Walking Down The Avenue version 2.0 is now available in the Amazon Kindle store and from Smashwords. I am so grateful to all of my #GANGSTA friends, especially those who beta read the new book and provided very valuable feedback. I am also most grateful to everyone who has agreed to help me promote this book to new Empire Avenue users. Here are five great ways you can help me do just that:
1) Recommend Walking Down The Avenue to new players. If you frequently invest in brand new players, please leave shout outs suggesting the book. For example:
“Welcome to Empire Avenue. If you have questions or find it confusing, check out this guidebook http://WalkingDownTheAvenue.com It’s a quick and easy read that takes most of the learning curve out of Empire Avenue”
2) Always use the book’s URL when mentioning it. By simply omitting the spaces and adding .com Walking Down The Avenue becomes WalkingDownTheAvenue.com. Getting this URL widely in front of folks’ eyes will help to drive traffic to the site.
3) If you’ve read the book, either by a privately distributed Word doc or by purchasing it from Smashwords or Amazon, please leave a review. If you purchased the book from Amazon or Smashwords, please leave the review on the site you purchased from. Reviews on the book’s sales pages definitely help build credibility and encourage sales. If you did not purchase the book, please leave your review here. You need not write a long and complex book review. Just a sentence or two about how you found the book helpful or why you recommend that new users read it would be just great.
4) Look for missions that promote this book. Some of my #GANGSTA buddies are wealthy in Empire Avenue terms and will be running some missions to help promote this book. By participating in missions you can help with the book promotion and gain a few eaves at the same time.
5) Join us in the #GANGSTAS community on Empire Avenue. We hope to make this community a friendly and welcoming place for new users who have #EAv questions. By participating, you will help to make the message board a true community. You may also meet some great people and have fun as well.
Thanks so much to each and every person who has read and helped to promote this book since I first wrote and released it back in June 2011.
It’s not something I’m proud of, but the fact is I can be an extremely stubborn son of a bitch. I have yet again quite deliberately blown off another 4pm deadline. I honestly could not tell you why I felt so vehemently that I would not write this post at 1:30 in the afternoon, in order to get it published by the deadline. And yet I found myself quite refusing to write. Somehow I am a temperamental artiste, even to myself. This can be less than convenient at times, such as when a more rational part of me insists that deadlines need to be kept, even if we really aren’t in the mood to write.
I suppose I really can characterize my pre-deadline recalcitrance as ‘moody’, although that probably isn’t an adjective I would have selected in a description if it hadn’t been one of the words of the day. And I don’t think my non-writing mood could accurately be described as pouty, at all. I suppose that sometimes I do sit and pout a bit, but usually not for very long. I know in my heart that it is usually much better to just get back to working at what you want to make happen. Though every now and then I think everyone just needs to sit and feel sorry for themselves for a little while.
In preparation for possibly gathering this one year’s worth of blog posts, which I’ve come to think mostly do qualify as little essays, into a book next year, I went back and read the first six months or so of posts. And was a bit appalled to see just how much time I went on and on about working on a revision of Walking Down The Avenue, which I never have released. I’m kind of appalled at all of those words maniacally written about a book that I haven’t even been able to bring myself to actually publish. (The fact that Empire Avenue missions can to some extent drive real social interaction is it seems to me tempered by the fact that the blogger (writer, photographer, videographer, Facebook rock star) has to actually do all of that socializing with all of those people. Empire Avenue missions only really drive traffic that you’ve earned socially. Which makes it not the pot of gold that folks were chasing when Empire Avenue first introduced missions.
I did write a section about missions, but I remain unsatisfied with the whole ‘missions’ thing, and am certainly feeling some burnout with blog promotion, when I’m supposed to be cranking out a new post that day and just don’t feel there is any way that I could promote another post every darned day. I am truly looking forward to blogging on a twice a week schedule next year. I suspect it will feel like a vacation. In looking over all of those posts I am a bit amazed at all of the different subjects I wrote about and all of the incredible comments I’ve received over the course of this year. Even as I find myself so anxious for the year to finally be over, I am genuinely glad that I tried this challenge. I am hopeful that I will get a book of essays out of it. And I already know that the real reward was all of the friendship and kindness I’ve received from so many different readers over the course of the year.
