The last 48 hours have been a whirlwind!
If we haven’t connected over Facebook or Twitter or Medium, here’s what has transpired over the past 48 hours…
“When you begin to live your life like an interesting story, it has no other choice than to become one.”
One of my long-term goals/dreams was to give a TEDx talk. One day, I thought, after I do some more things, get a few more experiences/ accomplishments/ adventures under my belt, I’d apply to deliver a TEDx talk.
“Maybe I’ll be ready in a few years.”
And then in February, I was invited to give a TEDx talk at Lafayette College. And of course, I said yes.
“I guess I have to be ready now.”
Earlier this year, I publicly stated a list of goals I wanted to accomplish in 2013. I stole this practice from author, entrepreneur, and a personal hero of mine Chris Guillebeau, who has been exercising this for years. In his Annual Review, he reflects honestly on his year past and makes goals for the upcoming year.
I figured if I intended to become a great artist (which I do), then I had better learn to start stealing like one.
I was reluctant to do this. By publicly stating goals, I risked publicly failing at goals. And by standing up and expressing my intent to do some big, crazy, or weird things, I opened myself to criticism. Mostly internal criticism — writing down or verbally stating any sort of ambitious intent unleashes the dragons of doubt.
First, 1 quick announcement.
The past four days have been a whirlwind experience. I’m still trying to make sense of it, dissect how and why it happened, and process it intellectually. I’ve been trying to document it all in real time over social media. But in case we’re not connected on those channels, I wanted to let you know here.
On Thursday night, I decided to write an article and post it on a site called Medium. I entitled it Things I Learned Wandering Around Europe for 7 Months (link to Medium article).
[Actually, this was a rewrite of something I had written months ago on GiveLiveExplore. You may recall it as: These Things Traveling Taught.]
On Friday night, that article was shared by Tim Ferriss (one of my heroes) with his Facebook and Twitter followers. And from there, things went wild.
Happy Friday! I’d like to share a few quick odds & ends before the week’s end.
Do you live in San Francisco or the Bay Area?
Over the next few weeks I’ll be in the Bay Area, spending time with family and friends, and exploring the city. In a way, I’m “dating” San Francisco — I’ve been nomadic for almost a year and half and I’m itching to have a place to call home. SF is high on my list.
If you’re in the area and would like to meet up, shoot me an email.
“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”
— Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich
What most excites me about today’s digital publishing landscape is how fast the space is evolving.
For one, there’s the potential of the ebooks themselves. Most ebooks today are merely trying to replicate the experience of written books, but on a digital device. The current version of Tales of Iceland included. But the opportunity for ebooks is so much greater. As Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife, muses about electronic books:
Are you on Goodreads? Do you live in the US? Do you want a free book?
For a limited time, I’ve created a 10-book giveaway on Goodreads. Click the ‘Enter to win‘ button below to be entered into the contest. Please share this with any friends who may be interested.
The people who will most likely enjoy this book are those who (1) enjoy fun travel stories, (2) are from Iceland, in love with Iceland, or are traveling to Iceland, and (3) not easily offended by foul humor. If you satisfy at least 2 out of the 3 of those, we think you’ll enjoy the book and hope you’ll enroll in the giveaway!
Greetings from Iceland! I’m writing these words from Reykjavík, in between my attempts to meet with as many people as possible to promote Tales of Iceland over my 5 days here.
My time in Iceland has been fantastic. I’ve had the honor of meeting the SEEDs staff (the organization we’re donating 5% of book profits to), visiting the Reykjavik Grapevine office (Iceland’s free, alternative English paper), having coffee with Alda Sigmundsdóttir (author of wildly popular The Little Book of the Icelanders), and meeting with a representative from Icelandair’s marketing department. I also found out that Eymundsson, Iceland’s largest bookstore, will start carrying Tales of Iceland this month!
Everything is out there waiting for you. All you have to do is walk up and declare yourself in. No need for permission. You just need courage to say, “Include me”. Providing you have the energy to pull it off you can do what you like. And the Universal Law, being impartial, will be only too delighted to deliver.
– Stuart Wilde, British writer.
On January 1, 2013, I knew practically nothing about publishing. While I was an early adopter of the ebook, the most profound thing I understood about ebooks was that I could pack hundreds of them on my Kindle and carry them with me as I galavanted around the globe. I’d never sold anything online, never formatted a book (ebook or otherwise), nor did I know a single thing about the publishing industry, besides the fact that it was in the middle of a colossal shift like everything else the internet has touched (See: Everything).
On April 23, I published Tales of Iceland, a book that’s currently hovering between the #1 and #5 bestseller in Amazon.com’s Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Travel > Europe > Iceland category for ebooks and the Books > Travel > Europe > Iceland category for physical books (come si dice, “holy niche!”).
On June 1, Tales of Iceland became profitable. Profitable in the sense that the budget used to produce and market the book has been covered, and barring any additional marketing or re-formatting costs, all future royalties of the book go to Stephen, myself, and the Icelandic environmental non-profit SEEDS, to whom we’re donating 5% of all profits.
Today, we’re officially announcing Tales of Iceland to the world. I’m not going to dance around the issue: I want you to read it!
There are 3 [UPDATE: 6] ways you can read the book:
1. Amazon Kindle (ebook)
2. Barnes & Noble Nook (ebook)
3. Paperback via Amazon
[UPDATE] 4. Apple’s iBookstore (ebook)
[UPDATE] 5. emma.is (ebook) – Icelandic startup ebook retailer
[UPDATE] 6. Kobo (ebook)
I’ll be honest, there are some embarrassing stories about me in the book, as should be expected when three single twenty-something friends embark on a foreign adventure. You may be wondering why I would promote such a book. Here’s why: As I continue to write on GiveLiveExplore, I’ve learned to become more open with sharing who I am. If someone wants to judge me, so be it. Life’s too short to spend it paranoid or embarrassed. Ain’t nobody got time for that.