6 Common Book Launch Mistakes to Avoid At All Costs: Guest Post by Desiree Villena

6 Common Book Launch Mistakes to Avoid At All Costs:
Guest Post by Desiree Villena

Launching your book is arguably more challenging than writing it. After all, you’re a writer, not a marketer, and there’s a massive to-do list of tasks:
—sending offers to your email subscribers
—deciding on price promotions
—possibly even planning a launch party!
Publishers will lend you a hand if you’re going the traditional route, but when self-publishing, you’ll do most of the work yourself — and that’s where mistakes can happen.

On that note, let’s talk about six of the most common book launch mistakes and how not to make them, so that you have a smooth(er) launch. We’ll be focusing on the digital aspect because online marketing is essential whether you are a novelist or nonfiction writer and regardless of how much experience you have.

Mistake #1:
Not Investing in a Strong Book Cover

(Covers, above, by Isabelle Arné, Jason Anscomb and Patrick Knowles, from the gallery of book cover art)

Unfortunately, despite the overused idiom, people do tend to judge books by their covers — at least when they’re considering whether to buy them. Even when buying classic books that have been reprinted numerous times, we already more-or-less know what’s inside, so our decision to buy often rests on how the volume looks.

And for lesser-known books, the group to which yours likely belongs, a visually unappealing cover can lead to readers’ disregarding it altogether. Unless they’re first compelled to click on your book cover, they probably won’t even make it to the first line.

Many self-publishing authors, especially those working on their first launches, are tempted to cut costs by making their own covers. However, unless you are very familiar with design tools and artistic styles, this decision is bound to backfire. Now’s not the time to skimp! A professional cover will pay for itself once you launch your book.

On a separate but related note, your book’s interior design should also be perfected (and, yes, this is crucial, even if you’re only selling ebooks!). Regardless of medium, reading is about more than just enjoying a book’s content; you also need to facilitate a smooth visual experience, and interior design is a huge part of that.

Mistake #2:
Failing to Utilize Back Matter

Speaking of what’s inside your book, let’s talk about back matter, or end matter. This comes after the main contents of your book and often includes an epilogue, acknowledgements and an appendix. But don’t limit your back matter to just these things — instead, try to tap further into the interests of your readers while they’re still thinking about your work!

Consider providing some personal information about yourself and your book — perhaps its conception or charming stories about the writing process. You might include a Q & A from yourself, ideally led by another author, to shed light on certain details. If this is a nonfiction book, include a guide or a link to your website for more useful information.

Indeed, encouraging readers to visit your primary landing page helps you build a rapport with them. It also increases the chances of their buying your future books.

Marketing has to be continuous if you’re building a career as an author, so don’t make the mistake of passing over this opportunity! Not only will you be adding readers to your leads, you’ll be taking them one step closer to a platform where they can buy and review your book.

Mistake #3:
Rushing Through the Book Description

Once you’ve ensured your book is optimally designed and structured for its launch, it’s time to return to Amazon and construct a perfect product page. Amazon self-publishing can be your best friend, if you know how to do it efficiently, and that means writing a stellar book description!

But make no mistake, your book’s blurb is not its description, and you can’t just stick it on your product page and call it a day. Ideally, a blurb summarizes the book’s content in a way that makes the reader curious about it, while a description does more than that — it addresses the reader more directly. Think of your description as a sales pitch; if you’ve cranked out an attractive blurb, you’re about one-third of the way there.

The other two-thirds include the parts that sandwich your blurb: a first-line hook and an encouraging ending. The hook should be short but impressive, while the end can be more elaborate.

One effective technique is to let readers know what to expect in terms of genre by mentioning well-known similar books or comparable titles. You could also include a review or two to boost the credibility of such comparisons:

(above, from the Amazon product page for This Changes Everything by Sally Ember, Ed.D., The Spanners Series, Volume I)

Make sure to put your “grabby” bits at the beginning! Amazon only displays the first couple of lines of your description by default — the buyers will have to click “read more” if they’re curious — so this book description structure can really make a difference in terms of converting traffic into sales.

(Note that these tips also apply to your Amazon Author Page, but that’s less crucial to sales than your book product page itself.)

Mistake #4:
Planning for a Short Launch

Setting your book’s presentation aside for now, let’s dive into actual marketing strategy. As mentioned, book marketing is an ongoing task for most authors, although many believe it’s only a one-time thing. As a result, a lot of authors start their marketing campaigns too close to their launch dates and end them too early.

To combat this, consider dividing your campaign into pre-launch, soft-launch, and the final move in order to generate a constant flow of new buyers. Given that the Amazon algorithm tends to favor books with steady sales over a longer period of time, you should definitely plan for a process that lasts at least a month, from pre-launch to finally letting your book sell on its own.

There are plenty of strategies and tools you can use to fill up this month. For example, for the pre-launch, it’s generally good practice to provide free previews for people who are already following you before the release date, so you can attract reviews as soon as possible.

For the soft launch, consider making your book free or deeply discounted for several days, especially if you are a new author and have limited preexisting reach. Otherwise, just be ready to sell the book cheaply for a week or so to gain traffic and reviews!

The final phase of this gradual process is to increase to the standard price. Maybe do one last round of email marketing to those who haven’t responded to your previous calls to action.

Mistake #5:
Not Optimizing Your Ads

One cannot talk about launching a book without advertisement — but optimizing your book’s ads can be tricky. There are three main platforms to choose from when it comes to advertising your book: Facebook, Amazon, and BookBub. If you are publishing through Amazon, it’s handy to use its advertisement tool as well, since you’ve already done most of the work by creating the perfect book description with good keywords and category tags.

Unfortunately, things aren’t so simple when it comes to advertising on other platforms. The audiences on Facebook and BookBub are very different, since Facebook is obviously a much less book-focused community. Consequently, advertising on each requires different practices (you can learn more about that from Mark Dawson and David Gaughran, respectively). It may seem harmless to ignore these subtle differences, but you’ll save yourself a world of stress and money if you can adapt specifically to the algorithm of each platform.

Mistake #6:
Disregarding Professional Help

So you need to maintain an online presence on several platforms, refine your Amazon product and author pages, create extra promotional materials, and get your Facebook and BookBub ads going. Despite all there is to do, most authors simply roll up their sleeves and take it on — because how hard can it be, right? On top of that, doing things yourself means cutting costs.

But of course, the day-to-day responsibilities of promoting a book can really add up. On any given day, you could be researching anything from Amazon algorithms to Facebook ads. The five mistakes previously covered should give you an idea of how much can go wrong when you don’t have the expertise. Also, even if you can handle each small task individually, it’s unlikely that you can give 100% to all of them at once.

The result may be that nothing will be of high quality. What’s worse, you won’t be able to keep track of how each part of your campaign is working, i.e., what is most effective in increasing traffic and fostering conversion. Consequently, it’ll be hard to know how to revise your strategies for maximum success.

The truth is, you’ll do much better with professional help. Most authors have at least one weak spot where they could use some assistance: a fiction author who writes in a popular genre may want advice on how to narrow down the vast market, while a nonfiction writer may want help dealing with metadata and website optimization. No matter what your situation, rest assured that hiring the right marketers will not be a waste. If anything, it’s a valuable investment not just in your current launch, but in your next launch, too.

*******************************

Launching a book can sometimes feel like launching a rocket. It may be a bumpy journey from here, but don’t be discouraged; at least now you can avoid making some common mistakes (and you can access even more tips through the guide linked here). With the right help and mindset, you’ll be able to get through it all.

Good luck, and happy marketing!

***********************************************
Desiree Villena is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects self-publishing authors with the world’s best editors, designers, and marketers. In her spare time, Desiree enjoys reading contemporary fiction and writing short stories. She’s very passionate about indie publishing and hopes to help as many authors as possible achieve their dreams!
Connect with Desiree Villena:
https://www.instagram.com/reedsy_hq/
https://twitter.com/ReedsyHQ

#selfpublish #selfpublishing #selfpublishingtips #indiepublishing #indiepub #authormarketing #bookpromotion #authorbrand #pubtips #authoradvice

#Nebula #Awards WINNERS Announced for 2018

#Nebula #Awards WINNERS Announced for 2018
Mazel Tov to them all!

2019 nebula conf banner

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA, Inc.) is pleased to announce the WINNERS for the 54th Annual Nebula Awards!

The Nebula Awards were presented during the annual SFWA Nebula Conference, May 16th-19th.

The Nebula Awards, presented annually, recognize the best works of science fiction and fantasy published in the previous year. They are selected by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The first Nebula Awards were presented in 1966.

The Nebula Awards include four fiction awards, a game writing award, the Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book. SFWA also administers the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Awards, the Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service to SFWA Award, and the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award.

I list all the WINNERS and the novel finalists, below.

The 2018 Nebula Award Winners

Best Novel winner:
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal, published by Tor

Best Novella winner:
The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard, published by Subterranean Press

Best Novelette winner:
“The Only Harmless Great Thing” by Brooke Bolander, published by Tor.com

Best Short Story winner:
“The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington” by P. Djèlí Clark, published by Fireside Magazine

Ray Bradbury Award winner:
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse written by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman

Andre Norton Award winner:
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, published by Henry Holt and Macmillan UK

Best Game Writing winner: Black Mirror: Bandersnatch by Charlie Brooker, published by House of Tomorrow and Netflix

Solstice Award:
Neil Clarke and Nisi Shawl

Kevin J. O’Donnell Jr. Service to SFWA Award:
Lee Martindale

Damon Knight Grand Master:
William Gibson

this list, the image credits for the banner, above, and logo, below, are from: https://nebulas.sfwa.org/the-2018-nebula-award-winners/

Nebula logo

2018 Nebula Award Finalists

Novel

WINNER: The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)

The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager US; Harper Voyager UK)

Blackfish City, Sam J. Miller (Ecco; Orbit UK)

Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik (Del Rey; Macmillan)

Witchmark, C.L. Polk (Tor.com Publishing)

Trail of Lightning, Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)


BTW: the WINNER of the

The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book

Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi, had already been commissioned to be made into a feature-length film last February, prior to being nominated!


For indepth analysis, opinions, covers, all the winners in all categories and more, from the Science-Fiction and Fantasy Blog of Barnes & Noble:

The Winners of the 2018 Nebula Awards Are Stellar

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/the-winners-of-the-2018-nebula-awards-are-stellar/

by May 18, 2019

 

2019 Reading Room’s #Women’s #Prize for #Fiction’s #Longlist Nominees

2019 Reading Room’s #Women’s #Prize for #Fiction’s #Longlist Nominees

Cut pieces of paper with text on SEO theme. Isolated on white.

Cut pieces of paper with text on SEO theme. Isolated on white.

Briefly, here are this year’s UK nominees:

The Silence of the Girls Pat Barker
Remembered Yvonne Battle-Felton
My Sister, the Serial Killer Oyinkan Braithwaite
The Pisces Melissa Broder
Milkman Anna Burns
Freshwater Akwaeke Emezi
Ordinary People Diana Evans
Swan Song Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott
An American Marriage Tayari Jones
Number One Chinese Restaurant Lillian Li
Bottled Goods Sophie van Llewyn
Lost Children Archive Valeria Luiselli
Praise Song for the Butterflies Bernice L. McFadden
Circe Madeline Miller
Ghost Wall Sarah Moss
Normal People by Sally Rooney

To chat about these on Twitter: https://twitter.com/womensprize

FMI and to read about the process: https://www.womensprizeforfiction.co.uk/reading-room/news/announcing-the-womens-prize-for-fiction-2019-longlist

Finalists announced for 2019 #Minnesota #Book #Awards

Finalists announced for 2019 #Minnesota #Book #Awards

MNBA-logo-2019
image and article from The Friends of the Minnesota Public Library http://thefriends.org

About the Minnesota Book Awards

The Minnesota Book Awards is a year-long program that fosters our statewide literary arts community and connects readers and writers throughout Minnesota.

The process begins in the fall with book submissions and continues through winter with two rounds of judging. Winners are announced at the annual Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony each spring. Woven throughout the season are various engagement activities and events that promote the authors and connect the world of Minnesota books – writers, artists, illustrators, publishers, editors, and more – to readers throughout the state.

Winners announced April 6, and tickets are available now (use link, here). https://thefriends.org/minnesota-book-awards/

Finalists’ info and book covers are linked to, HERE. https://thefriends.org/minnesota-book-awards/minnesota-book-awards-winners/

Mazel Tov to the 36 authors who made the final cut, listed separately in drop-down hot buttons on the live links, below, or the above page, for each of these categories, below.

I include the complete list (4 finalists) only for Genre Fiction, here:

 

 

 

2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTS (reblog)

2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTS (reblog)

national Book Awards Foundation logo

The National Book Foundation has announced its shortlists for the 2018 National Book Awards: 25 finalists in total in five categories—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and young people’s literature. The winner in each category will be announced at the 69th National Book Awards Ceremony held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on Wednesday, November 14. The ceremony will also be live-streamed online in its entirety.

#bookawards #nationalbookaward #finalists #authors #writers #fiction #poetry #nonfiction #YAlit

Mazel Tov to all finalists!

FICTION:

A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley (Graywolf)

Florida by Lauren Groff (Riverhead)

Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson (Soho)

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (Viking)

The Friend by Sigrid Nunez (Riverhead)

The other shortlists are found here:

https://bookriot.com/2018/10/10/2018-national-book-award-finalists/

“The 2018 #Dragon #Award Winners for the Best in #ScienceFiction and #Fantasy” (reblogging)

“The 2018 #Dragon #Award Winners for the Best in #ScienceFiction and #Fantasy”
Dragon Con logo

https://www.amazonbookreview.com/post/faf0452e-50c0-447c-ac5a-9f5a3ae9d5c7/the-2018-dragon-award-winners-for-the-best-in-science-fiction-and-fantasy

On Sunday, September 2, the winners of the 2018 Dragon Awards were announced at Dragon Con in Atlanta. The Dragon Awards celebrate the best new science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, and more. The Dragon Awards nominations are made and voted on by fans, making it one of the few major science fiction and fantasy awards that puts the voting directly in the hands of readers without requiring a fee or a membership.

Below are a partial list of the 2018 Dragon Award winners. To see the full list of finalists on the ballot, including comics, role-playing games, and TV shows, visit the site, below.

