Yes, this is Book Plug Friday, and yes, it’s Sunday (Happy Easter and Happy Hanamatsuri and Gute Pesach) and yes, things have been a little ragged recently. And yes, this is Charlie.
Here’s an abbreviated version of the story: Sarah had reasonably major surgery and has been recuperating, successfully; I recently left my old day job at Sumazi.com, and joined another startup, Bloc.io, as a curriculum developer, which is to say writing and editing curricula for “boot camp” programmer training; and the combination has had both of us with entirely too much real life and too little spare time. So, BPF slid off the table and then the cats pushed it behind the couch and we’re just getting back on track.
Now, with that said, we’re accumulating some guest posts and should be getting back onto the weekly cadence soon.
Today’s guest post is from Mark Watkins. He’s been doing an interesting new startup of his own, with the idea of helping people find the books they want to read more efficiently. I think this is the next big problem for the indie publishing world, and Mark has an interesting approach indeed. But better I let him tell you.
Readers of this column are familiar with the ongoing battles between Amazon and the major publishers. At the root of this is the simultaneous rise of ebooks and independent authors, raising issues of control, price and quality. Contrary to conventional wisdom, books aren’t dying, they’re growing. Authors can now go direct to consumers, rather than having to go through the publishers, the gatekeepers. The result: an enormous rise in the number of books (up 437% since 2008 according to Bowker, an industry group).
Now, this can be a good thing (famous indie author Hugh Howey argues “The Glut is Good”), even a great thing for Authors. But for Readers, there’s a downside.
Let’s face it — there’s an ocean of books out there and it’s hard to find the right ones for you. What if there was a bookstore where every book was specifically selected to match your interests? That knew what kind of books you read and what authors you love? A service that was always on the lookout for you, magically finding interesting books you’d never find on your own, and bringing them to you so you didn’t have to go looking? An assistant that told you when your favorite author puts out a new book and tells you when they recommend a book they love. Imagine something that’s not just books — that could immerse you in the world of books — through articles, cover art, blog posts from your favorite authors, even photos and videos about authors and books you’ll be interested in?
Imagine a company that gave back 10% of all their revenue to support reading and literacy.
We started The Hawaii Project to do all that and more. We’re launching today, with a campaign on Kickstarter to get The Hawaii Project off the ground. Join us and Do Good by Reading Well.
In spite of the energy invested in the digital world of books, book discovery online in still broken. People still discover new books offline, through friends and physical bookstores. Online, you’re pretty much left to sort through a pile of a gazillion ratings and reviews. (Some books have over 100,000 reviews on Goodreads – are you going to read them all?). And people are rightfully cynical about ratings & reviews. Too often they are fake, gamed, or bought.
We’re different. We start by learning what authors and books you love. We marry that with an insight. If somebody (especially a well-known curator or blogger) takes the time to write long form content about a book, that book mattered to them. Smash those two things together and you get personally relevant recommendations about quality books. Now, you may or may not care what The New York Times says is a good book, so we also learn what sources you value. The more you use it, the better it knows you.
I started The Hawaii Project after a string of very successful tech startups. As I grow older, I want to work on something that matters. Something with a mission. Books Change Lives. So The Hawaii Project’s mission is to get you reading the best books you possibly can, and help others do the same.
Life’s too short for mediocre books. Read Good books. Books that Matter. Books Change Lives. Join us, and Do Good by Reading Well.
Remember, tell all your writer friends to send the AUTHOR, TITLE, a SHORT BLURB, and an AMAZON LINK AMAZON LINK AMAZON LINK to firstname.lastname@example.org to be plugged here on PJ Media.
It really helps if you don’t bother with HTML magic at all, because we just have to parse it apart to put it into the template. The ideal submission is like
TITLE My Book AUTHOR My name as it's on the book cover. AMAZON LINK http://www.amazon.com/My-Book-By-Me/dp/B00ABCDEFG/ BLURB no more than about 100 words.
Aleta Dinesen doesn’t see the point of hanging around home, not when she can cook a mean paella. But her plan to conquer the universe one meal at a time runs afoul of her overprotective father, commander of a tough mercenary company. And when he puts his foot down, he’s got the firepower to back it up.
