my wife about flying.
  3. Airframe – Michael Crichton’s take on what can go wrong at 35,000 feet.
  4. The Unthinkable – On the plane you’ll realize all the things you haven’t done that could help you survive a disaster, including listening to the flight attendant and locating the exits. Even worse you won’t be able to anything about it except maybe locate the exits.
  5. The Hot Zone – It has little to do with flying but you’ll be scared to death that the guy in row 37A has Ebola or some other hideous disease and is spreading it to you through the poorly circulating airplane ventilation system.

Bonus

  • Crashers – I haven’t read this yet but it’s on my list. I suspect that it will make the next list
  • World without End – It’s not scary and it has nothing to do with planes but it weighs so much that Delta will charge you $25 bucks to  carry it on the plane.