Best Science Fiction Novel
It Takes Death to Reach a Star by Gareth Worthington and Stu Jones
Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey
The Mutineer’s Daughter by Chris Kennedy and Thomas A. Mays
Win by Vera Nazarian
Sins of Her Father by Mike Kupari
Artemis by Andy Weir

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)
Shoot the Messenger by Pippa DaCosta
War Hammer by Shayne Silvers
Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
The Land: Predators by Aleron Kong
The Traitor God by Cameron Johnston
A Tempered Warrior by Jon R. Osborne

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel
Cold Bath Street by A.J. Hartley
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
When Tinker Met Bell by Alethea Kontis
Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne
Warcross by Marie Lu
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel
Communications Failure by Joe Zieja
Points of Impact by Marko Kloos
Ghost Marines: Integration by Jonathan P. Brazee
Price of Freedom by Craig Martelle and Michael Anderle
Legend by Christopher Woods
A Call to Vengeance by David Weber, Timothy Zahn, and Thomas Pope

Best Alternate History Novel
Dark State by Charles Stross
The Sea Peoples by S.M. Stirling
Witchy Winter by D.J. Butler
Uncharted by Kevin J. Anderson and Sarah A. Hoyt
Dream of the Iron Dragon by Robert Kroese
Minds of Men by Kacey Ezell

Best Media Tie-In Novel
Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray
Before the Storm by Christie Golden
Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson
Fear Itself by James Swallow
Legacy of Onyx by Matt Forbeck
Desperate Hours by David Mack

Best Horror Novel
Beneath the Lighthouse by Julieanne Lynch
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
A Time to Run by Mark Wandrey
The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
Glimpse by Jonathan Maberry

Best Comic Book
Mighty Thor by Jason Aaron and James Harren, Marvel Comics
Doomsday Clock by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, DC Comics
Aliens: Dead Orbit by James Stokoe, Dark Horse Comics
Mister Miracle by Tom King and Mitch Gerads, DC Comics
Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples, Image Comics
Star Wars: Darth Vader by Charles D. Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli, Marvel Comics

Best Graphic Novel
Chicago Typewriter: The Red Ribbon by Brandon Fiadino, Djibril Morissette-Phan, and James Greatorex, Dark Legion Comics
Brandon Sanderson’s White Sand Volume 1 by Brandon Sanderson, Rik Hoskin, and Julius M. Gopez, Dynamite Entertainment
Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
Monstress Vol. 2: The Blood by Marjorie M. Liu, Sana Takeda, Image Comics
Vision (The Vision) by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Marvel Comics
Paper Girls Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chiang, Image Comics

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series
The Expanse, Syfy
Game of Thrones, HBO
Lucifer, Fox
Supernatural, CW
Star Trek: Discovery, CBS All Access
Altered Carbon, Netflix
Stranger Things, Netflix

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie
Incredibles 2 directed by Brad Bird
Thor: Ragnorok directed by Taika Waititi
Blade Runner 2049 directed by Denis Villeneuve
Avengers: Infinity War directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Black Panther directed by Ryan Coogler
Ready Player One directed by Steven Spielberg
Deadpool 2 directed by Dave Leitch

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game
Fortnite by Epic Games
Cuphead by Studio MDHR
Middle-earth: Shadow of War by Monolith Productions
Destiny 2 by Bungie
Battletech by Harebrained Schemes
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus by MachineGames

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game
Planescape: Torment, the Enhanced Edition by Beamdog
Nocked! by Andrew Schneider
Lineage 2: Revolution by Netmarble
Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition by Square Enix
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery by Jam City

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game
Rising Sun by CMON Games
When I Dream by Asmodee
Mysterium: Secrets and Lies Expansion by Asmodee
Azul by Plan B Games
Red Dragon Inn 6: Villains by Slugfest Games
Photosynthesis by Blue Orange

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game
Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition by Games Workshop
Force and Destiny Role-playing Game: Knights of Fate by Fantasy Flight Games
Bubblegumshoe – RPG by Evil Hat
Cooking with Dice: The Acid Test by Oddfish Games
D100 Dungeon by Martin Knight
Magic: The Gathering Unstable by Wizards of the Coast

More info, past recipients, archives here:

http://awards.dragoncon.org/2018-ballot/

#nationalbookawards USA 2018 have more female and POC authors on each #longlist than ever before!

“THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD LONGLIST FOR #FICTION”
national Book Awards Foundation logo

https://bookriot.com/2018/09/14/2018-national-book-award-longlist-for-fiction/

Read about the other #longlists released for the 2018 National Book Awards:

Young People’s Literature Longlist

  • Elizabeth AcevedoThe Poet X
    (HarperTeen / HarperCollins Publishers)
  • M. T. Anderson and Eugene YelchinThe Assassination of Brangwain Spurge
    (Candlewick Press)
  • Bryan BlissWe’ll Fly Away
    (Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Leslie ConnorThe Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
    (Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Christopher Paul CurtisThe Journey of Little Charlie
    (Scholastic Press / Scholastic, Inc.)
  • Jarrett J. KrosoczkaHey, Kiddo
    (Graphix / Scholastic, Inc.)
  • Tahereh MafiA Very Large Expanse of Sea
    (HarperTeen / HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Joy McCullough, Blood Water Paint
    (Dutton Children’s Books / Penguin Random House)
  • Elizabeth PartridgeBoots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam
    (Viking Children’s Books / Penguin Random House)
  • Vesper Stamper, What the Night Sings
    (Knopf Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House)

Translated Literature Longlist

  • Négar DjavadiDisoriental
    Translated by Tina Kover
    (Europa Editions)
  • Roque LarraquyComemadre
    Translated by Heather Cleary
    (Coffee House Press)
  • Dunya MikhailThe Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq
    Translated by Max Weiss and Dunya Mikhail
    (New Directions Publishing)
  • Perumal MuruganOne Part Woman
    Translated by Aniruddhan Vasudevan
    (Black Cat / Grove Atlantic)
  • Hanne ØrstavikLove
    Translated by Martin Aitken
    (Archipelago Books)
  • Gunnhild ØyehaugWait, Blink: A Perfect Picture of Inner Life
    Translated by Kari Dickson
    (Farrar, Straus and Giroux / Macmillan Publishers)
  • Domenico StarnoneTrick
    Translated by Jhumpa Lahiri
    (Europa Editions)
  • Yoko Tawada, The Emissary
    Translated by Margaret Mitsutani
    (New Directions Publishing)
  • Olga TokarczukFlights
    Translated by Jennifer Croft
    (Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House)
  • Tatyana Tolstaya, Aetherial Worlds
    Translated by Anya Migdal
    (Alfred A. Knopf / Penguin Random House)

Nonfiction Longlist

  • Carol AndersonOne Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy
    (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Colin G. CallowayThe Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation
    (Oxford University Press)
  • Steve CollDirectorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan
    (Penguin Press / Penguin Random House)
  • Marwan Hisham and Molly CrabappleBrothers of the Gun: A Memoir of the Syrian War
    (One World / Penguin Random House)
  • Victoria JohnsonAmerican Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic
    (Liveright / W. W. Norton & Company)
  • David QuammenThe Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life
    (Simon & Schuster)
  • Sarah SmarshHeartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth
    (Scribner / Simon & Schuster)
  • Rebecca Solnit, Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises (and Essays)
    (Haymarket Books)
  • Jeffrey C. StewartThe New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke
    (Oxford University Press)
  • Adam Winkler, We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights
    (Liveright / W. W. Norton & Company)

and

Poetry Longlist

October 10: Finalists Announced

November 14: National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner (Winners announced)

The Sixty-Ninth National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner will be held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on Wednesday, November 14, and will also be live-streamed online in its entirety.

FMI, book covers, other years’ awards lists, to get tickets and more:  http://www.nationalbook.org/nba2018.html#.W6FbVs5Kipo

“40 Writers’ ‘Rules for Writing'” from Emily Harstone at AUTHORS PUBLISH (reblog)

40 Writers’ ‘Rules for Writing’
curated and annotated by Emily Harstone at AUTHORS PUBLISH (reblog)
August 26, 2018

What a great compendium of ideas about writing in the form of “rules,” so that we can argue with, agree/disagree, utilize, benefit from, whether we’re experienced or newbie writers or an interested readers/fans of some or these authorial rule-givers!

BTW: KUDOS for including a lot of women, writers from different eras, and various types of writers.

Saved the best one for last, IMO, from Phillip Pullman:

40. Phillip Pullman’s One Rule for Writing

“My main rule is to say ‘no’ to things like this, which tempt me away from my proper work.”

http://www.authorspublish.com/40-writers-rules-for-writing/

2018 Locus Award Winners for Best in Science-Fiction (SF) and Fantasy

2018 #LocusAward Winners for Best in Science-Fiction (#SF, #Scifi) and #Fantasy

Mazel Tov to all the nominees and winners of this prestigious award!

The Locus Science Fiction Foundation announced the winners of the 2018 Locus Awards on June 23. The Locus Awards are chosen by a survey of readers in an open online poll. Connie Willis presented the awards, as well as judged the annual Hawaiian shirt contest.

The winners and nominees in the categories of best science-fiction novel, best fantasy novel, best first novel, and a few others are listed, below. To see the entire list of all categories’ nominees and winners and all categories, including horror, young adult, non-fiction and more, visit Locus’s award announcement: http://locusmag.com/2018/06/2018-locus-awards-winners/

SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL


WINNER: The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency) by John Scalzi

Also, 2018 HUGO AWARD FINALIST FOR BEST NOVEL
BLURB:

Our universe is ruled by physics. Faster than light travel is impossible―–until the discovery of The Flow, an extradimensional field available at certain points in space-time, which can take us to other planets around other stars.

Riding The Flow, humanity spreads to innumerable other worlds. Earth is forgotten. A new empire arises, the Interdependency, based on the doctrine that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It’s a hedge against interstellar war―and, for the empire’s rulers, a system of control.

The Flow is eternal―–but it’s not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well. In rare cases, entire worlds have been cut off from the rest of humanity. When it’s discovered that the entire Flow is moving, possibly separating all human worlds from one another forever, three individuals―–a scientist, a starship captain, and the emperox of the Interdependency―–must race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.

FANTASY NOVEL


WINNER: The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth) by N. K. Jemisin

BLURB:

The shattering conclusion to the post-apocalyptic and highly acclaimed New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with The Fifth Season, winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2016, and The Obelisk Gate, winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2017.

The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.

Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.

For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS… FOR THE LAST TIME.

FIRST NOVEL


WINNER: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club) by Theodora Goss

BLURB:

Based on some of literature’s horror and science-fiction classics, this is the story of a remarkable group of women who come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders—–and the bigger mystery of their own origins.

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.

NOVELLA


WINNER: All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

Also, Winner: 2017 Nebula Award for Best Novella
Winner: 2018 Alex Award
Finalist: 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novella
One of the Verge’s Best Books of 2017
A New York Times Bestseller
BLURB:

“As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure.”

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid—a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

NOVELETTE


WINNER: The Hermit of Houston by Samuel R. Delany

BLURB:

Samuel R. Delany‘s first story for F&SF in 40 years (since 1977), “The Hermit of Houston”[:] Those looking for a strongly plotted or action-filled tale are not going to find it here; instead, this is an old man’s rambling, discursive reminiscence, jumping back and forth in time, of his long life in a world that has been shattered and reshaped by some unspecified disaster or series of disasters (probably climate change-related), with national boundaries redrawn and society’s views on sexual identity rethought, so that both men and women as we define them today have been sorted into many different genders, “natural” procreation is sternly discouraged, and much of the rearing of children is left to youth gangs and armies. The story can be hard to chew in some spots, at its most discursive, but if you stick with it, it will reward you with some fascinating social speculation about a different kind of future society and some compelling imagery. (Warning: the story is also much more sexually explicit than is usual for F&SF.)

SHORT STORY


WINNER:The Martian Obelisk“ by Linda Nagata

Read it here: https://www.tor.com/2017/07/19/the-martian-obelisk/

BLURB:

A powerful science-fiction story about an architect on Earth commissioned to create (via long distance) a masterwork with materials from the last abandoned Martian colony, a monument that will last thousands of years longer than Earth, which is dying.

ANTHOLOGY


WINNER: The Book of Swords, Gardner Dozois, Ed., including stories by Elizabeth Bear (Author), George R. R. Martin (Author), Robin Hobb (Author), Scott Lynch (Author), C. J. Cherryh (Author), Garth Nix (Author)

BLURB:

Fantasy fiction has produced some of the most unforgettable heroes ever conjured onto the page…. Classic characters like these made sword and sorcery a storytelling sensation, a cornerstone of fantasy fiction—–and an inspiration for a new generation of writers, spinning their own outsize tales of magic and swashbuckling adventure.

Now, in The Book of Swords, acclaimed editor and bestselling author, Gardner Dozois, presents an all-new anthology of original epic tales by a stellar cast of award-winning modern masters—–many of them set in their authors’ best-loved worlds. Join today’s finest tellers of fantastic tales… on action-packed journeys into the outer realms of dark enchantment and intrepid derring-do, featuring a stunning assortment of fearless swordsmen and warrior women who face down danger and death at every turn with courage, cunning, and cold steel.

FEATURING SIXTEEN ALL-NEW STORIES:

“The Best Man Wins” by K. J. Parker
“Her Father’s Sword” by Robin Hobb
“The Hidden Girl” by Ken Liu
“The Sword of Destiny” by Matthew Hughes
“‘I Am a Handsome Man,’ Said Apollo Crow” by Kate Elliott
“The Triumph of Virtue” by Walter Jon Williams
“The Mocking Tower” by Daniel Abraham
“Hrunting” by C. J. Cherryh
“A Long, Cold Trail” by Garth Nix
“When I Was a Highwayman” by Ellen Kushner
“The Smoke of Gold Is Glory” by Scott Lynch
“The Colgrid Conundrum” by Rich Larson
“The King’s Evil” by Elizabeth Bear
“Waterfalling” by Lavie Tidhar
“The Sword Tyraste” by Cecelia Holland
“The Sons of the Dragon” by George R. R. Martin

And an introduction by Gardner Dozois

COLLECTION


WINNER: Ursula K. Le Guin: The Hainish Novels and Stories

BLURB:

For the first time, a deluxe collector’s edition of the pathbreaking novels and stories that reinvented science fiction, with new introductions by the [recently deceased] author.

In such visionary masterworks as the Nebula and Hugo Award winners, The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Le Guin redrew the map of modern science-fiction, imagining a galactic confederation of human colonies founded by the planet Hain, an array of worlds whose divergent societies—the result of both evolution and genetic engineering—allow her to speculate on what is intrinsic in human nature. Now, for the first time, the complete Hainish novels and stories are collected in a deluxe two-volume Library of America boxed set, with new introductions by the author.

Volume one gathers the first five Hainish novels: Rocannon’s World, in which an ethnologist sent to a bronze-age planet must help defeat an intergalactic enemy; Planet of Exile, the story of human colonists stranded on a planet that is slowly killing them; City of Illusions, which finds a future Earth ruled by the mysterious Shing; and the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning masterpieces, The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed–—as well as four short stories.

Volume two presents Le Guin’s final two Hainish novels, The Word for World Is Forest, in which Earth enslaves another planet to strip its natural resources, and The Telling, the harrowing story of a society which has suppressed its own cultural heritage. Rounding out the volume are seven short stories and the story suite, Five Ways to Forgiveness, published here in full for the first time.

