Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Has the Age of Dinosaurs Ended?

It seems that everywhere I look there are small businesses taking over niche markets. Electric cars, electric motorcycles, artisan cheese factories, independent music labels, bloggers taking on journalism, self-publishers and micro-publishers.

Back some 40 years ago, there were many regional companies, everything from milk to telephone service was local. Then in the 70's came the 'get big or get out' mentality - and the mega-conglomerate was born.

These huge corporations are now world wide - hulking dinosaurs who need to eat large to produce large. They don't do well when it comes to change. (See the automotive industry for details.)

We hear that record companies have imploded. We see newspapers closing, as the old steel factories of the Industrial Age have closed. Yet there are still steel factories - small ones - in the U.S.A. they were thriving until the banking industry giants imploded.

What will the second decade of the new century bring? It really depends on several factors.

If the government is able to leash the Health Care corporations, so the average Joe can have affordable health care - then the U.S. economy has a good chance of rebounding - not from manufacturing jobs, but from the small business sector.

The Dot Com boom - and bust - left a huge open market place behind it. The Internet - the gateway to all niche markets - has spawned thousands of tiny businesses. Some are hosted on Ebay, others have set up storefronts in other places.

But these virtual Mom & Pop shops are spreading to other venues: Independent films, record labels, clothing stores, and more are being born (and often dying) daily. Just as the main three television stations have been cut down to size by cable access - I foresee more industries shattering into fragments. This is not going to be an easy or fun process, for the dinosaurs.

But the wave of mini-industry is starting to carve out niches in many markets. Mostly because somebody has the wit and savvy to plug in to the "Interwebs" and open up a shop.

The baby-boomers many have invented all the technology, but few of them can master it.

The next generation owns Cyberspace.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Wealth of Opinions - Where Are the Facts?

As I have broadened my research into Self-Publishing I find  more and more debate on the subject. But not enough cold, hard facts. As the saying goes we all have opinions. (G)

I found this the other day on Forward Motion: "Forward Motion's core purpose is to help writers become professionally published. We welcome serious writing hobbyists as well, but our purpose and goals are geared toward professional careers. We do not allow fanfiction posts and we don't promote self-publishing."

I have the greatest respect for Forward Motion ,what I learned there, in a scant year, was tremendously helpful. I'm glad to see that they have taken the effort to put their stand upfront.

What does this tell me? The Self-Publishing debate has gone deep into the writers communities. It is not a new issue. The majority of the bloggings I've seen are a year or more old. If the attitude towards self-publishing has changed in the past year, I can't yet tell. I do know that more people are taking this route all the time, and a few of them appear to be doing well with it.

Bottom line - it is much more work that most people realize.

A few links to give you an idea of what's out there:

Podio Books  you can give away free audio versions of your indie book. Each podcast is a chapter. Some are read by the author, others are dramatized. They had their one millionth download the first year. Think about that for a moment.

Self Publishing - 25 Things You Need to Know. This is where I started looking. I'm still following links off this one. There is some great stuff here.

April L Hamilton wrote a Guide for Independent Authors - I'm currently reading it. The edition I have is from 2008 - and a year is a long time when Technology and Creativity merge.  

In case you are wondering I've posted these links - without much in the way of commentary - because I think that each author has the right to make up their own mind about what's right for them. I'm not coping out, I'm still looking into this. But I know that I'm not the last word on the subject. Just another blogger taking up space.

Hopefully these links will prove as helpful to you as they have to me.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from Jordan's Croft

The house is quiet, except for Christmas music. It is raining softly outside.

It was a beautiful day - got a lot of farm work done. Got hay for the horses, and cleaned up the barn, fertilized the pasture - spread the wood ashes. I found a cache of eggs in the barn today. The ducks are laying - two months early.

This afternoon the young mare came to the back of the barn while I was busy with the tractor. I yelled at her and she made a perfect rollback to leap out of the barn. About 10 minutes later she was back, peeking around the door. I went out to give her a face rub. She stayed a minute, then sauntered off.

Just as I finished my chores, the three of them came up. They grabbed a bail of hay off the trailer and were munching. I came up on the tractor, not wanting to scare them. I called for them to get into their stalls. They obeyed, the old gelding had to push his stall door open, it was funny. Anyways, the mares stayed in their stalls, but the old gelding came back out.

