February 26, 2009

E-Books: Free For The Learning

One of my true passions is music. I fought for artists and publishers in the music industry for more than a decade. This was not some clueless struggle against technology or progress but rather a discovery of how the music industry could remain healthy while giving music fans what they want - and were now taking for free.

At the core of any venture is the need to be good at it. Music downloading did not create better musicians and not everyone in the industry is out to steal from artists. But if you let people know the food on the menu is free every Thursday, the line-up will be quite a bit shorter on Friday.

I have all the data from the "I only download some music" group and the "they already make enough money" group but we can save that for another time.

Download Books for Free?

One of the coolest trends lately is e-books. These are tightly packed 30-40 page manuals jammed with information that can help you. E-books offer practical information for your business, industry and career.

E-books are easy to read and re-read and re-read again. If you want to write your own, you can!

Books Are Cool

While the publishing industry evolves, the web has allowed anyone to self-publish. You won’t make money from writing an e-book but it allows you the opportunity to share some information and most importantly give readers a better chance to get to know you.

Plus, writing an e-book can lead to business for your company in the future. But, like with music downloading your e-book must actually have substance and something people want to read.

Can You Be Trusted?

Trust is one of the biggest topics these days so if you can gain trust through sharing information, the chances of building better business relationships will increase.

As one who has a renewed interest in the publishing industry, we must look at the changes in the music industry throughout the last decade. It is imperative that the creators are compensated and protected.

Some samples

If you travel in the world of media, social networking, marketing, publishing or entertainment, here are some gems that may help you.

Download, digest and do.

Blink: A Social Media Guide from The Edge
Todd Defren
It is refreshing to read Todd’s work. Defren is a principal with Shift Communications – a PR agency with offices in San Francisco and Boston.

Blink is crammed with nothing but meat. Todd mentions in the opening that he is not going to waste a lot of time getting to real useable information and he keeps that promise. I would say there is a lot of common sense here but as I’ve previously posted, that too is rare. You may find yourself nodding your head a lot but your next step is to create action in your own life with this information. This is a fantastic book.

Unleashing The Ideavirus
Seth Godin
This is a classic! Seth wrote this in 2000 and it’s still ahead of it’s time today. If you are even marginally in the marketing industry, you have heard of Seth. His work, his energy, his mind, and his contribution to the industry is well documented.

If you haven’t read “Unleashing The Ideavirus” or it’s been a while – it’s worth a re-read. Congrats to Seth for publishing his 3,000th blog post this week. And check out his TEDTalk on sliced bread.

Fish Where The Fish Are
Using The Social Web to Find Work
Branding for the Business Professional

Chris Brogan
If you are even a casual social media participant, you have heard of Chris. He is the president of New Marketing Labs with partners Justin Levy and Colin Browning. Chris travels the world giving presentations to businesses that include practical applications for marketing and social networking. I had the pleasure of spending some time with him at PodCamp Toronto. If you did the same, you know he is the real deal.

Word of Mouth Manual
Dave Balter
With all the tools and tricks and data at our disposal, word of mouth still holds true as an extremely powerful way for people to find out about you and your business. It can work in your favor or work against you. Building positive word of mouth can take time but negative news travels quickly. Dave is the founder and CEO of BzzAgents – a word of mouth marketing and media network so he knows of what he writes.

Trust Economies
Julien Smith & Chris Brogan
Julien Smith was an early adopter to the social space through In Over Your Head which began in November 2004. He is a writer, designer and entrepreneur. He is also one of six contributors to a new initiative called Media Hacks hosted by Mitch Joel with Hugh McGuire, Brogan, CC Chapman, and Christopher S. Penn.

Along with Brogan, Smith has co-authored “Trust Agents” which will be released in August. He is wicked smart and very funny. He has more energy than an NFL franchise and a warning: he will in fact tell you the truth.

Have you written or have you ever thought about writing an e-book?


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