|Soness Stevens is a presenter, speaker and|
coach. She spoke on the TED@Tokyo
Worldwide Talent Search stage in
May 2012. She can be seen on
NHK Educational, NHK World
and FOX Japan. She teaches
presentation and platform skills at
Yokohama National University where she
integrates Social Networking as a tool
for students to present their passions.
Her ebook Show-N-Tell is available
Have you seen the movie Titanic? Remember the scene where Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio stretched out their arms on the front of the Titanic? Of course, that image naturally comes back to your mind.
Have you read Harry Potter? What was on page 89? Visuals improve our memory by 65%. A picture says a thousand words, a video says a million. Still, text is a key element in learning. Writing, of course, creates rapport and allows readers to take their time to digest as they want. Video creates another level of rapport as the viewers invite you into their space. Really, could I do one without the other? The combination is perfect blend.
That's so true about being able to create the images in your own mind. I agree, and generally enjoy reading fiction more than the canned output of movies. For educational videos, I often retain more watching a video--depending in how well they format the content.
Have you ever taken an online course (or even attended a class) and given up because while the information was valuable, it was not engaging or lacked format? I've taken a couple of online courses. While I knew the information was useful, I couldn't finish due to poor presentation.
Thirty-five percent of your audience won't make it beyond the first three minutes if you don't tap into their particular learning method. And what timing and how do you catch the other types of motivated members?
It's currently in PDF format as many Japanese have not chosen Kindle. Needed something they could access regardless of their system. I chose not to use iAnything because only one in 50 students has a Mac. Zero iPads. What did you discover about Kindle vs PDF? I'm open to hearing other views. PDF lends to all devices and easily connects with the videos. They don't need a smartphone, but they can use a smartphone. They simply need any computer or smartphone. Currently exploring how well this works and will report more as reviews come in.
Of course, once your book is out as a PDF the buyer can forward it to any number of pals for free -- great for your students, not so great for your business model if PDF is all you've got to sell. But the bog-standard Kindle wouldn't work for a multimedia book as it is black and white and has no sound.
For your book, sounds like a tablet is the way to go. I must confess, my approach to formats has been lazy. If I have a book sold through the dominant player -- Amazon -- and you can read their ebooks on free Kindle-players on any device -- I don't see the point of messing with multiple formats. At least, not when I'm publishing on a shoestring budget and I'd rather spend my time writing and editing than formatting. Though I retain the right to change my mind on this, and indeed all other matters.
Has the experience of writing this book been a revelation to you, or a pain in the behind?
PDF. I'll let you know how it goes. So far they are buying it because each one gets a onetime discount code which they must register their name. I don't think they've thought of sharing yet. Each PDF can only be downloaded once. It is supposed to be secure to prevent file sharing. But honestly, I'm not on the tech end of this venture. I am the writer, presenter and coach. I am Dean of Show. Brian is the Dean of Tell. He coaches the tech side and will be presenting how to make videos and behind the scenes info.
Frustrations included hiring friends as editors (even the former newspaper editor) and it turned out they were more proofreaders. Waste of time and money. Hiring an illustrator who didn't even finish a single illustration before the first week of sales. Need to get that pre-pay back. In the end, I hired a great editor via Odesk.
This venture has been over all fulfilling and invigorating. I feel more empowered as I don't have to wait for a Magic Eight Ball in someone else's hand to determine what I can write and when. Praying for someone to give me a break? Earning ¥3 to ¥7 if and only if it becomes a bestseller in Japan? It's up to me to work on getting a following and fan base.
I love that I determine the results. It's my hard work and discipline that creates an end result either negative or positive. Taking responsibility for my life and actions is a big deal to me. If I'm late, it's often not the train, it's my responsibility to take the right train. I get an opportunity, it's not luck, but more synchronicity because I determined this is what I want to create in my life. Why should creativity be any different?
Often writers, who are truly better writers than I, complain they don't get a break or paid writing jobs or can't finish their books. Actually, I wasn't confident in my writing skills, plus the longer I'm in Japan, my language skills, well, what's the word for it...sound simple. That's OK. Jack Canfield has a Master's from Harvard, yet everything he writes is on an eighth-grade level so anyone can understand. That's fine. He focuses on the mass market. I can, too.
My friend John is a politician in Tsukuba. He wondered if he was good enough to do the job. Then he remembered the organist in his church who played poorly. She was always hitting the wrong keys in discord. When he asked her if she was embarrassed about it, she said, "No. Glory be, if there's someone else who can do it better, then why aren't they up here playing?"
That's how I feel about my books. Do you have any words of wisdom for me? I admire your discipline, dedication and years in the craft which could either hold you in a stagnant position or propel you forward. You choose to fly.
Kind words. My only advice really is to have a go and not be frightened of making mistakes. Aim for perfection but settle for "Good enough, I'll get it perfect next time." The only unforgivable mistake is not trying, or not completing because of fear of imperfections. Life's imperfect, just get on with it.