I pushed him back into his stall, went to give hay to the mares - when I turned around, he was out. He went back to the hay, calm as could be, started eating. I had to spread fresh shavings, so I put two flakes in his hay rack - put him back in his stall - turned my back and out he came.

He's 1200 lbs, and taller at the shoulder than I am. I told him to go back in the stall, he did, but when I turned my back to grab a rake, out he came. By this time, I knew he was just doing it to mess with me. But there isn't much room in the barn when the equipment is in the way. So I told him to get back in his stall - this time he sniffed my hair as if to say he was just having fun with me before he walked back in the stall.

I locked the door on him. Mind you, the mare's stalls weren't even closed. But they never give me a hard time like he does. I tell them to get in their stalls, they stay. He likes to mess with me. I think it's a guy thing.

Christmas Eve 2005, we had just finished the stalls that evening. The weather was damp - it was raining - it was a cold miserable night. I was so thrilled to be able to put my three horses in their stalls for the first time. They seemed happy too.

I'll need to get up in the morning and start cooking right off.

How fortunate I am to be home this year. Most of the time I have to work the Holidays. I didn't go out much this Christmas Season - I don't like crowds, and the main drag is nicknamed the 'Dixie Dieway' because the traffic is so bad.

Merry Christmas - Happy Hanukkah - Merry Yule - Peace on Earth

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Researching Marketing Results

I am currently researching the marketing methods used by self-published Authors.

If you have information that you would like to share, please contact me at mcwidow@gmail.com

I don't mind plugging books or websites - but I would like to know the publication date and the number of copies you have sold - or given away - to date.

Thanks, and have a Happy Holiday - however you celebrate the season!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Is Fear of the E-book Killing Book Stores?

No, it's the economy, silly.

Evergreen Review posted what could have been a wonderful essay on the closing of San Francisco's beloved bookstores. Unfortunately, the author was bitten by the 'Nazi' bug along the way, leaving much of the essay incoherent and over-emotional.

I quote a passage discussing the $9.99 price tag for a digital novel: "One wonders why Nourrey cannot simply advise E- Book to go fuck itself and produce high-quality reasonably priced books, even if in smaller numbers. But the truth is, Nourrey, like Bertelsmann, like most American book publishers, are linked to twenty first century, late-stage hypercapitalist imperatives predicated entirely upon ceaseless expansion, the inherent belief in Darwinian obsolescence and succession as the lifeblood of successful economics and societal advance."

Ahh – there may be a pony in all that horseshit, but good luck finding it.

"Late-stage hyper-capitalist imperatives" I believe he's talking about the Big Six and their marketing paradigm. Since 'business as usual' was profitable in the middle of the last century it will be profitable in the digital age. (Ask the Auto Industry how mid-century business tactics worked for them. Not!)

Perhaps we can translate as follows: 'big print runs for big book stores' mentality meets Wal-Mart's volume discount book purchase policy. The result is lower profits for everyone.

As I wrote in a previous blog – my Theory of Publishing – the Big Six rely on print runs of thousands of books.
These printings are warehoused – then shipped to a 3rd party distributor's warehouse. The bookstores buy from the distributors, not from the publishers. The fly in this quaint 19th Century ointment is the 'return' policy. The physical books aren't returned, only the covers. Return credit for the wholesale price works back up the chain to the publisher. Alas, since the publisher doesn't get books back, they have to print more books. (Authors are charged for returns against their advance.) The reader goes to the bookstore, paying $28, plus tax, minus any discounts for book. (Author makes less than $2 per book.)

The printer and distributor win. Little old ladies buy coverless books from the flea-markets by the box, for pennies each. (Grandma bought coverless books at the Florida flea-markets by the bag full in the 1970's.)

Which is why all of the independent publishing companies rely on 'Print on Demand.'

This theory cuts out the distributor and maybe the bookshop: Reader hears about book on blog. Reader follows link to Book Site. Reader purchases book online. Book is printed and shipped by PoD company. Reader, author and printer all win. Bookstores can order too, they just need to have demand for the book.*

Now cue the theme from 'Jaws.'

