Archive for April, 2009

Amazon Wins and Losses

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Almost a month ago I listed my DVD on Amazon… getting into a $39.95/month payment plan.  Shortly thereafter I had to take the listing down because I hadn’t gotten my DVDs yet, and by policy I had to ship within 2 days of any order. Once I got the DVDs I immediately went back to Amazon and relisted the DVD… but there was one little, er, MAJOR problem: If you look at LinkedIn book, my DVD would not show up.


Because I had to list my DVD in the DVD section, where it was buried amongst movies… and totally not related to books at all.  Even though they are the same (a) subject and (b) author, you wouldnt’ find my DVD on my book page.  And what I really wanted you to see was my DVD on ANY LinkedIn book page.

Alas, wasn’t going to happen.

I spent hours poking through the help pages, the advertising pages, listening to the advertising webinar, emailing support, and even trying to talk with them on the phone.  It was very frustrating trying to get an answer.  Amazon has a cool sellers forum, where I found some awesome information, so I listed my problem there.  I learned about more options, but didn’t get the answer I wanted.

Finally, I decided to try calling again, and finally got on with someone who had a suggestion that wasn’t going to work (he said to put the DVD as a book, and in there you can say what the binding is (I think that’s the section), and he said to say it was a CD ROM or Diskette).  The problem with this first suggestion is that I didn’t want Amazon to come back and say I was doing something deceitful… I certainly didn’t want my amazon account to get taken down!

The second solution sounded a lot better, and he reiterated three times that this was totally acceptable and would not get me in any hot water… he said to “package” my book with the DVD, and then I could put it in the books section.  That is what I did.  So here is what I came up with (the wording was almost 100% from the Amazon rep, as we were brainstorming it):

and here’s the image (which is the front cover of the CD sleeve… luckily it already had the book cover on it!):

You can click here to see the posting.

Fall 2010. My Dream.

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Today on my JibberJobber blog I announced the Now What??? series, where I have authors writing books, and I’m the executive editor.  It’s pretty cool, although I was jazzed about starting it.

A few days ago I was on the phone with my publisher and said “okay, I’m going to draw a line in the sand.  I’m telling you [and now I’m telling all my blog readers] that I’m going to have a Now What Authors Conference in Fall of 2010 in Salt Lake City.”

The vision for this conference is to have my authors (dozens?  more than 100?) come and learn from people on how to leverage being an author into other revenue streams.

I’ve thought about the buddies I’ve met at NSA, and others who have created various types revenue streams, to come in and speak.  Perhaps some workshops… who knows what it will be.

2 days of fun, education, inspiration, stories, ideas, networking, etc.

This wouldn’t be limited to just my authors… it would be for anyone who has (or wants to have) a book, and/or wants to take their “multiple revenue streams” to the next level.

Exact date? Dunno.

Price? Dunno.

Location? Somewhere in or near Salt Lake City.

Speakers/Presenters? Dunno.

Cool, huh?  What would you suggest to make this event amazing?

My Children’s Book

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

I have an idea for a children’s book.  I’ve already started writing it. I got the idea when I made up a story one night, and told one of my kids, and I thought “dang, that’s a good story!”  Weeks later, I still think it’s a great story!

I don’t have any aspirations of developing a line of children’s books.  But my oldest kid is 11, my youngest is 2, which means I’ve spent the last 11 years reading kids books.

“I can write one of those,” I figure.  Geesh, 50 – 70 words is a kids book, right?  How hard can it be?

I know it will be harder than I imagine.  I really have no idea how do to it – what I’m doing now is just working on the story, trying to come up with the right words (it’s easier to write for adults, and just write and write and write, as opposed to thinking about attention spans and vocabulary levels).

The ONLY person I know who has written kids books is Kakie Fitzsimmons, who wrote the Bur Bur & His Friends.  Maybe I can have her on a radio show sometime to chat about what I do now!

My chances of becoming a billionaire

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

I just read this article I found on Yahoo about billionaires… I like to read “where did they come from” and trend type stuff… here are the characteristics from the article, and where I fall:

Parents have a high aptitude for math. I’m not sure about my parents aptitude for math, but I’m going to say it’s not “high.”  Ask my dad about his failed math career and he blames his math teacher, Charlie Brown, who apparently sucked as a teacher and ruined math for my dad.  Nothing like Sergey and Brin’s parents :p  -1

Parents who are engineers, accountants of small-business owners. My dad was government (-1) but my mom has owned her own business for over 15 years, and always had an entrepreneurial knack… indeed, her parents owned a business for decades (+1).

Born in the Fall (specifically September, definitely NOT December). I was born in November – is that Fall or Winter?  I dunno. -1

Never started college or never finished college. I started and finished, and then got an MBA.  I guess that’s -2.

Billionaires from finance (the industry) have graduate degrees. +1.  But 9 out of 10 are from Ivy Leagues. -1.

Worked at Goldman Sachs. -1.  Isn’t that a clothing store on Fifth Avenue? lol (I know, I know, it’s not)

“Suffered bitter professional setback early in their careers…” Oh yeah, totally.  I should get bonus points for this.  +1

Yale’s Skull and Bones ultra-secret society. Not.  -1

Even with inferior math skills, I’ve added this up to -5 (out of a possible -10 to +10).  Maybe I can be a millionaire instead.  Or perhaps just a thousandaire.