REVIEW/ HAIR CLUB BURNING

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Dori Owen, reviewer

Little did Mary Ann know, as she scrambled in the gravel of a suburban road after a badly timed fender bender, that she would be rescued by two black dudes who would forever change the course of her disenchanted suburban life.

Married to a “pink” milquetoast, Jair, who scammed her into putting $24,000 on a credit card for hair plugs to fill in his receding hair line–she inadvertently discovers he’s shagging his young assistant Carilee. His unoriginal discretions infuriate Mary Ann into a series of f-bomb paybacks including throwing him out, playing world class dirty tricks on Carilee–and my favorite–decapitating all of his decoy duck collection. But fate intervenes and her rescuers, who are actually East Harlem Bloods, show Mary Ann a new world and retribution of her asset hiding hubs beyond imagination and belief.

This is one of the funniest, most original books I have read in years. The combination of Jason Davis and Beth Wareham as co-authors brings together a rare insider view of the Harlem Bloods sett lifestyle blended with the country club set lifestyle of Westchester, NY. The book is full of fascinating characters from central casting including hair transplant Dr. Bahdoon Bahdoon Samatar, Rachel Rosenthalerheim, Mary Ann’s revenge-loving Jewish lawyer, and a high ranking gang banker who rules from his Paris crib.

Full of twists, turns, laughs, and the joy of divine retribution–including a surprise ending–this book needs to top your summer reading list.

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The NEXT 15 Points of Wisdom from ‘The Startup Whisperer” Chris Heivly’s New Book, BUILD THE FORT

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Chris Heivly sold MapQuest to AOL for 1.2 billion and entered a rarefied group of startup kings. He’s also handled more than 75 million in investment capital on behalf of other companies. Instead of building a big house in Hawaii, he started The Startup Factory, the largest seed investment firm in the Southeast.

From Chris Heivly’s new book, BUILD THE FORT: Why 5 Simple Lessons You Learned as a 10 Year Old Can Set You Up for Startup Success

16. There will never be enough public data available to you that moves your brain to a place where it says – go do this, it is a safe bet.

17.Questions from your inner brain are evil.

18. Fear of failure is the mother of all fears.

19. Fear of future failure prevents good ideas and good founders from ever making the leap.

20. You cant execute month 30 without surviving month 3.

21. When I look back on every company I have ever run, I have just one regret; that I did not spend enough time on developing customers.

22. Spend too much time on product – your vision has outpaced the time allotted and your ability.

23. Cross co-founder support is a pretty cool ingredient early in the company formation and is easy in the honeymoon period.

24. Get to a place where you all feel comfortable exposing what’s rumbling around your head no matter how trivial.

25. Regardless of whether you are a first-time founder or if this is your third rodeo, advisors can help shape your vision.

26. Good advisors have this ability to see through the noise and help you find the core of what you are trying to do.

27. Determining the MVP unlocks your brain to identify the resources required now – not a year form now.

28. It is imperative that you build into the product, on day one, the hooks to track activity.

29. Being a CEO is about finding creative ways to gather resources with little or no cash.

30. I will never make a seed or early-stage investment based on research from Gartner, Forrester or IDC.

For even more wisdom from a startup great, read BUILD THE FORT: Why 5 Simple Lessons You Learned as a 10 Year Old Can Set You Up for Startup Success and explore Chris’s Inc. Magazine articles
ChrisHeivly.com

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“The Startup Whisperer” Gives It Up in His New Book, Build the Fort

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Chris Heivly has earned his place at the startup table.(http://www.inc.com/author/chris-heivly)

He sold MapQuest to AOL for 1.2 billion and is now a co-founder and director of The Startup Factory, a seed-stage investor and mentoring program in the exploding East Coast start-up environment.

Below are just a few of Chris’s wise observations. The only way to have them all, of course, is to purchase BUILD THE FORT. (Click on title to buy.)

This book is so simple and clear, you could use it to start a lemonade stand or begin manufacturing rocket engine parts. Chris uses the simple analogy of putting together a fort with his childhood friends and how the same principals guide how he builds companies today. It’s part Who Moved My Cheese?, part Lean Startup.

Being a CEO is about finding creative ways to gather resources with little or no cash.

I will never make a seed or early-stage investment based on research from Gartner, Forrester or IDC.

Data is awesome and your first chance to separate your idea from the other startup ideas.

There is a large benefit — at this stage of the company — to have everyone within shouting distance from each other.

I have the same passion for office furniture that some women have for shoes.

Shoot too big and you never get enough data, traction and momentum to get anyone interested.

Think in three month chunks and ask yourself, “what do I need to get me to that three month milestone.

. . . yes you can solve every single one of your mini-walls but eventually you run out of energy.

Find a way to gather the critical parts as quickly and cheaply as possible.

There is not a day that goes by when I don’t think to myself, “Chris — you needed to spend more time on acquiring customers.