The endpapers feature Le Guin‘s own hand-drawn map of Gethen, the planet that is the setting for The Left Hand of Darkness, and a full-color chart of the known worlds of Hainish descent.

Amazon‘s announcement, with links to all nominees’ and winners’ book blurbs and covers:

https://www.amazonbookreview.com/post/33312e0b-620f-4f77-87de-8b04d54b454c/2018-locus-award-winners-for-best-in-sf-and-fantasy

#Finalists for the 2018 #HugoAwards for #ScienceFiction

The #finalists for the 2018 #HugoAwards were announced on March 31, 2018, by members of the World Science Fiction Convention (#WorldCon) for #sciencefiction of all lengths and types.


http://www.thehugoawards.org/

Winners of the Hugo Awards, the award for best young adult (YA) book, and the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer will be announced at Worldcon 76 on August 16, 2018.

Main Categories: Best Novel, Best Novella, Best Graphic Story, Best Series, Best Related Work, Best Novelette, Best Short Story, and Best Young Adult Book. Finalists lists, below.

FMI and the lists of finalists in all categories: http://www.thehugoawards.org/2018/03/2018-1943-hugo-award-finalists-announced/#more-3163

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Katherine Arden
Sarah Kuhn
Jeannette Ng
Vina Jie-Min Prasad
Rebecca Roanhorse
Rivers Solomon

BEST NOVEL

The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency) by John Scalzi

New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson

Provenance by Ann Leckie

Raven Stratagem (Machineries of Empire) by Yoon Ha Lee

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth) by N. K. Jemisin

BEST NOVELLA

All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

“And Then There Were (N-One)” by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny, March/April 2017)

Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

The Black Tides of Heaven (The Tensorate Series) by JY Yang

Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children) by Seanan McGuire

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

BEST GRAPHIC STORY

Bitch Planet, Volume 2: President Bitch, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Valentine De Landro and Taki Soma, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick, lettered by Clayton Cowles

Black Bolt, Vol. 1: Hard Time, written by Saladin Ahmed, illustrated by Christian Ward, lettered by Clayton Cowles

Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood, written by Marjorie M. Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris

Paper Girls, Volume 3, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by Jared Fletcher

Saga, Volume 7, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples

BEST YOUNG ADULT BOOK

Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor (DOUBLE FINALIST)

The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller

The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust, Volume 1) by Philip Pullman

In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

Summer in Orcus by T. Kingfisher

Best Novelette

“Children of Thorns, Children of Water” by Aliette de Bodard (Uncanny, July-August 2017)

“Extracurricular Activities” by Yoon Ha Lee (Tor.com, February 15, 2017)

“The Secret Life of Bots” by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld, September 2017)

“A Series of Steaks” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Clarkesworld, January 2017)

“Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time” by K.M. Szpara (Uncanny, May/June 2017)

“Wind Will Rove” by Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s, September/October 2017)

Best Short Story

“Carnival Nine” by Caroline M. Yoachim (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, May 2017)

“Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand” by Fran Wilde (Uncanny, September 2017)

“Fandom for Robots” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Uncanny, September/October 2017)

“The Martian Obelisk” by Linda Nagata (Tor.com, July 19, 2017)

“Sun, Moon, Dust” by Ursula Vernon (Uncanny, May/June 2017)

“Welcome to your Authentic Indian Experience™” by Rebecca Roanhorse (Apex, August 2017)

Best Series

The Books of the Raksura by Martha Wells

The Divine Cities by Robert Jackson Bennett

InCryptid by Seanan McGuire (DOUBLE FINALIST)

The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan

The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

World of the Five Gods by Lois McMaster Bujold

Best Related Work

Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate by Zoë Quinn (PublicAffairs)

Iain M. Banks (Modern Masters of Science Fiction) by Paul Kincaid
A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison by Nat Segaloff

Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler edited by Alexandra Pierce and Mimi Mondal

No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin

Sleeping with Monsters: Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy by Liz Bourke

2017 Winners of the National Book Award: Kudos to these Authors!

2017 #Winners of the National #Book #Award: Kudos to these #Authors!


National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Award
Website: http://www.nationalbook.org/

from the story on NPR:
“[F]our writers emerged with one of the world’s most illustrious literary prizes, the National Book Award:
—Jesmyn Ward’s “Sing, Unburied, Sing,” won for fiction;
—Masha Gessen’s “The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia,” for nonfiction;
—Frank Bidart’s “Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016,” for poetry; and
—Robin Benway’s “Far from the Tree,” for young people’s literature.

“In addition to a bronze medal and statue, each winner receives $10,000 with the distinction. That said, the finalists don’t go home bereft — each author gets $1,000 and a bronze medal of their own.

“…Annie Proulx [is] the novelist who won the medal for distinguished contribution to American letters, the National Book Foundation’s slightly verbose name for their lifetime achievement award.”

FMI: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2017/11/16/npr-books-national-book-awards?utm_campaign=The+Thread_20171117&utm_medium=email&utm_source=sfmc_Newsletter&utm_content=The%202017%20National%20Book%20Award%20winners%20are…

2017 WINNERS and FINALISTS, National Book Award

Fiction
Jesmyn Ward
Jesmyn Ward: Sing, Unburied, Sing = WINNER

Ward’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jesmyn-Ward/e/B001JOW9NW/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1
Ward’s Publisher Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/Jesmyn-Ward/547648874

FICTION FINALISTS:
Elliot Ackerman: Dark at the Crossing
Lisa Ko: The Leavers
Min Jin Lee: Pachinko
Carmen Maria Machado: Her Body and Other Parties: Stories

Nonfiction
Masha Gessen; Photo: © Tanya Sazansky
Masha Gessen: The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia = WINNER

Gessen’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Masha-Gessen/e/B001H6MBXK/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1
Gessen’s Publisher’s Website: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/9953/masha-gessen

FINALISTS:
Erica Armstrong Dunbar: Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge
Frances FitzGerald: The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America
David Grann: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
Nancy MacLean: Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America

Poetry
Frank Bidart; Photo from Sigrid Estrada
Frank Bidart: Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 = WINNER

Bidart’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Bidart/e/B001H6W2N4/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1
Bidart’s Publisher’s Website: https://us.macmillan.com/author/frankbidart

FINALISTS:
Leslie Harrison: The Book of Endings
Layli Long Soldier: WHEREAS
Shane McCrae: In the Language of My Captor
Danez Smith: Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems

Young People’s Literature

Robin Benway: Far from the Tree = WINNER

Benway’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Robin-Benway/e/B001JP7ZO4/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Benway’s Publisher’s Website: https://www.harpercollins.com/cr-115402/robin-benway

FINALISTS:
Elana K. Arnold: What Girls Are Made Of
Erika L. Sánchez: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
Rita Williams-Garcia: Clayton Byrd Goes Underground
Ibi Zoboi: American Street

REBLOGGING: “Locally Grown #Book #Marketing for #Indie #Authors” from Author Marketing Expert

REBLOGGING: “Locally Grown #Book #Marketing for #Indie #Authors” from Author Marketing Expert

https://www.amarketingexpert.com/book-marketing-locally-grown/

#Indie #Author Day 2017: Saturday, October 14! Start Planning NOW!

#Indie #Author Day 2017: Saturday, October 14!

TODAY (September 16, 2017) were events at our local library’s main branch (St. Louis County) for “Indie Author Day,” but YOUR library may have other plans! Check!

The second annual Indie Author Day will be held IN SOME PLACES on Saturday, October 14, 2017. This event brings together libraries and local writers around the world for a day of celebration and inspiration devoted to indie authorship.

Registration for Indie Author Day 2017 is officially open. Visit the Indie Author Day website, https://goo.gl/6HJZG3 . to learn more information about this year’s event and how to get involved in IAD programming near you.


From the Indie Author Day website:

HOSTING AN EVENT

In addition to a selection of on-demand video workshops that will be available from Indie Author Day sponsors, there are many activities for your #library to offer as part of its Indie Author Day 2017 event.

To get you brainstorming, here are some suggested activities that #libraries have done at past events:

—An #author panel featuring traditional, hybrid and self-published #authors from the community
—Presentations from local indie authors about writing, marketing and more
—Book readings and / or signings from local authors
—Presentations from local industry leaders
—Writing workshops
—Presentations and workshops to inform the writing community about tools available for them to use through the library
—Author readings and open mics, featuring short segments of each author’s works

Check out our Brandisty page, https://brandisty.com/indieauthorday . for logos, web banners, posters and postcards to help you promote your Indie Author Day!

Alert the media with our Press Release templates for Authors and Libraries [there are downloads for each on this website].

Are you a #library hosting Indie Author Day? Spread the word with these pre-written social media post. http://indieauthorday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Indie-Author-Day-Social-Media-Posts.pdfs [there are downloads for images, logos, more, on this website, such as the Partners’ Logo, below]!


Here are their sample posts (you can add your own hashtags and other info, such as “RT,” to these):
— Calling all #indieauthors! Join us as we celebrate our local authors for #IndieAuthorDay on Oct.
14!
— We’re hosting an event for #IndieAuthorDay on Oct. 14! Join us if want to support our local
#selfpub and #indieauthors!
— Are you an #indieauthor? We’re #indie you! Join us for #IndieAuthorDay on Oct. 14!
— We’re excited to support our local authors for #IndieAuthorDay on Oct. 14!

Re-issued & Updated: “#Utopian #Sci-fi/ #Speculative Fiction: Why it’s Intriguing and Necessary”

My guest blog post on Tonya R. Moore‘s Sci-Fi site from July, 2014, re-issued/ updated today!

#Utopian #Sci-fi/ #Speculative Fiction: Why it’s Intriguing and Necessary

utopia3.inline vertical

image from http://www.nypl.org (New York Public Library)

Writers are often exhorted to “write the books we want to read,” especially when they seem not to exist, yet. I am following that advice with The Spanners Series. I know what I want to read and what I can’t find because I am a life-long, avid reader. I have probably read hundreds of thousands of books in my 60 years of reading independently and quickly, sometimes enjoying ten books a week. If I say that books like mine—–more utopian sci-fi/speculative fiction series like The Spanners—–don’t yet exist, I’m probably correct.

However, there is a long history of utopian sci-fi that spawned speculative fiction and inspired technological and biological/ medical breakthroughs/ inventions and social and political change over many centuries. Ann Grindley’s article from May, 2014, http://www.fact.co.uk/news-articles/2014/05/utopia,-limited-what-can-sci-fi-tell-us-about-our-future.aspx, “Utopia, Limited: What can sci fi tell us about our future?” offered these insights:

Civilisations that do demonstrate utopian qualities have surpassed our view on money, weaponry and material wealth and anxiety. They have matured past our inequalities and share a common goal. This goal is usually scientific, in a sense that they have discovered, created, and utilise technology which unites people globally.

I don’t know which “civilisations” Ann Grindley referred to, but I’d like to find them!

Grindley seemed to be quite supportive of my intentions when she stated: “I’d like to think utopia still requires creativity and pleasure through art, although maybe utopians won’t need escapism.”

Grindley also verbalized my heartfelt wish: “It is wonderful how even in our social and political density and under-development, that we can imagine an idyllic and model world…” But then, she recognized the possibility that “our ideas of utopian and dystopian futures are only limited to our current knowledge and understanding, and perhaps that is why, in reality, we’re yet to achieve the fantasy; the fiction in our science. Perhaps utopia is beyond our imagination as well as our means.”

Well, perhaps our imagination is not that limited! Check out these sci-fi/ speculative fiction inventions and ideas that have become “real” as researched by Annalee Newitz, from March, 2014: http://io9.com/7-utopias-that-changed-the-future-1541411068. Newitz described several utopian sci-fi books whose ideas or inventions have influenced our lives directly, including:

Communism by Karl Marx
“Marx’s powerful vision…inspired coups, union movements, and even hippie communes….Pop versions of Communism inspired many ‘soft’ revolutions in the uprisings of the 1960s,… often inspiring positive social changes and greater freedoms.”

Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Herland is a lost island nation where everyone is equal, goods are plentiful, and war is unknown. It is an enlightened, scientifically advanced society where everyone is educated and healthy…[and it is all] run and populated entirely by women…. This idea, that woman leaders would create a far less cruel and authoritarian world than men have, has influenced everything from philosophy to feminist politics.”

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Brave New World…[influenced] the Occupy movement, which is in part a rebellion against capitalist societies that try to distract people with happy consumerism, instead of addressing problems with the disparity between rich and poor.”

Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry
“Freed from the need for money and from the horrors of war, humans in the Star Trek universe devote their lives to exploration or productive work that is freely chosen. But of course, Star Trek‘s vision is almost as old as Thomas More’s. The Enterprise is a lot like the Isle of Utopia, with elements of de Toqueville’s America, Marx’s Communism, and even Gilman’s Herland thrown in.”

Newitz summed up the utility of utopian sci-fi so perfectly: “Utopia, after all, has always been a fiction. But it’s one that can inspire us to change our worlds —sometimes, if we’re lucky, in a way that brings us just a little closer to our ideals.”

In her list, Newitz, of course, included:

Utopia by Thomas More
“Thomas More was a British writer who invented the word ‘utopia’ — from a Greek pun that means both ‘no place’ and ‘good place’ — for this book about his idea of the perfect society. Published in 1516, the book is about a man who has returned from the Isle of Utopia, where many of England’s social ills don’t exist.”

Just to prove the point—that sci-fi and speculative fiction continue to influence us—let’s go further into more specifics from this ground-breaking novel with these fascinating recognitions, from Charlie Jane Anders, “Things from Thomas More’s Utopia That Have Come True Today” http://io9.com/5967561/things-from-thomas-mores-utopia-that-have-come-true-today:

—Before getting married, you should see your partner naked.
—Divorce is allowed for a married couple who ‘do not well agree.
—You’re under constant surveillance…….there’s no private property and everybody works for the common good when they’re not farming…
—Utopians eat in public….[which] basically means they eat out. All the time.
—Criminals are marked for life.
—Euthanasia is supported and even encouraged
—Husbands and wives go to war together.

In fact, we owe the term “utopia” to Thomas More! According to: http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/utopias: “…[More] derived the word from ‘outopia’ (no place) rather than ‘eutopia’ (good place)….It can be argued that all utopias are sf, in that they are exercises in hypothetical sociology and political science….[A] significant shift in utopian thought took place when writers changed from talking about a better place (eutopia) to talking about a better time (euchronia)….[U]topias ceased to be imaginary constructions with which contemporary society might be compared, and began to be speculative statements about real future possibilities…”

I agree wholeheartedly with this, and sadly agree with this opinion as well: “[Some authors set out to show that] all utopian schemes are absurd, and that real people could not live in them.”

I think this explains a lot, particularly the reasons that dystopias are so much more prevalent in sci-fi: it’s easier to write about disaster and failure than to imagine what could actually work out for the best, since we almost never see “the best” occur IRL [In Real Life].

