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傅丰元(Bob Fu)
Works at 东西网 Dongxi.net&译言网Yeeyan.org
Attended Shantou University
Lives in Beijing, China
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傅丰元

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工具、变革和可能性。
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The Self Publishing Route
Like the Whole Earth Catalogs of yore, my new Cool Tools book is self-published.  I'll tell you how the economics of my book work and the 3 reasons why I went the route of avoiding a mainline publisher.

First benefit was speed. I finished writing and assembling the book in September and in October I had the book listed on Pre-Order status on Amazon. It will be available to customers (in bookstores, too!) the first week of December. If this book was being published by a New York publisher I’d still be in negotiations to maybe have it available next summer. 

Second, control. The book is unorthodox. It doesn’t fit the mold for a serious book. It is kinda of a catalog. Even the size was off-putting for pros. A big floppy book doesn’t travel well, doesn’t fit well into bookstore shelves. The publishers want to know can I perhaps change that? Then there’s the commercial aspect.  The book is a shopping guide that tells you where to buy things. It points readers to Amazon a lot. Publishers and bookstores hate that. They perceive Amazon as the enemy and one chain even refused to carry it because of this. My solution was to bypass them.

Thirdly, in my recent experience with established publishers I wound up doing most of the work myself anyway. For my last book with Viking/Penguin, I hired the editor to edit my book; I hired the illustrator to make the illustrations; I turned in cover design concepts, some of which they used; I did the most effective marketing and publicity (via social media). The only things I did not do -- which were significant! -- was the financing and distribution. On this book, I decided to tackle these as well, since I would still be doing all the rest.




Self-publishing means I have full control, but also full responsibility.  Since I was paying for the paper and ink myself, I didn't waste any pages. There are no blank pages or white spaces in this book. Even the inside covers are printed --with the table of contents!  Every inch is doing some work. The book is incredibly dense.  

Self publishing an ebook is one thing. Self publishing a gigantic book that weighs 4.5 pounds is another. I knew I was in trouble when the overseas printer called to ask me if I had a loading dock at my warehouse. Warehouse? I hardly have a garage.  “Ummm, how much room do I need?” I asked. She said, “Well, you should expect a shipping container and a half.” That’s a big pile. So I signed up with a book distributor, Publishers Group West, that caters to small publishers and most of the books will be shipped to their warehouse in Tennessee.

The books were printed in Hong Kong. I tried to get bids in the US, but because of the oversize of the book, no US printer would even bid on it. One large printer recommended by the distributor told me, "I hate to say this but you need to go to China to get this printed." So I did. They did a fantastic job, quickly and at a good price. The Hong Kong printing plant is high automation. Think robots not coolie labor. The books are now on a container ship going across the Panama Canal and up the Mississippi River to Tennessee. I am awaiting three pallets of books that were diverted to the West Coast, and that will arrive at my home. I am praying they will fit into my garage.

Economics of self-publishing will decide this book's fate. There will be about a total of 8,500 copies for sale on Amazon and in bookstores. The unit cost to print the book is $6. Shipping is about $1 per book. The cover price is $39.99. Amazon immediately discounts it to $25 (I set the book price anticipating Amazon's discount) and Amazon take something like 40%. The book distributor takes their cut. I'll take about $10 per book, and then of course, I have to deduct the cost I incurred in creating the book -- the editors, designers and proofers I hired to create those 472 pages. (I am not counting the years I've put into it). Plus I am mailing a lot of copies out to reviewers and contributors. I was stunned to learn that the absolute cheapest way to ship this book to England or Canada (no matter how slow) was $60 and $38 respectively! No other choice!

I have much more respect for commercial publishers in making this precarious publishing machine work. It is not easy to make money publishing paper books. It is very much like making art. In fact I think of this large beautiful book as an art work. Cool Tools really is remarkable art.  

If you want your own piece of art by pre-order here:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1940689007/cooltools-20

Also I talk more in the book about the self-publishing tools I used.
Below: Me working on the Cool Tools book at my stand/sit station; outside the chicken coop.
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傅丰元

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This is far and away the best piece you will read on Doug Englebart, visionary dreamer of the possibilities of collective intelligence, who died two days ago at the age of 88.

I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Doug a couple of years ago. We played with his mouse prototype and talked about collective intelligence.  I urged the people who were doing an oral history project with him not just to focus on drawing out what he had worked on so long ago, but his reaction to what we'd made of it since.