And finally, my sincerest thanks to Allen for suggesting today’s words.
And what a month it has been. It was precisely one month ago on May 25th that a happenstance suggestion prompted me to start Just Three Words. And with the exception of two days when I locked myself out of WordPress.com, I have used three reader-submitted words as the subject of a post every single day. As June starts to fade into July I note that I am quite nearly half way through my goal of blogging every day in 2012. I am not sure if I will continue the Just Three Words gimmick. I have I believe three more sets of words, but after that I am out. If you would like more of these Just Three Words posts, please do leave comments with your choice of most any three random words. I don’t promise that I will absolutely, positively write about every suggestion, but for the most part I will.
From her recent post, it seems clear to me that my friend Laura remains smitten with Empire Avenue. It hardly seems unwonted to me. I have been thinking a lot about how to update Walking Down The Avenue and think I will be ready to begin working on it soon. Not sure when it will be released. Inflation really has had huge impacts on Empire Avenue, though it doesn’t really change any of the advice I’ve given. Though at this point a new comer looking to become effective should probably focus on wealth creation first, in order to have the income to create high value missions. The word rose has me thinking this morning about a woman whose name was not Rose. The lady occupying my thoughts passed on some years ago, but I find myself distinctly recalling her “Tea Rose” perfume and remembering the years that we shared. It is always just amazing to me the things these little word lists get me to remember.
So I am trying to force myself to buckle down and get busy writing my new Empire Avenue Missions Guide and getting absolutely nowhere with it. Some days it seems as though I wake up tired and drained and things inevitably go downhill from there.
Today I find myself thinking about online identity. Reading a piece in a professional blog that includes the rather standard advice about being careful what you post in your social profiles because employers and prospective employers will read them and make judgement about you based upon them, I found myself thinking that my friends in human resources would probably quite agree with my idea that you should have separate profiles, which are not in fact associated with your wallet name, for doing the kinds of things you don’t want your boss or your mother to hear about.
It appears to me that inflation has hit Empire Avenue missions big time. So many of the longest established players who have accumulated great wealth put forth missions paying 10,000 eaves and can offer a huge number of them. It’s almost to the point I don’t see much point even putting up missions that offer only 2,500 eaves. So I find myself wondering if rather that a guide to using missions to drive social traffic and activity, what I need to do is write a lesson on creating and accumulating wealth so as to be able to drive social activity using missions. I just don’t feel ready to write the next volume and feel certain I am going to miss the July 1st release date I had been working towards. Ah well. I will write no book before its time.
First, let me state right off that this post has nothing whatsoever to do with the construction of the new University Hospital in New Orleans. A picayune was a Spanish coin worth half a real and the word has come to mean in English a matter that is trivial, minute or otherwise not worth worrying about. And what, you may ask, is the picayune matter I have been contemplating today? My online earnings.
My friend Peter today has a blog post that compares online marketers to farmers and contemplates the necessity of a “go big or go home” strategy. It seems to me that with most if not all of the people I’ve spoken with and discussed online marketing with over the past 5 years or so, there is most always a great deal of talk about various statistics and ephemera (‘my Klout is up to 60 now!’ ; ‘did you see my page rank is up to 5’) and little if any talk ever about how many widgets have been sold or how much revenue produced. While it is certainly true that mastering various aspects of web publishing and online marketing can help with the sales of widgets, it seems to me that far too often online marketers get very focused on various statistics that don’t really mean much of anything, and which can fairly easily be….well….faked, and which have nothing to do with actually producing revenue.
I have just about decided, that the next edition of Walking Down The Avenue is going to come out on July 1st, which will be the one year anniversary of the original publication. At that time I am also going to release a second book about using Empire Avenue missions to create social activity. I am not yet sure about the pricing, though I believe I am going to make the introductory book a bit cheaper than the missions guide. The price will also vary depending upon where the book is purchased from. The lowest prices will probably be available on iWriteReadRate.com, the highest prices in Amazon’s Kindle store and Smashwords somewhere in between. Part of me is kind of meh about all the work I will need to do in the next two months to get both of these books ready for publication. And yet, like Pollyanna, I am looking forward to the releases and feel certain that I will actually make some money this time 🙂
Private conversations are the most important ones, I’ve come to believe. I know I’ve written recently that “any idiot can raise an amen chorus” and I certainly don’t mean to disparage public conversations– heck, this blog has been all about public conversations– but any real professional knows that private conversations online is where business really happens. Whether it’s discussing future plans with a mentor, re-hashing a major event with another participant or joking and daydreaming and just being friends, private conversations are where any good social networker will invest a lot of their time.
