How the DOJ’s antitrust lawsuit against Apple and the Big Six book publishers will affect the business of lit
Jeff Bezos (Credit: AP/Reed Saxon)
By Laura Miller for Salon
Closing arguments for the Department of Justice’s antitrust suit against Apple concluded last week, although U.S. District Judge Denise Cote is not expected to reach a decision for another couple of months. If you’ve found the case difficult to follow, you’re not alone. Still it’s worth getting a handle on the basics because the suit — or, more precisely, the business deals behind it — have changed book publishing in significant ways. Furthermore, Judge Cote’s decision could have impact well beyond the book industry.
If you liked ARGO, you will love The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, a similar story based on true events.
Order your copy at a special publisher’s discount price of $12.99, list is $15.99.
Just click on our Bookstore tab and then click on Fiction.
We decided to reprint this interview with Douglas Roberts about what inspired him to write such a book. The interview was originally published June 19, 2011.
Inspired by true events in the early 1970s, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK captures what it is like to live in a dictatorship with secret police monitoring your every move – an atmosphere of fear that still pervades today in many countries in the Middle East.
What makes Doug’s book so appealing is that what he wrote today about events 40 years ago is still going on today in many parts of the Middle East. And all of these events are carefully woven into a love story that will make you fall in love all over again.
Q. The release of your book coincides rather well with Arab Spring. When did you start writing it?
A. In the summer of 2008. A woman I’d met on line named Erica Murray was interested in Iran so I started writing to her about it. I started doing some very preliminary research into the history and politics of Iran in 1971 in order to refresh my memory of things I had experienced when I was in Iran during that time. The book was completely finished several months before the uprising in Tunisia.
Q. Even though that was 40 years ago, there are many common elements with what is happening across the Arab world.
A. Yes, especially the fear people experience when living under an autocratic regime is something I hope I have captured, and as the book proceeds, the breaking out of that fear. Perhaps it will give people hope. Just like in my book, the methods used by various dictatorial regimes to maintain control seem to be taken from a common playbook: trample a free and independent press, keep the people fooled, use an iron fist to silence dissent, eliminate fair trials, use torture to extract confessions – the list goes on and on.
Q. But when you wrote the book, you weren’t thinking about that.
A. (laughs) True! I don’t have a crystal ball and the Arab Spring was as big a surprise to me as the rest of the world.
Q. Can I ask you about one of the characters in your book? Was there really a Junior?
A. Yes there was. I think Junior made the story possible to write. We really did sell our liquor and cigarette rations to him. I recently learned from a fellow who served in ARMISH/MAAG just before I arrived that Junior mostly dealt with the domestic workers, the Iranian nationals who worked at the bachelor quarters where we lived.
Q. I’d like to ask you about another character, Mihan Jazani. She is a historical figure, the wife of the Bijan Jazani who founded one of Iran’s guerilla movements. It appears that she’s a friend of yours on Facebook.
A. (Blushes) Um, well yes…so it would appear. (laughs) Actually, Mihan Jazani doesn’t like Facebook and never uses it. The Facebook account was set up for Mihan by her granddaughter, Aida. Aida and I exchange messages occasionally.
Q. How were you able to remember so much about what happened then? It was 40 years ago after all.
A. I was assisted in several ways. I had some writings I had done about Iran when I was in journalism school at Kent State in 1972. I had a large number of slides that I’d taken when I was there. Those were crucial in reviving old memories. A huge help was finding a 1977 map of Tehran on the (now defunct) Tehran American School website. I was able to use the exact names of places, even street names. The fellow I’d mentioned earlier who told me about Junior had sent me a copy of the ARMISH/MAAG directory, which was very useful. Finally, talking to people I worked with at that time was extremely important, namely Heidi Eftekhar and Barry Silver, who are characters in the story. I obviously couldn’t remember all events specifically, but I found I could generate them as needed by being very specific in my language. I would take seeds of ideas and extrapolate and grow them into full blown events. For example, a certain lecherous officer really did say to Heidi, “I think you’re a woman who needs a lot of loving.” I took that and ran with it. Last, but also important, the Internet was a valuable tool in researching the historical incidents in the book.
