read your veggies

After many late nights of eating ramen noodles, rolling my eyes at a publisher’s style guides, and general frustration with the book retail system while publishing Brand Zeitgeist, I swore I would never write another book.

I have written another book. And to borrow the line from Monty Python, it’s something completely different. It’s not about marketing. It’s not about business. It’s not about media.

It’s about vegetable gardening.

Back up. How did we get here?

I’ve been aware for a few years of the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program at Amazon. Even though it’s platform exclusive, it’s an egalitarian idea that puts content creators closer to book consumers in the same disruptive fashion we’ve seen in things like music and media publishing. It eliminates many of the frustrations and problems with traditional, self, or POD publishing.

I had a few ideas of short e-books for marketing topics I wanted to publish in the Amazon program. Before putting a massive amount of work into those projects, I wanted a guinea pig project to learn more about the program firsthand and just for fun.

I also needed to step away from writing about marketing for a bit. As I’ve said before, I’ve exhausted my commentary on traditional marketing and there‘s too much being said about digital.

I had written a column for a local alt-monthly newspaper for a few months about vegetable gardening. I used those columns as a nucleus and wrote an e-book around them.

Kentucky Dirt - A practical guide to vegetable gardeningThat short e-book (about 6500 words) is now available on Amazon as “Kentucky Dirt: A practical guide to vegetable gardening”. The book takes you through a year in the garden with tips and common sense advice on how to grow a garden and why the effort is worth it.

It’s written in a very laid-back first-person style. It’s like Lewis Grizzard, P. Allen Smith, and Justin Wilson got together and wrote something. Kentucky Dirt offers an eclectic mix of folksy humor, recipes, and stories.

It is available exclusively through the Amazon Kindle platform. The download is priced at 99 cents. The book has also been accepted into the Amazon KDP Select program which means, among other things, that Amazon Prime members can borrow the book for free from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

So won’t you buy a copy? It’s only 99 cents!

kindle-ing

I should have written this post last week, but turkey trimmings demanded my full attention.

If you haven’t heard, Amazon released an e-book reader called Kindle last week.

It takes market leaders like Amazon, Google, Apple, etc to move people to new platforms and new methods. It takes alot of energy and money to get people to pay attention to you AND for you to convince them to change their habits. You’ve won half the battle if you already have the attention like these major market leaders do.

I see the release of Kindle as a less hyped version of the release of the iPhone.

The mobile web (currently best exemplified through the iPhone) will be where major growth occurs in the next few years. It will be the next bubble. And while Kindle is not technically connected to the web (it’s Sprint cell service) — mobile devices that can access content (music, media, etc) like Kindle will be the item that drives this mobile web phenomenon. The trouble is getting people used to the new methods of delivery.

For years, we’ve done a decent job of expanding and promoting content through the boxes that people are already used to. It’s not incredibly hard to get people to watch another show on the TV if they’re already TV users. Or to listen to another song on the radio…or visit another website on the net. They’re already there. You don’t have to move them that far. They’re in the house. You just have to get them to change rooms.

On the other hand, it’s incredibly hard to get people to change the box that they’re accessing content through. There are numerous barriers to overcome. It’s like getting people to put their coats on, go outside, and go into another house — just to go into another room. (which right now is alot like the one they just left!)

One of the tenets of my speaking engagements is that the future is now arriving alot faster than it used to. While the next new thing is steadly inching up the Adoption Curve, the next-next new thing is on its heels. And sometimes it passes it.

In the near future, we’re going to see major market failures with sharp dead-on technology that SHOULD be embraced. All because we’re putting the new stuff out before people have had a chance to look at the “previous” new stuff.

Kindle, with all its imperfections, is a big step. We’ll see what the next move is.

And since I’m late — here are some of the sharper thoughts from around the net about the Kindle:
Where’s My Jetpack reminds us of another overhyped item that would change our lives and is now a novelty way of doing overpriced city tours.
Seth reminds us that he’s always thinking outside of the box (and I think he may have missed the train because of it.)
–And Slate has some good thoughts.