Update on Beyond Mobile: Life After Smartphones
I use social media more than any author that I know about. I use this blog, Medium and Facebook as conversational tools to get insights, ideas and feedback from readers. I post interview notes and early chapter drafts for the same reason. I also use social media to raise sponsorship backing for self-published works.
It has been nearly a month since I posted a draft of Trillion Dollar Ideas, the introduction to Beyond Mobile, Life After Smartphones, my new book with my frequent co-author Robert Scoble. Usually, it moves faster than that, but writing has been interrupted in part by my taking nearly a week off to attend the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and by my having either a bad cold or a mild flu, which clouded my brain too heavily to write for yet another week. In addition, I have been helping Robert plan for an important breakfast at SXSW that he is holding for 50 guests and where he will be making several important announcements related to his personal future.
I’m happy and a bit relieved to say, I have just finished my first draft of Chapter One on Virtual Reality. We are calling it The Minecraft Generation. As important as the technology and business implications are to our new book, the cultural implications are greater. Minecraft is already a game shaping the post-Millennial generation, but as VR versions get ready to ship, the implications, we think, will define this second generation of digital natives in significant new ways.
It is a big chapter in both importance to the book and in words. It currently contains about 6500 of them, when our average chapters are about 3500. Because of the length, I will pull out a couple of excerpts and post them here and on Medium.
For those of you interested in the process of developing a self-published book, it is an interesting, but labyrinthine process that has just begun. My next job is to give it a second read, hopefully shortening it and eliminating redundancy. Then it usually would go to Scoble, but he is off the grid in South Africa for a couple of speaking engagements and a camera safari.
So, I will be passing the chapter over next to Paula Israel for the dreaded Wife Test. Paula makes sure that what we write is not dumbed down, but is readable and interesting to everyday people who are not tech industry insiders. She attacks industry jargon with a broad ax. Paula, invariably, helps me to write better books. She has done this previously six times.
Then it gets really complicated. While Robert, Paula, Karelyn and I continue with the second half of the book, I am working with the editing team to complete the first.
When we are all satisfied with the content it goes over to Shawn Welch, the interior book designer, who also works with the cover designer to make certain the book fits into the cover properly. Shawn also helps me deal with Amazon, Kindle and CreateSpace who handle my printing and almost all of my retail distribution.
There are other pieces as well. We will need to hire a talent to become the voice of Beyond Mobile on Audible, which is an increasingly important piece of the business.
All of this has just really started, and all of this must be completed so that we have books for attendees when we speak at Telstra Summit, on Dec. 1. Another issue there is the cost of shipping books to Australia, verses the risk of having them printed there by a book publisher with whom we have no history.
I share all this with you because I am often asked just what is involved in book writing. It is work that I love, but there are many moving parts and something will inevitably cause problems and stress. Deadlines can be daunting and we are writing about technologies that generate news every day. It is challenging to write books about moving targets.
On the other hand, I absolutely love what I do. And I will keep doing it for the duration of the life that remains ahead of me. Working with Robert is particularly rewarding. It means I can never stop thinking about tomorrow and realizing that tomorrow keeps coming sooner and sooner.