Feel secure in the opportunity to create customer momentum with a realistic number of initial customers.

Raising investment dollars on an idea today is foolish.

The rest of us need to raise money based on data and traction.

Dreamers fail because they could not execute fast enough.

Winners optimize time by concentrating on the parts of the business that are critical at this immediate moment.

Your asset gathering tasks must be in sync with what the team can accomplish without losing energy, traction or momentum.

There is no room in a startup for perfection freaks.

Your vision as perfect as it appears is unattainable at this startup moment.

It takes an awfully self-aware startup CEO to navigate these waters effectively.

The more I jump the easier each jump gets.</strong

If you can’t actually go through Chris’s program at The Startup Factory ,
buy Build the Fort. It’s the next best thing to being there.

VELOCITY: Writing for the On-Demand Generation

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I currently have a book out for sale. This in itself is an amazing vote of confidence in a dying industry but I have a film company that wants to do a feature. So, the book moves on to it’s next stop: the publisher.

What the movies (and by that I mean any film, tv or on-demand network) wants is action. Of course. Movies are about pictures; books are about thoughts, ideas and sometimes pictures, if the writer if really really good.

But my big problem with most writing is the boredom. The scene takes too long; the interior monologue is predictable and I can rarely see how the insides of these characters act when put in the crucible: That’s why you read.

Men love thrillers and the speed with which they read. Men write them, men read them. (Gone Girl was a wonderful anomaly but once again tied to a cliche idea: my man is cheating on me and I want revenge. How about walking out and getting on with your life, Missy?)

Women write “thrillers” too – Patsy Cornwell, Janet Evanovitch, Kathy Reichs. I will read all three when left in an airplane seat, but would never buy one.

Why? Not hard enough. Not rough enough. Not weird enough. This is an on-demand world where story-telling has a real edge, where action is so fast and the pictures so vivid, it is unforgettable.

That’s what I want for a book: You read it like a shot, an entertainment. You react and then over time, you will respond to it’s deeper ideas.(Yes, thrillers have lots of them.)

In a decline from a publishing company, the young editor said, “It moves so fast I can’t keep it straight.”

That gave me a good laugh. A friend of mine spent an entire flight to Italy reading Harold Robbins and when we landed, she said, “I didn’t get who that Alpha Romeo guy in the book was and more importantly, what was he up to…..”

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

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ANTI-INDENTITES: Traditional Publishing and UFO Believers

You hear it all the time: I like a book. I like to feel that paper in my hands. Great, I always say. There is no other answer. It’s what they say they like and I believe them.

Then there are people in and around the trade publishing world that say weird things about content all the time: like there isn’t a bear eating their drapes. They say things like “I’m writing the flap copy in my head now!” or “I’m writing a book about Silicon Valley but they don’t want to talk to me until I say I have a deal with a traditional publisher.” Whaaaa……? Did you just climb out of the crater in Roswell? Some of the coolest publishing on Earth comes out of Silicon Valley, the great disrupters of the Universe.

Within 2 -3 years, most reading will be done on a cellphone. It’s coming, it’s happening, it’s the next logical step. Everything will be on the cell or the home computer. People won’t carry an iPad and iPhone or Galaxy and Kindle or whatever combo they cary. They will want just one thing to carry and just one thing that is possible to lose. And if you don’t believe me, WHY DO YOU THINK AMAZON PUT OUT A CELLPHONE?

I’d like to read on the Glass, but I can’t afford it. A wristwatch might be fun if someone gave me special wizard glasses with long thick lenses. Hmmmmm… business idea? I just don’t know. But all of it is blowing wide open and to think otherwise is to see UFOs in the skies over Cleveland.

ANTI-INDENTIES: “Traditional” Publishing Lovers Are True UFO Believers

You hear it all the time: I like a book. I like to feel that paper in my hands. Great, I always say. There is no other answer. It’s what they say they like and I believe them.

Then there are people in and around the trade publishing world that say weird things about content all the time: like there isn’t a bear eating their drapes. They say things like “I’m writing the flap copy in my head now!” or “I’m writing a book about Silicon Valley but they don’t want to talk to me until I say I have a deal with a traditional publisher.” Whaaaa……? Did you just climb out of the crater in Roswell? Some of the coolest publishing on Earth comes out of Silicon Valley, the great disrupters of the Universe.

Within 2 -3 years, most reading will be done on a cellphone. It’s coming, it’s happening, it’s the next logical step. Everything will be on the cell or the home computer. People won’t carry an iPad and iPhone or Galaxy and Kindle or whatever combo they cary. They will want just one thing to carry and just one thing that is possible to lose. And if you don’t believe me, WHY DO YOU THINK AMAZON PUT OUT A CELLPHONE?