This is the monster: Kindle, E-book, i-Phone, Blackberry or Nook owner hears about book on Twitter, Facebook, or My Space. E-reader goes to website, pays low, low price of $9.99 for the $28 book. E-reader curls up in corner, taking his/her library of 2 million books with them. Author and reader win. Publisher may or may not be involved in the process. Distributor closes. Bookstore closes. Author in San Francisco loses mind and rants about Nazis.

There is considerably less money exchanging hands in the E-book scenario. The author will get advances against the print books but no advances for the e-book. There is no distributor, or bookstore, just someone hosting a website and a bunch of files. (The Author makes about $2 per book.)

There – it's been spelled out without mentioning anyone from World War II.

Does it have to be this way?

As long as the Author -> Agent -> Publisher -> Distributor -> Bookstore -> Reader (Minus returns) model is in effect there will be less profit for everyone. E-readers, in that case, are the monsters cutting out the middle-men.

If print on demand publishing is going to be the answer, it is up to the publishers to change the game.

Innovation is not part of the Big Six publishing process.

Innovation belongs to the independent publisher.

Back to the Evergreen essay.

But where does the closing of the San Francisco bookstores fit into this?

Don't know – this was the author lost their facts and was bitten by the 'Nazi' bug. Here, too, I quote: "Such was the methodology of the SS who forced their prisoners to run naked races round and round the barracks yard in the Polish winter, a race that no one was meant to win."

WTF?

If everyone in San Francisco had an e-reader the Evergreen author would be right about e-readers killing his beloved bookstores. However, no one has sold enough e-readers to flood the markets of San Francisco (population 800k.)

The Kindle expected to sell 300k units this December, for a total of 3 million units world-wide. Sony isn't telling. They'd be crowing if they had sold more units than Amazon. We can assume they sold less than a million units.

*Marketing is the elephant in the room of e-book, self-publishing and independent publishing. Marketing is a science unto itself. Yet many agents expect the writer to present a marketing plan right along with their synopsis.

I feel a marketing blog coming on.

Later.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Downside of Self-Publishing

Yes, there is one. To give you the short answer: Quality, and the lack of quality.

The person who appears to have the scoop on it is here: The Self Publishing Review

The first thing he comments on is Quality of grammar and punctuation.

The second is poor quality writing.

Here's a quote:

"This sort of overwriting is neither literary nor clever: it's just overdone (and bear in mind here that literary fiction is my genre-of-choice: I am not unaware of its conventions or standards). _____'s writing is far too complicated, and he often favours that complication over clarity and meaning. The text is thick with clever-sounding phrases, many of which make little sense; and I found a lot of clich├ęs buried in his overdone language."

When I look at this very closely – I see the blogger is British – note the 'u' in favours. This would indicate that he is also reviewing British authors.

According to his bio he is more than qualified to judge – "I've worked in publishing for over twenty years, as a writer, a researcher and an editor." According to his rules, he stops reading at 15 errors. One book rated 55 pages. Six books bombed out at 3 pages. The majority bomb out by page 11. He appears to be fair, often he sounds wistful that a book didn't do better.

I believe he has a point – quality is everything – and anyone 'Going DYI' has to have a copy editor.

Max Dunbar over at 3 a.m. magazine thinks the whole song and dance about "Independent Publishing" is – well – sour grapes by folks who can't be published any other way. (Would anybody turn down a nice hefty advance and a 3-book contract?)

He does make a good point that the line between (hiss) 'vanity' publishing and (oh baby) 'self' publishing is blurred – with more companies opening up to blur the lines all the time. Even Harlequin Romance as a vanity-publishing arm – and a digital publishing arm – and an editing service – and…

People are making all kinds of money – though usually not the authors.

So muddy are the waters that he sites this example: "The best example of this scam is the YouWriteOn debacle of this year and last. YouWriteOn is a writers' message board, or 'community', whose admins announced in the autumn of 2008 that they would publish 5,000 books, for nothing, by Christmas." Eventually less than 300 novels were distributed – after the author paid a fee. (Fee = Free?)

Yet, there is Year Zero.

Dan has published his own statistics – er can't find the link – showing us his book sales as an Indie author. Yet, an argument could be made that Year Zero isn't self-publishing because there is more than one person doing the writing. To me that would fall into the co-op or micro-publisher category.

