Category: ebooks

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Responsible Reporting Section 2 ‘The New Journalisms’: Chapter I

One section down, it’s two to go as we begin the second. The serialization of my ebook  Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers continues ahead of its release into the public domain. So far we have the Foreward and from Section 1, Chapters, I and II, III and IV, V and VI.

The section’s short introduction is explanation enough what to expect. However, let me remind that all information was current when published 14 months ago and largely is unchanged today. Largely isn’t completely. Relevant clarification: Pricing for the New York Times digital editions is accurate but doesn’t reflect a current half-price promotion for 26 weeks. That said, the point—pricing that is an affront to consumer contextual consumption of news—is just as valid. 

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Responsible Reporting Section 1 ‘News in Context’: Chapters V and VI

The fourth installment in the serialization of my ebook Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers continues the assault on Google, which provides a necessary utility that benefits all news organizations; they sacrifice content and revenue for the privilege.

Last week, Chapters 3 and 4 focused on the broken advertising-driven model in context of Google’s greater ambitions. The previous two, and the Foreward, explain what changed since 2006 and why the Fourth Estate is in crisis. 

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Responsible Reporting Section 1 ‘News in Context’: Chapters III and IV

One thing has changed in the 13 months since the following book excerpt was written: Google loosened some of its services and software cross-integration, presumably in response to antitrust problems in Europe. The company is in the process of divesting some Google+ assets, for example. But in other respects, integration is tight as ever, particularly around mobile, which in 2015 dominates U.S. Google search—and nine other countries, including Japan.

That introduction is important context for reading today’s serialization of my ebook Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers. The third and fourth chapters carry forward an incredibly important, but often misunderstood, theme: The Google economy’s devastating impact on news gathering, and eroding ethical standards around it. I am not anti-Google, being myself a huge consumer of the company’s services. Nevertheless, criticism stands.

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Responsible Reporting Section 1 ‘News in Context’: Chapters I and II

My ebook Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers is divided into three sections. The first, “News in Context”, is a state of the online news industry. The second, “The Five Journalisms”, examines five categories of news gathering most relevant to the age of context. The last, “What You Must Do”, applies concepts from the other two to present guidelines for responsible reporting.

In this second installment, I present two chapters from the first section. Opener “In Just Eight Years” is in part adapted from my June 2009 analysis “Iran and the Internet Democracy“, which is a provocative lens for looking back to look forward at the state of the news industry. 

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Responsible Reporting: Foreward

Today begins the serialization of my ebook Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers before its release into the public domain. I did similarly with Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make the Greatest Show on Earth. That book goes into the public domain on May 7, after my exclusive distribution commitment with Amazon ends.

Responsible Reporting was a labor of love. My profession is in a dramatic state of transition. I sought to provide a realistic treatise for the new journalism. New it is, steeped in ethical quagmire. I hoped to provide reasonable guidelines that accept how things are, rather than cling to how things were. 

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Comic-Con Heroes: The Departure

They say the end is only the beginning. Today’s installment ends serialization of my ebook Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make the Greatest Show on Earth. On July 8, 2015, after my current commitment with Amazon KDP Select ends, the tome’s release into the public domain begins—as promised. I plan to make copies available here, from Bunny Bows Press, and most likely Smashwords. I am still working out final logistics. Free also means removing the book from Amazon, which doesn’t permit the option. I am exploring a one-cent alternative.

A week ago, I posted the last of the dozen profiles, in order of appearance: The Dark Knight, The Fighter, The Collectors, The AcademicThe Nerd Culturist, The Writer,The Bicyclists, The Heroine, The Time Lord, The Volunteer, The Vendor, and The Millennial

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Comic-Con Heroes: The Fighter

One week ago, I started serializing my ebook, Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make the Greatest Show on Earth, which will go into the public domain after the last segment posts on July 8, 2015, after my current commitment for Amazon KDP Select ends. The first installment featured Ken Camarillo, as The Dark Knight. There is no shortage of people like Ken who dress up as someone else during the Con.