One researcher claimed: “Genre sf has never been strongly utopian…. they were often small enclaves facing imminent destruction”

I hold out for members of this “small enclave” to become leaders and inspirations in every generation.

These and others recognize the dilemmas we utopian writers of sci-fi and speculative fiction face: “The necessity for works of fiction to be dramatic and the fact that workable plots require conflict inhibit the use of sf to display utopian schemes.” I face this problem in my current series.

Because I don’t want to depict a lot of death, destruction, violence, apocalyptic futures and heartache, many readers request and editors demand that my series “show more conflict.” I resist. I do mention it and refer to it, but most of it happens off-camera, in the wings, so to speak, or in conversations between two or more characters rather than the ways most sci-fi authors and screenwriters choose to depict conflicts.

I can’t be the only one who is bored and disgusted by dystopias’ ubiquitous conflicts—large-scale, CGI “wars” and “battles,” martial arts “fights” resplendent with wires to create impossible acrobatics, and car or other vehicle chases—awful, because they supplant character development, plot depth and actual emotions. Am I wrong?

Unfortunately, dystopian futures abound in both fantasy and sci-fi. Most genre writers, even those that include romance in their stories, choose to depict increasingly worsening conditions on and around this planet and across their universes. In some imaginary incipient time, their “visions” of our future pile on the violence, showing increasing discord, more political and social unrest, deaths and destruction even worse than we have now.

We already have too much awfulness IRL for me to want to read about even worse to come.

Enough, already!

Fortunately, I am in good company. Conferences, seminars, webinars, zines and print currently devote a lot of time/space to these topics. I am encouraged, for example, by this exhortation to writers like me from a panel http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/women-remember-a-roundtable-interview/ moderated by Mary Robinette Kowal with Ursula K. Le Guin, Pat Cadigan, Ellen Datlow, and Nancy Kress, given in June, 2014, in which Kowal summed it up: “We write science fiction and imagine the future we want to live in. We want that future now.”

Kowal went on to say: “Seeing how the field has changed gives me perspective on the future that I’m living in and, hopefully, will help women writing today continue to destroy science fiction for subsequent generations of writers.”

Even more approval flows to us writers of utopian sci-fi when I saw that a July, 2014, Science-Fiction Symposium from the World Futures Society http://www.wfs.org had listed these events:

A. Panel Session: “Fiction as a Futuring Tool,” featuring Madeline Ashby, Trevor Haldenby, Glen Hiemstra, and Tom Lombardo. “The work of science fiction writers and futurists often informs, sometimes predicts, and occasionally affects the future.”

B. Panel discussion: “Hacking into Utopia: The Future of Optimistic Innovation,” featuring Ramez Naam (moderator), Gray Scott, Lindsea Wilbur, and Kevin Russell. “Science fiction writers have been talking about utopian futures for a long time. What are young writers and innovators doing right now to create such a future?”

C. Panel discussion: “What Current Science Fiction should Futurists Read?” featuring Vicki Stein (moderator) Glen Hiemstra, Brenda Cooper, Madeline Ashby, and Brad Aiken.

I wish I could have attended and I wished that they had put the discussions, above, online.

I believe we need some hope, ideas of how else things could go, whether or not I always believe they will take these turns. I am imagining routes for improvement for the entire multiverse.

I am not alone in believing in a more perfect future that, due to simultaneous time, is already “here.” Gray Scott, Futurist/Founder of SERIOUS WONDER™, http://www.seriouswonder.com/about/ and http://www.seriouswonder.com/category/scifi/, has this tagline on his website: “The future has already happened and technology is just the echo bouncing back at humanity.“ 

His “think-tank” self-describes in this way:

SERIOUS WONDER is a progressive future concept and technology website. We are obsessed with the future. Our mission is to bring our readers the best in futuristic ideas, technology, robotics, science, techno-philosophy, psychology, space travel, and modern concept design. Intense curiosity, positive intention and inspired imagination can transform our future. This future will be more magical and abundant than anyone could ever imagine. We are constantly looking for innovation and optimistic wonder. The future is our passion.

The future IS now!

Donna Dickens listed “science-fiction becomes science-fact” from 2012:
—Quadriplegic Uses Her Mind to Control Her Robotic Arm
—Stem Cells Could Extend Human Life by Over 100 Years

And, from 2013:
—Two rats have their brains telepathically linked.
—Portable device allows users to see through walls.
—Program allows user to remotely move objects with their hands.
—The world’s first fully mind-controlled synthetic leg goes for a stroll.

If you like these “Science-Fiction-Becomes-Science-Facts” lists? Check out this great chart/ infographic:
http://io9.gizmodo.com/all-the-times-science-fiction-became-science-fact-in-on-1570282491

Here are some compelling reasons we need and want to have such optimistic creativity from writers of sci-fi:

The value of science fiction has been also recognised in the rise of a new method for designing technology, called design fiction. If science fiction stimulates the imagination about extraordinary views of the future, design fiction explores the futures that ordinary people would prefer. Design fictions—like short sci-fi films, prototypes and graphic novels—are provocative and engage people, encouraging them to envision, explain and raise questions about direction of future technology and society.

from https://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2015/aug/13/science-fiction-reality-predicts-future-technology

Then, we have the incredible Raymond Kurzweil. I first read about him in Mike Floorwalker’s post from March, 2013: http://listverse.com/2013/03/15/10-ridiculously-specific-predictions-that-came-true/ Kurzweil is an inventor and a futurist who is also the Director of Engineering at Google. According to Floorwalker, Kurzweil has “made dozens of predictions over the several decades—–with an absolutely unbelievable rate of accuracy. Not only do Kurzweil’s predictions almost always come true, he usually can accurately predict WHEN they will come true.”

As if that’s not enough, “…[i]n his novel, The Age Of Intelligent Machines, Kurzweil predicted: the fall of the Soviet Union by 1991; a computer’s beating the best human players at chess by 2000; and, wireless Internet’s becoming practical for mainstream use in the early 21st century. In The Age Of Spiritual Machines (1999), Kurzweil predicted ebooks, facial recognition software, and nanotechnology…” among other things!

Floorwalker stunned me with these stats on Kurzweil: “Kurzweil stated that by 2009, 89 out of 108 predictions he had made were entirely correct. Of the rest, 13 were ‘essentially correct’—likely to come true within a few years. A re-evaluation in 2012 determined that Kurzweil’s prognostications are correct a ridiculous 86 percent of the time—and the good news is, this is a man who has predicted that it won’t be too long before we humans conquer death altogether.”

Kurzweil is beyond a genius: he reinforces the existence of simultaneous time. How else do you explain his timely “inventions” and uncanny “predictions”? Floorwalker informed us: “His inventions are numerous—–text reading software, speech-recognition devices—–and five of his novels have been bestsellers.”

We sci-fi writers should ALL be more like Kurzweil!

I like to believe that I am predicting, prognosticating, prophesying and foretelling, since my stories depict better times in every way. Even when things are “bad,” there is more “good” than bad. I am continuing my utopian illusions in The Spanners Series.

In my current and future multiverses, all communicative beings, including humans, will have more pervasive and lasting peace, better circumstances and conditions, and inner spiritual strengths that lead to harmonious living: we can have it all!

Week TWO Info for “The Author’s Adventure Summit 2017,” run by Lisa DeSpain

“The Author’s Adventure Summit 2017” is hosted by:
Lisa DeSpain, “The Successful Author’s Book Coach” (her own eponym), who can be reached at: lisa@book2bestseller.com, and who can be found (and more info, also) at: http://book2bestseller.com
[I am not endorsing, recommending, or benefitting, myself. I have attended worthwhile webinars/workshops online led by a few of these presenters. Sharing, therefore.]

Lisa sent this note and schedule, below, to those of us who subscribe to her newsletter and who signed up to be notified of this coming week’s events in the The Author’s Adventure Summit 2017 (which runs May 8 – 19, 2017).

Sign up here: http://www.book2bestseller.com/authors-adventure-summit/ to get on the list, access the free events, or decide to pay and access more (I am not paying).

Hi – just a quick note to let you know what’s happening this upcoming week. I’ll be sending a daily schedule with links so you can easily click through to the summit interviews for the day. Here’s an overview of the week:

WEEK TWO SCHEDULE

Monday, May 15
Derek Murphy, “Fantastic Fiction Promotional Strategies” http://book2bestseller.com/derek-murphy
Jill Celeste, “The Director of Marketing for Your Book Business” http://book2bestseller.com/jill-celeste
Elena Rahrig, “Traditional Publisher or Self-Publisher?” http://book2bestseller.com/elena-rahrig

Tuesday, May 16
Eric Van Der Hope, “Finding Your Tribe & Building Your Platform” http://book2bestseller.com/eric-van-der-hope
Lori Hardegree, “Facebook Secrets for Authors (The Red Hot Edition)” http://book2bestseller.com/lori-hardegree
Penny Sansevieri, “Offline and Online Marketing Strategies” http://book2bestseller.com/penny-sansevieri

Wednesday, May 17
Shari Stauch, “Fun Ways to Build Your Author Platform” http://book2bestseller.com/shari-stauch
Kiki Chatfield, “New Publicity Methods You’ve Never Heard Of” http://book2bestseller.com/kiki-chatfield
Kimberley Grabas, “6 Essential Elements of a Flawless Book Launch” http://book2bestseller.com/kimberley-grabas

Thursday, May 18
Sharon Hamilton, “Becoming a Bestselling Author” http://book2bestseller.com/sharon-hamilton
Alinka Rutkowska, “Why 72% of Self-Published Authors Never Sell
More Than 1,000 Books” http://book2bestseller.com/alinka-rutkowska
Jen Levitz, “5 Keys to Writing a Lead Generating Business Book” http://book2bestseller.com/jen-levitz

Friday, May 19
Judith Briles, “The Book Shepherd” http://book2bestseller.com/judith-briles
Lisa DeSpain, “Summit Wrap-Up” http://book2bestseller.com/lisa-interview

WEEK ONE SCHEDULE (may need to pay to view older shows…)

Monday, May 8
Randy Peyser, “How to Get a Book Deal with a Publisher” http://book2bestseller.com/randy-peyser
Tamara Monosoff, “Adding Interactivity and Working with Affiliates” http://book2bestseller.com/tamara-monosoff
Tenita Johnson, “Beyond the Bestseller List” http://book2bestseller.com/tenita-johnson

Tuesday, May 9
Valerie Gangas, “Going Pro on the Path to Enlightenment” http://book2bestseller.com/valerie-gangas
Laila Ali, “From Traditional to Self-Published” http://book2bestseller.com/laila-ali
Rocky Callen, “Learning How to Bleed Ink” http://book2bestseller.com/rocky-callen

Wednesday, May 10
Amanda Young, “Finding Clarity as You Write Your Book” http://book2bestseller.com/amanda-young
Ellie McLove, “Editing: When to Change it or Leave it for Style” http://book2bestseller.com/ellie-mclove
Nina Amir, “Inspiration to Creation” http://book2bestseller.com/nina-amir

Thursday, May 11
Tamara Dever, “The Selling Power of Book Design” http://book2bestseller.com/tamara-dever
Joel Friedlander, “Secret Ways that Authors Really Make Money” http://book2bestseller.com/joel-friedlander
Robin Cutler, “Getting Ingram Distribution through IngramSpark” http://book2bestseller.com/robin-cutler

Friday, May 12
Steven Spatz, “Distribution + Service = A Winning Combination” http://book2bestseller.com/steven-spatz
Kristin Steele & Dan Verdick,”The Top 4 Things You Need to Know About Book
Marketing” http://book2bestseller.com/kristin-and-dan

The Presenters for both weeks of The Author’s Adventure Summit 2017

Lisa ended her email with a few cute lines, then this info:

P.S. If you think you’re going to have trouble watching the interviews on their live dates, you might want to get a VIP access pass (if you haven’t already). Here’s the link to become a VIP: http://www.book2bestseller.com/masterclass-vip/

Indie Author Fringe’s 2nd online conference, “Fringe to BookExpo,” is Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

2017’s Indie Author Fringe 2nd of 3 online conferences, “Fringe to BookExpo,”, happens in a few weeks, on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017. Click here for more info and to register: http://selfpublishingadvice.org/what-is-indie-author-fringe/

This year’s conference “features 24-hours of self-publishing sessions for authors with an independent spirit. The agenda we’re developing will help you reach more readers and sell more books, and includes tips, tools, and techniques for marketing and promoting yourself and your book.”

I am a proud member of Alli, and this message is from one of the three organizers, Orna Ross, of Alli (the Alliance of Independent Authors)(David Penny and Jay Artale are the other two):

SPEAKERS

We’ve added more speakers and you can click here, http://selfpublishingadvice.org/bookexpo-indie-author-fringe-2017-speakers/ , to view the bios we’ve published so far.

COMPETITION

It’s free to enter our Book Cover Competition here, http://selfpublishingadvice.org/indie-author-fringe-2017-cover-competition-submission/ , and you can check out the competition entries we’ve already received [on that site as well].

Over the coming weeks, we’ll let you know about the Sponsor deals and discounts, and reveal the changes we’re implementing for this upcoming Indie Author Fringe event.

Until then, happy writing and publishing…

Next Alli Indie Author Fringe online conference: October 14, 2017.

Look who’s included in “Sci-Fi Women Interviews: The 2016 Collection,” by Natacha Guyot!

Look who’s included in “Sci-Fi Women Interviews: The 2016 Collection,” by Natacha Guyot!

Thanks, again, Natacha, for including me in your roster of #women #scifi #authors for 2016 and now, in this compendium of your interviews as a #free #ebook on #Smashwords (which has all ebook formats available for download).

Download your copy today! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/710894

The 2016’s women science-fiction authors Natacha interviewed and put into this book:

December 2016: Kate M. Colby

November 2016: Tonya R. Moore

October 2016: Alison Berrios

September 2016: Tracy Gardner

August 2016: Marie Bilodeau

July 2016: D. Wallace Peach

June 2016: Philippa Ballantine

May 2016: Amanda Ward

April 2016: Diana Gordon

March 2016: Sally Ember

February 2016: Jennifer A. Miller

January 2016: Robin Rivera and Heather Jackson

Visit Natacha’s website and read more of her work and blog: http://natachaguyot.org
She also has another compilation ebook and an ebook of some of her #feminist blog posts in another compilation on Smashwords, plus, the individual archives of her 2015’s interviews and the beginning two months’ worth of 2017’s interviews on her website.

“Natacha Guyot is a French researcher, author and public speaker. She holds two Master’s degrees: Film and Media Studies (Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle) and Digital Culture and Technology (King’s College London). Her main fields of interest are Science-fiction, Gender Studies, Children’s Media and Fan Studies. Besides her nonfiction work, she also writes Science-Fiction and Fantasy stories.”

#bookreview guidelines, updated

#bookreview guidelines, updated

bookreviews_logo

Hi, #Author,

Your book sounds interesting, but I don’t have a lot of time or interest in most reviewing activities and I am very picky. Review the below carefully.

