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Be the Monkey - Ebooks and Self-Publishing: A Dialog Between Authors Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath [Kindle Edition]

Jack Kilborn , J.A. Konrath , Barry Eisler
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99

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Book Description

Sure, the advent of digital books is the most significant development in publishing since Gutenberg. But what does digital mean really, for agents, publishers, and most of all, for authors? What will the industry look like tomorrow, and what should authors be doing to properly position themselves today?

Examining the history and mechanics of the publishing industry as it exists today, the way the digital revolution reflects recent events in Egypt and the Maghreb, and a completely inappropriate YouTube video featuring a randy monkey and an unlucky frog, bestselling authors (and friends) J.A. Konrath and Barry Eisler show in this 35,000 word online discussion that digital isn't just the future, it's right now.

Konrath, a pioneer in self-publishing, is now making over a half-million dollars a year through his self-published books, and Eisler just turned down a half-million dollar deal from one of the Big 6 NYC publishers to self-publish his latest novel. To find out why and what it all means for you, read on.

Please feel free to repost all or any portion of this discussion with attribution and a link back to the authors.

About the authors

Joe Konrath is the author of more than twenty novels and hundreds of short stories, written under the names J.A. Konrath (the Lt. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels series), Jack Kilborn (Afraid, Trapped, Endurance, Draculas), and Joe Kimball (Timecaster.) Joe has a lot of names, apparently. He began self-publishing on Kindle in April, 2009. As of March, 2011, he's sold over 200,000 ebooks. On his blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing, he has chronicled his writing journey.

Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA's Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler's bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous "Best Of" lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. The first book in Eisler's John Rain series, Rain Fall, is now a minor motion picture (kidding, it’s reasonably major) starring Gary Oldman. Eisler lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and, when he's not writing novels, blogs about torture, civil liberties, and the rule of law. You can find out more on his website, friend him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter. He was also in the movie Freakonomics, which he forgot to tell Joe.

Product Details

  • File Size: 253 KB
  • Print Length: 145 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004SV2IPC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,820 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this speed read of a dialogue between two successful writers who, over beers, make the case that all writers should cut out the "legacy publishers" who control paper-based book distribution that leaves authors with a mere 14.9% royalty. Joe and Barry make the case for self-publishing your $2.99 ebook, which turns it into an impulse buy that gives the writer an astounding 70 percent royalty. The impetus for this dialogue appears to be Eisler's much ballyhooed decision to turn down a $500k advance from St. Martins' Press to self publish his next book.

The authors make a compelling case here that legacy publishers overprice their digital offings to protect their antiquated power structure, but are as clueless as the record industry was until Apple changed the dynamic forever. Seems lthat Joe and Barry are having a great time, not just hanging out with each other and tossing out inside jokes, but they're absolutely certain of their convictions.

All of it is highly engaging to writers, especially those whose works have fallen out of print, but what's left unexplored is how the hell a digital-only writer can stand out amidst the ever growing whitte noise, especially if the mainstream media is disincentivized to promote digital books. It's a small complaint, since the rest of the information is so valuable. The fact that they actually get paid for this conversation (99 cents!) makes it a profitable experience for both sides . . . it's self-evident proof that the business model works.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for aspiring self-publishers December 1, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
"Be The Monkey" makes sense after you read this eBook, but "EBooks and Self-Publishing: A Conversation Between Authors Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath" describes this eBook much better. When reading, you must remember that this is a conversation between two authors, who are also friends, so you find some kidding and joking around, a little self-promotion, and a lot of practical and motivating advice for anyone wanting to enter the world of self-publishing, especially self-publishing electronic books.

No, this won't teach you "how to" self-publish, you will need different resources for that. However, this book will tell you "why" you might want to go the self-published route, and provide some publishing knowledge, some facts and figures, and a healthy dose of motivation to go the indie route.

I actually talked with Barry last summer about a lot of the information covered here, and just now finally purchased an e-reader so I can more easily read electronic books. I liked what both Barry and Joe said here. Some reminded me of Barry an my conversation, and other stuff just motivated me more, and reassured me, that my choice to enter the indie self-publishing realm is the right choice.

There are three main parts to this eBook, each being a separate conversation. The first is a conversation about the rise of eBooks and self-publishing. The two of them make a lot of sense and have a grasp of the publishing industry. Part two addresses some questions that came up from the first conversation, and the third part discusses the deal Eisler made with Amazon's new imprint after turning down a deal with SMP and announcing he was going to self-publish his newest novel "The Detachment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monkey Business January 13, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The publishing world is going through, to use an overused cliché, a tectonic change. The advent of online and electronic publishing are changing the way that we consume and promote published words in the greatest such shift since Gutenberg.

"Be the Monkey" is a book-length conversation (or in fact a series of conversations) between the best-selling authors Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath on several topics relating to the current state of the publishing industry, and all the advantages of publishing your own works without the mediation of the large publishing houses. Konrath in particular has been writing and blogging on this topic for years, and Eisler has been "walking the walk" of self-publishing for quite some time as well. In fact, Eisler's own testimony might be the most persuasive argument in favor of doing self-publishing: he has turned down a half a million dollar book deal from one of the six major publishing houses. He has figured out, and correctly it seems, that being hamstrung with a contract did not make much sense for him any longer, either financially, or in any other respect. The freedom to choose your own book cover, distribution channels, marketing initiatives, and the price of your own books are too powerful of considerations to be left to third parties. Eisler's one big point, to which he returns repeatedly, is that historically the single biggest service that the publishing houses provided was the distribution networks for the physical books. With the demise of traditional bookstores, scaling back of libraries, the advent of Amazon, digital publishing, and printing-on-demand services this one big advantage for publishing houses is all but nonexistent.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this and still do.
One of my favorites for inspiration and motivation.
Published 2 days ago by Dana
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm Waiting for 'Be The Monkey 2' !
This dialogue between two indie publishing authors provides a surprising amount of information in a great format. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Stephen J. Carter
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Vulgar, but funny. Very interesting observations on publishing.
Published 18 days ago by Ellen
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
I might not be the target audience for this book. I'd already been self-pubbing for about a year (and an avid reader of JA Konrath) so I had already heard a lot of the arguments... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the read.
Interesting conversations by one of the independent authors to become highly successful. Worth the cost to have this information in one place, a small eBook. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Book lover
3.0 out of 5 stars good tips
spent way too much time backslapping and hi-fiving each other.....felt like I was reading a "Car Talk" segment about books, minus Dewey Cheatem and Howe......
Published 4 months ago by Lilly Love
5.0 out of 5 stars A shot of courage
Reading this book is like sitting at a bar and hearing two smart, good friends share their secrets. Then pull up YouTube videos of monkeys abusing frogs. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Rick Wiedeman
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good work
This book got a five star rating due, to the fact that it was informative, on where publishing is headed. Read more
Published 8 months ago by xavaier r. wescott
5.0 out of 5 stars good
From the content, book condition to delivery time, item price, I feel that all as good as or even better than i expected
Published 9 months ago by Jack Chang
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the read for self-publishers
Good insight into the self publishing realm. The discussions were light in nature but definitely shared some of the ins and outs that even seasoned 'legacy' publishers face while... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Walt
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