But the pop-culture event, and others like it, come around just once a year. Some people wear costumes, and assume other personas considerably more often—and that is the case with today’s Comic-Con Hero. She and her wonderful cohorts reach back into the past, recreating in modern times flavors of an era few people remember but should. 

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Comic-Con Heroes: The Dark Knight

For San Diego Comic-Con 2015, I am required to reverify my press status—the second time since starting to attend as news media in 2009. I submitted the required documents and story links in early December 2014 and now anxiously await my SDCC fate. If denied, I will unlikely attend this year’s Con, having missed other opportunities to register. If that happens, the world won’t end. Life will go forward. But my birthday, which occurs during the July 9-12 dates, will be somewhat sorrowful this year.

I love Comic-Con for what it represents: Storytelling and attendees being or associating with the people they wish they could be. I laid out my thoughts on the latter concept in July 2010 post “The Roles We Play“, which I adapted as the introduction to my 2013 event project: Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make the Greatest Show on Earth. I had much hope for the ebook, when published about 18 months ago. But sales were never good—and as distance grows greater from the events told, time diminishes the content’s value. 

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The #ArtofSocial is What?

This morning, on Google+, successful self-promoter Guy Kawasaki posted about the #ArtofSocial quiz, which promotes his new book co-written with Peg Fitzpatrick  You can see from the screen grab my score, which isn’t as good as I expected. Dammit. (By the way, I didn’t take nearly 6 minutes to complete the quiz. I had a cat interruption midway through.)

Grumble. Grumble. Now I must buy another Guy Kawasaki book, with hopes this time there’s gold. I’ve yet to earn a living writing ebooks, even after reading APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book. Yeah, yeah, go ahead and blame the author—meaning me, not him. 🙂

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‘If I Stay’ Review

Yesterday, at my suggestion, the Wilcox couple watched If I Stay, which I grabbed from iTunes. The movie is much better than expected, and, reading professional reviews later on, grossly underrated by the critics. First-time fictional director R.J. Cutler delivers a poignant, if at times disjointed, coming-of-age drama.

The tonal quality reminds of two other family-centrics films fitting the genre: The Lovely Bones, directed by Peter Jackson, and Sidney Lumet’s Running on Empty. All three focus on a teen in transition, where the family dynamics are canvas for a larger love story. The Cutler and Jackson films bring tears, while Lumet might just make a liberal, or perhaps radical, out of you. 🙂 

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With Whom Should Authors Unite?

That’s the question on my mind since I started self-publishing ebooks about a year ago. Falling ebook prices and rising number of cheap reads—an increasing number of them serials built around single characters—offer readers bountiful choices. What’s good for consumers may not be best for producers, though. If 99 cents is the value of all books, who can make a living writing them? The answer to that question makes Amazon the savior of publishing or the great Satan destroying it.

I write about this today because overnight Amazon sent long email “Important Kindle request” announcing Readers United. But the letter didn’t come to me as a reader but as an author, from Kindle Direct Publishing. Amazon and publisher Hachette are engaged in a dispute that, long-term, could affect future ebook pricing. Hachette Authors United seeks resolution from Amazon, which calls on readers—and writers—to respond in kind.

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Take ‘My Blood’, and If It Satisfies…

So you may know that I’m about half-way through a flailing crowd-funding campaign to raise seed money for my first fiction book. Here’s the campaign page But don’t go there. Go here instead. I started the campaign by offering a free, condensed preview of the book, My Blood. Read it. If you enjoy the 8,000-word teaser, and want to read the book, go to the campaign page and contribute. The more mullah I raise, the faster the book arrives.

If you don’t think much of the preview—or it’s just not your kind of story—contribute another way. Tell me what’s wrong or what you would rather read instead. I mean: that you would pay for.