Readersforum's Blog

November 22, 2012

Tim Ferriss and Amazon Try to Reinvent Publishing

Filed under: e-tailers — Tags: , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 6:24 am

The official publication date for “The 4-Hour Chef” is Tuesday.


Tim Ferriss, the author of the “4-Hour” series of self-help books for young men, hails from the nutritional supplements world, where the product is going to rot in the warehouse unless customers feel it is going to change their lives forever right now. Amazon, more than just about any other large tech company, does not pretend it sees any value in the old order.

Bring these two elements together in the publication by Amazon of Mr. Ferriss’ new book, “The 4-Hour Chef,” and the result is a lot of noise, hype and anger, as well as some hints about the future of book publishing. Here are a few preliminary conclusions:

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October 21, 2012

Some Advice From Authors on Avoiding Online Distractions

I was going to start writing this post a couple of hours ago, but I got distracted. At first I checked Twitter — lots of chatter about the debate there. Then I did a side-shuffle to Facebook, where I saw a friend just purchased a lovely new plant! Then Tumblr, to look at some funny animated gifs of Fearless Felix. Then Instagram. Then Twitter again. (And don’t get me started on the distractions luring my editor, who was supposed to post this hours ago!)

Although all of these distractions are wonderful for our creativity and sanity, they can also be incredibly unproductive when it’s time to get some real work done. Even for someone like me, who relies on Twitter and Facebook for reporting and sharing articles, it is important to turn it all off. (After all, Steven Spielberg probably doesn’t watch a movie while he’s directing one.)

Lately I’ve been experimenting with new ways to keep my distractions to a minimum, especially when I have a looming deadline. In the morning I now use an hourglass to ward off distractions. Once it’s flipped, my phone goes into Airplane Mode and I completely turn off the Internet in my home. I don’t allow myself to enter the Web’s vortex until every last grain of sand has drained into the base of the hourglass.

I reached out to a few authors to find out what they do to fight their urges to “Like” an animated gif or become lost in the labyrinth of Twitter. This is their advice:

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October 3, 2012

Disruptions: Your Brain on E-Books and Smartphone Apps

Last week, my brain played a cruel trick on me. While waiting for my flight to take off, I was reading The New Yorker, the paper version, of course — I know the rules. I became engrossed in an article and swiped my finger down the glossy page to read more.

To my surprise, nothing happened. I swiped it again. Nothing.

My brain was trying to turn the page the same way I do on my iPad, with the swipe of a finger. (I quickly realized that I had to physically turn the page.)

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