13 thoughts on “Conscious Choice”

    1. Looks like they are on right now. Has he stopped his daily COVID rants? I had to take a break from his site because he was getting crazy and life is stressful enough already.

  1. I read it in draft. I’m glad to see this come out. It is a serious, well-researched book.

    1. Does Dr. Lurio have an epilogue where he explains how Bob got everything wrong?

  2. What happens if it’s dangerous to have children on Mars.

    How about NASA refusal to test biological effect of low gravity {Mars gravity] could be supporting future slavery.
    Since it’s unknown, it seems people will be forced to take, perhaps,
    unnecessary precautions.

    Or to restate it, it will dangerous to have children on Mars, but we need some idea of how much danger is involved, and need begin to find out as soon as possible, and it take decades to get better sense of it, even if started tomorrow.

  3. So it isn’t the publishing of his senior thesis but a new work combining that with a potential future in space? His previous posts on the subject were interesting, so maybe the book will be too.

    1. He should sell it direct on his website, far past time for authors to take all the profits after paying for editors and artists. You are the center of the funnel!

      1. I think the higher traffic at the usual suspect’s (Amazon, B&N, Apple) sites will generate enough additional sales to more than offset their fees. Amazon, et al are not just taking their cut and giving nothing in return.

        1. He can still sell directly on his site unless there are terms and conditions that give exclusivity to the other sites.

          From a long term marketing perspective, authors and really any business, should be focused on moving customers down the funnel. So, Amazon and other retailers are out the rim of the funnel and efforts should be made to move customers to the middle where the products is. In this case, it is his website.

          How many people randomly look for books on Amazon? Even when you sell on Amazon, some sort of marketing takes place to drive the customer there. Amazon has a few advantages, print on demand, reviews, and people having Amazon bucks but distributing ebooks and payment processing can happen on your own site. This way the author retains customer information and can engage the audience through newsletters, promotions, and other means.

          For businesses other than publishing, you don’t want Amazon hoovering up all the data about your customers and what you sell them. Amazon isn’t just a marketplace, it is a competitor. Become too successful and you will find Amazon will make their own version of your product or create a partnership with a different manufacturer to cut your knees out from under you.

          As an author, Amazon and other retailers can always declare you unperson and ban your works. Zimmerman has already been blacklisted, so it makes sense to mitigate the damage these companies can do to him.

          From previous conversations I have had with him, I know he detests the nuts and bolts of publishing but also that he wants more control over his own fate, so the time might be right soon for the process of direct sales to be more accessible.

          1. How many people randomly look for books on Amazon?

            Millions, far more than will ever land on behindtheblack.com. Zimmerman would be a fool not to list his book on Amazon. And it’s not like he has to make a choice; he can do both. I’d be willing to bet that he get dozens of times more sales from Amazon as he does redirecting people to ebookit.com from his site.

          2. I guess I am different as I always go to Amazon or the library with a book I learned about elsewhere.

            “Zimmerman would be a fool not to list his book on Amazon. And it’s not like he has to make a choice; he can do both.”

            Sure, depending on what he chooses to do on Amazon. One of their publishing programs requires exclusivity. The other site isn’t the same as direct distribution off his website.

            I think you are missing the point. The goal is long term marketing to develop an audience and drive it to your business. His potential audience is small and likely has different characteristics than typical Amazon customers. Having more than one distribution node is ok, but random searches isn’t attracting an audience.

            Having the blurbers promote the book is good marketing as their audiences are more likely to be interested and Rand even links to Zimmerman’s site, which then bounces the audience out to other sites.

            He isn’t a prolific author but he is a prolific blogger and has a lot of good content. More traffic to his site means more ad money and more donations. This builds monthly cashflow, a primed audience for his next book, and his backlog. He could even do what a lot of other content producers do and provide something extra for monthly contributors. This is typically what a lot of Patreon users do but I haven’t seen Zimmerman offer any benefits and there isn’t a blurb listing any in the donation area.

            With this model, the book on Amazon would be used to get traffic to his website.

            I bet almost all of his sales are on Amazon but those sales came from word of mouth, promotions on blogs like this, the Space Show, John Bachelor, and not from people browsing for books. Instapundit has probably been the largest driver of traffic to his business. In order to get any visibility on Amazon, it would take a lot of marketing elsewhere to get the sales high enough that it would be featured on the site.

            You are right that Amazon has millions and millions of customers but that doesn’t mean any of them will find the book, the last book, or the next book. Simply having the book on Amazon doesn’t mean you get those eyeballs or that they would be interested. Selling the book doesn’t mean those readers will visit his business, they need an invitation. It has to be a conscious choice to reach out to them and you know what there wasn’t on the landing page Rand linked to? An invitation to visit the site daily or to check out his other books, even though a few are in the sidebar where it is easy to ignore.

            You have to remember, his business isn’t selling a book but lots of different books as well as news, analysis, and commentary. After all the work he does promoting himself, might as well sell the book direct off his site and create some merch as well. Easier to make a tshirt, sticker, or artwork related to his work than write a book and might be more profitable.

Comments are closed.