Kobo Writing Life Podcast – Episode 032 – Dan Rubinstein
Director of Global Merchandising at Kobo, Nathan Maharaj interviews Dan Rubinstein, author of Born to Walk: The Transformative Power of A Pedestrian Act.
The case for getting back on our feet
The humble act of putting one foot in front of the other transcends age, geography, culture, and class, and is one of the most economical and environmentally responsible modes of transit. Yet with our modern fixation on speed, this healthy pedestrian activity has been largely left behind.
Combining fascinating reportage, eye-opening research, and Rubinstein’s own discoveries, Born to Walk explores how far this ancient habit can take us, how much repair is within range, and guarantees that you’ll never again take walking for granted.
Nathan and Dan discuss:
- The fascinating manner by which we are predisposed to bipedalism
- How, when he travels, Nathan prefers walking to get to his destination rather than figure out foreign transit systems
- The physical, psychological and social implications of having pushed the walking activity out of our lives and how “sitting is the new smoking”
- Treadmill desks and how the experiment with that didn’t work so well for Dan. It was in the basement, thus dank and dark and without a window
- Physically, it was okay, but Dan learned he was far more productive at his desk and would rather get the work done more efficiently to leave more room for walking
- How it’s not just about walking, but also about the environment and the mind paying “effortless” attention to the surroundings, the serenity and the benefits
- The recent research on the relationship between walking and creativity and how they both evolved at the same time
- The manner by which we get together in groups and walk together; for protests, for celebrations and parades, for grieving, and more
- How people perceive neighbourhoods and locations differently when driving through in a car rather than walking by the exact same scene
- The phrase and sentiment of “walk more anywhere”
- The masked character Peatónito – the defender and protector of pedestrians in Mexico
- How the design of urban centers and our reliance on instant gratification seem to have channeled our focus onto the reliance of the car and less on walking
Kobo Writing Life Director Mark Lefebvre then speaks about price points and global pricing strategy, outlining why it is important for authors to manually control all of the currencies they have edit access to rather than depending on the system to do the auto-conversion for them. He offers some advice based on the various differences in the dollar between US and other global currencies such as the Canadian and Australian dollars.
Mark also speaks about the fact that there isn’t a price cap of $9.99 to receive 70% via Kobo Writing Life. With no cap on the 70% royalty, authors can and should take advantage of creating more expensive digital box sets offering their customers a great value but earning the author a higher margin.
LINKS OF INTEREST:
Edmonton Journal profile article by Michael Hingston
Toronto Star “new books” article featuring Born to Walk
Born to Walk Book Trailer (“What if one act could change the world?”)
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