I finally managed to steal a glimpse of the new Empire Avenue interface. So they borrowed a designer from Pinterest to make a graphical display of your Tweetstream. Excuse me while I have a nice long YAAAWWWNNN. I’ve yet to reach any judgment about the value or the utility of the Empire Avenue changes, but my first reaction is that they are hardly game changing and will not require a great deal of revisions in the next release of Walking Down The Avenue. However, a private conversation this morning, in addition to alerting me to sneak a glance at EAv’s new interface helped me to conceive a great marketing innovation for the next release of the book. Those who pay a lot of attention to me and my web presence may note that the new account I created on Empire Avenue yesterday has nothing at all to do with Walking or its promotion and is actually about a new project I am conceiving that is related to bullying and online reputation. I’m not ready to publicly announce any more than that at this time.
I’ve said many times that the only constant is change, and nothing in my life experiences so far causes me to in any way doubt this maxim, which I believe is equally true in business, in social media and in human life generally. I find myself getting genuinely excited about writing and selling the next release of Walking, even as I continue blogging every day and trying real hard to have lots of public conversations here on my blog (go say Happy Birthday to my friend Hank NOW if you haven’t already 😉 and think that my new project could be a lot of fun, and a way to earn a bit of profit. Life feels good to me this Monday morning. I hope it feels good in your world as well and that you have a great week ahead.
My Inner Lazybones did not defeat me. Sometimes it seems, I spend considerably more time and energy dreading a job and procrastinating than it actually takes to do it. Yesterday, I took a deep breath and opened the published 1.1 manuscript and started at the very beginning. I changed everything that needed to be changed to make it the manuscript for version 1.2. I’ve updated to reflect all of the changes that have taken place on Empire Avenue since I released 1.1 on November 1st, and wrote a new Advanced section about Empire Avenue missions. It took a bit less than 2 hours 🙂
I have contacted my friend who did the copy editing/proof reading for the previous versions to ask her is she would be willing to handle that task for me again this time. I’ve set February 1st as the target publication date for 1.2. I will almost certainly have it finished and uploaded before then. I need to think about how I can get more people to actually buy the book. I’ve gotten almost 500 people to download it since I released the first beta edition on June 30, 2011. I gave away a lot of free beta copies and very widely distributed a 100% off coupon when I released version 1.0 on September 1st. Sadly, since releasing 1.1 and scaling way back on the discount coupons most of the downloads have ceased and I have only sold a handful of copies. Maybe this time I will use a 50% discount coupon instead of 100% (and raise the price a bit first)…and see if I can get some friends to promote it to their networks….That might work.
Meanwhile, here in the Puget Sound area we have survived a major snowpocalypse. My car was covered in about 5 inches of snow with two inches or so of solid ice on top of it. It was a bear to get the car cleared off, though once I did driving to the store and back was fairly easy. The parking lot here in our apartment complex has not been plowed, but once I was on the public streets, all were cleared and driving was no big deal. We’re hoping that it will not freeze tonight and that some of the huge amount of snow will melt. Here’s hoping that you are safe, warm and dry this weekend.
So this Thursday finds me a happy bear. My Empire Avenue stock is up to a share price of 105 and while I do have some back sliding days I am still (knock wood) above 105 today. I invest some in newbies recommended by DES Daughter and invest back in people who have recently invested in me. I do try to max out to 600 hundred shares in all of my investments, but if your div ratio is not great it may take me a Very long time. And if you sell off all of the shares you hold in me I will block you on Empire Avenue in order to be sure I do not again invest in someone who didn’t think enough of me to buy even a single share.
Now that I have Timeline I am going to try directing the FB post promoting this blog post Only to those on my Empire Avenue list. It is possible I may have tagged a person or two incorrectly but I believe that all of the folks on these lists connected with me First through Empire Avenue or have been active on one or more Empire Avenue related discussions. As I’ve mentioned before, I was Not blown away by Google Plus and deleted my account on that service not too terribly long after starting it. Honestly, at this point Facebook allows me to meet and get to know and keep up with an ever expanding circle of virtual friends.
