When I was just a wee lad of 18-19 I attended Fresno City College and lived with my wonderful white haired Grandmother. I took my first college level creative writing classes and found out I was a hack, but with potential. The class was a contemporary poetry writing/reading course taught by Mr. Dewayne Rail. It was wonderful. What does that have to do with pencils? Everything. Poetry, like many art forms, is a sensual experience. Sensual as in sense-filled. Can be the other too, but. Anyway, I learned to love the smell of freshly sharpened pencils; the wood…the graphite. Lovely. I used terrible technique during that period of my writing life. I reasoned that the best writing came from sorrow, so I would attempt to hunker down in a ‘man’ufactured sorrow and write from that place. Not recommended. Not necessary. But, back to the pencil. I kept 3-4 Ticonderoga 1 Ex-Soft pencils within reach. I wrote until a pencil was not sharp enough for my taste then selected another. The sound of pencil lead etching art onto paper was, well, cool. It was the late 70s/early 80s. I think cool was still the word.

History of the wonderful Ticonderoga pencil. (wikipedia)

The Ticonderoga is a pencil model distributed by the Dixon Ticonderoga Company, founded in the 19th century, which was originally located in downtown Jersey City, New Jersey. Recently they have ceased US production of the Ticonderoga Pencil, but own and operate facilities outside the US in Italy, France, Asia, Latin America and Germany. Dixon Ticonderoga Pencils are no longer made in the USA.

Dixon Ticonderoga pencils are available in different grades: #1 (Extra Soft), #2 (Soft), #2½ (Medium), #3 (Hard), and #4 (Extra Hard).[1]

The company has its origins in the Joseph Dixon Crucible Company of New Jersey, an organization founded in 1827 by Joseph Dixon and his son based upon the Tantiusques graphite mine in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.[2] The pencil’s name originates in the graphite ore mined on Lead Mountain and processed in Ticonderoga, New York since 1815.[3]

My rough notes from the replay, 4/20, of the webinar presented by Guy Kawasaki, Jeff Goins & Daniel Iny

Guy Kawasaki was a traditionally published author who turned to self-publishing because of traditional publishings failure to fill an order for 500 individual e-books.

Top ten tips for how to publish your book
3 pros about self publishing
#1 – Total Control, cover, layout, font, layout, sales & marketing,
#2 – Time to market, Kindle time 24-48 hours, traditional 3-9 months, never an e-book before physical
#3 – Increased Royalties,

Tools — Adobe Indesign, Evernote, dropbox, yousendit

Two metaphors for the writing life:
“writing is like opening a vein and bleeding on the page”
“writing is like vomiting, it’s a violent experience, painful process”

write a little bit every day, writing is a great escapte

#4 – build your marketing platform before finishing your book 6-9 month process
NPR model – they provide such great content they have the right to market to you
write & curate/blog/tweet content every day, position yourself as a sector expert
People feel like they owe you something

#5 – keep your life simple. Kindle is like New York. If you can make it with Kindle you can make it on the other platforms like nook, ibooks, smashwords

– Jeff Goins: Social Media model, basic operating idea “if you help people in a specific way, those people will want to reciprocate”
Kindle like 100 to 1 sales for Jeff vs the other platforms

Guy – such a great experience with CreateSpace, 3 days for print on demand books, ebooks 24-48 hours

Danny Iny –
People don’t realize there is a Kindle Free reading app on every platform.
Can’t read iBook on Android, for instance

#6 – Tapping the crowd
3 stages
a. outline then save in google docs, let followers read and send comments
b. when the manuscript is done, offer to allow some to edit (he got 60 out of 6 million); acknowledged people
c. pdf stage, sent out to 6 million to review the book, about 1000 reviewed

Don’t self review your book.
Trust people will help you. They wont’ rip you off.

#7 – hire a copy editor
1400 errors after 2 authors, 10 friends and 60 crowd sourced reviews
#8 – hire a cover designer
Compared to eHarmony & Hot or Not, cover designers like Hot or Not you want something that grabs attention

Jeff Goins/Danny Iny — Agreed with need for copy editor
Warning: Some online services use overseas copyeditors — great way of getting nice work done on a budget also

#9 – Test your ebook on all the platforms, do it yourself or crowd source it
even different versions

#10 – Never give up as a writer, editors are not always right
Ie It’s impossible to sell animal books in the U.S.A, in response to George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”

Self-publishing stigma – “you weren’t good enough for traditional publishing”, self-publishing is artisianal
examples — Leaves of Grass, Birds of America, Fifty Shades of Grey

Brenda Ueland, book – “If you want to write”, helps you overcome self-doubt, changed Guy’s life

What Writing rituals do you have? “Should” write first thing in the morning before e-mail
Jeff Goins — writing is like working out, good feeling, but with resistence. Daily goal of writing something (blog or book) don’t go to bed without writing

Tips on where to find a copyeditor, and what to pay? — Many writer clubs, just ask around.
On there is a copyeditor test
copy/content/cover each $500-1000, $3-4000 to produce a top notched book

Stigma gone? — It’s not gone yet. Anyone with a word processor can upload to Kindle.
Is it better to have 6 publishers in NY controlling what we read?
Better to let the market filter out the crap.
No one cares how it was published. They check the reviews.

Jeff Goins – you can boot strap a self-published book by publishing a second version.
If you are going to self-publish, don’t do the bare minimum. We hope people will create better books.

When you are a self-published author, you are an entrepreneur

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