Saturday, March 01, 2014

My third DADT book is published; more on content development; should I do business with bitcoin?

The third of my DADT Books, that is, “Do Ask, Do Tell: Speech Is a Fundamental Right; Being Listened to is a Privilege” is now on Amazon in print format, with Kindle to follow soon.  I explained all of this in a blog posting on the “Book Reviews” blog Thursday Feb. 27, 2014.
I am developing a scheme to navigate all the footnotes to my books on main site.  The main link to that roadmap is here.   Most of the book is available online for user convenience.  The non-fiction portion is posted with chapter-separate PDF’s (created by me from original drafts but with all copyediting corrections applied) there;  the first two of the “fiction” stories are posted in flat HTML.  The third story (“The Ocelot the Way He Is”) is the payoff or spoiler and will not be posted online right now. 
I will no doubt be approached for various advertising schemes to support the book. I have already supplied notes for a press release here.  No doubt, I do expect an honor system.  I do appreciate those who afford to do so to buy the book on Amazon (rather than just read online) or, soon, Kindle, which should be much cheaper. 
Generally, when I publish, I just let people find my content.  Ever since the world of Web 1.0, that has been pretty effective.  Others call and pester me to become aggressive with cookie-cutter marketing schemes, but this is about developing content across multiple media platforms, not about selling copies of just one item in the old-fashioned sense.  Books are hindered by the fact that they can become obsolete quickly, but they can provide an anchor and basis point to drive other content. 
The DADT III book does correct some issues left over from the first book in 1997.  For example, then I had proposed that states experiment with gay marriage but that the federal government not be required to recognize it.  Gay marriage has progressed much faster than I had imaged, with the DOMA partial take-down by the Supreme Court last year.   I had also proposed that adult-id verification schemes could be required as an alternative to Internet censorship, but we all know that this idea failed with COPA.   And as a reviewer of my book on Amazon constructively pointed out, I also was naïve about the danger of anarchy or dysfunction in government, as shown by recent debacles over the debt ceiling debate in Congress.   I take all this up in the book.

My future work is to migrate into fiction, and, yes, to produce music (as documented on my drama blog) and video and try to network a feature film.  As I’ve noted, I do have a novel document called “Angel’s Brother”, but I have a number of attempted novels going back to the 1980s (as well as “The Proles” in 1969) that all explore some common themes, which often set up a “re-education academy” in a remote area (west Texas in one case, West Virginia in another) and a charismatic person at the facility, while the outside world suddenly burns.  I will review all these old manuscripts and their constituent pieces before I resume producing the novel.
Sales of the new book will be completely outsourced, to Xlibris, Amazon, and other e-commerce sites.  I will have some inventory of these myself, and it is possible for me to sell them directly or take them to events, when appropriate.  I may not do as much of the “book fair” circuit as I did in 1998 because it is not as productive as it used to be, and I need the time to work on more content.  But speaking engagements might happen, although they become more likely as more content develops. 

Because of security concerns, I have not tried to offer credit card processing on my own site, and so I have no need to save user’s PII, and can reduce the risk of hacking.  That’s especially relevant now, after Target.  I have thought about setting up PayPal again (which I haven’t needed, but which could be useful now.  I might even look at bitcoin as a payment transaction method, although it seems to have taken a dive.  Michelle Singletary warned about using it much, because of lack of oversight, in a Feb. 28 column in the Washington Post, here. She calls the bitcoin physically just some lines of computer code (hopefully without extra “fail” loops).  Tim Lee, also from the Post but moving over to Vox and Project X (My “IT” blog Feb. 26), has been an enthusiastic supporter of the idea. It’s interesting and significant that there are Internet scams (and sometimes ransomware) that take only bitcoin.
In general, I want to keep “an eye on the sky”, or on space – or on putting my content into other media.  So I’m not too interesting in managing retail business with “deals”.  I don’t normally initiate contact with people (cold calls, emails, even social media) just to get them to buy more stuff.  It’s interesting to me how the Internet first seemed to drive a new form of sales culture and now is running it into the ground. 

Actually, when I get my content up to a certain point (where I've fully reviewed all of my fiction and can produce my music at a more quasi-professional level), I would be interested in helping others with specific projects that I think match what I do.  I won't name any of these right here yet except perhaps "American Lynching", a project whose fillmaker Gode Davis passed away before completion, and I don't know yet how close it is to completion.  I do see that assisting with crowdfunding (like Kickstarter) could be appropriate for some of these projects, even though not for my own.  

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