October Quotes

"I realized that school was a plot designed to deprive people of erudition by squeezing their knowledge into a narrow set of authors." - Nassim Taleb

"Provided we have the right type of rigor, we need randomness, mess, adventures, uncertainty, self-discovery, near-traumatic episodes, all these things that make life worth living, compared to the structured, fake, and ineffective life of an empty-suit CEO with a preset schedule and an alarm clock." - Nassim Taleb

"We are our choices. Build yourself a great story." - Jeff Bezos

"That's the beauty of creating... It often takes the act of creating it for the idea to emerge. Often it's not there at the very beginning." - Kevin Kelly 

"It’s important to know when to say “it’s fine for now, but it won’t be fine for later.”" - Jason Fried

"The excess energy released from overreaction to setbacks is what innovates!" - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

"Half the content on the internet is devoted to healing diseases of western comfort." - Chad Grills

"Putting words on paper every single day is motivated by having a larger goal in mind: writing a novel. But more importantly, the goal serves as the impetus for doing what’s truly important, and that’s the habit of daily writing." - Hugh Howey

People capable of making enough money to never work again are the same people who will never quit working. - Chris Dixon

"It's hard to do a really good job on anything you don't think about in the shower." - Paul Graham

"It’s easy to forgo distractions and to not accumulate things when you have a larger goal on the horizon." - Hugh Howey

“Relieving the states that make life miserable…has made building the states that make life worth living less of a priority. The time has finally arrived for a science that seeks to understand positive emotion, build strength and virtue, and provide guideposts for finding what Aristotle called the, “good life.⁠” - Dr. Martin Seligman

"If you take risks and face your fate with dignity, there is nothing you can do that makes you small; if you don't take risks, there is nothing you can do that makes you grand, nothing.” - Nassim Taleb

Kindle Unlimited Review for Authors

I've been thinking about Kindle Unlimited, for authors and for readers.

The future of books is one of increasing quality, and lower prices for digital copies.

There is incredible opportunity for authors who are willing to craft each (or some) of their work as a project. This doesn't just mean writing a great book. It means non-fiction authors will position their books to offer speaking and consulting. It means fiction writers will think about how a story works as a: screenplay, TV series, movie, triology, or could be expanded into the world of fan fiction.

Kindle Unlimited (KU) might be a perfect vehicle for all of those pursuits. As a reader, in my first month of KU, I found myself exploring and reading in a variety of genres. I browsed more books, and read many different authors. I would never have tried out all these different books for $12.99 a piece.

On the author side, many are worried that KU's exclusivity will be bad for their books. I think KU offers authors an incredibly interesting exposure to upside. More readers reading more books more quickly is nothing but opportunity for authors who favor distribution over higher up-front ebook prices.

In this audio (video included for those on wi-fi), I talk briefly about KU for readers and authors:

A few more thoughts:

I'm getting ready to publish several pieces of works at once. I'll be going exclusively with Amazon/KU. I'm betting that as a platform, Amazon posses a power law with KU distribution.

A power law regarding distribution just means that one channel will make up a huge majority of all sales.

The only counterpoint to exclusivity that holds any weight is the iBooks argument. The new iOS has iBooks pre-installed on the home screen of over (almost) a billion Apple devices. This is the only variable that could cause me to decline Amazon's KU exclusivity offer. But people think about Apple as iPhone and music, not necessarily books. I'll wait for a few months of sales data from iBooks before I consider leaving exclusivity from Amazon. 

I currently can't see a better opportunity than KU for a new author like myself to hit a baseline of sales. Plus, I believe Amazon understands what is most valuable to consumers, and that's showing them the right book, at the right time. As prices of digital books either drop or remain stagnate, it's important to put your books on the platform that best knows their customers.

The future could even see ebook prices go to $0, in which case consumers might pay for discovery. If this is the case, Amazon and KU will be able to capitalize on this. 

The bottom line? "Exclusivity" isn't really a big deal. It's a small, cheap, 90 day test. It's not an old school publishing contract, and you control it from a dashboard! But ultimately, it's a personal decision based on whatever variables and constraints you're facing. 

So, I'm willing to spend my first few months, (and hopefully much longer) with my works exclusive to Kindle Unlimited. And I'll also be reading more, thanks to Kindle Unlimited!