Archive - December 12, 2011

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Robert Textor Remembers Writing the In-Up-and-Out Memo
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How to Sell your e-book

Robert Textor Remembers Writing the In-Up-and-Out Memo

Fifty Years Ago Today, Sunday, December 11, 2011 Today I find myself reminiscing about this day fifty years ago, when I was serving as the first full-time cultural anthropologist in Peace Corps/ Washington.  I had begun my consulting role the previous June, at the request of various officials of the then-fledgling organization.  Since I was a Thailand specialist, my original assignment was to help plan the training program for Thailand One.  Pretty soon, however, “mission creep” set in, and I was working on other assignments as well — notably for the Talent Search, to find linguistically, culturally, and otherwise qualified people to serve overseas as ” Peace Corps Representatives,” or “Reps.” By December, 1961, after six months of the most frenetic work imaginable, it had become clear to me that I ought to plan to leave soon, and return to academic life.  (I had a nice grant waiting to be . . .

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How to Sell your e-book

In The Wall Street Journal (Friday, December 8, 2011) I read an article about Darcie Chan, a full-time lawyer who drafts environmental legislation during the day and at night, after she has put her toddler son to bed, writes novels. Finishing her first novel, and after dozens of publishers and more than 100 literary agents rejected, she had a decision to make: quit writing or get published someway. Not giving up, and reading about e-book publishing, she decided to publish the book herself and went ahead and bought some ads on Web sites that target e-book readers, paid for a few reviews, and priced the book at .99 cents. She has (so far) sold more than 400,000 copies. What gives? According to the Association of American Publishers digital self-publishing has serious drawbacks. While e-books are the fastest-growing segment of the book market, they still make up less than 10% of overall trade book . . .

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