Category Archives: self publishing

So Much to Blog About…

It’s been so long since I blogged outside of manga and anime that I feel a little overwhelmed by all the potential stuff that is going on that I could ramble on about.  I feel like the world is changing at an accelerated pace.  Also too much has happened in the past few weeks.  Here’s a list of stuff that’s clogging my brain:

  • Tokyo Pop bankruptcy — what series are going to be left hanging and do I have any time to finish up the translation of some of the series myself?  I probably don’t since I want to leave bandwidth for any new series from Bisco Hatori or Akane Ogura.
  • What’s the heck is Akadot doing?  — They are taking a great risk in changing what they sale.  I can no longer visit their website without being greatly offended.  But, I guess in the end, porn sells.  So I guess, more power to them, but they’ve lost me as a customer and an advocate. Additionally, they just found out that they can’t sell porn though the Kindle, which their parent company admits is an important source of revenue.  Oops…
  • The Epsilon Break-in — Now I can’t trust any e-mail I get from any company. :/
  • Osama Bin Laden is dead — nuff said.  I’m not worried about retaliation like other people.  I’m just relieved more than anything.
  • Royal Wedding Curiosity — I saw the pertinent clips
  • My iPad 2 –Flip Board has changed my life.  I take my iPad 2 to bed with me.  It’s my second husband.
  • Ad supported websites are a lie.  You can’t make much money from Google ads because less than .001% of visits result in the visitor clicking an ad link.  It would be far better for me to sell advertising space myself.

Honestly, I think a lot of my blogging has become Tweets on Twitter.  On Twitter I can write a few quick thoughts and let them float through the ether.  It’s more efficient than “rambling”.  The immediacy of Twitter is nice and I get more community feedback from Twitter than I do from this blog now that I’m on the outside world.

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Some Thoughts on the Change in Publishing

Publishing is changing and the folks in media are screaming bloody murder (not that I blame them for doing so).  Spurred on by the success of Amazon’s Kindle and the iPad, things are moving a lot faster than they ever dreamed I suppose.  Just last month it was reported that Kindle Books sales over took the sales of hardcover books.  It sounds amazing at first glance until you think about how bulky and brick-like hard cover books are compared to the sleekness of the Kindle or the iPad, both in form and bookshelf space (or lack there of…).  Other than the changing form in which we consume printed media, something else is afoot.  There is a challenge to the foundation of traditional publishing itself.  I think we’ve all seen it, but for the most part denied it.  As self publishing becomes easier, the lack of authority rises.  I’ve talked about this before, but I think now I see two stark mirroring realities that can be best summed up as, “Anyone can publish almost anything they want.”  At first I thought “wow” and then this quickly turned into “oh no…”

I guess I’ll focus my thoughts on a subject I’m familiar with: manga.  Leaving aside the current legal controversies of scanlation, I’d rather think about the issues of “authority.”  The truth of the matter is anybody can do scanlation with the right software (or in some cases without).  When I speak of authority in scanlation, I mainly think about the project choices a group makes and whether the translation offered is any good. Continue reading Some Thoughts on the Change in Publishing

Commentary on Camera Policies at Concerts

Here’s and interesting article I got from the NIN twitter feed.

nineinchnails RT @rob_sheridan: CNET has a nice article up about open camera policies at concerts, with some comments from me: http://bit.ly/1HVAlO

I’ve been to NIN and Gwen Stefani concerts with the everything goes camera policies and to a Bjork concert where I was trampled by a large security guard on her way to kick a fan out of the concert for having a camera phone out of his pocket.   When the camera policy is loose, the audience is more engaged and, in general,  having more fun as they make memories and share their experience with the world in real time.  With respect to the Bjork concert, I really didn’t appreciate being trampled and I would have liked to, at least, have taken a picture of myself and my husband at the event to mark the occasion.

To be honest, whenever I see an artist demand a no camera policy, my gut tells me it’s because the artist knows the show isn’t that good and doesn’t want footage leaked that will discourage potential customers.  Any reasonable person knows, regardless of the image and sound quality, NOTHING beats the experience of actually being at the concert.   I applaud those artists that understand their audience and understand cameras are for admiration, adoration, and commemoration and not piracy.  Not only that, with some clever marketing, fan generated media can be made into some nice personalized merchandise for the artist to sell back to the fan.  Example:  HP and Gwen Stefani collaborated with fans to make personalized concert books.  It was a win-win-win solution!