Q. So, where does the novel part come in?
A. Some of the human rights related events are novelized, but they’re very accurate in their portrayal of the times. I’ll leave historians to figure all that out. They will have their work cut out for them because I’ve spent a lot of effort weaving the story line into the history of those days.
Q. How close is your character Doug Roberts to the way you actually are?
A. That’s a really good question. (laughs) I had originally intended that Doug the character would be an extreme version of myself. But after having read my book now over and over, I’ve come to see that what’s extreme are the circumstances he’s in. Doug the character is a lot like I was back then: ok in the smarts department, and a little too cocky sometimes. He’s not very romantic or knowledgeable about women, but does all right in spite of himself. (laughs) There’s an element of male fantasy in the book I suppose. In the story, I have two charming female lunch companions in addition to Fari my Iranian girlfriend/fiancée.
Q. But you really were friends with Heidi Eftekhar your co-worker in the story.
A. I still am. Heidi and I communicate regularly by email and her input on the book was immensely helpful. Miss Farou is the fantasy. She actually didn’t like me all that much. (laughs).
Q. I get the impression you had a lot of fun writing your book.
A. It was pretty trippy for me at times. I would totally submerse myself in it. For example, I had written the scene describing how I spent New Year’s Eve in Iran just a couple of weeks after New Year’s Eve in real life. When someone asked me about how I’d spent my New Years, it shocked me as to how much effort I had to put into pulling up what I’d actually done versus what I’d just written. That was a little scary.
Q. What do you think people will get out of your book?
A. I’m sure everyone will get a little something different, but what I’d like for people to take from it is that, like in the story, life may present you with some extreme circumstances. When that happens, keep a level head and your wits about you. Try to see beyond what appears to be happening on the surface. There will always be some good things happening at any given moment. Try to focus on that. To get through your ordeal it’s a good idea to engage all your friends to help you and your faith if you have that. Most important of all: never give up.
Available in print Feb 2013
Black & White on Cream paper
Outer Banks Publishing Group
BISAC: Fiction / Espionage
There is no better time than now. Social Media is exploding as the new paradigm for the 21st century as the new way to communicate, connect and be accepted.
Take the explosive Arab Spring that toppled regimes – it was spawned and grown by social media. Without Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Skype and other social media it may never have happened.
No other time in the history of mankind has so many people on the planet communicated in mass, instantly with a deeper, richer form of communication combining audio, photography and video in a single message.
Now there is Instagram and Pinterest where people post photos of their life or other people’s lives that inspire them. You can see a collage of a person’s personality and maybe a glimpse of their soul on a single web page in the form of photographs. It’s like walking into a person’s home – you immediately get a closer look of that person by the smells, the choice of their furniture style, the colors of the walls, the knickknacks on the shelves and animals that run about your feet.
And because of this transparent and brutal honest by most people in their quest to be liked, accepted and one of the gang, savvy business people are finding this is the platinum age of marketing and advertising.
Social media reveals what’s in the hearts and souls of potential customers.
Go back 50 to 100 years to small town America. Everyone knew everyone and what they liked. So when a local resident went to the local grocery store, the grocer knew exactly what that resident wanted and what they liked. He or she may have put aside certain items knowing that particular customer always shopped on a specific day. Social media is the revival of the small town, but on a global scale.
Businesses can customize their products and services to what people say they like or love on social media. Every business owner, marketer or product manager is now like that small town grocer – they know what people are saying and can orient their wares to appeal to those people with precision accuracy. This is marketing nirvana.
And the staunch, slow-to-adapt Fortune 500 companies are also noticing and beginning to tap this global market on social media.
So you want to be social? Now is the time.
A good place to start is by reading Social Media for Business by Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha. Thoroughly researched, written and compiled by two Raleigh residents, Social Media for Business, is filled with articles by experienced social media professionals who live and work in the Raleigh area.
It has hands-on useful advice for the beginner and advanced user of social media focused on promoting your business with social media.
Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha know how to launch a book. Over 50 people attended the event on Aug. 4 celebrating the launch of Social Media for Business, a comprehensive anthology focused on small business and the power of social media. More than 35 books were sold with some guests buying two and three copies. The launch was held at the Center for Excellence, a training and speaker center in North Raleigh, NC.
Social Media for Business is available on Amazon and fine bookstores everywhere.
For more information about Social Media for Business, visit the book web site.
RALEIGH, NC – Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha, co-authors of Social Media for Business, an Outer Banks Publishing Group book, held a “book launch” on Thursday, August 4 at The Center for Excellence on Six Forks Road South in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Celebrating Mr. Brossman’s third social media book, and Ms. McGaha’s first book, the authors offered door prizes at the event including a social media consultation by Martin Brossman & Associates and a Kindle ebook reader. Catering for the event was by Catering by Design.
Mr. Brossman’s first book on social media, Brossman’s Social Media and Online Resource Directory for Business, had a North Carolina focus. Mr. Brossman said he received overwhelming feedback from his readers to produce a national, more comprehensive version that would cover the entire spectrum of social media and its use in business.
For Social Media for Business, Mr. Brossman partnered with Ms. McGaha, a social media manager and Internet researcher, to write and edit the book. They included chapters from twenty contributors to deepen the coverage and expertise, covering audio and video, mobile, Facebook and LinkedIn ads, articles, press releases in addition to dozens of other topics.
Social Media for Business includes a section on perspectives about social media and Internet marketing with a rich collection of articles; a large central section on the building blocks of social media and the Internet; and a substantial section on online marketing through social media. Visit the Social Media for Business web site for more information.
“Social Media for Business is particularly valuable for the micro-business and solo professional, as well as small businesses with under 25 employees because it was written by micro-business and solo professionals who bring their own fresh experience and research,” said Ms. McGaha. “Readers will learn about building, establishing and maintaining a strong, genuine, appropriate multi-dimensional presence for their business on social media and other Internet channels.”
Mr. Brossman, who has been using and teaching LinkedIn since 2006, and is the leading trainer of social media and business success for small businesses in North Carolina, brings fascinating insight and perspectives to the book.
Mr. Brossman’s second social media book, Linking Into Sales, was written with fellow LinkedIn expert and community builder Greg Hyer, to show readers how to use LinkedIn to increase sales.
“My personal and professional mission is to help individuals live lives so meaningful it moves them and others to tears,” Mr. Brossman said. “Extending out from that, it is to help micro-business thrive for a grassroots rebuilding of the American economy. This book sets out to give a solid and motivating push for small businesses to use social media and online marketing to be successful in business.”
The audience for Social Media for Business is both the newcomer to social media and online marketing, as well as the experienced practitioner. “Each reader will take out different insights based on their experience and needs,” said Ms. McGaha.
“I don’t think there is a single book on the market that covers so expertly every aspect of social media,” said Anthony S. Policastro, Publisher of Outer Banks Publishing Group. “And what makes this book so valuable is that the contributors provided honest and frank viewpoints on their particular expertise based on actual experience. It’s like being in a room with all of them and they are telling me the best practices and techniques to be successful using social media.”
Anora McGaha is a writer and author, with three years of experience in social media management and Internet research. Prior to that her career spanned twenty years in marketing communications and business analysis. She provides training and consulting on Internet publicity, social media and online marketing and is an associate with Martin Brossman & Associates and Carolina Web Consultants, Inc. For more information visit her Linkedin site.
Martin Brossman is a success coach, speaker, trainer, and author specializing in teaching social media and business success to accelerate growth for entrepreneurs and small businesses. He’s the founding director of Martin Brossman & Associates and collaborates with micro-business and solo-professionals in delivering the latest training and services. He is the author of three books on social media; travels and trains frequently; and is a powerful keynote speaker on dozens of relevant topics. An early user of LinkedIn, Brossman has built a meaningful and significant network of his own. For more information see his Linkedin site.
Photos of the event can be seen on the Social Media for Business Facebook page.
Social Media for Business is available directly from the printer at a discount of $16.50. Use the discount code of “EJUCVT36″ at checkout to get a $6.45 discount off the list price for a sale price of $16.50. The book is also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine bookstores.