I might be interested in reading and reviewing your novel, if your novel:
— has NO graphic or, if it has violence, it is mostly “offstage” and not often repeated (no serial killing plots)
— there are a minimum of plot-reduction devices (fights, car chases, bomb blasts, etc.)
— the character development and plot devices are good to excellent
— has no raping
— has no torture
— has no BDSM scenes
— has no romanticizing helpless women
— has no gratuitous or abusive (even if “consensual”) sex, strip clubs, boxing, mixed martial arts, car races, motorcycle races, circuses or rodeos or other such settings/activities, for “atmosphere”
— has no human trafficking
— has no mutilation of animals or people
— has no child predators
— has non-plot-advancing violence
— does not have your trying to get “inside” the mind of the villain and writing in his/her “voice”
— has any Middle Eastern, Russian or other stereotyped ethnic villains.

I AM NOT A PRUDE, and not a censor. It’s that I now consider the aforementioned to be boring and lazy writing as well as disrespectful and hate-mongering and /or these elements give me bad dreams.

If your book fits my criteria, then one final note: I cannot read a PDF on my Kindle (I can’t enlarge that document’s font size and it is always about 6-pt, for some reason). The document has to be in a .mobi format.

Finally, I only submit honest reviews. If your book is truly horrible or has severe editing problems, I may email you after reading a few chapters and ask if you want me to continue or not, since that would definitely earn it only 1 or 2 stars, at best. I do not post DNF “reviews” unless the author refuses to respond to that question in an email within 2 weeks.

So, let me know.

Best to you,

Sally

Sally Ember, Ed.D.
http://www.sallyember.com

Reblogging: A Harvard linguist [Steven Pinker] reveals the most misused words in English

A Harvard linguist [Steven Pinker] reveals the most misused words in English
from INC., by Jessica Stillman, Inc., Dec. 17, 2015

An excellent list for writers/authors, readers, speakers, anyone who loves English and wants to use it correctly. Thanks, Jessica and Steven!

http://www.businessinsider.com/a-harvard-linguist-reveals-the-most-misused-words-in-english-2015-12

TONIGHT! Nov. 17, 6 – 8 PM: Local Author Open House for Over 100 Authors! near St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Local Author Open House for Over 100 Authors!
TONIGHT! November 17 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Spencer Road Branch of the St. Charles Public Library, 427 Spencer Road, St. Peters, MO 63376
(near St. Louis, Missouri, USA)

local-authors-st-charles-library-upper-part-of-flyer-2016

Many prizes, discounts, free and low-priced books and coupons for ebooks, just in time for your holiday shopping! I know it’s on a weeknight, but it’s early enough that you can come and still get home in time for evening activities!

We eat local, we shop local, so let’s read local! Don’t miss the St. Charles City-County Library District’s Local Author Open House. At this one-of-a-kind event, more than 100 local authors will be gathered in one place to sell and autograph their books, and to talk to visitors about how they got their start.

The 2016 Local Author Open House, now in its 8th year, is being held on Thursday, November 17 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Spencer Road Branch, 427 Spencer Road, St. Peters, MO 63376.

“This gathering of so many local authors in one place, is an event that you will not find anywhere else in the area,” said St. Charles City-County Library District Adult Services Manager Sara Nielsen. “We are excited to be able to help people discover the many authors that live right here in our own community.”

The St. Charles City-County Library District offers a special collection that features the work of local authors. This collection is housed at the Middendorf-Kredell Branch, or you can browse and reserve a title online.

To access the collection online, go to http://www.youranswerplace.org/specialservices and select “Local Author Collection.”

Refreshments will be provided, and attendance prizes will be given out.

Register online at youranswerplace.org or call the Spencer Road Branch at 636-441-0522.

Participating authors include:
of course, Sally Ember, Ed.D.This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, Volume III, and Volumes I and II of The Spanners Series, with special discounts to attendees for purchases at or via the Fair: visit my table! Or, visit http://www.sallyember.com/Spanners for book trailers, discount coupons, blurbs, covers and more!

3-paperbacks

and

Debbie Manber KupferP.A.W.S. former guest on my video talk show, Episode 27! Watch conversations with my previous CHANGES conversations between authors’ guests any time: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPbfKicwk4dFdeVSAY1tfhtjaEY_clmfq Learn more about and get yourself or recommend someone to be scheduled as a guest: https://sallyember.com/changes-videocasts-by-sally-ember-ed-d/

and

Fedora Amis – Mayhem at Buffalo Bill’s Wild West
Peggy Archer – Name That Dog! Puppy Poems from A to Z
Linda Austin – Battlefield Doc: Memoirs of a Korean War Combat Medic
Bradley Bates – Trinity
Jessica Marie Baumgartner – Embracing Entropy
Stephanie Bearce – Stan Musial
Jenny Beilsmith – The Change: Insights into Self-Empowerment
Chris Bostic – Savage Hills
John Bryant – Something of an Ordinary Life
Marvin Byrd – Make it Plain – Keys to being a successful high school student
Lynn Cahoon – A Story to Kill
Ann Chandonnet – Barn Raisings and Cemetery Cleanings: Frolics, Bees & Other Old Time Occasions for Good Food
Steven Clark – The Saint Louisans
Brad R. Cook – Iron Zulu, book II of The Iron Chronicles
Victoria Cosner – Missouri’s Mad Doctor McDowell: Confederates, Cadavers and Macabre Medicine
Liz Costanzo-Morrison – Flashback
James Creighton – Shark Bait: The “Misadventures” of an Oceanic Ferry Pilot
Suzanne DeWitt Hall – Rumplepimple
Eileen P. Duggan – The Not-Ready-for-Juilliard Players
Donna Duly Volkenannt – Chicken Soup for the Soul, Angels and Miracles
Jeanne Felfe – The Art of Healing – A Novel
T.W. Fendley – The Labyrinth of Time
Kristen Flood – Seeking Incandescence
William Flowers – William Flowers: Reflections Upon My First 3 Decades
Bridget Fogarty – Where My Heart Has Always Been
Cherita Ford – Leo, A Different World
Shyona Gaines – Broken
Marcia Gaye – Times They Were a’Changing
Lindsey Gendke – Ending the Pain: A True Story of Overcoming Depression
Linda Gilman – The Suffragette Takes a Husband
Judith Golightly – Billy’s Story – Every Parent’s Nightmare – The Loss of a Child
Ellen Harlie – Through Hell and out the other side
C.S. Hart – WindStone: The Secrets Within
Ann Hazelwood – Josephine’s Guest House Quilt
Judith Hennessey – First Rodeo
Mark Henrikson – Origins: Discovery
Michael Henry, Ph.D. – Ghosts of St. Charles
Bonney Hogue Patterson – The Devil Came to Town and the Angels Followed
Emily Humpherys – The Dark Ferret Society
D.L. Jenkinson – Faraway
Lisa Kelly – Echoes From the End Zone: The Men We Became
Valerie Battle Kienzle – What ‘s With St. Louis?
Robert Lampros – Intended Consequences
Louis Launer – Townies’ Turn: Molly’s Challenge
Lyssa Layne – My Calling
Dee Livers – Eva and Boo at the St. Louis Zoo
Terri Luckey – Kayndo Ring of Defense
Marita Malone – My Mother My Daughter: A Memoir
Ross Malone – Missouri’s Forgotten Heroes
Amalyn Martin – Max and Mila at the Beach
Jim Merkel – The Colorful Characters of St. Louis
Bryce Meyer – Of Oceans and Rivers, Fishes and Whales II
C. David Milles – Legacy
Sheree and Russell Nielsen – Folly Beach Dances
Jay Noel – Iron Warrior
Linda O’Connell – Chicken Soup, Living with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias
Chad Odom – The Last Archide: Warlord of Navarus Author’s Edition
Ellen Parker – Stare Down
Brian Peterson – Dragon’s Flight: Book III – Still Waters
Mark Pitts – The Good Shepherd and the Baaaad Sheep
Piper Punches – 60 Days
Robert Reason – SUCCESSFUL Sales People Listen To REASON
Rory Riddler – The Bitter Divide
Sioux Roslawski – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Be the Best You Can Be
Rebekah Ross – Nancy’s Numbers
Saturday WritersElements in Writing: Anthology #9
Tandy and Makenzie Schaller – Little Red Conquers Her Fear of Flying
Claudia Shelton – Slater’s Leverage
Angela Skurtu – Pre-Marital Counseling: A Guide for Clinicians
Christy Smith – Forever and Always
William Spradley – Cold Trail
Alaina Stanford – The Price of Magic, Hypnotic Journey Book 6
Jennifer Stolzer – Dog Park
Di Storm – YES SIR!
Doyle Suit – Baker Mountain
Izora Summers – Breaking the Silence from Shame: My Journey
Cleve Sylcox – Recluse – David Winter Mysteries
Steven Thomas – Aloha
Lugosi! Kimbra Townsend – My Neighbor’s a Real Turkey, Neighbor Series
Nancy Jo Van Hook – My Intimate Journey to Self
Pat Wahler – Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Gratitude
Ken Wheeler – Dead Spaces
Fred Wolf – Alexander the Good Dragon

10-22-16 is the last of three: Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) is sponsoring INDIE AUTHOR FRINGE 2016 – for Authors, by Authors

Alliance of Independent Authors has sponsored two INDIE AUTHOR FRINGE 2016 – for Authors, by Authors which occurred on April 15 and May 14. The third and final occurs October 22, 2016

[All Info and logos, below, are from Alli‘s page and emails in March and September from Orna Ross]

Alli logo

Alli is hosting three, one-day, online events, as fringe options to the three main global publishing events of the year: London Book Fair, Book Expo America and Frankfurt Book Fair.

http://selfpublishingadvice.org/indie-author-fringe-fair-2016/

Each Indie Author Fringe event is an FREE ONLINE AUTHOR CONFERENCE, offering expertise and experience from indies and self-publishing services around the globe.​
Register here: https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/86364

Third event starts on October 22 at 10 AM Frankfurt Time.

Yes, it’s Indie Author Fringe time again. Our next — third and final — online conference of the year will be on Saturday 22nd October, for the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Its theme is Running an Indie Author Business, and again, we’re lining up a roster of world-class speakers who’ll be sharing their experience and expertise to help you turn your creative endeavors into an enterprise that delivers commercial satisfaction too.

Whether you’re trying to decide if you’re ready to launch your author business or you’re already up and running and need guidance to streamline or improve, our conference will answer all your questions and save you time, money and effort as you go.

Speaker Update

6 weeks to our speakers and their sessions. View the speaker line-up here
http://selfpublishingadvice.org/fbf-indie-author-fringe-2016-speakers/

Launch of the Best Website Competition

The focus of our competition this time is Best Websites for Indie Authors. What website would you recommend as a resource to another indie? A panel of judges will review all entries and the Winner will be recognized and awarded by ALLi. You can submit your own website, or somebody else’s. Please check the submission guidelines.
http://selfpublishingadvice.org/indie-author-fringe-fair-2016/fbf16-website-competition-submission/

Your Free Book

alli-free-book-2016

And, don’t forget to download your free copy of Opening up to Indie Authors. All Fringe delegates receive this free ebook, which tells you how to get your book into book stores, literary festivals, libraries and wherever good books are found. Use this link to get your free ebook: http://dl.bookfunnel.com/4c4f35haln

HOT OFF THE PRESS

In Celebration of Ingram Spark‘s Gold sponsorship at Indie Author Fringe, they are offering the following:
—All setup costs waived on new titles
—Setup your existing paperback titles in hardback for no additional cost
—Visit their sponsor page for more information
—Enter INDIEFRINGE16 as the Promo code when setting up your title.

Ingram Spark‘s Offer: TERMS & CONDITIONS

Offer valid September 8th to November 30th, 2016
Applies to all printing options
Both print and ebook setup fees will be waived

About The Alliance of Independent Authors
(ALLi, pronounced “ally”) is a global, nonprofit association for writers who self-publish. Read about the benefits of becoming an ALLi member.

WHAT TO EXPECT

—24-hours of advice and expertise, conversations and connections.

How Does a Virtual Conference Work?

As each hour ticks by on October 22, we’ll publish a new Session on our Event Home Page.

Our first Indie Author Fringe primarily focused on “How To Create a Better Book,” though we have sessions on selling and marketing in each Conference. Different sessions are aimed at beginner, intermediate and advanced level, so no matter where you are as an indie author, you’ll find something for you.​

Indie Author Fringe FAQ

What is Indie Author Fringe?

Indie Author Fringe (formerly known as IndieReCon) offers FREE ONLINE DAY CONFERENCES for authors interested in self-publishing, alongside three of the biggest publishing fairs.

How many Indie Author Fringe events are you hosting in 2016?

We have held two already and now will be having our third of three online international events in 2016:
Frankfurt Book Fair (19th-23rd October 2016) – Our Indie Author Fringe event will be on October 22nd

London Book Fair (April 12th-14th 2016) – Our Indie Author Fringe event was on April 15th

Book Expo America (May 11th-13th 2016) – Our Indie Author Fringe event was on May 14th

What does Indie Author Fringe Offer?

We offer the best self-publishing advice and education for indie authors across the world — using the global reach of the ALLi</strong> network.

How much does it cost to attend Indie Author Fringe?

We are (and always will be) run by authors for authors, so it’s all free!

What Indie Author topics will your cover?

Over the course of the year, our online conference events will take authors through the entire indie author journey, from writing to promotion and beyond. Each event will offer 24 hours of non-stop advice and inspiration, organized around key self-publishing topics.

What I got from The Schrödinger Sessions II: Physics for Science-Fiction Writers, Sixth Installment (FINAL)

What I got from The Schrödinger Sessions II: Physics for Science-Fiction Writers, Sixth Installment (FINAL)
JULY 28, 2016 to JULY 30, 2016

jqi-logo
http://jqi.umd.edu/Schrodinger-sessions-II

I have over thirty pages of notes and comments. Not going to put them all in one post, so here is the sixth and FINAL installment. Look for others starting August 8, 2016: http://www.sallyember.com/blog

For any terms or concepts I don’t define or which I define poorly, please refer to: http://www.physicsoftheuniverse.com/glossary.html

I don’t have any more than what I’m posting, here. Physicists: please add, comment, correct, elaborate, explain! Thanks!

NOTE: the superscripted and subscripted numbers and letters won’t copy/paste correctly here; sorry.


