build the business side of your writing business

As you’ve probably learned, for most of us, writing one book is not going to catapult us into instant fame or stardom.  It might not even give you the fifteen minutes of fame Andy Warhol once talked about.

But it is possible to build a business around your book. Read the rest of this entry

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising one’s favor all manner of unforeseen events, meetings and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would come their way.

I have learned a deep respect for Goethe’s couplets: Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now! Make a decision and watch your life move forward.” – W. H. Murray

Don’t put off your dream of writing a book and becoming a published author any longer.  Commit to your dream, and let me help you make it come true.

Creating Circles of Influence – You are the Message

Creating your own 'circles of influence' on the Web

I read an interesting post this afternoon by my friend, copywriter Ray Edwards, who was talking about how marketing for businesses has changed and evolved over the last several years.

This is due to social media, and the ease with which people can check out companies these days – and connect with them.

So what about authors?

This is where your author’s platform comes in… and when it comes to marketing – whether it’s about you or your book – You ARE the Message.

Which means that you need to move consistently forward when building your author’s platform.  Here’s how to create circles of influence that will help your readers get to know you, like you and trust you: Read the rest of this entry

National bestsellers

Best-selling hardcover books in the fiction, nonfiction and advice categories

New York Times

Last update: October 19, 2010 – 2:01 PM


1. FALL OF GIANTS, by Ken Follett. (Dutton, $36.) Five interrelated families from five countries are caught in the upheavals of World War I and the Russian Revolution. Book One of the Century trilogy.

2. DON’T BLINK, by James Patterson and Howard Roughan. (Little Brown, $27.99.) After a gruesome murder in a New York steakhouse, a reporter finds himself involved in a war between the Italian mob and the Russian mafia.

3. FREEDOM, by Jonathan Franzen. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28.) A family of Midwestern liberals during the Bush years; by the author of “The Corrections.” Read the rest of this entry

FastPencil has added world-class authors
who are signing to FastPencil Premiere, a new and exclusive publishing imprint where top-tier and best-selling authors can create and publish books with all the advantages of FastPencil’s next-generation digital and social media publishing services. FastPencil gives them the opportunity to publish their books in print and digital formats in a timely manner while collecting higher margins and maintaining complete control every step of the way.

The exclusive publishing imprint has added:

Jim Dratfield – Author of almost a dozen popular animal oriented fine art photographic coffee table books and creative director behind Petography® traveling the country offering photo commissions of people’s pets

Steve Greenberg – The Innovation Insider and author of “GADGET NATION: A Journey Through The Eccentric World of Invention”

Mark Victor Hansen – Co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul Enterprises, Inc. and co-author of the upcoming book “U R The Solution” Read the rest of this entry

Performance Based Logistics and Publishing

Print on Demand – Jake George
Case study of using Print on Demand (POD) to reduce logistics footprint
and warehouse space in the publishing industry.

Oct 16, 2010 Jake George

What is Print On Demand (POD)

Many publishers now use Print on Demand to print books when a customer orders a book. There are a number of companies that print books only, when they are ordered and then they are drop shipped to a customer. The printer can print from one to hundreds of books at a time. Publishers format their books for printing using the printer’s formula. Read the rest of this entry

The long ordeal of the 33 trapped Chilean miners is finally at an end – and the buzz about book deals and film rights to the men’s dramatic story has already begun.

The miners themselves are reported to have made a pact to collaborate on their own book, but in the UK the first book was signed up on Monday, before the rescue had even begun. Freelance journalist Jonathan Franklin, who has covered the dramatic story for the Guardian from day one, is to pen an account of the saga, provisionally titled 33 Men, for book publisher Transworld.

Franklin, who is an American but has lived in the Chile’s capital Santiago for 15 years, spoke about the book on his mobile phone from Chile, after 48 sleepless hours covering the emotional scenes as the miners emerged.

“This is one of the great rescue stories of all time,” he said, admitting he himself had wept as the first miners were released on Tuesday night. “It’s the reason we all want to be reporters: a remarkable story of the world coming together for a good reason. It taps into human altruism, the desire to work together, perseverance, faith that good things happen, never giving up.” The early chapters of the book, he said, were already written. Read the rest of this entry

Kindle Singles Allows Authors To Publish Shorter Works By Mark Long

October 12, 2010 2:00PM’s new Kindle Singles content-creation platform offers authors a way to publish works too long for a magazine but too short for traditional books. A problem with using Kindle Singles is Amazon’s proprietary e-book format. An alternative is Barnes & Noble’s PubIt, which uses the open EPUB format and provides greater royalties to authors. has unveiled a new Kindle content Relevant Products/Services-creation platform for authors of shorter works running roughly 30 to 90 pages. With Kindle Singles, the goal is to give writers the ability to publish content that is either too long to submit to a magazine or too short to fit the marketing Relevant Products/Services and distribution Relevant Products/Services requirements of traditional book-publishing houses, the online retail giant said Tuesday.

The shorter e-book titles will have their own dedicated section within the Kindle Store and will be priced under what consumers typically pay for full-length books, noted Kindle Content Vice President Russ Grandinetti.

“Ideas and the words to deliver them should be crafted to their natural length, not to an artificial marketing length that justifies a particular price or a certain format,” Grandinetti said. “With Kindle Singles, we’re reaching out to publishers and accomplished writers, and we’re excited to see what they create.”

