An Indie Musician Wake Up Call Is Now Available on Kindle

Hello everyone!

My first Kindle book, “An Indie Musician Wake Up Call” is now up on Amazon!   (If you have Amazon Prime, you can read it for free!) If you don’t have a Kindle, the Kindle app to read it on your mac/pc/iPad, etc. is free from Amazon.  The book description from Amazon is below.

An Indie Musician Wake Up Call (aka What Louis CK, Amanda Palmer, David Lowery and Emily White Really Means For The Working Musician) is a prog rock manifesto delivered as a punk rock intervention.

The book is comprised of two extended (but related) essays that address the real impact that Amanda Palmer’s recent Kickstarter campaign and Louis CK’s crowdfunding release has on working musicians (hint: not much), and the REAL problem musicians face with the David Lowery/Emily White NR debacle (hint – it’s not strictly file sharing).

“An Indie Musician Wake Up Call” is a rallying cry for real steps musicians will need to take in the 21st century to move forward and establish their careers.

Wait…”first kindle book”?

In related news, there will be a book of music business essays up on Kindle soon, as well as Nothing Ever Got Done With An Excuse, the book on project management I’m currently editing.

Additionally, the current book on Fiverr (http://fiverr.com/guitarchitect/teach-you-how-to-visualize-the-pentatonic-scale-all-over-the-guitar-fingerboard),

will be serialized and expanded on in a series of Kindle guitar lessons.

Kindle and GuitArchitecture Books

For those of you who have asked about the GuitArchitecture reference books getting moved over to Kindle, I should talk about the Kindle platform, porting the reference books and other materials over to that medium.
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When I saw that the Kindle was the number one selling item on all of Amazon earlier in the year, I knew that I could reach a lot of people by moving my content there.
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Files for the Kindle reader work on a proprietary format called .mobi.  Amazon has a converter that will work with a variety of formats (including .doc), but I’ve had better success with the final version looking like what I actually output in my exporting files as HTM (or HTML).
The first problem with the Kindle option for the GuitArchitecture books is that while Kindles can read pdfs, Amazon won’t sell pdfs on their store.  From a marketing point, Amazon’s store front is the biggest reason to move the books over so that plan of action won’t work for me.
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The death knell, however, of porting the books over in their current form is that I would go broke doing so.
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First, full disclosure.  If you go to sell Kindle titles on Amazon, there are two revenue options for the author (depending on the pricing of the book).  You can sell with a 70% rate of return or with a 30% rate of return.  Now your initial response to that might be, “Well of course! Take the 70%!” – but hold it right there partner!  If you take 70% option, you also pay the transmission costs for the book to people’s kindle.
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The reason for this is that Amazon has a server that holds and sends those titles.  With the 30% rate of return, they’ll pay the data transfer rates (up to a certain point) but at 70% the author pays them.  Believe it or not, my rate of return is actually better at 30% than it is at 70%!
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However, the GuitArchitect’s Guide to… books are SO large that even at the lower rate, I’d have to pay the transfer rates on each book.  This means that  I’d either need to sell them for MUCH more money than the current versions are selling for, or actually lose money at the current rate of sale.
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This doesn’t mean that the project is doomed, but it does mean that the Kindle Editions of the GuitArcitecture books will have to be radically altered.  They’ll be more list oriented with less graphic representations.  Which will still be a good and useful thing, but it will be a very different book for the ones that have currently been released.
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For those of you with the current PDF, I’d recommend sticking with it because the Kindle will have way less graphic information on it.
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Again…Why Kindle?

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For those of you doing the math, may wonder why someone would even take the time to port to Kindle at such a low rate of return.
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In a word, volume.
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Amazon is the largest online retailer on the planet (and probably the largest single retailer by now). Putting something in the Amazon pipeline means that it’s potential exposure to people who don’t know you is huge.  People who have readers want to read books.  They’ll look on Amazon to see what to read.  If people have to make more than one click to buy something, it’s all over.  So if you want to sell to people using Kindles – you have to sell on Amazon.
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The downside is that the market is a million times bigger but there are also a million other fish in the pond.
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Volume is a necessity for the author then as well.  The only way to make money at a venture that involves selling books at the $1.99 price point is to have multiple downloads on multiple titles.  If someone like a book generally the first thing they’ll do is see what else you’ve written.
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Anyway, his is the rationale behind the efforts to release multiple titles on the platform.
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I’ll have a lot more up about Kindle and branding and the GuitArchitecture site implications in all of this in a future post, but I thought that you might find the behind the scenes interesting.
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In the meantime, I hope you can check out the books, and as always – thanks for reading!

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PS – as a reminder you can find out about my other books (Including my new $5 Pentatonic Visualization Lesson Book on Fiverr) here.

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