 I wish I'd been armed with Bret Victor's perspective back then; I would have gotten so much more out of my afternoon with Doug.
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Clay Shirky has become the best media theorist since Marshall McLuhan. Here he dissects GitHub as a model for democratic management. It's a remarkable TED talk, full of passing insights.

http://www.ted.com/talks/clay_shirky_how_the_internet_will_one_day_transform_government.html
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“中国的很多地方都没有厕所,但却能接收到手机信号。人们对通讯的需求大于其他的必需品。”关于通讯技术的意义,KK写过篇文章。他引用了致力于消除孟加拉贫困的学者卡迪尔的观点,卡迪尔认为“连接的技术能够解放生产力”,“连接可以去中心化,它将导致财富增加。”而卡迪尔在孟加拉就是选择手机作为去中心化连接的方法。英文版看这里http://t.cn/zOpa5bx中文版等KK新书《技术元素》上市把:)
 
Wi-fi before roads

I am staying in this small village in a Yao minority-tribe region of China. I had to walk an hour up the mountain to arrive here since there are no roads to this village. But by golly they have pretty good wi-fi! Many other parts of China are without toilets, but they have excellent cell phone coverage. People value communication over many other necessities.

We are surrounded by amazing rice terraces, another classic image from China. These terraces require an immense amount of hand-work to maintain their form and function. They erode quickly without constant patching up. And farming rice on them takes yet more work -- much more than growing rice on large farms. These terraces took a thousand years to create; but I predict they will be gone -- overgrown and disintegrating -- in 100 years. No one will want to keep them up, unless the government simply pays them as a tourist attraction. I hope they do since these structures are stunning.
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中国到处有信号是因为有中移动、中电信、中联通,很多地方没厕所是因为没有中厕所,@_@
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黑客传记《KINGPIN》寻译者

本书根据美国著名黑客马克思·巴特勒(Max Ray Butler)的真人真事写成,讲述了一个“白帽”黑客如何一步步“变黑”的故事。

作者是《连线》资深专栏作家凯文·保尔森。他也曾因为网络犯罪而蹲过监狱,不过在监狱服刑期间,他开始担任连线杂志的记者,并很快升任高级编辑。他在连线网站开设的博客“威胁级别”(Threat Level)屡获大奖。

所以这是一个黑客讲述另一个黑客的故事。

关于译者招募和试译的详情请看译言网上的通告:http://article.yeeyan.org/view/43665/241203

附:
Kingpin试读:http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/02/kingpin-excerpt/
作者在连线的专栏:Threat Level:http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/
图书kingpin官网:http://kingpin.cc/
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工具、变革和可能性。
 ·  Translate
 
The Self Publishing Route
Like the Whole Earth Catalogs of yore, my new Cool Tools book is self-published.  I'll tell you how the economics of my book work and the 3 reasons why I went the route of avoiding a mainline publisher.

First benefit was speed. I finished writing and assembling the book in September and in October I had the book listed on Pre-Order status on Amazon. It will be available to customers (in bookstores, too!) the first week of December. If this book was being published by a New York publisher I’d still be in negotiations to maybe have it available next summer. 

Second, control. The book is unorthodox. It doesn’t fit the mold for a serious book. It is kinda of a catalog. Even the size was off-putting for pros. A big floppy book doesn’t travel well, doesn’t fit well into bookstore shelves. The publishers want to know can I perhaps change that? Then there’s the commercial aspect.  The book is a shopping guide that tells you where to buy things. It points readers to Amazon a lot. Publishers and bookstores hate that. They perceive Amazon as the enemy and one chain even refused to carry it because of this. My solution was to bypass them.

Thirdly, in my recent experience with established publishers I wound up doing most of the work myself anyway. For my last book with Viking/Penguin, I hired the editor to edit my book; I hired the illustrator to make the illustrations; I turned in cover design concepts, some of which they used; I did the most effective marketing and publicity (via social media). The only things I did not do -- which were significant! -- was the financing and distribution. On this book, I decided to tackle these as well, since I would still be doing all the rest.




Self-publishing means I have full control, but also full responsibility.  Since I was paying for the paper and ink myself, I didn't waste any pages. There are no blank pages or white spaces in this book. Even the inside covers are printed --with the table of contents!  Every inch is doing some work. The book is incredibly dense.  