Session XV, Chad Orzel, Ph.D.
Quantum Applications

A. “Photons are their own anti-particles” Does that mean they are their own “worst enemies”?

B. 10 to the 120th power Dark Energy pushes things apart, which means “empty space” expands and “empty” isn’t “empty.”

C. Matter waves as opposed to gravitational waves or electromagnetic waves or light waves

D. intrinsic spin

E. because of Quantum Physics applications (specifically, supercooling), we have GPS satellites guiding us by triangulation of time, location and three readings

F. 1 foot per nanosecond is the speed of light in American measurement

G. atoms can act like frequency references or time references

H. Cesium‘s behavior (is heavy and moves slowly, was abundant and easy to detect in the 1950s) was used to create measures of time

I. time is defined by how long a second is, which is the number of oscillations in a microwave in the transition between two spin states of Cesium (see H, above) = 9,192,631,720

J. Foundation Clock in which cold atoms launched UP through a microwave cavity (atoms are laser cooled /supercooled)

K. Dopler shift is low when atoms are moving slowly (because cold)

L. Optical lattice clocks use Strontium

M. Relational Geodesy recognizes the local variations in Earth (or any orb)

N. better living at lower elevations: our hearts beat more slowly and we age more slowly than those at higher elevations (Einstein’s Relativity application)

O. Earth is slowing down in its orbit and rotation, both, adding leap seconds periodically to the standard time setting for the atomic clock

P. interstellar navigation clocks won’t match Earth’s, which can cause problems, but traveling at light or Faster-Than-Light (FTL) speeds causes more problems(for sci-fi writers, here)

Q. Fine Structure Constant (FSC) determines the strength of electromagnetism “energies of atomic states,” “energies of electron orbits” in neutrons or energies
= about 1/37 = α
AKA Sommerfeld’s constant = α

R. Fine = Formula 1
Hyperfine = Formula 2

S. exotic physics changes (alpha, or α)

T. Astronomical Constraints absorption of emission lines from far away, moving away from ours = redshifted

U. Australian Dipole
when the FSC is smaller in the past, going toward “west”
when the FSC is larger in the past, going toward “east”

V. Dimensionless number

Formula FSC is α = 1/4πEsubscript0 * e squared/ħc which is about 1/137 OR 4πεsubscript0 * ħcα = e squared

FMI: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-structure_constant

where c = the speed of light
ħ = h/2π
h = Planck’s constant
E zero subscript = electric constant = permittivity of free space;
e = electromagnetic coupling constant

W. “each multiverse could have slightly different FSCs because the size of atoms could vary”!

X. anthropic principle = “we” all wouldn’t be “here” if not for the fact that the FSC “here” is 1/137

Y. Do ice skaters in spins create a magnetic field?

Z. electrons aren’t actually “orbiting” or “spinning,” but seem to be and therefore, can be measured by their angular momentum and the magnetic fields they create

A’. spin = 1/2 when there is “odd” behavior under rotation
= spin up when it rotates 360 degrees, which does not take it back to the start, though (-1 rotation)
= spin down which then rotates it another 360 degrees and DOES bring it back to the starting position (2 rotations)
Change in spin occurs when a particle is bombarded with light or emits light

B’. Pauli Exclusion Principle = no two electrons (fermions) can be in the exact same state, which explains the Periodic Table of all elements, each with its unique position
Chemical bonds determine if some element is a “conductor” or “insulator” as a solid object or liquid or gas

C’. state of electron in a small area or in the same quantum system = the location + charge
every electron is in a wavefunction in this universe; if one changes, ALL of them change (“imperceptibly”)

D’. When the wavelength is about the same distance as the distance between electrons, changing one changes all “perceptibly”

E’. Spooky Action at a Distance, George Masser;
Black Hole Blues, Janna Levin (2016)

Session XVI, Bill Phillips, Ph.D., NIST, LIGO & JQI, Nobel Prize Winner (one of three on team), 1997, for invention of laser cooling techniques still used today
Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics

A. meter = a measurement based on the amount of space light can travel in certain amount of time (about 39 inches)

B. quantum measurement

C. wave-particle duality

D. Alan Aspect (pronounced as a French name, “au” at the end) proved that QM (Quantum Mechanics) is as weird as we have heard it is.

E. Local Reality says that nothing exists independently of a measurement (John/Bill’s inequality)

F. “think globally” = nonlocality comprehension

G. “real” is what we call objective reality, in which something has properties that are knowable prior to measurement

H. “extra stuff” are all the hidden variables of existence

I. “reality is deterministic”

J. most physicists would “give up” “reality” if a forced choice between that and “locality” were to be made

K. “photography ‘traps’ a moment”

L. our microscopic world, as measured, doesn’t conform to perceptions of our macroscopic world: why?

M. Hugh Everett (1958) posited that “relative states” lead us to understand that there are “many worlds” in 1968 and the multiverse in the 1970s.

N. decoherence means we can’t detect other outcomes in the multiverse, only the ones we can observe directly (measure)

O. John Kramer’s sci-fi books used “transactional” interpretations, showing that waves go back & forwards in time

P. decoherence says that we lose our ability to know how something is moving because there are too many factors and entanglements (things go from QM to classical probability)

Q. Block Vector

R. Absolute value is written with straight lines before and after a number to show that it is positive or negative, but still retains that number’s value (e.g., the Absolute Value of -1 or 1 is 1).

S. “most of physics’ definitions are in a relation to humans”: what we can know, measure, understand, observe vs. actual (objective) entities, qualities, truths, that are “independent of human interaction”

T. “all we have is knowledge of the systems, not the actual data of the systems’ existence”

U. a quantum measurement occurs when something sufficiently complicated encounters the object or event and it has an irreversible effect by becoming entangled

V. cavity —— atom
photon (which can go either way)

W. “the size of a system is inversely proportional to its reversibility”: the larger the system, the less reversible any effects are

X. quantum “back-action”

Y. 2012 Nobel prize involved experiments on single atoms and single photons (not in pairs or groups)

Z. we can’t have a classical physics world/universe

A’. we can’t have a non-quantum world, either

B’. Faster-Than-Light (FTL) travel creates causality problems and affects many other beings, events and circumstances (for sci-fi writers, FYI)

C’. special relativity = before and after are constructs, and therefore, no causality can ever occur


END OF ALL Sessions


See below for more information about The Schrödinger Sessions.

Who was in charge?
Coordinators:
Chad Orzel, Union College
Emily Edwards, JQI
Steve Rolston, JQI

Organizing Institutions
Joint Quantum Institute (JQI)
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Sponsoring Institutions
This workshop was made possible by a Public Outreach and Informing the Public grant from the American Physical Society (APS) and support from the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Location
Joint Quantum Institute
2136 Physical Sciences Complex
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
USA

How did I get to go?
I applied in March and was accepted in April!

The Schrödinger Sessions II was the second of two (first was 2015) three-day (2.5 days, really) sets of seminars, Physics for Science-Fiction Writers, offering a “crash course” in modern physics for non-scientists who utilize physics and other sciences in our work and wish to do it better. It was held at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), one of the world’s leading research centers for the study of quantum mechanics. [The organizers kept their promises to] introduce participants to phenomena like superposition, entanglement, and quantum information through a series of lectures by JQI and NIST scientists and tours of JQI laboratories. [They most certainly DID] inform and inspire new stories [and sharing information, like this] in print, on screen, and in electronic media, that will in turn inspire a broad audience to learn more about the weird and fascinating science of quantum physics and the transformative technologies it enables.

The workshop was held at JQI from Thursday, July 28 through Saturday, July 30, 2016. Participants were housed locally at a university dorm with breakfast offered at a dining commons near the dorm and lunch provided at the workshop, which was at the Physical Sciences building. Evenings were free to allow participants to explore the Washington, D.C. area (but I was much too tired at each day’s end to do any exploring).

Participants were selected on the basis of an application asking about personal background, interest, and publication history. [Organizers worked] work to ensure the greatest possible diversity of race and gender as well as type of media (print, television, etc.) with an eye toward reaching the broadest audience. Applications were accepted online from March 1 through March 20, 2015, and acceptance decisions were made around April 15, 2015.

FYI: Next year, 2017, JQI plans to offer a similar seminar for a different professoinal group, Physics for Journalists, and then, pending funding, re-offer this same session as I attended, Physics for Sci-Fi Writers, in the summer of 2018.

Watch this space for more of my notes, reactions and ideas catalyzed by these great seminars, after 8/8/16! http://www.sallyember.com/blog

What I got from The Schrödinger Sessions II: Physics for Science-Fiction Writers, Fifth Installment

What I got from The Schrödinger Sessions II: Physics for Science-Fiction Writers, Fifth Installment
JULY 28, 2016 to JULY 30, 2016

jqi-logo
http://jqi.umd.edu/Schrodinger-sessions-II

I have over thirty pages of notes and comments. Not going to put them all in one post, so here is the fifth installment. Look for others starting August 8, 2016: http://www.sallyember.com/blog

For any terms or concepts I don’t define or which I define poorly, please refer to: http://www.physicsoftheuniverse.com/glossary.html

I don’t have any more than what I’m posting, here. Physicists: please add, comment, correct, elaborate, explain! Thanks!

NOTE: the superscripted and subscripted numbers and letters won’t copy/paste correctly here; sorry.


Session XII, Professor Fred Wellstood, Ph.D.
Superconductivity and Nanophysics

A. zero resistance, persistent currents, flux quantization, Meissner effect, penetration depth, critical field, magnetic levitation to be covered, here

B. zero resistance to electric current

C. persistent currents Faraday’s Law = changing magnetic flux causes voltage (current)

D. Lenz’s Law = current generates a field that opposes changes in the applied field

E. “trapped current never decays if kept cold”

F. MRIs have superconducting magnets

G. flux quantization quantum flux flattens out the waves because the flux is “quantized” when trapped current produces a trapped magnetic field which creates the flux quantum integer

H. flux = inductant x current

I. perfect conductors do exist

J. Meissner effect = expulsion of the magnetic field because it is cooled and becomes perfect diamagnetism

K. London penetration depth = the surface current keeps the magnetic field on the surface

L. magnetic levitation they did several demos of this with magnets and supercooled substances that kept the magnets floating around, going around on a kind of marbles’ maze track, but above it

M. magnetic fields can be too small or too strong/have too large of a magnetic field, and then they are no longer superconductors

N. several types of superconductors exist

O. Type 1 superconductor is the most commonly used
Type 2 superconductor is the most commonly found

P. Type 2 superconductors can get their magnetic fields “trapped” inside and hang suspended and fly around the rollercoaster of the magnets (saw demos!)

Q. Absolute Zero = -459◦F

R. H2S is Hydrogen DiSulfide
H3S is Hydrogen TriSulfide
both are superconductors

S. Columb repulsion electrons repel other electrons and attract positive ionic lattice (crystalline). The lattice stretches and becomes composed of phonons

T. another electron travels close to the lattice (see above) because it is attracted by a free electron‘s positive charge in the lattice (the stretched phonons) and so it “pairs up” with that electron

Session XIII: Steve Eckel, Ph.D. NIST & JQI

A. cold/ultracold neutral atoms

B. did demos with liquid Nitrogen (ultracold)

C. dry ice is about -100◦F (made of CO2)
liquid Nitrogen is about -300◦F, or 77◦K

D. Absolute Zero is 0◦C
room temperature is usually around 300◦K

E. outer space is about 1◦K

F. the Joint Quantum Institute‘s labs have materials kept (through laser cooling) at about 10 to the -100 billions of 0◦K

G. laser cooling technology is what three professors here won the Nobel Prize for (one is presenting later in these seminars)

H. e = the excited state
g = the ground state
of an atom’s energy

I. evaporative cooling is the technique used

J. inertial navigation

K. GPS devices will have clocks that use cold atoms, soon

L. “atomic” clocks already do (see K, above)

M. atom laser is the same as a photon laser in that both have a monochromatic phase with coherent emissions

N. interfering laser beams can create crystalline lattices to simulate quantum problems

O. chirality = the direction current is flowing in a spiral (4 types of chirality: down, counter-clockwise; up, counter-clockwise; down, clockwise; up, clockwise)

P. the number of spiral arms is the winding number of superfluidity substance/atoms

Session XIV, Raban Sundrom, Ph.D.
Theoretical Physics

A. Photon vs. phonon
when discussing gravitational waves, which are they?
GW have to be photons because they are traveling through no medium (outer space)

B. didn’t discuss wormholes (but I wished that someone had!)

C. massless neutrinos also travel at the speed of light

D. magnetic statics are at an equilibrium because of the reliability of waves of electromagneticism as slower than the speed of light

E. “dancing” electromagnetic waves

F. without time, “physics is merely space and locations of objects,” statically

G. dynamics means that things change, can be predicted and retroactively understood because of time
if we add the square root of negative 1 (an imaginary number, i) to time, all the physics equations suddenly “work”!!

H. a medium exists if the particles/waves possess observable/measurable rest frame. If “yes,” then “yes.”

I. anti-matter must exist as a corollary of quantum mechanics and relativity; quantum vacuum
a worldline oi a body’s locations over time, which can be observed by measuring /connecting “dots” and then collect all the worldlines as its “history” (e.g., an object starts somewhere at 9 AM; go to 5 PM; show every location for that object in each minute, then connect those dots into one “line” = that object’s day’s worldline)

J. if we do that with matter and then show that anti-matter meets up with the matter again at 9 AM by “time-traveling,” that is the object’s annihilation point, when the past “self” meets up with the future “self” and they collide

K. energy cost is represented by Einstein’s General Relativity equation E = mc2 (squared) where E is energy, m is mass and c is the speed of light, squared.

L. positron is an electron with positive charge because it goes backward in time (!?!)

M. bariogenesis (“heavy starts”) is posited to be the origin of matter

N. quantum vacuum: photons are their own anti-particles, but positrons and electrons are the lightest mass anti-matter/matter pair that exists (briefly) and shows that space isn’t “empty”

O. [I had to leave at this point….He continued for about one more hour. Anyone have notes?]


END OF DAY TWO


See below for more information about The Schrödinger Sessions.

Who was in charge?
Coordinators:
Chad Orzel, Union College
Emily Edwards, JQI
Steve Rolston, JQI

Organizing Institutions
Joint Quantum Institute (JQI)
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Sponsoring Institutions
This workshop was made possible by a Public Outreach and Informing the Public grant from the American Physical Society (APS) and support from the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Location
Joint Quantum Institute
2136 Physical Sciences Complex
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
USA

How did I get to go?
I applied in March and was accepted in April!

The Schrödinger Sessions II was the second of two (first was 2015) three-day (2.5 days, really) sets of seminars, Physics for Science-Fiction Writers, offering a “crash course” in modern physics for non-scientists who utilize physics and other sciences in our work and wish to do it better. It was held at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), one of the world’s leading research centers for the study of quantum mechanics. [The organizers kept their promises to] introduce participants to phenomena like superposition, entanglement, and quantum information through a series of lectures by JQI and NIST scientists and tours of JQI laboratories. [They most certainly DID] inform and inspire new stories [and sharing information, like this] in print, on screen, and in electronic media, that will in turn inspire a broad audience to learn more about the weird and fascinating science of quantum physics and the transformative technologies it enables.

