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Knee Howdy: Challenge Chinese Vocabulary to a Duel and Bury it 'Six Feet Under' inside your Brain!


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Ok. Thanks for your kind honesty.

Just so no one is confused, this is intended to be sold as real paperback first, then possibly as a digital book.

And, I am aware of Matthew's books. I guess I feel its different because he is teaching characters and I am teaching spoken vocabulary. (I may be mistaken, I haven't read his whole book or all of his other books.)

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I think you need to change the tone a bit if you want this to become something that sells well. Basically the only way it will sell well as a paperback is if it gets on a syllabus, and no syllabus is only going to have 100 words. If you make it longer you'll have to cut down on your system....and then it's kind of just a normal textbook. I think there probably IS room for a textbook aimed at children by the way - but children are more discerning than you're giving them credit - they can still spot when something's crap.

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Heh, you're welcome, Webmagnets. :wink: Regarding the Matthews=lone characters, You=spoken vocab, phrases etc, please refer back to my comments on page 1 about how Chinese co-text/context will probably be sufficient for working out the connected meanings. For example (and completely off the top of my head), whilst I might be inclined to learn bu4 from something like 'The naughty students had shouted "Boo!" at their teacher a few times too many, so she had to put her foot down by saying "Do NOT do that anymore!"', and cuo4 from "Why did he saw down this tree? It's clearly a MISTAKE!", I'd be much harder pressed to think of (a reason for) bu2cuo4 being buzzsaw, bursar, or whatever else might occur to me (in addition to which we need to factor in the colloquial meaning of 'not bad/pretty good', cf. 还可以).

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To echo thechamp's comments a bit I wonder if you could give us some more information on your target audience. What kind of student are you hoping will buy this book?

My breakdown of a few possible audiences:

  • College student - as has been mentioned before not enough coverage to be particularly useful.
  • Backpacker/causal business traveler/tourist - phrasebook/guide will probably be at the top of their list.
  • Motivated self-learner - likely in search of something comprehensive and not "anti-intellectual" if the people on these forums are any indication. However, this kind of student is exactly the type who will buy supplemental materials to help them learn more efficiently. You cannot afford to alienate this group.
  • Person who occasionally thinks it would be cool to be fluent in Chinese...someday - unlikely to actually spend money, even on quality material.
  • Relative of someone learning Chinese - may be tricked into purchasing a book that "jumps off the shelf" as a gift. Not the ideal customer.

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Well I read the sample chapter and watched the video. I hope you are not spending money you don't have to fund this project.

Think again, you are up against the big boys in the publishing world.

I cannot see that you have anything new, groundbreaking or even just plain helpful.

in fact this is one of the most confusing books I have seen.

The sounds like feature is really hopeless.

From all that has been said about it here I think you are not going to make the impact in the language teaching world you thought you might.

Don't give up the day job :)

Try again maybe in a few years when you have more chinese and more experience.

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  • 11 months later...

If you buy my book "Knee Howdy" on Amazon in the United States and forward your receipt right away to nathan AT kneehowdy DOT com then I will send you a rebate of the price you paid for the book, including shipping, up to $9 total.

Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1470132907/

Knee Howdy home page: http://www.kneehowdy.com

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Merging. Please also note that replies to topic notification emails land in my inbox, they don't appear on the site. I also edited the link - no need for url shortening services, and I'd rather we didn't post affiliate links unless they're mine.

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  • 1 year later...

Was browsing the foreign language bookshop in Fuzhou Road in Shanghai today, and spotted these beauties. Not sure if these are the OP's books, although there's a good chance because they are published in the USA, and the contents are basically what the OP had talked about.

All I can say is that if you are considering buying these, make sure to have a look inside first, so you are under no illusions as to where your money is going.


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