Posts

For my travels, I’ve decided to go with a two-bag approach. This isn’t surprising: three bags would be inconvenient with constantly checking it when flying and I don’t want to completely destroy my shoulders.

Many nomadic travelers go with only one-bag, but I don’t think I can or want to drop that low. I have just enough stuff that two bags is more convenient.

The first bag is the Red Oxx AirBoss, and the second is this new bad boy from Tom Bihn (yes I just referred to a backpack as a “bad boy”).

tom bihn synapse 25

The Synapse 25 is a nice step up from the Synapse 19 (Joel McLaughin has a great writeup of both here). It also happens to be available in a shade of my favorite color (that’s Orange for the colorblind among you; if you have synthesia, let me know what it tastes like).

The role of this bag is arguably more important than that of the AirBoss. This bag houses my electronics (computer, external hard drive, iPod, chargers, converter, surge protector, remote clicker, cables), papers (passport, external driver’s license, comedy notebook), and snacks (varies but often includes Pop Tarts and Goldfish crackers).

The large pocket is divided by a thin flap. I put my computer, cords, chargers, and gorilla camera stand on one side. The other side gets a tightly-packed raincoat, first aid kit, and thank you cards. And on the top go the snacks.

tom bihn synapse 25 open

There are two side poaches, one side for health-type items (Advil, diarrhea pills, hand sanitizer), the other side for accessories (mini-display cables, remote clicker). The larger front pocket contains important documents (it’s surprisingly deep and tough to reach into) and the smaller front pocket gets business cards, gift cards, public transportation cards, and Game of Thrones (kinda, it is on a thumb drive).

There’s a separate pouch for my water bottle, which is water proof to the other parts of the bag, and it has little spandex straps that I’m not entirely sure what they’re used for.

The bag is still new, so we’ll see how it goes, but I am pretty excited to travel the world with this sexy thing.

tom bihn on my back

Enjoy this post? Sign up below and receive the latest updates from me on an inconsistent basis.

steps to self publishing

Last year I published my very first book, 50 Quotations on Humor, mostly as a way to learn about the self-publishing process. After tons of research and actually doing it, I’ve boiled down the process to these steps.

Note: This assumes you already have a book idea / content ready. Also this is for self-publishing a physical copy of the book.

10 Basic Steps for Self-Publishing a Book

Step 1: Purchase Your Own ISBNs

Most book-publishing services will create ISBNs for you, but if you do that, you lose control over who the imprint is. If you want a more official publisher name, and not SELF-PUBLISHING-COMPANY X, you can purchase your own ISBNs and define the imprint (maybe something like “DREW’S PUBLISHING HOUSE”).

To purchase ISBNs, I used myidentifiers.com. I bought 10 ISBN’s for $250 (and you’ll want to buy in bulk as you should have different ISBNs for digital and print versions of your book).

Step 2: Assign Your ISBNs

After you’ve purchased your ISBNs, you’ll have to assign one to your print book. Using myidentifiers.com, you fill out the pertinent details such as Title, Author, Summary, etc. This information is used when booksellers are listing your book.

You may not know all of this information until after you finish the other steps, so you may have to come back to it. The important step right now is assigning the ISBN to this particular book.

Step 3: Choose a Publisher

There are a number of great Print-On-Demand publishers out there, including Lulu, LightningSource and Blurb. However I personally went with CreateSpace because of it’s direct connection to Amazon. With CreateSpace, as soon as you approve your book for publishing, it gets listed on Amazon.com, as well as a few other places.

Step 4: Create a Book / Choose a Size

One of the first things you have to decide on with your publisher is the size of your book. There are number of standard sizes but CreateSpace also allows you to create your own.

Note: If you create your own size your book won’t be distributed to bookstores, it’ll only be available in the eStore and on Amazon.com.

Step 5: Design Your Interior

Once you have the size, you can design the interior of the book and fill it with content. Another advantage to using a standard size is that CreateSpace has templates you can download so all you have to do is Copy/Paste and format the text you want (no messing with margins, etc).

If you decide to go with a custom trim size, using a program like Adobe InDesign might be easier to use for formatting.

Step 6: Design Your Cover

Once you have your interior set, you can create a design for the cover. Once again, standard sizes have templates, custom sizes require you do some math to get things right. Be sure to leave the correct space for where the barcode will go and pick print-safe colors for the cover.

Step 7: Upload Your Content

Once you have the interior and cover completed, you’ll save them as PDFs and upload them to the publisher. CreateSpace has an electronic checker that will review for any formatting issues such as incompatible fonts. Be sure to clear any errors (or actively decide to ignore them like I did when an error about spacing came up).