Ah! Here is Dan's link: The Man Who Painted Agnieszkas Shoes As you can see, there weren't that many books sold, but there were over 220 copies downloaded.

It appears that an author on the verge of Self-publishing should invest in a editor.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Progress Report

Writing romance is a bit of a double-edged sword.

People don't take it seriously - on Authonomy the tone of the comments gets a little arch - from both men and women. More than one person has commented using the phrase 'chic-lit' as in I have a good or classic chic-lit story.

Er - well - actually - no.

Chic-lit has a distinct voice, very breezy, self-centered, first person. The main character is a 20-something female with a shoe fetish - for example Jimmy Choos. The plot revolves around her shopping for either new shoes or better sex - and usually drinking a whole lot in the process.

The genre has been pronounced dead by the agent/gatekeepers. (All bow and say 'amen'.)

Chic-lit was hot while it lasted. Like last year's designer shoes - once it's out of style the comparison is an insult. Or would be if I were that sensitive. (I'm not.)

However, on a much better note, I'm getting compliments on humor, dialog and characterization.

But, yes there is one, I don't think anyone is reading past the first two chapters.

The worst side-effect of Authonomy is that the system discourages more than a quick skim of the first couple of chapters. After that, it's off to the next read - gotta read and back a bunch of books to be read and backed in return.

"Lunch" hit number 70 on the romance chart this week. "Moon" hit 90. These are the best numbers I've seen in a while. Currently both book are in the 150 to 200 range. I probably should take both books down now, before they slip any farther backward.

I've contacted two editors - I would like to get an evaluation of "Lunch" before I decide what to do with it. It appears that Black Lyon has passed on it - though I've not got a rejection slip from them. And there are rumors that Carina Press is going to be 'all rights' not just e-publishing rights. There is no reason to sell them a book that can't go to paperback.

That leaves me two options - ABNA or agents.

I did very well at ABNA last year. I have my 3 reviews (posted here - somewhere) and a year's worth of editing. My pitches are better, too.

Querying agents - well - I don't know. According to Litopia it has never been easier to get an agent. Many people who got fired from the Big Six put up an agent's shingle. But that doesn't mean they can sell a book to a publishing company. (I haven't forgotten #query fail - or the flame fest at Militant Writer.)

So I will continue to poke around, looking for an editor for "Lunch" in hope of selling a few hundred copies for a buck each. This may well get me 'discovered' in time to sell "Moon."

There is something else - a RWA conference in Nashville in July. It may be worth looking into.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Book Review: Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson

This man is my hero.

He has the simplest plan for world peace that I've ever encountered: "Educate a girl, change the world."

His Central Asia Institute builds schools for girls in two of the poorest countries in the world, Pakistan and Afghanistan. CAI buys the materials and pays the teachers, all for only a few hundred dollars per school, per year. That is a fraction of the cost of ONE missile, tank or airplane.

Think of the money we could save if we donated .001% the Pentagon budget for building schools in poor Muslim countries. The entire world would be a safer place to live if all Muslims could read the Koran for themselves. It would be the end of jihadist lies.

There is no other cause that touches my heart like this one – educate the children in these war-blasted nations to make the world safer for all of us.

Education makes everything possible.

I'm going to recommend this book, and the first book "Three Cups of Tea" to everyone. This one deserves a place on New York Times Bestseller list.

Tibits About Everything

There is a knife's edge of wind battering the farm today. I can smell snow in the air.

The chickens stayed in the barn. Sony, the rooster, brought the stragglers back in before I closed up the door. I spent last evening in front of the fireplace - with the fire going. I had no desire to leave the farm, but we were out of dog food. I bought a 40 lb. bag of Black Gold at Rineyville Feed. The dogs are very happy.

The neighbor is shooting - which drives the dogs nuts. He must be practicing for Deer Season - Kentucky's top sport behind basketball. Even women hunt here. I have a girlfriend who brought us enough elk meat to keep us for a year. Great stuff. I can't tell it from beef.

Christmas shopping? Sorry - I'm not braving the crowds. Our main drag is nicknamed the "Dixie Dieway" which is apt this time of year. I'm going to stay out of the stores a few more days.

The announcement has rippled through the Authonomy community: Amazon has just announced the Amazon Breakout Novel Award for 2010 (ABNA). I'm wondering if it would be worth the effort.

