How Brett Trout’s Cyber Law is a POD Post Example
Cyber Law by Brett Trout (ISBN 978-1-934209-71-4) is an excellent book by a very talented writer. Cyber Law is a great success story for World Audience Publishers, and after reading just a few chapters, anyone can see why!
World Audience’s goal is to be a driving force in the ever-changing business of book publishing, which is being sparked by technology. Cyber Law deals specifically with how the law is shaping and trying to keep up with the internet. Cyber Law covers your topic in a clear and entertaining way. So it is perfectly suited to our press, and the success of Cyber Law bodes well for the vision and goals of this press. It is useful to study how the author approaches his subject and then apply that knowledge towards the pursuit of this vision by this press. It is vital that the authors published by World Audience have a good understanding of blogging, for example to market their books, and Cyber Law explains this and many others in great detail.
Cyber Law was published in September 2007, shortly after our press began publishing books. It’s a wonderful example of how desktop publishing, print-on-demand distribution, and our press work. Although we have improved our operations in the last 2 years, our core model has remained largely unchanged. We are efficient and our business model has little overhead. A geographically separated editorial team worked online to publish Cyber Law. The author, in Iowa, worked with the book’s publisher, Kyle Torke, who lives in Colorado. The final file was sent to me, the publisher, in New York, and I formatted it into a book using only Microsoft Word. I then sent the file to our artist in Liverpool, England, Chris Taylor, to design the cover with the help of the cover image provided by another artist. I then created the final files by converting the MS Word files to PDF with the use of a web application that costs about $ 13. I set the title (with the information that can be seen on Amazon.com or related retailers) on our printer, Lightning Source, and then I uploaded 4 PDF files: front, back, spine, and inside. It took me about 1 hour to do the technical component of providing the files to the printer.
Cyber Law is one of our best-selling titles and sales are constantly increasing every month. As a publisher, I consider the growth of Cyber Law sales to be an indicator of how sales of a book and the growth of our press in general can develop.
With every book I publish I am faced with a seemingly unanswerable question: what makes a great book? And what defines a great book in the first place? Perhaps the fact that I ask this question every time drives the press I run in the first place. To complicate matters further, the answer or answers to this question are changing because the post itself is changing. This fact has a dramatic impact on certain industry players, even as many of those players choose to ignore or avoid the reality that not only is the post changing, but the answer to my question above is changing as well. In other words, the values held by an older generation are not my values as a “21st century publisher,” operating primarily online, nor is what makes a book great the same.
For example, Cyber Law received rave reviews, such as: “This book is a quick read and serves as an introduction to the basics of Internet marketing. The details of Cyber Law provide valuable clues …” –Martha L. Cecil-Few, the Colorado attorney And Cyber Law was reviewed by a leading technology expert and is available from the New York Public Library. To me, that (and there are more great Cyber Law reviews) is a solid set of reviews that gives great credit not only to this book but to my press. And this is how it works with each of our titles, although some of our titles have more reviews than others. But, for an older person who is not used to the Internet or technology and who grew up reading the New York Times Book Review, previous reviews (or the effect of their marketing) mean nothing, simply because Cyber Law does not it was reviewed by the New York Times Book Review or perhaps a handful of other esoteric scholarly sources (many of which are dying or dead, like the Los Angeles Times book review section). Therefore, this potential market share of clients will not buy a book that has not been blessed by its sources, such as Cyber Law (even being in the New York Public Library is not enough). This lack of “official sanction” in the publishing world has other consequences, such as making general media attention difficult to attract, among other things. And there are many other examples of how the publication of the past is colliding with the present, even very insignificant things, like how the oldest independent bookstores open a book printed on demand on the back cover, notice the location of a bar. code, and refuses to examine the book further based solely on that fact. All these prejudices (and there are many more) of the “old guard” are the equivalent of literally firing millions of writers who work online and their books, and excluding an entire generation, if not two generations, from access to the business. of successful book publishing and marketing profitably. It is a form of class struggle and economic prejudice. Even racial profiling or nationalism can be applied to this “old guard” of the publishing industry, who would at least be adamantly opposed (mainly politically) to free trade, which drives the World Audience business model. Old-school posts thrive on unions, for example, which are useless online.
What makes a book great, therefore, is different for me, as a publisher, and not because of my politics (this fact also marks a division). What makes a book great is when it receives rave reviews and can survive and thrive on the web. If a title can do that with limited help from its publisher, such as Cyber Law, then even better because that means there will likely be more sales once more resources are put into marketing it. But if the oldest places to judge the merit or “value” of a book have disappeared or quickly become obsolete, how is the other half determined to make a book great? The value of a book must now be defined by the author as well as the critic. But the role of the critic is diminished on the Web; It is nothing like Mr. Wood’s role in the past. In the recent past, an author had little to do with the success of a book, and it was even an afterthought. However, going back to another generation, perhaps to the 1920s, the author was a vital part of the success of his book. How ironic that technology has returned the author to a prominent role. In the pre-Depression era (the Depression is when the publishing business model that survives to this day was formed), the author was an important figure in the media and his image was critical to the success of his books. Also, an author’s publisher played a much larger role before the Depression (like Max Perkins) compared to the recent past, when publishers were practically non-entities. However, if you look at the beginning of my article, look at the main actors: author, publisher and publisher, and book. Due to the streamlined nature of our operations and the multitude of technologies at our fingertips, we don’t need anyone else. We do not need a vast union of intermediaries.
The publication is changing and the rate of change is only accelerating. It amazes me that there are still those who are, let’s say, over 50 and averse to technology, and that includes much of the publishing industry. This group, this market share, influences a large part of the publishing pie, even today. However, as the Internet and technology continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, “new publications” are open to greater market share, and this older demographic becomes irrelevant. For example, YouTube reached full maturity a year or two ago and has opened up many new opportunities for advertising and marketing books. The Web is simply too vast for older publishing business models, which are unable to adapt, to survive. Therefore, new business models that are based on technology, for example e-books, will take over and replace the market share of old school presses. Why wouldn’t they eliminate a smaller competitor? The new publication will not complement the previous model; it will eradicate it and take its entire market share. And readers accustomed to sourcing their books through older distribution models will either adapt to the Web or live without books. And in the meantime, a new generation of publishers is redefining what it means for a book to be great, regardless of what it meant in the past. Cyber Law is helping to define that too, both through its well-written topic and the course of success it is charting on the Web.