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Saturday, October 17th, 2009

Time Event
12:54a
What to say ...
Books like this remind me that there still is a role for publishers in the world of anyone-can-make-one print-on-demand book services. Back when I was running Eschaton Books, I had a few manuscripts come in "typeset" like this (or, actually, much worse, at least this isn't in a dozen different display faces!), with authors attached who were incredulous that you didn't think it looked wonderful (think "MySpace" vs. "LinkedIn").

Anyway, there's a story here. Last week I was giving a presentation to an agency on Second Life, which I'd been up working on for nearly 3 days straight, and following this, I figured I'd give myself some "me time" in a Starbucks in the neighborhood. I was reading the previously-reviewed book, and this odd fellow came by and seemed to want to talk about it. This was Dr. Richard Talsky, who is a guy with a lot of plans and a modus operandi which seems to focus on cornering the unsuspecting in the assorted coffee houses in which he holds court. Now, being that I'm "between jobs" and many of his "plans" involve the sort of skill sets that I am currently not using, I thought "oh, great!" and ended up getting sucked into spending a vast lot of time sitting in assorted Starbucks over the next couple of days (and setting up a whole array of Social Media sites for him). Unfortunately it appears that his main source of income at the moment is selling copies of 50 Ways to Thrive, Putting the Sizzle Back Into Your Life: A New Look at the Possibilities for Human Beings to coffee shop customers, and most of the other plans seem to hinge on finding the right people who can make them magically appear (in full disclosure, I'm very likely going to be re-doing the layout of this book for him, whether he opts to use it or not). I'm still holding out a slight hope that he is able to move forward on some of these, as they could provide quite an interesting source of possible income for me it they did attain some degree of reality (see his site for some details).

As one would guess ... this is a collection of various "methods" and/or approaches to "thriving", some based in familiar newagey territory, some running off into a world primarily occupied by Dr. Talsky. Content-wise (as opposed to the lay-out) it's no worse than many similar books out there, and it certainly looks at some different aspects that are not typically followed. I think it would be greatly improved by re-structuring, as in its current format it doesn't track particularly well, but the content, put in a more accessible form, might be worth what he's asking for it.

Anyway, I've noticed this new concept of "thriving" popping up in various contexts, so Dr. Talsky may be onto something here. His background started in art and advertising before becoming a chiropractor and practicing that for a quarter century. Again, many of his stories beg to be taken with many grains of salt, but he insists that he achieved rather remarkable results applying various of these insights to his business.

Although set up as 50 discreet elements, most of them function as part of a whole, so I'm not going to even try listing them here (they are, however, listed here) ... while some are "common sense" or familiar "attraction/intent" modalities, they seem to work better as a whole than extracted. The current book is brief (under 100 pages) and claustrophobic (the edit I'm going to give it will expand that out a good deal), and has a rather steep $15.00 cover price ... although I got mine "in trade" for buying him a sandwich.

Now, you don't have to start haunting the various Starbucks on the near north side of Chicago to get a copy, the current version was published through Amazon's service, so is available on-line through them. Although one of the "plans" is to get this out into a much wider distribution, I don't believe that it's either in any bookstores, nor available through them at the moment ... although you can also get an earlier version through LuLu. It's an interesting book, but certainly not everybody's "cup of tea".


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