Many self-published authors promote their books on the Web, but Gary Sutton has taken the process one step further, paving the way for self-publishers everywhere. Forgoing brick-and-mortar venues, Sutton is offering his novel, Cyber.scam 2000, exclusively on the Web. Readers can access the novel, which centers on a conspiracy to take over the Internet in order to rule the world, through Hard Shell Word Factory (http://www.hardshell.com) to read it on their PCs, or download it onto a Softbook Reader (http://www.softbook.com), a portable e-book with a built-in modem. An ink-and-paper format is available from Amazon.com. "It's very reasonable [if you want] to get feedback and [cater] to an Internet market," Sutton says.
"Authors are, for the first time now, getting attention for stuff they publish on the Web," says Steven Zeitchik, an editor at Publisher's Weekly. "They're [currently] interested in getting a print publisher, and whether that will change and books will be exclusively published online depends on whether downloadable books and e-book devices will take off." And with healthy competition among e-book manufacturers driving down prices, finding a virtual audience for your virtual book may not seem so futuristic.
What's good for the soul is good for the entrepreneur.
By Laura Tiffany
August Turak was 21 years old when the spirituality bug bit him, leading him to quit college to study with a Zen master. Although he went on to finish college and has since founded four software publishing companies, spirituality is still foremost in his mind. "I consider myself a spiritual person who happens to own a business--not a businessperson who does spiritual things," says Turak, founder of Houston-based Elsinore Technologies Inc. and Raleigh, North Carolina-based Flynt Technologies, TeamVizor Inc. and Raleigh Group International.
Turak, 47, spends every Christmas, Easter and summer vacation at the Mepkin Abbey in South Carolina as a monastic guest--living, working and praying with 25 Cistercian monks. Although he jokes his employees fear he won't return from one of his trips, Turak says his business wouldn't be as successful if he didn't go.
He finds his inspiration in the monks (average age: 65), who run several successful businesses and maintain a 7,000-acre farm. "What I take away [from my visits] is marvel and awe of what these quiet men accomplish by having an attitude of `Ask not what the community can do for me, but what I can do for the community,'" Turak says. "They don't teach this kind of behavior, attitude and values in business school. I'm doing what some guys do by going to Harvard Business School for a few weeks every year to bone up on econometrics. I think most of them would be far better off going to a monastery and learning the kind of values that allow them to find, meet and hold on to the right people."
If you've ever wanted to pick the brains of the world's top entrepreneurs, you're in luck: Amacom's new series does just that. In Business the Bill Gates Way, Business the Jack Welch Way, Business the Rupert Murdoch Way and Business the Richard Branson Way, authors Des Dearlove (who wrote Branson and Gates) and Stuart Crainer (who wrote Murdoch and Welch) share each entrepreneur's story along with tips on how to follow in their enterprising footsteps. Although the books are primarily made up of second-source anecdotes with few direct quotes from the actual entrepreneurs, they are well-researched and presented in a quick, read-between-meetings style.
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