You Never Know Where A Book Will Turn Up

A friend is looking at a new sound console and we were talking about the Yamaha QL series.  I was telling her that these new consoles came with my friend Dan Dugan's very cool automixing built in, and we ended up watching an interesting Yamaha youtube video featuring Dan:

Watching the video, shot in Dan's San Francisco studio (which I visited a couple years ago), I started laughing, and my friend didn't know why.  

Over Dan's shoulder, prominently displayed, is a copy of my book!  Thanks Dan for the unintended product placement!

My Self Publishing Talk at HOPE X

I'm honored to once again have a talk approved for the upcoming HOPE X hacker conference here in NYC.  I've been going to HOPE conferences since 2000 or so, and spoken at the last two HOPE conferences (you can listen to my talks and watch the slides here and here), and this year I'm talking about self publishing my book, Show Networks and Control Systems.  Here's the description from the HOPE X site:


Just days before HOPE Number Nine, John Huntington released a self-published version of his book, Show Networks and Control Systems. Several months before, his publisher had decided that they were not interested in an update after three successful editions, so Huntington got his publishing rights back and did a whole new edition himself using Amazon’s Createspace for printed copies and Kindle for e-books. And it’s been a success – Huntington has made far more money self publishing this one edition than the royalties on all three of the previous editions with the publisher combined. More importantly, he has had a far higher level of engagement with his readers, and has been able to do things he never could have done with the publisher, like putting free lecture videos for each chapter on his website, or giving copies away (which he will do at the end of this talk). Huntington will share sales figures, compare the economics and issues related to both printed and e-book editions, and lay out the challenges, pitfalls, and successes of this process.

I hope to see you there!

Pay What You Will E-Book Promotion Wrapup

For 48 hours starting Friday, I ran a "pay what you will" promotion on my book, Show Networks and Control Systems.

There were 420 total downloads (391 in the US and Canada, and 29 in the UK and Europe), and 59 donations. So that means that 14% of people who downloaded the book donated.  I'm not sure, however, what that really means, since I had to run the Kindle free download on Amazon, and the donation part here on my website.  Amazon doesn't give me any referral/download/purchasing information (although you know they have it), so it's quite possible that a lot of those downloads were people who found the book free on Amazon somehow, and didn't even know about the donation possibility.  This whole thing started, too, as a way to give the Kindle edition to those who already had the print edition, so that might account for some of those numbers. 

For those that donated, thank you!!!  39% donated $10, 20% donated $20, 14% donated $5, and 7% donated $30 (the regular download price).  Two people gave me $1, and I'm not really sure what to make of that (especially since after Paypal, I got 67 cents).  Paypal's take varied from 4% to 33%, averaging 7% in total (I really hate that aspect of Paypal--it's always difficult to figure out what they will charge in advance).  If you wanted to donate but forgot, the donate button on the link is still active!

The best part of the whole thing was the comments I got on some of the donations.  One said he was unemployed and could not afford the full price, and another said he was a college student and really appreciated the break. One person gave me $25 just because he liked the pay what you will idea.  I recognized 13 of the names on the donations, which is 22%.

I think this was a fun experiment In the end, and it was worth it since over 400 people now have the book that didn't before.  But as a business model I'm not sure it's a solution.  Fortunately, through print-on-demand Createspace, I've now made more in royalties than I did on the previous two editions with a publisher, and I've had a hell of a lot more fun!  (It's still a lower hourly rate than working as a Local 1 stagehand, though.)