Since my main purpose in social networking is to meet and get to know other people, and any business that results from these relationships is for me, simply an extra benefit. While I do promote my book regularly, I try very hard not be one note about it and I talk with lots of different people about lots of different things in lots of different threads on lots of different web sites. For me, online socializing is very much a time consuming hands-on more or less full time activity. But I try never ever to forget that it’s All about building real relationships with other real people.
(And I am a very happy bear this morning because I just got back from a great visit with my cub friend and I am maybe even Joyous Bear today ;)_
As we approach the new year, I am still counting my blessings. I decided to move my personal blog to WordPress. Since Google introduced Plus (the new social network I do Not find compelling and am mostly waiting for it to fail) I have had to log in to separate Google accounts for my g-mail (@libdrone.info), YouTube (where I am now WalkingEAv rather than Libdrone) and my old personal blog spot blog, which I have never in fact been faithful about keeping up with.
Since Empire Avenue is now tracking WordPress.com activity, I realized I would be better served ditching a Google product I don’t really like and trying to focus my long form blogging activity here on WordPress. I plan to buy a domain (possibly libdronemusing.com). I will also work on installing a better theme and uploading my own graphics.
I have decided that my immediate focus is going to be on writing a section of the advanced guide (haven’t settled on a title yet) that deals with Empire Avenue’s new Missions feature. As you may know the advanced guide will be directed towards social media professionals, so I am a little bit nervous, but I think that if I do a really good job on the Missions section, I will go ahead and release 1.2 adding the Missions section from the upcoming advanced book. This will allow me to truthfully state that the book is fully updated to reflect all of the changes that have occurred going forward. If Empire Avenue continues to grow I hope to be able to continue selling both books for years to come.
As I remarked to my friend Jenn last night, the first advice is always to write about what you are passionate about. And I continue to very much enjoy Empire Avenue and socializing with all of the great people I have met. Honestly, I don’t know if I will ever become a faithful scheduled poster to this personal blog. But I know in my heart that there will always be long form things I feel like saying to my friends that will never quite fit into any of my specialty blogs. (I actually have half a dozen sites on blogspot but most of them have not been updated in years.) I intend to keep my music and words blogs on Tumblr where I feel their abbreviated format is a perfect fit. I am going to wait until I get the new domain to re-register this blog with Empire Avenue.
I’d like to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for being a friend and for your help and kindness throughout the year. Here’s wishing you an yours a safe and prosperous new year.
Dups and Aaron and the team did not defeat me. As I had feared all along, they did make multiple significant changes to Empire Avenue this week. But I am pleased to say that I have just finished all of the revisions. One more through proof-reading tomorrow or the next day and Walking Down The Avenue v 1.0 will be ready to “smash” into a real eBook.
A friend who is a retired graphic designer made the book cover for me, using a public domain image. I’m thrilled with the cover (Which looks So much nicer than my very amateurish effort on the beta). I expect that I will upload it to Smashwords on Tuesday. Provided there are no problems with the upload and it all goes according to plan, I may give the book’s sharehloders ((e)WALKING) the first sneak peak via a shareholder mail on Wednesday. Then starting Thursday I have a list of 14 people, all of whom have lots and lots of shareholders, who have agreed to send out a shareholder mail containing a 100% off coupon.
Although the price is going up from free to $2.99, I don’t expect to sell many at all at that price this first month. I will be promoting the book with the 100% off coupon all over the place and hope to get twice as many people to download the $2.99 version as did the free version, but I’m not really expecting that many of them will pay for it. What I hope is that Empire Avenue continues to evolve, change and grow. To a point where a year down the line, hundreds of newcomers each day get the book recommended to them from the first thousand or so who get to read it for free.
If you’d like to be one of those first thousand, you might sign up for my very low volume mailing list in the sidebar. On September 1st, I plan to mail the 100% off coupon to my e-mail list. It will only be the second e-mail I have ever sent out on that list, which is really only for updates about Walking Down The Avenue. So if you’d like to peruse the eBook when it’s published next month, please fill out the form and check your e-mail on 9/1/2011.