Step 8: Order a Proof

Once everything looks good in the previewer, it’s a good idea to order a physical proof. This will take a little bit of time as every time you submit something to be available as a proof, it takes a day or so to be reviewed by a human to make sure everything is OK. Then you can order the proof (which is usually pretty cheap although they get you with shipping costs, especially if you want it rushed).

Step 9: Publish Your Book

After you’ve received and reviewed your book, it’s time to make it available to the world. You can approve your book on the site and also enter your distribution details: price of the book, distribution outlets, etc. Be sure to also go back to myidentifiers.com and update any information you left out earlier.

Note: For pricing, CreateSpace will tell you the minimum you can sell the book for. Anything over that minimum is how much you make on the book. The price varies from book-to-book based on size, number of pages, color or black & white interior, etc.

Step 10: Fill Out Your Amazon Author Information

Once you approve your proof it’ll take 5-7 business days for it to show up in Amazon. Once it’s there, you’ll want to make sure you fill out your Amazon Author information so people can learn more about who you are (and you can add your blog, twitter, etc).

BONUS: Publish to Kindle

If you also want to publish to Kindle, CreateSpace now has a conversion tool that will get you started. Whether you use that or create a new document yourself, you’ll manage the Kindle version of the book at kdp.amazon.com. More tips on this process in a future blog post.

There you have it, the 10 Basic Steps for Self-Publishing a Book. Got questions? Leave ’em in the comments.

Enjoy this post? Sign up below and receive the latest updates from me on an inconsistent basis.

I recently shared a post about how to move a tumblr blog to a new owner. Unfortunately that only works for secondary blogs. It may be the case that either on your current account, or possibly a new one created specifically for your blog, you want your secondary blog to actually be your primary blog.

Sadly, this isn’t possible from tumblr’s perspective (nor does it seem like they’ll be changing it any time soon). However, you can “trick” the system into treating your secondary blog as your primary blog.

Note: This process renders your current primary blog pretty much useless. This is a workaround to get as close to the functionality as possible. Make a backup before you start and proceed at your own risk.

I recommend transferring your secondary blog to a new account before you begin.

How to Make a Secondary Tumblr Blog a Primary Tumblr Blog

  1. Log into your tumblr account and go to your current Primary blog.
  2. Click on Customize theme, then Edit HTML.
  3. Right after where it says <head> put the following code, where “http://inserttumblrurl.tumblr.com/” is the address of the Secondary blog that you want to be the Primary blog.
    [html]<script type=”text/javascript”>
    window.location.href = “http://inserttumblrurl.tumblr.com”
    </script>[/html]
  4. Click Update Preview, then Appearance, then Save, then Close.
  5. Your old Primary blog will now always redirect to your Secondary blog. That means whenever you follow someone or ask a question, they’ll be directed to your Secondary blog if they click on your name.
  6. Optional: You may want to change the URL of your old Primary blog to something similar to your Secondary blog so that the name that appears when following people seems related to your blog. The easiest solution is adding a hyphen (‘-‘) in the name.

Sources:

Enjoy this post? Sign up below and receive the latest updates from me on an inconsistent basis.

While I’m mostly a WordPress guy, I have helped some friends set up sites on Tumblr.

Unfortunately, when I first started, I knew very little about tumblr before starting and as a result created the comedy blog as part of my personal account, thinking I could just move it later. Well with tumblr, moving a blog isn’t all that easy to do (and if you ask tumblr support, they’ll tell you it’s not possible at all).

But, there is a way to “move” a secondary tumblr blog. Here’s how:

How to move a tumblr blog to a new owner.

  1. Create a NEW tumblr account (you have to use a new email address).
  2. Log out of the NEW tumblr account.
  3. Log into the OLD tumblr account and select the blog you want to transfer from the Dashboard menu.
  4. On the right hand side, click where it says Members.
  5. Add the NEW tumblr account as a member by inviting it using the new email address.
  6. Log out of the OLD tumblr account.
  7. Check your new email address inbox for an invitation from tumblr to join the OLD blog. Click join and log into the NEW tumblr account.
  8. Log out of the NEW tumblr account.
  9. Log into the OLD tumblr account. Go back to the Members page for the blog you want to move and change the NEW account to be an admin.
  10. Log into the NEW tumblr account and confirm you can post, change settings, etc. You’ve now transferred the blog to your NEW tumblr account.
  11. Optional: From the OLD account, you can choose to leave the blog now if you’d like, your posts will still remain on the blog.
Note: This only works for secondary blogs (not primary ones). Check out another recent post if you want to make a secondary tumblr blog a primary blog.

Sources

Enjoy this post? Sign up below and receive the latest updates from me on an inconsistent basis.