Undeterred, Aleta escapes the dreadnaught she calls home one step ahead of the gorgeous, highly disapproving Lieutenant Park, the unlucky young officer tasked with hauling her back. But the universe isn’t the safe place she thought it was. Stranded in a dangerous mining community, she clings to survival by her fingernails. Only by working with someone she can’t stand will she have a chance to escape, proving to everyone that a teenage cook can be the most dangerous force in the universe.
In the exciting sequel to The White Gates, thirteen-year-old Torin Sinclair must solve a mystery after he adopts Roscoe, a stray young dog. Tor and his friends venture into the haunted box canyon where Roscoe was found where they encounter a deadly enemy. The White Gates was a Junior Library Guild premiere selection and a finalist for the Missouri Truman Award. “Fast-paced, solid entertainment that is accessible and fun. A rollicking downhill read.” Kirkus Reviews, The White Gates.
Young Jin, starving and cold, desperately searches a burned-out building on a bitter winter’s night. Deep in the ashes he finds a glowing crystal sphere–and unwittingly opens a portal to another world.
Unable to return, forced to hide from the dangerous and mysterious masters of the strange world he finds himself in, Jin finds friends and adventures as he learns to survive…and fight back, with the magical powers he never knew he had.
You can’t keep a tough Pixie down…
Lom is a bounty hunter, paid to bring magical creatures of all descriptions back Underhill, to prevent war with humans should they discover the strangers amongst them. Bella is about to find out she’s a real life fairy princess, but all she wants to do is live peacefully in Alaska, where the biggest problems are hungry grizzly bears. He has to bring her in. It’s nothing personal, it’s his job…
Wounded veteran Dev Macquire needs some farm help until he recovers. When his father, Gray, brings home a new hand, he’s dismayed to meet Irina. How can a woman do the rough, heavy work they need? As she works her way into their life, and into his heart, he’s faced with a new dilemma. Can he persuade her to stay, and to accept a new role in his life?
As a wildfire threatens the countryside, Dev and Irina discover what true partnership can feel like, working together to find the arsonist who is responsible. When the fires die out, are there embers left smoldering in hearts?
Snootom is D.W. Walker’s first book written in the ancient Polish
language of Samizdat. As well as being a literary text of great
importance, this book is illustrated with Medieval paintings depicting
a glorious period in history prior to the invasion of the United
States by the forces of evil, a time when the world was filled with
happy peasants singing paens of praise to their dear leaders. If you
are imprisoned for thought crimes, this is the one book you will be
happy to have as you await your sentencing.
Surviving the Home Inspection gives every home-seller the tools to reduce the stress involved with selling a home, save money, and sail through the inspection. Written in an accessible style by a veteran inspector, Surviving the Home Inspection ends each chapter with a checklist to guide you as you get your home ready for the inspection.
Spring comes to ColPlat IX with hell and high water!
Five years ago the Eastern Empire and its allies defeated the Turkowi at the Great Plate River, ending their threat forever. Emperor Andrew turned his attention to more important matters: rediscovering lost Lander technology. South of the empire spats turn to civil war and bitter divisions threaten the peace of the region. And then a letter arrives from the Rajtan of the Turkowi: worship Selkow the Beautiful or die.
Three men must save the world.
Emergency Medical services on the Moon present new challenges, not all of which come with the territory. Kristine is an EMT in the Lunar Ambulance Service. Budget cuts and inadequate equipment make it increasingly difficult for her to do her job. William Schneider is finding that some of his subordinates have ideas of their own, ideas contrary to the corporate philosophy he is building, ideas that lead to shortcuts and trading lives for money. They find themselves riding their problems on a collision course to avoid disaster.
The Testing Time has arrived… The world is falling into darkness.
The Seven Gods are at war. Lirak has become a pawn in their all-consuming conflict. Born of an outsider mother, feared by superstitious villagers, resented by his own brother, Lirak must lead his people into battle against an invading malevolent horde. But first he must control the destructive forces that surge through his mind and body before they devour him.
Can Lirak fulfill the prophecy?
To do so Lirak must master the spirit realm, the dream world where anything is possible, including sudden and violent death.