I’d like to read on the Glass, but I can’t afford it. A wristwatch might be fun if someone gave me special wizard glasses with long thick lenses. Hmmmmm… business idea? I just don’t know. But all of it is blowing wide open and to think otherwise is to see UFOs in the skies over Cleveland.

ANTI-INDENTITES: Are traditional publishing lovers the true UFO believers?

You hear it all the time: I like a book. I like to feel that paper in my hands. Great, I always say. There is no other answer. It’s what they say they like and I believe them.

Then there are people in and around the trade publishing world that say weird things about content all the time: like there isn’t a bear eating their drapes. They say things like “I’m writing the flap copy in my head now!” or “I’m writing a book about Silicon Valley but they don’t want to talk to me until I say I have a deal with a traditional publisher.” Whaaaa……? Did you just climb out of the crater in Roswell? Some of the coolest publishing on Earth comes out of Silicon Valley, the great disrupters of the Universe.

Within 2 -3 years, most reading will be done on a cellphone. It’s coming, it’s happening, it’s the next logical step. Everything will be on the cell or the home computer. People won’t carry an iPad and iPhone or Galaxy and Kindle or whatever combo they cary. They will want just one thing to carry and just one thing that is possible to lose. And if you don’t believe me, WHY DO YOU THINK AMAZON PUT OUT A CELLPHONE?

I’d like to read on the Glass, but I can’t afford it. A wristwatch might be fun if someone gave me special wizard glasses with long thick lenses. Hmmmmm… business idea? I just don’t know. But all of it is blowing wide open and to think otherwise is to see UFOs in the skies over Cleveland.

For the love of God, it’s ALL DIGITAL PUBLISHING

Hachette and Amazon made great theater. Mergers and oustings are our present form of castle sieges and beheadings (the Game of Thrones kind, not the Isis kind) and in all this noise there is something called a story.

As Amazon began leaving the pack behind, Kindle was the word, product, catalyst, stick with fire on the end, that drove all things “book” forward. The established order needed words for the scruffy wanna-bes climbing their walls, hoping for an advance and a place at the banquet table.

So up bubbled that word, SELF-PUBLISHED. That word has connotations of type-os, run-on sentences, dangling modifiers and strange page breaks. Well, have you checked out a “real” book lately? A colleague reported a typo on the DEDICATION page recently. I don’t know about you, but I’d get my husband’s name right in a book. Especially if it was the 5th page. This writer didn’t. I suspect it wasn’t her fault.

Now, here come children’s books on amazon’s new digital platform. SELF-PUBLISHED was a term of the range wars, the battle for dollars within an industry losing its market share. It was derogatory. It suggested these books did not have the “expertise” of other books. Those children’s book authors are gonna explode with creativity in this new world. They are the most resourceful, driven people I’ve ever met.

And, with the beginnings of publishing services companies appearing – like mine – we edit, copyedit, design, cover design, and market -a “self-published” book is a complete misnomer. It’s a DIGITAL story. It’s highly produced. And as more and more writers hire companies to prepare their ebooks with rigorous editing, position and cover design, what precisely IS the difference?

I say there is none. I say we need a new word.

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EVERYBODY POOPS: The Day Amazon Announced Kindle’s Kids’ Books Creator

Today, Amazon announced that the self-publishing world would now include children’s books. Their newest platform, Kindle Kids’ Books Creator, could now take the particular needs of an ebook for kids – illustration, text placement, etc. – and make it work in the electronic world. So what, you think. It is a ZZZZzzzzz of a story, except if you make your living writing and publishing. In that case, that announcement was one big KA-BOOM.

Publishing companies made huge profits from their children’s departments in recent years. The lockdown on that market was still intact. Apps allowed fantastic children’s stories to come to life – look at Loud Crow’s work with Sandra Boynton – but made no real incursion into trade publishing’s territory. As a matter of fact, at least in Sandy’s case, the app (it IS glorious) seemed to drive sales of the same book. Still can’t figure that out.

Now with the KKBC, who knows what will happen? Sure, great stories rise but the competition just got a whole lot rougher. Amazon just gave all those aspiring children’s book authors and illustrators out there the gift of fire. I think I see it rising above Washington Heights already.

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THIS IS WHY: Wild Mad Love for Ebooks

I believe ebooks to be the coolest thing I’ve touched since Bono in the 90s. I wanted in on an idea that allowed anyone anywhere to be faster smarter higher than they could ever dream of being. Books in the hand. Ebooks. Millions, if you want and they fit. 

There is a time as an older girl, adolescent and young woman where I ate books. Nobody was talking about much of anything – though there was some drunken polka dancing I remember feeling great shame over – I became aware of this huge, now dead, march of voices behind me. They talked to me and I ate their stories whole, trying to shape in my own mind a life I wanted to live. West with the Night by Beryl Markum is the story that haunts; I volunteer on a project in Zambia. 

This is the child I see now. This is what I have stayed to see: I am so excited about ebooks.

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