Recycling experiment - turning old drafts of my manuscript, and old newspapers, into chicken bedding. The chick brooder - an old water tub - currently houses 6 little chicks hatched here at the house. I was worried when I took them out to the tack room that they would get chilled and die. So I shredded an old manuscript and some newspapers into little diamonds.

So far it appears to be working very well. There is a two inch layer of material - mixed with spilled feed, hay scraps and some sawdust. When the bedding is nasty, it goes through the manure spreader and onto the pasture. Until then it needs stirred so it will compost. The chicks handle that task very well. 

The big plus is that I don't feel guilty about printing out a copy of the manuscript when it is going to become fertilizer.  This brings me back to the 'hammer*' theory of fertilizer. I'm hoping that one day, all my farm musings will become a non-fiction book.

Stay tuned.

* The hammer theory: If you give a child a hammer, the world becomes a nail. Once I bought a spreader, everything becomes fertilizer.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ms Kitty's Theory of Publishing Industry Economics

An overview of the Publishing industry by a complete novice:

"The Big Six" publishing companies – like all large conglomerates – owe their existence to their very size. This size (big, bigger, biggest) requires large sales from "Best Sellers" in order to survive. Therefore the 'Traditional' publishing market has evolved in response to their size and requirements. This requires a certain type of author – a "Dan Brown," "J.K. Rowling" or "Stephanie Meyers" for example. The role of agents is to slog through the slush-pile to provide the authors of this caliber. This also laid the foundation for big bookstores – go big or get out being the mantra of the last century in all type of business.

The supply (of book and authors) has exceeded the demands of the Big Six, by multiple powers of 10.

The "Reasons" for this are many and varied, everything from word processors to too many schools offering degrees in Liberal Arts has be put up as a 'cause.' Blaming computers is like blaming typewriters for the novelists of the 1920's. Hemmingway never would have written "The Old Man and the Sea" if not for his trusty Royal Typewriter.

The good news is the internet is screaming for content, and more people are putting it out there. The output is probably the same; the media has changed. Fewer trees are dying to feed our reading requirements. But nobody is getting paid for posting musings like mine on a private blog.

The Mid-list Author is an Endangered Speices:

"There are more "mid-list" writers than there are slots in the 'Big Six' publishing agenda." So says nearly ever agent website on the internet. The Rock Star agents (you know who they are) to a wo/man lament that they can only take on books that will sell to the big publishing houses. Small Press, Independent Press, Literary Press and University Press markets don't pay enough to warrant an agent's cut.

Yet, here too, supply has out-stripped demand.

The Survival of the Fittest – or Lemmings off a Cliff?

What to call these people who are beating down the doors of the agents, trying to get a shot at the Big Six? Aspiring Authors, Poor Deluded Fools, the great Vampire conspiracy, the Zombie Hordes?

Some call them the Next Generation of Self-Publishing Pioneers – usually a (vanity) printing company that needs suckers to pay to have a bunch of book printed. How you label them doesn't make them any less real. There is a sea of manuscripts out there, looking for a publisher of some kind.

The Egg Theory

Let me digress a moment here – to the farming industry. Let's focus on a niche market that I'm most familiar with: Pasture produced eggs. Not that long ago, I would pay $.50 a dozen for eggs at the grocery store. I could get my choice of small, medium or large white eggs. The paradigm at the time was 'an egg is an egg.'

Then somebody said "Brown Eggs Taste Better."

Which was true, as far as brown eggs were 'farm' eggs; all factory-produced eggs were white. So the demand for brown eggs was born, from the collective memory of farm eggs. The proof that the chemical composition of an egg follows the GIGO* theory came much later. My point is that now there are small producers, like myself feeding the demand for farm fresh brown eggs – which do taste better than factory eggs of any color, because they are chemically different, therefore of higher quality. The 'egg factories' capitalized on this so the point where you can buy 'designer' eggs for $4 a dozen at any Kroger store. I, however, sell my eggs to friends for less than Kroger prices, yet a heck of a lot more than $ .50 a dozen. This is a win-win: for me, my chickens, my customers, and the folks from whom I purchase my scratch grain.

(*The GIGO theory = Garbage in, Garbage out.)

Yes, Kitty, cute analogy but WTF does this have to do with the Publishing Industry?