The workshop was held at JQI from Thursday, July 28 through Saturday, July 30, 2016. Participants were housed locally at a university dorm with breakfast offered at a dining commons near the dorm and lunch provided at the workshop, which was at the Physical Sciences building. Evenings were free to allow participants to explore the Washington, D.C. area (but I was much too tired at each day’s end to do any exploring).

Participants were selected on the basis of an application asking about personal background, interest, and publication history. [Organizers worked] work to ensure the greatest possible diversity of race and gender as well as type of media (print, television, etc.) with an eye toward reaching the broadest audience. Applications were accepted online from March 1 through March 20, 2015, and acceptance decisions were made around April 15, 2015.

FYI: Next year, 2017, JQI plans to offer a similar seminar for a different professoinal group, Physics for Journalists, and then, pending funding, re-offer this same session as I attended, Physics for Sci-Fi Writers, in the summer of 2018.

Watch this space for more of my notes, reactions and ideas catalyzed by these great seminars, after 8/8/16! http://www.sallyember.com/blog

What I got from The Schrödinger Sessions II: Physics for Science -Fiction Writers, First Installment

What I got from The Schrödinger Sessions II: Physics for Science-Fiction Writers, First Installment
JULY 28, 2016 to JULY 30, 2016

jqi-logo
http://jqi.umd.edu/Schrodinger-sessions-II

I have over thirty pages of notes and comments. Not going to put them all in one post, so here is the first installment.

For any terms or concepts I don’t define or which I define poorly, please refer to: http://www.physicsoftheuniverse.com/glossary.html

I don’t have any more than what I’m posting, here. Physicists: please add, comment, correct, elaborate, explain! Thanks!

NOTE: the superscripted and subscripted numbers and letters won’t copy/paste correctly here; sorry.


Session I, Professor Steve Rolston, Ph.D.

A. Measuring diameter by diffraction
the smaller the diameter of the hair, the greater the distance from the hair to each point of diffraction, and therefore, light is a wave

B. electrons eject from light and become collectible as charged particles when light bounces off a hard (metallic) surface, becoming photoelectric or photovoltaic

light color shows the frequency, so “yes” = blue”; “no” = red

materials also cause variations in the number of electrons emitted, so light is particles/ photons (corpuscles, in old language)

C. frequency = the inverse of wavelength

Planck’s constant is usually written as “h,” but if the reference/formula already includes h/2π, then the “h” represents that and gets a diagonal bar across its stem, “ħ” and is called “h bar

FORMULA: 6.626 * 10-34 m2 kg/s = h
(VERY SMALL number)

this refers to frequency at varying temperatures

E. a micron = 1 millionth of a meter; a human hair is about 30 – 80 microns in width

F. Lasers are usually emitting a single color of light at 10K watts, brightly focused
an incandescent light bulb is emitting about 100 watts and many colors, so this is called incoherent light

G. photons could be interacting but physicists can’t measure, observe or predict any of their interactions (yet), so physicists say that photons “do not interact”

Session II, Professor Chad Orzel, Ph.D.

A. http://dogphysics.com = his website
he handed out diffraction slides (grading)

B. Energy per photon depends on frequency

FORMULA: E*photon = hv

C. Particles have wave nature (atoms, molecules, photons, electrons, neutrons, positrons)

D. Excited gases are heated or electrified to move more quickly

E. every element emits and absorbs light uniquely, which is one way to identify them, even when they are isotopes (missing one or more electrons, and therefore “charged ions”)

F. there is a simple mathematical pattern to all light on the known spectrum (each color makes discrete “lines”)

G. Rutherford effect: scattering/deflecting pattern, “back-scattering,” occurs when using “alpha” particles, e.g., heavy atomic particles
light atomic particles, e.g., nucleus of Helium, do not have this

H. Use the Planck constant to explain energy differences between frequencies of light

FORMULA: hf = E1 – E2

I. mass (m) * velocity (v) = linear momentum

J. angular momentum = spinning or orbiting

FORMULA: MeVeR = n * h/2π

R = orbit; n = an integer; M = mass

K. electrons emit X-rays

L. wavelength, from de Broglie, λ = an object and this formula shows how to calculate its angular momentum

FORMULA: λ = h/p

M. Electron waves = the way electrons wrap around the atom’s orbital pattern

N. Standing waves = peaks and valleys of or a bit that is repeated and fixed, from start = finish
if number of peaks are high enough, then these can create a pattern

O. stringed instruments’ pitch is created by the frequency of standing waves, and are adjusted by changing the start or finish point (loosening or tightening one end of the string’s attachment pin)

P. electrons as particles behave as waves when there are high enough numbers create a pattern

Q. random numbers can be generated/derived from background radiation, which are the decay patterns of the atomic isotopes

R. molecules behave like waves, as do all other particles, even those without mass
electrons, protons and neutrons have mass
photons have no mass and always move at the speed of light (c)

S. Stanford University has an interferomoter

T. bigger objects have smaller wavelengths (a dog running has wavelengths to its running pattern of about 10-35

U. wavelength graphs become blobs because peaks of waves are touching on the paper/surface we use to show them

V. everything physical vibrates/oscillates

W. even when separated by ½ a meter , very large atoms resume wave behavior when reunited (there is no permanent divorce possible within an atom’s parts)


See below for more information about The Schrödinger Sessions.

Who was in charge?
Coordinators:
Chad Orzel, Union College
Emily Edwards, JQI
Steve Rolston, JQI

Organizing Institutions
Joint Quantum Institute (JQI)
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Sponsoring Institutions
This workshop was made possible by a Public Outreach and Informing the Public grant from the American Physical Society (APS) and support from the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Location
Joint Quantum Institute
2136 Physical Sciences Complex
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
USA

How did I get to go?
I applied in March and was accepted in April!

The Schrödinger Sessions II was the second of two (first was 2015) three-day (2.5 days, really) sets of seminars, Physics for Science-Fiction Writers, offering a “crash course” in modern physics for non-scientists who utilize physics and other sciences in our work and wish to do it better. It was held at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), one of the world’s leading research centers for the study of quantum mechanics. [The organizers kept their promises to] introduce participants to phenomena like superposition, entanglement, and quantum information through a series of lectures by JQI and NIST scientists and tours of JQI laboratories. [They most certainly DID] inform and inspire new stories [and sharing information, like this] in print, on screen, and in electronic media, that will in turn inspire a broad audience to learn more about the weird and fascinating science of quantum physics and the transformative technologies it enables.

The workshop was held at JQI from Thursday, July 28 through Saturday, July 30, 2016. Participants were housed locally at a university dorm with breakfast offered at a dining commons near the dorm and lunch provided at the workshop, which was at the Physical Sciences building. Evenings were free to allow participants to explore the Washington, D.C. area (but I was much too tired at each day’s end to do any exploring).

Participants were selected on the basis of an application asking about personal background, interest, and publication history. [Organizers worked] work to ensure the greatest possible diversity of race and gender as well as type of media (print, television, etc.) with an eye toward reaching the broadest audience. Applications were accepted online from March 1 through March 20, 2015, and acceptance decisions were made around April 15, 2015.

FYI: Next year, 2017, JQI plans to offer a similar seminar for a different professoinal group, Physics for Journalists, and then, pending funding, re-offer this same session as I attended, Physics for Sci-Fi Writers, in the summer of 2018.

Watch this space for more of my notes, reactions and ideas catalyzed by these great seminars, after 8/8/16! http://www.sallyember.com/blog

Current Research in Speculative Fiction Liverpool, UK, (CRSF) Conference was June 27, 2016

Current Research in Speculative Fiction Liverpool, England, UK (CRSF) Conference was Monday, June 27, 2016, at the University of Liverpool!

CRSF logo

Here is their report:

CRSF 2016 Post-conference Report
Posted: 04 Jul 2016 05:26 AM PDT
The sixth annual Current Research in Speculative Fiction [CRSF] conference was held last week on Monday 27th June and was a great success.

As usual, the papers delivered were of a high quality and a diverse range of topics from D&D bestiaries to feminist utopia, ecological disaster to Harry Potter, medieval English horror to Japanese dystopian YA and far more besides. As usual huge thanks go to those who presented a paper: thank you for the enthusiasm with which you approached the task and for the hard work you did preparing for the conference, a conference – no matter how the organising goes – is nothing without its delegates.

CRSF 2016 represents a record year for number of delegates, with non-presenting delegates outnumbering presenters for the first time. This was in no small part thanks to the excellent Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) conference also held in Liverpool on the 28th-30th June, a number of whose delegates came along to see CRSF in action. There were, however, a number of non-presenting delegates, including former presenters from previous years, who made the trip to Liverpool especially to see CRSF, I cannot think of a better endorsement for the atmosphere and organisation of the conference than for those who have been before to want to come back, even if they’re no longer eligible to present.

In total we had fifty-six attendees and thirty papers presented, over three parallel streams, by delegates from institutions throughout the UK, as well as Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Finland, Spain, Russia, Israel, Canada, and the United States, among others.

Thank you to all who attended. Additional thanks to all those who engaged with the conference on social media. I’m a firm believer in the Twitter back channel for conferences, and CRSF performed ably in this regard too. If you’re not on Twitter and you want to (re)discover the tweet-by-tweet coverage of the conference it’s been conveniently archived on Storify here for you.

Thanks also to our wonderful keynote speakers: Dr. Caroline Edwards (Birkbeck University of London) and Dr. Pat Wheeler (University of Hertfordshire) who not only gave fascinating and insightful keynote lectures, but also attended numerous panels, asking insightful and constructive questions throughout, and offering many a kind and supportive word for delegates in the breaks and more informal moments of the conference. Caroline’s paper opened the conference and was entitled ‘”But there is still such beauty”: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction and Eco-Eschatological Time in the 21st-Century’, it took us through such post-apocalyptic novels as Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven and Maggie Gee’s The Flood, highlighting the pastoral beauty often found in these texts and the implications of that for our vision of the apocalypse and the future (if any) of humanity’s role on the Earth. Pat’s keynote was entitled ‘”She can’t love you, she’s just a machine’: Metal-fevered Boys and their Passion for New Eves’, which challenged how we should read gynoids in the twenty-first century: as either challenge or constriction to women’s agency.

Thanks as ever to the University of Liverpool staff who provided support both in the build up to, and during, the conference: the Rendall Building staff, and Filomena Saltao, the Administrator of the School of the Arts, and Siobhan Quinn. Thanks also to Andy Sawyer, academic librarian for the Science Fiction Foundation collection at the University of Liverpool’s Sydney Jones Library, for once again arranging for all delegates to receive free copies of Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction. Thanks also to the staff at Il Forno, our traditional restaurant of choice, who once again dealt with our large numbers with aplomb.

As always we welcome your feedback on CRSF 2016, all comments are useful and appreciated. Please leave a comment on our website’s post at http://currentresearchinspeculativefiction.blogspot.com, or e-mail them to us at crsf.team@gmail.com.

CRSF will return in 2017….

Glyn Morgan,
Molly Cobb,
Leimar Garcia-Siino,
Chris Pak

I wish I could have been there.

To refresh, if you missed my explanatory pre-conference post, read below:

CRSF is a postgraduate conference designed to promote the research of speculative fictions including, but not limited to, science fiction, fantasy and horror.

Our aim is to showcase some of the latest developments in this dynamic and evolving field, by providing a platform for the presentation of current research by postgraduates. The conference will also encourage the discussion of this research and the construction of crucial networks with fellow researchers.

The planned schedule was as follows:

9:00-9:30: Registration and Refreshments

9:30-10:30: Keynote Lecture #1: Dr Caroline Edwards,

“But there is still such beauty”: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction and Eco-Eschatological Time in the 21st-Century

10:30 -12:00: First Round of Panels

1.1: Press START to Play
Andrew Ferguson – Clipping Out of Bounds: Reading House of Leaves Through Portal

House_of_leaves

  • Britanny Kuhn – [Awaiting Title]
  • Ivaylo Shmilev – Oppression, Warfare and Transcultural Memory in the Complex Post- Apocalyptic Environments of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Game Series

    STALKER game image

1.2: Horrific Narratives
Travis Gasque – The New Cosmic Horror: A Genre Molded by Tabletop Roleplaying Games and Postmodern Horror
Matthew McCall – “My manez mynde to maddyng malte”: Tracing Horror in the Middle English Pearl

Pearl_Poet

  • Selena Middleton – Climate Collapse and the Uncontained Body in James Tiptree Jr.’s A Momentary Taste of Being

    Momentary taste (in the 1975 anthology, The New Atlantis and Other Novellas of Science-Fiction)

1.3: You’re Only Young Once
Lan Ma – Censorship and Resistance: Information Control in Japanese Dystopian Young Adult Fiction in the 21st Century
Alison Baker – Protocols for the education of young witches and wizards
Arunima Dey – The Grotesque in the Harry Potter Series

Potter box set

12:00 -13:00: Second Round of Panels

2.1: Beasts and Bestiaries
Rob O’Connor – “The History of All Hitherto-Existing Societies is the History of Monsters”: The Bestiary and the Depiction of Monsters as Social Commentary
Sandra Mänty – Representation and function of animals in the world of Harry Potter

Potter collection cover

2.2: The Greater Good
Maxine Gee – “If something stinks put a lid on it, don’t see it”: Self-censorship and the brave new world of Psycho Pass

Psycho Pass

  • Jonathan Ferguson – Crimes Against The Greater Good are Victimless Crimes?

2.3: Character Studies
Beata Gubacsi – Monstrous Transformations: Becoming posthuman through art in Vandermeer’s Ambergris novels

Ambergris 1

  • Matteo Barbagallo – Do we have a deal? Petyr Baelish, Varys, Rumpelstiltskin and their role as Doppelganger

13:00 -13:45: Lunch Break

13:45 -14:45: Keynote Lecture #2: Dr Patricia Wheeler

“She can’t love you, she’s just a machine”: Metal-fevered Boys and their Passion for New Eves

14:45 -16:15: Third Round of Panels

3.1: Revenge of the Film
Pablo Gómez Muñoz – Greening Apocalypse: Eco-Conscious Disaster in Twenty-First Century Science-Fiction Cinema
Josephine Swarbrick – Monstrous Men and Masculine Monsters: Gender and the Cyborg in Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop (1987) and José Padilha’s Robocop (2014)

Robocop

  • David Contreras – Gothic Surrealism in Mexican Cyberpunk Short Film: The Borderlands Strike Back

3.2: Theoretically Speaking
Jo Lindsay Walton – The Dystopian Glimpse
Artem Zubov – Science-fiction studies and genre theory
Pascal Lemaire – Fans of history first, fans of S-F more distantly ? Alternate History as a form of History’s fan fiction

3.3: Tell Me a Tale
Kanta Dihal – Science and Religion in Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials

Wrinkle coverPullman box set

  • Rina Jean Baroukh – “Your Light Has Come” : Fantasy and Reality in Shimon Adaf’s Sunburnt Faces

    Sunburnt faces cover

  • Laura-Marie von Czarnowsky – Re-Defining the Bildungsroman: Traumatic Journeys as a Trend in Contemporary Fantasy Fiction

16:15 -16:30: Refreshment Break [YES: English Tea Time!]