Self publishing an ebook is one thing. Self publishing a gigantic book that weighs 4.5 pounds is another. I knew I was in trouble when the overseas printer called to ask me if I had a loading dock at my warehouse. Warehouse? I hardly have a garage.  “Ummm, how much room do I need?” I asked. She said, “Well, you should expect a shipping container and a half.” That’s a big pile. So I signed up with a book distributor, Publishers Group West, that caters to small publishers and most of the books will be shipped to their warehouse in Tennessee.

The books were printed in Hong Kong. I tried to get bids in the US, but because of the oversize of the book, no US printer would even bid on it. One large printer recommended by the distributor told me, "I hate to say this but you need to go to China to get this printed." So I did. They did a fantastic job, quickly and at a good price. The Hong Kong printing plant is high automation. Think robots not coolie labor. The books are now on a container ship going across the Panama Canal and up the Mississippi River to Tennessee. I am awaiting three pallets of books that were diverted to the West Coast, and that will arrive at my home. I am praying they will fit into my garage.

Economics of self-publishing will decide this book's fate. There will be about a total of 8,500 copies for sale on Amazon and in bookstores. The unit cost to print the book is $6. Shipping is about $1 per book. The cover price is $39.99. Amazon immediately discounts it to $25 (I set the book price anticipating Amazon's discount) and Amazon take something like 40%. The book distributor takes their cut. I'll take about $10 per book, and then of course, I have to deduct the cost I incurred in creating the book -- the editors, designers and proofers I hired to create those 472 pages. (I am not counting the years I've put into it). Plus I am mailing a lot of copies out to reviewers and contributors. I was stunned to learn that the absolute cheapest way to ship this book to England or Canada (no matter how slow) was $60 and $38 respectively! No other choice!

I have much more respect for commercial publishers in making this precarious publishing machine work. It is not easy to make money publishing paper books. It is very much like making art. In fact I think of this large beautiful book as an art work. Cool Tools really is remarkable art.  

If you want your own piece of art by pre-order here:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1940689007/cooltools-20

Also I talk more in the book about the self-publishing tools I used.
Below: Me working on the Cool Tools book at my stand/sit station; outside the chicken coop.
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傅丰元

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A Surprisingly Entertaining and Informative Hatchet Job

I read Evgeny Morozov's profile of me with a kind of bemused fascination. It's well researched and captures many of my ideas, but then twists each of them in order to serve Morozov's own ends. Truth and untruth are so cleverly mixed that I'm sure that someone unfamiliar with me and my work might come away convinced that I am indeed the "hustler" that Morozov depicts.

I suspect Morozov and I agree on many things about the Internet and its effect on society, though you'd never think so from what he's written.  We differ in our approach to ideas, though. Like Korzybski, a writer whom Morozov correctly identifies as one of the sources of my thinking, I believe that language and the ideas it reflects are a map that helps us to see the world more clearly and that can lead us to our destination or can lead us astray.

Criticism is useful for any thinker. Dialogue and debate are effective ways to improve our maps. Unfortunately, Morozov's style of criticism fails precisely because it is not meant to be useful.  His disdain for engagement and discussion, his willingness to say "I know what you think better than you do,"  demonstrate someone with an axe to grind rather than someone who wants to find the truth.
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任何人希望参加<昂山素季>( the.lady.2011.720p.bluray.x264-lost.chn.srt ) 字幕协作翻译,可以到此报名 。我已经开设了Google Spreadsheet 来轻松进行校对编辑
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A wonderful TED talk by Vijay Kumar this week, showing off the latest in aerial robotics. The bots even play a passable version of the James Bond theme! This is what the future will look like.

http://www.ted.com/talks/vijay_kumar_robots_that_fly_and_cooperate.html
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有意思的是Fred说美国东部和西部intellectual的不同,东部人write and say西部人write, say and build.
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Andre Pan originally shared:
 
2011-08-12
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People
In his circles
148 people
Have him in circles
1,271 people
Work
Occupation
Journalist
Employment
  • 东西网 Dongxi.net&译言网Yeeyan.org
    图书编辑, present
  • 东西网 Dongxi.net
    编辑, 2011 - 2012
  • 《Vista看天下》
    编辑, 2010 - 2011
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Beijing, China
Previously
Guangxi - Guangxi - Beijing - Guangzhou - Shantou, China
Story
Introduction
Journalist,如果你用豆瓣的话,不妨加我为好友:http://www.douban.com/people/fm100/
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跳得高
Education
  • Shantou University
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Male
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波波夫, fm100
傅丰元(Bob Fu)'s +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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Kevin Kelly: What Technology Wants
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