Mommy Bloggers Confront Ethics

Hahaha!!!  It didn’t take long for greed to spoil “Mommy Blogging.”  Here’s a little article from CNN about some of the upcoming self regulation and  government regulation coming for blogging.

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Well, I don’t know what to say other than greed is human nature and offering folks free stuff subtly corrupts.  But to me it comes down to the question of whether blogging a life supporting career?  For me, getting paid to generate specific content is the difference between blogging and freelance writing.  I think as soon as a writer is paid (either by cash, items, or services) to generate content, then that person is an employee and, as such, he or she should disclose they are doing a job for an employer.   It’s as simple as that for me.

Haha!!! Aside from that, a brilliant thing has happened here.  The professional news folks,  for years now, have been trying to discredit blogging and here’s the perfect ammo.  Have at it guys!  It’s a really good argument.

So where does this leave the advertisers?  In the same place as always — despised by everyone, but somehow still prowling around for the next convenient dupe.

As for Mommy Bloggers:  choose whether you are blogging or starting a career as a freelance writer or freelance advertiser.  Be clear with your audience as to which you are and all things should be fine.  However, if you choose to be a freelance advertiser, don’t be surprised if you find yourself despised and not believed.  I think this follows for all of us writing on the Internet, including me.

Got Cherry Blossoms?

Do you need cherry blossoms?  Are you gonna die if you can’t find some?  Well, I’ve got cherry blossoms for you!  Here’s what’s in the collection (The flowers are actually peachy colored.  I guess WordPress recrunched the file to “web only” colors):

cherry-blossomcollectionHere’s link to the vector art file for Illustrator.  Have fun and make something lovely!

In the future go to the Lovely Items Blog for more freebies.

Ouran Wallpaper: More fun with Photoshop

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As I post this, I realize that I have no where on any of my formal websites to display this stuff. Yeeks, I’ll figure out something by the end of the week. Anyhow, here’s the Haruhi wallpaper. I like this image of her with sheep (mostly because I adore sheep). So I made the image to look like it was cut out of paper.  Here’s the original image:

haruhiwithsheeporiginalThis was tough, because the image quality of the manga magazine was very poor.  I had to clean up a lot!

Here are some links to the nether regions of one of my websites. I’ll update this once I get something formal going.

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Fun Stuff Coming out of NAA Conference

I’ve been following the news coming out of the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) conference.  Here’s a link to latest thread as Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt adds his 2-cents.  Basically the newspapers have discovered that “free” isn’t a business model while, at the same time, they have no idea how to regain control of the distribution of their content from the millions of bloggers and aggregators out there in the world.  The thing I don’t understand is why they object to bloggers and aggregators providing links to their content and why they are acting like the music industry folks and “hating” upon their customers.  First of all links are the life’s blood of the internet.  If you want people to find your content, then links to your content  (along with quality content) will help put your content on top of the Google stack (links are the Internet’s “street cred”).   What news agencies don’t want is bloggers and aggregators reprinting content in whole without crediting or linking back to the source.

Let’s take a look at my interaction with Ad Age.  I pay a subscription to Ad Age because I find the content compelling.  I ended up getting a subscription because of links from the CEA news aggregator.  Some Ad Age articles are free, but not all of them.  I wanted access to this news so I pay for it.  What a concept!  In my blogging I put links to Ad Age in them and if my readers want to read the Ad Age source they can choose to pay and read the source article.   Mind blowing isn’t it?  So what’s the secret?  Um … it’s called compelling content!

So with respect to bloggers, news agencies want them to find their content.   News agencies want bloggers to pay to read content and then repackage the headlines so they compel their readers to follow the links back to the source.  Those readers, then, will be confronted with the choice to pay to read further.  So my message to the news agencies is that they should show some love to bloggers rather than “hating” upon them.  Most people like their news pre-digested and spoon fed to them.  Get used to it!  Understand who it is that wants to get beyond the headlines and serve that audience.  Quit worrying about the masses for which the “cesspool” of the Internet and headlines are good enough.  Let the bloggers and the aggregators have the close relationship with the masses — use them as envoys.   I think Eric Schmidt got it right by telling the news agency execs and reps,

These are ultimately consumer businesses, and if you piss off enough of them, you ultimately won’t have any.