This month marks the fiftieth anniversary of the forming of the NTSB. To celebrate this occasion, the NTSB put up a graphic slider highlighting some of the major developments in the agency’s history. One of the slides (number 23) mentions the lawsuit Hoot filed against the NTSB. You can see the slide in real time by visiting the official NTSB site. Thanks to Leigh Johnson for catching this.
It was thirty-eight years ago today that three pilots worked together to safely land a badly damaged aircraft after an unprecedented dive and recovery. The investigation that followed would eventually end with the NSTB blaming the crew for the initial upset. The theories put forth by Boeing and the NTSB have since been challenged in official petitions for reconsideration. The NTSB, however, continues to support the conclusions of the original investigators despite overwhelming evidence that points to another cause. Eight months ago the narrative on TWA 841 began to change with the release of Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption.
Aviation enthusiasts, current and retired pilots and accident investigators, and fans of nonfiction narratives can now decide for themselves whether or not the official probable cause is correct or not. There is also strong evidence to suggest that the failures that led to the TWA 841 upset may have also played a roll in a string of rollover accidents in the 1990s, including United Flight 585 and USAir Flight 427.
The captain of TWA 841, Hoot Gibson, has since passed away. He never got the chance to read the manuscript that would convince many that the NTSB got it wrong. Scott and Gary continue to deny any crew action that might have led to the upset. Today, on this 38th anniversary of TWA 841, I’m pleased to say that the book Scapegoat is currently the number three eBook in its category. The word is spreading. Hopefully, the crew of TWA 841 will be cleared of any wrongdoing, if not by the NTSB, then at least in public opinion.
I know it’s been a while since I posted here on my personal site. So I thought I would write a short post to give an update on what I’ve been doing these past few months. For one, I’ve been hard at work at the number one airline in the world. I took the image above as we were taxing out for departure from Eagle, Colorado. This is an A319, the same type of plane I fly. Now that the weather has turned warm, I’ve also been pursuing my other passion – golf. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t also been actively engaged in marketing both 35 Miles From Shore and Scapegoat. Before the Internet, a book had a shelf life of about six months to a year. That shelf life could be extended with the release of a soft cover addition, giving the book another six months to a year in the spotlight. Today, with the advent of sites like Amazon and Audible, books can live indefinitely. So, shortly after completing Scapegoat, I decided to have my first book released as an audio download on Audible, as well as other sites. You can now get the download on Audible. You can listen to a sneak peek here on my site on the Audiobooks page. If you purchase the eBook, which is only $2.99, you can get the audio download for under $10.00. The audio release of 35 Miles From Shore has opened up a whole new audience for that book.
I’ve also been pursuing a number of different marketing opportunities for Scapegoat. In addition to some catalogue placements in industry publications, I have been doing various radio and podcast interviews. My most recent interview was yesterday. You can listen to the entire interview on the Scapegoat in depth page. My next interview is scheduled for April 22. I’ll post more on that interview as the date nears. Also, after the initial surge of sales, the book is slowly gaining a larger audience through word-of-mouth.
Lastly, I have also been busy writing a screenplay adaptation of Scapegoat. I am pleased to say that I recently completed that project and will be pitching the screenplay to potential producers in the near future. So stay tuned here for the latest info.
A few years back I was out of work and had no prospects for employment. I ran through a slew of part time positions including delivering packages for FedX, working for H&R Block, and flight instructing. I even spent several weeks going door to door to help with the 2010 census. When those positions dried up, I decided to strike out on my own. I started a digital marketing company. I designed websites. I learned Google Adwords and Bing Adcenter. I learned about social media marketing. I learned how to leverage YouTube. I did this for about a year-and-a-half. I was building a clientele. But I wasn’t making any money.
Now jump forward to today. I have a new book out. It’s my second book. So using the skills I picked up with my first book and during my brief stent as a digital marketing expert, I started marketing Scapegoat not only in the U.S. but in several targeted countries and regions. I used YouTube to market my book trailer worldwide. In one month I had over 10,000 views. Now not all of those views resulted in sales. And a lot of those viewers never made it past the first twenty seconds. But enough people did make it all the way through to have an impact. When you add in digital technology like eBooks and audio downloads, anyone in the world can order your book instantly. My total costs for digital marketing so far has been under $700.
Today Scapegoat is in the top 15 in my category in Canada. It’s the number 1 title in my category in Australia.
When Amazon came out with the first e-reader, it was revolutionary. I could go online, find a book I was interested in reading, and with a few clicks, purchase the book and have it downloaded to my device in a matter of seconds. I’m now on my third Kindle. I typically juggle two to three books at a time. I’ll read a chapter in one book, then read a chapter in a second book, and then alternate between books. I recently discovered an even better way to increase my reading–Whispersync. Here’s how it works. Find a book on Amazon that has both a Kindle version and an Audible version. Purchase the Kindle version. Now when you view the same book in Audible, you’ll see that Amazon is offering the audio version at a steep discount. Take my book Scapegoat for example. The Kindle version is $11.99. After purchasing the Kindle version, I could then purchase the Audible version for under $5.00.
So why would I want two versions of the same book? With Whispersync, you can start reading the book on your Kindle and then pick up with audio narration in the car or at the gym exactly where you left off in the Kindle. When you get back to the Kindle, you can then jump ahead to where you left off in the audio version. Amazon has the Audible app for all phones, including my Windows phone. You can purchase a subscription to Audible at $14.95 a month, or you can download the free app and pay for books as you listen to them.
My commutes and workouts now fly by because I’m usually listening to an audio book. If you’re thinking of purchasing Scapegoat, give some serious consideration to getting the audio download on Audible. The narrator for Scapegoat, Fred Filbrich, has already gotten some great reviews on Audible for his work on Scapegoat. You can listen to his smooth delivery in the post Scapegoat audio book sneak peek.
I like it so much that I can’t see me not getting both versions of a book. If you haven’t discovered this cool feature, give it a try.