Authonomy.com is my window into the British publishing industry. What I see is the mushrooming of the publishing industry as little stables of three and four writers open up micro-publishing houses, and the media giant wannabes likes of Create Space and LuLu open the floodgates to those braving self-publishing on their own.

Like the production of farm eggs in our area, there are signs for 'fresh eggs' all over the place

You can call it fragmenting – or embracing the 'digital' age or the 'advent of Print on Demand' or a bunch of whiny losers who can't get a contract. (I don't recommend the last one, some of this writing rocks.) Anyway you look at it a surge in the small publishing industry has been spawned and the companies who print the books will profit as will the software companies that write the software for the websites. Everybody else (writers and publishers) is on their own. The little fish will feed the slightly hungrier fish that will grow into big fish. The big fish will snap up a few here and there. The readers will read what they can and pay for what they like the best.

The good thing about writers is that they are readers, for the most part they demand better quality.

Like brown eggs, there is a collective memory of something better, in every genre.


If you'll pardon the cliche – it's a 'chicken or egg' dilemma of which comes first, the supply or the demand? The demand for 'a tastier egg' is there, and the authors are determined to supply that demand. Writers are getting organized into little co-ops to get these 'eggs' to market.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Taking Another Crack at Authonomy

I may be the only one who gets the pun unless I explain it.

'Autho-crack' is my term for Authonomy and it's ratings/feedback system.

For the last couple of months, I've been seriously thinking of taking my books down and deleting my account because I don't get any work done while Autho-crack is in the back of my brain. I have to remind myself that the site is British and the majority of the books being picked up are by British writers.

Taking a 'run for the Desk' has already put me behind the eight ball once - and I was just trying to hit the top 100. (Which I did make.) I'm still not getting any work done - I just have a new excuse - "Going Kindle." 

This time it will be different? 

I brought "Let's Do Lunch" public and have uploaded five chapters of "Swallow the Moon" but not taken it public yet. I'm trying to be a good 'swapper' giving praise and backings freely.


Already I've read two manuscripts that had issues I could not articulate. Didn't know what to call the issue, or how to point it out. Decided to keep my opinions to myself - because they weren't my genre and I know each  genre has it's own rules.

"Moon" is at 47k - I don't want to get on another Autho-crack run - I want to finish my novel.

We'll see how long this lasts.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Brave British Authors Taking the Self-Publishing Plunge

America is supposed to be the home of the brave - but there are a lot of British writers taking the plunge into the cold pool of Self-Publishing.

Dragon International Independent Arts is another - hmmm what to call them? Cast of characters, or micro-publishers? I'm really not sure at this point.

Ray of Flogging The Quill is another writer who has a good book that he can't sell because no agent would risk marketing it. "The Vampire Kitty-Cat" is my favorite vampire story because it's funny.

Another co-op that's come from Authonomy.com is Year Zero Writers who seem to lean towards the razor's edge of contemporary literature.

What I find so interesting is they are all top quality writers who normally wouldn't need to resort to Self-Publishing. But the world economy sucks - publishers are huddling in their cubicals - terrified they may be the next to get a pink slip.

I shudder to think how many top-notch editors are tossing fresh new books in favor of finding the next Stephanie Meyers, or god-help-us Laurell K. Hamilton. Worse even than that are the hundreds of editors-turned-agents who are thrashing through their slush-piles also looking for the next SM or LKH to bring to the editors

Like we need more super-sluts or teenage-angst in the Vampire genre?

What readers need are fresh voices, fresh outlooks, fresh stories - but they won't be coming to a bookstore near you. My local bookstore has only the latest Vampire, Neo-Werewolf or some kind of Urban Fantasy.

Though I did find a nice 'fallen angel' book by J.R. Ward and the latest C.L. Wilson 'Tairen Soul' installment I couldn't find anything new by Nora Roberts. She's in the used books, along with Amanda Quick.

But I digress.

From where I sit - next to the fireplace on a chilly wet December day - the British publishing industry is exploding into fragments. Which they can afford to do, because they have national health care. (Oops did it again.) It seems their free market is taking off - because it can, mainly. Which is going to be good for the economy in the long run.

I'm not done poking around yet, so stay tuned. We'll see what develops 'over there' and if it can be transplanted 'over here.'