Published in 72 Hours

Kindle Singles is merely the latest online endeavor that promises to give aspiring content creators more avenues for bringing their latest works to market. Earlier this month, Barnes & Noble rolled out a new PubIt platform that gives book authors all the tools they need to convert their digital files to the EPUB format used by many of today’s e-readers and advanced mobile handsets, with their works becoming available for online purchase within 24 to 72 hours after upload.

“The launch of our PubIt platform further reinforces our long-standing commitment to authors and writers, and offers a significant opportunity to provide an even greater selection of reading material to our millions of customers,” said Theresa Horner, director of digital products at Barnes & Noble.

Barnes & Noble is hoping to attract loads of new writers by agreeing to royalties well beyond the 10 to 12 percent rates typically offered by mainstream publishing houses. For example, self-publishers using the new PubIt platform with titles priced from $2.99 to $9.99 will receive 65 percent of the list price for each e-book sold.

Mainstream publishers will no doubt be less than pleased with the idea of having some of their largest distributors become competitors. With Kindle Singles, however, Amazon clearly hopes to attract “serious writers, thinkers, scientists, business leaders, historians, politicians and publishers” who might not otherwise be able to publish shorter works using a traditional publishing outlet.

Dueling Technologies

The main disadvantage to publishing through Amazon’s Kindle platform is the proprietary nature of the online retailer’s e-reader file format. On the other hand, Kindle Singles titles will be available for reading across the many platforms that currently support this spec — from dedicated Kindle e-reading devices to a wide range of advanced mobile handsets, PCs and Apple’s iPad.

In every case, Amazon’s homegrown Whispersync technology will save and synchronize the reader’s bookmarks across devices. Additionally, Kindle Singles titles will be automatically backed up online in the user’s Kindle library on Amazon, where they can be re-downloaded wirelessly.

By contrast, Barnes & Noble points out that its own breakthrough LendMe technology gives e-book customers the unrivaled ability to share purchases with friends. All e-books offered via PubIt will be lendable, giving the customer Relevant Products/Services the opportunity to share the book once with any friend for up to 14 days, the company said.


Science and Morality

I have frequently said that science can only provide data to inform our decisions but can’t tell us what we “should” do; that it can determine facts but not values. I stand corrected. A persuasive new book by Sam Harris, The Moral Landscape,  has convinced me that science can and should determine what is moral. In fact, it is a more reliable guide than any other option.

The Moral Landscape

Several recent books have looked at morality from a scientific viewpoint. Animals have been shown to exercise altruism and to appreciate fairness. Human cooperation has been shown to offer a survival advantage to individuals and groups. Game theory has demonstrated the success of the tit-for-tat strategy. In The Science of Good and Evil,  Michael Shermer argues that evolution has produced in us a moral sense that is not a reflection of some “absolute” morality but that constitutes a worthy human project that transcends individuals. He posits a pyramid of morality that becomes more advanced as it is applied to larger in-groups, from self to family to community to all living creatures. He amends the Golden Rule to specify that we should treat others not as we want to be treated but as others want to be treated. Read the rest of this entry

Published by David Gorski under Cancer, Public Health

Fibrocystic breasts

As many readers know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. What that generally means at our cancer center and in the rest of the “real world” is that, during the month of October, extra effort is made to try to raise awareness of breast cancer, to raise money for research, and promote screening for cancer. Unfortunately, what Breast Cancer Awareness Month means around the Science-Based Medicine blog is that a lot of breast cancer-related pseudoscience and outright quackery will be coming at us fast and furious. There’s no way, of course, that I can deal with it all, but there’s one area of medical pseudoscience related to breast cancer that I just realized that none of us has written about on SBM yet. Actually, it’s not really pseudoscience. At least, the specific technology isn’t. What is pseudoscience is the way it’s applied to breast cancer and in particular the way so many “alternative” medicine and “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) practitioners market this technology to women. The technology is breast thermography, and the claim is that it’s far better than mammography for the early detection of breast cancer, that it detects cancer far earlier.

I’ve actually been meaning to write about thermography, the dubious claims made for it with regard to breast cancer, and the even more dubious ways that it’s marketed to women. In retrospect, I can’t believe that I haven’t done so yet. The impetus that finally prodded me to get off my posterior and take this on came from what at the time was an unexpected place but in retrospect shouldn’t have been. You’ve met her before quite recently when SBM partner in crime Peter Lipson took her apart for parroting anti-vaccine views and even citing as one of her sources anti-vaccine activist Sherri Tenpenny. I’m referring, unfortunately, to one of Oprah Winfrey’s stable of dubious doctors, Dr. Christiane Northrup. Sadly, Peter’s example of her promotion of vaccine pseudoscience is not the first time we at SBM have caught Dr. Northrup espousing anti-vaccine views. We’ve also harshly criticized her for her promotion of “bioidentical hormones” and various dubious thyroid treatments. However, Dr. Northrup is perhaps most (in)famous for her advocating on Oprah’s show the use of Qi Gong to direct qi to the vagina, there apparently to cure all manner of female ills and promote fantastic orgasms in the process. This little incident ought to tell you nearly all that you need to know about her. Even Oprah looked rather embarrassed in the video in which Dr. Northrup led her audience in directing all that qi goodness “down below.” Read the rest of this entry

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