16:30 -18:00: Fourth Round of Panels

4.1: Perceptions of the Female Self
Sonya Dyer – aPOCalypso: Janelle Monae and (Science) Fictional Black Feminisms
Sarah Lohmann – “Solar Loyalties”: The Utopian Ethics of Posthumanism in Naomi Mitchison’s Memoirs of a Spacewoman

Spacewoman cover

  • Mylène Branco – The Construction of the Female Self in L.P. Hartley’s Facial Justice

    Facial cover

4.2: Alternate Beings
Tom Kewin – ‘A Society of Screens’: The State of Digital Surveillance and the Repercussions for the Humanist Subject
Mattia Petricola – From mesmeric trance to living avatars: Rethinking consciousness and death after Mr. Valdemar

Valdemar

4.3: Dystopian Time, Resurgent Space
Gabrielle Bunn – Future Ruins: The intersection of nature and culture in the post-apocalyptic landscape of J. G. Ballard’s The Drowned World (1962)

Drowned cover

  • Hollie Johnson – Anarchy, Nostalgia, and Resistance: The Role of Nature in We, Brave New World, Nineteen Eighty-Four

    We cover1984

  • Thomas Connolly – “There was a thing called Heaven”: The end of time in Huxley’s Brave New World

    Brave New World cover

18.00 -19.00: Post-Conference Wine Reception and Official Conference Group Photo

Download a PDF of the entire schedule here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4DNnD_AmJQmeWdEREJfemd1YWs/view

Want to present or attend next year? The “Call for Papers” usually occurs in early December for the following June’s annual conference. Check out past conferences/calls and get more information here and visit their
website: http://currentresearchinspeculativefiction.blogspot.com/
or contact their team (the team members’ list has not been recently updated, yet: CRSF.team@gmail.com and follow their Tweets: ‎@CRSFteam

Their website is not very “interesting,” IMHO, but the topics ARE. Here is a sampling of Q & A from their FAQs…

FAQ

What is CRSF?
CRSF is short for Current Research in Speculative Fiction, an annual conference organised by postgraduate students for postgraduate students. The conference was first held in 2010 at the University of Liverpool and has been held annually since, attracting an international selection of speakers from as far afield as Turkey and the USA. The conference aims to provide a welcoming and friendly atmosphere for researchers who are at the very beginnings of their fields to test ideas, network with others, and gain valuable conference experience.

What is Speculative Fiction?
Simply put, we consider speculative fiction to be the collective name for the non-mimetic genres of science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and their related sub-genres. Essentially, if it’s a bit weird, it’s probably eligible. If in doubt, feel free to run your idea by us. At this juncture, it’s probably also worth us pointing out that the conference doesn’t discriminate among media: papers on television, film, video games, music, fan culture, etc., are as welcome at CRSF as papers on literature.

I’m an undergraduate student/ university faculty member/ speculative fiction fan/ author, can I attend?
We welcome non-presenting delegates from all aspects of speculative fiction whether you be a non-academic fan or a professor at a university.

How much does CRSF cost to attend?
Since CRSF is funded entirely off the delegate fees we can never be 100% sure of our budget until we know how many papers we will be accepting for the conference. As such, confirmed fees are not available until after abstracts have been processed and invitations to present accepted. However, as a guide, past conferences have charged £30 (about $44 USA) for the day with an early bird discount available for those who register early. This fee includes lunch and refreshments.

How do #authors actually find #readers? I’m stumped.

How do #authors actually find #readers? I’m stumped.

3 paperbacks

So far, since becoming a fiction author in 2013, I have spent time on most popular sites and established a presence on several, I have yet to find a lot of readers. I mostly find: authors (a LOT); those providing services to authors (even more); potential authors (a few); and, trolls (I block, but they do pop up).

I first published my ebooks via Smashwords which then distributed my ebooks for me to iTunes/iBooks, nook (Barnes & Noble), Kobo and many other affiliates globally. I then published to Amazon Kindle. As of last fall, I now have paperback formats available via CreateSpace (where I offer discounts; see below) and Amazon as well.

You may ask: what else have I done, so far? A LOT!…

—I belong to several dozen and am active in several Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ groups/communities and I am less active but do belong to a few groups on Goodreads.
—I have author and book pages pretty much everywhere they’re free to have and manage to update them regularly (I hope).
—I have posted my free ebook (see below) on dozens of sites that allow free books to be posted for free.
—My first Spanners Series ebook, This Changes Everything, is permafree.
—The second volume, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, came out about a year ago and the third one, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, released last December, so I have the supposedly magic number of 3 books out, now.
—All 3 are out since late 2015 in both ebook and paperback formats.
—I offer discount codes for the paperbacks on my own site.
—I participate in occasional sales organized by two Facebook groups (Clean Indie Reads #CR4U and Fantasy and Science-Fiction Network #FSFnet) I am actively involved in (several per year).
—I give free ebooks to reviewers and always follow their guidelines and wait to be invited before sending the ebook to them.
—I have had more than a few reviews for each book, but not up to 50 for any (yet).
—I actively sought readers/reviewers on BuView and got a few but not as many as who accepted my free ebooks.
—I never pay for reviews or participate in review swaps.
—I post interesting, varied non-fiction content (never all about my books or asking others please to buy my books).
—I re-blog.
—I re-share posts.
—I thank others for re-sharing (not always).
—I retweet (but not everything).
—My posts go up on many sites.
—My WordPress blog is cross-posted on Tumblr and on several other sites automatically.
—I re-post my own on Pinterest and StumbleUpon about once a month, to give them another set of views.
—I put most of my Google+ posts into Collections about once/month, which also gives them a boost in views.
—I do occasional reviews, usually outside my own genre (#scifi) and post my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, and sometimes my own blog as well.
—I invite and host guest bloggers on my site.
—I guest blog/give interviews on others’ sites regularly.
—I have articles/reviews that have appeared on very popular sites, some of which have paid me for my posts.
—I have buy links, interview and review links and other links on my own site (look right; scroll down).

I am frequently on

Twitter.
Facebook with both an individual and a Spanners Series page.
Google+ with both an individual and a Spanners Series page.
Pinterest, with many Boards and not all related to my books, either.
YouTube (I have my own channel and a video talk show, CHANGES conversations between authors, since 8/2014 and posted book trailers, author readings).
LinkedIn.
—I started a Patreon #crowdfunding campaign over a year ago, but haven’t garnered much dough.

I am also on/use

Authors’ Database
Authors’ Den
New Book Journal
Koobug
Bublish

I am occasionally on

Goodreads.
Library Thing.
Shelfari.
BookLikes.
—and other many other author/book sites.
—I visit and comment on many blogs.
—I have been on and listen to/comment on a few Blog Talk Radio shows’ sites.
—I was on Authonomy (it closed, but I did get some great reviews from posting my WIP on that site) and am still on Wattpad with excerpts.
—I used the Pre-order function, with half-price discounts for all three ebooks, several weeks prior to each book’s release on Smashwords and Amazon and other sites.
—I post excerpts from my books while they’re in Pre-orders on my blog.
—At the end of each book, I post the first Chapter of the next volume in the The Spanners Series.
—I post a CTA (Call To Action) asking for reviews, followers and readers at the end of each book.

Started but stopped…

—I joined and posted for a while on Ask the Expert and Quora, but got too busy to keep doing that.
—I joined Reddit but I hated the way the monitors interacted with posters and the rules are too rigid, so I quit.
—I joined Medium and some other sites (can’t even remember them all) but hardly use them. Apparently I have followers, but unless my blog is cross-posted on a site, I don’t know what they are following.

I’ve learned to do/decided to do these actions and listings because I spent a lot of time researching prior to and since publishing my first ebook. I read and followed the instructions for “how to find readers” from many “experts,” but I still usually encounter the above categories of people. Not to say authors and others aren’t readers, but I’m looking for those who identify as such and not elsewise in the industry.

I want more people to read, review, enjoy and comment on my books: doesn’t everyone?

added TODAY (3/15/16): Share! #Booksales best achieved NOT on #TWITTER, FB, LI or G+! Use #Youtube! http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2016/the-authors-three-step-test-for-sellability/

How do YOU attract more readers?
How do you know what works among all the things you’re doing to market yourself and your books?

All suggestions and anecdotes welcomed, except forget recommending I go on Instagram. I hate that site.

Thanks!

Sally Ember, Ed.D.

Please comment here: http://www.sallyember.com/blog or email me: sallyember AT yahoo DOT com

“Family-Friendly” is a Thin Disguise for Discrimination: They are on the Wrong Side of History

“Family-Friendly” is a Thin Disguise for Discrimination:
They are on the Wrong Side of History

Who else is on the “wrong side of history” regarding expressions of and legal sanctions toward and behaviors sourced by prejudice, bias, discrimination, hatred against ethnic, racial, religious, gender and other social identity groups?

Adolph Hitler. Austria and Germany. George Wallace. Richard Nixon. Phyllis Schlafly. Anita Bryant. The United States of America. Several Catholic Popes. Margaret Thatcher. Great Britain. Mao Tse Tung. China.

The list is, unfortunately, endless, if we keep going into history and across the globe. Humans seem to have an unlimited ability to be irrational and small-minded.

Fortunately, we do learn. We do grow. Some more slowly than others, as we see all too often, but change we do. One of the main ways people change is through exposure, a personal “eye-opening” moment that educates them (“leads them out”) away from their irrationality and biases.

The other way is through enforcement, such as the enlightened few and the majority collaborating to change the laws that require citizens to change behaviors accordingly. When behaviors change, minds can follow: not always, and not completely, as we see with the laws of integration and other civil rights for Blacks in the USA NOT eliminating racial biases and racism, but these are certainly steps in the right direction.

The current social and political landscapes—right here, right now—are changing rapidly with respect to fairness, acceptance and legal rights for those with all sexual orientations and gender identities exactly as they did with racial intolerance in the 1960s.

As usual, some are being dragged, kicking and screaming, into this new way of being. They are simply not keeping up, are they? Laws often get “ahead” of some people’s mindsets. AREN’T WE LUCKY? The haters may keep on hating, but they have no legal, moral or individual “right” to impose their “opinions” any longer.

Some definitions, for those unclear on these concepts:

3definitions
from: http://littlelaughter.wordpress.com

bias-prejudice-discrimination-5-638
from http://pt.slideshare.net

Current circumstances:
I am an author who publicly proclaims myself a feminist. Anyone who knows me or reads me online or reads my books also knows I am Buddhist, Jewish, and bisexual, and I am vocally an anti-discrimination, anti-oppression activist.

I am also a reader who occasionally does reviews. Therefore, I do agree that each reviewer has the right to refuse to review any book we do not want to review. We do not have to give reasons, either.

However, I do not agree with the opinions, prejudices and biases this reviewer expresses when she gives some (but not all) of her reasons for discontinuing her reading of and refusing to review my book.

In fact, when we allow such actions to be fueled in these ways, not commenting, not confronting, we are aiding and abetting the institutional oppression rampant in literary circles. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” is never truer than in these circumstances.

Some would say that she would have been off not saying anything, but since she did, here we are.

Read below and comment, please! http://www.sallyember.com/blog

After finding me on a reviews-seeking site, this reviewer emailed me, saying that she wanted to review all three books in The Spanners Series. She wrote a few days later, saying she had started and was liking my first book.

Then, the next day, this potential reviewer sent me this email:

From: xxx

I will not be able to review your books. I have just come to a part that is [sic] conflict with my site. I have a family friendly blog and your book contains content that my readers would find offensive. It would also put at risk some of my advertising spots on my site that demand only family friendly content.

I understand that you were just trying to get across the point about non-discrimination but your content concerning sexual affiliation will not work with my site.

Best of luck to you,

xxx

“Hi, xxx,

“I have no idea what you mean by ‘not family-friendly’ or ‘offensive,’ since my books are accepted by ‘[Facebook authors’ group],’ a strict group on Facebook which promises readers fiction that won’t make them recoil. For example, I use no swear words stronger than ‘damn’ or ‘shit,’ there are no explicit sex scenes, no gratuitous or obvious violence, and no traumatic scenes in my books: they are PG-13.

“If you are objecting to any mention of or acceptance of alternative sexual orientations and gender identities to heterosexual or straight people or cis-gender people, if that would be something you or your followers find ‘offensive,’ then, please: DO NOT READ MY BOOKS.

“And, by the way, discrimination, bias and prejudice are NOT ‘family-friendly’ to any families I would want to be connected with, ever. Use of that terminology to describe what you are perhaps claiming is absurd.

“Since more than 10% of every population of humans on this planet are actually gay, lesbian or bisexual and at least 5% are transgendered, whose families are you ‘protecting’?

“If what I am assuming, in fact, are your positions, I find your views to be extremely offensive, and so would most of the rest of the world, at this point in time. Marriage equality and sexual identity acceptance are legal in many countries, including this one, and discrimination is NOT.

“I welcome you and your readers into the 21st century any time you’re ready to come.

“If I have misunderstood, I apologize. Please explain. I would welcome your further description of what, exactly, is ‘in conflict with’ your site and specifics as to your presumptions about your advertisers’ objections to the content of my books.”

Sally

She responded:

From: xxx

What is offensive is that you mention any sexual affiliation at all. I would not blurt out in a book that I was heterosexual. I would not refer to sex at all. It is irrelevant and has no place in a family friendly book. You can have any sexual orientation you want and that is your business but I don’t have to and will not promote it on my site. The fact that you felt you needed to make a political statement with your book is your business but I won’t be a part of it.

As I said Good Luck to you but I will not be doing this review.

xxx

Curious as what others who might be “in her camp” would say, I posted our email exchange on the group site I am part of, the one I mentioned, above, and asked for opinions.

I received the following anonymized responses (I didn’t include them all; some are repetitive or off-topic).

Then, I wrote a few responses, below.
Why do I bother? Because Education.

stop_prejudice_now_prop_watermark
from: http://teachersteachfromtheheart.blogspot.com

“Need[ Facebook Group members]’ opinions, please! Just had this exchange with a potential reviewer and I’m burning mad. (She approached me, BTW, asking to review my books via a [reviews-seeking/reviewers-finding site] last week!).

“She emailed me this earlier today…” (same as above, posted)

FB group’s responses:

From AAA:
“She has the right to her viewpoint, and I don’t think she should be dressed down, scolded, or insulted for it. I thought your words were rather condescending and insulting.

“OTOH, she should have done her research first before approaching you, and rather than try to take YOU to task for what she didn’t agree with in your books, she should have just politely said ‘sorry, I was wrong, it’s not going to work out this time.'”

From BBB:
“The old saying I’ve tried to remember is not to lower oneself to another’s level in order to argue or debate. It’s not ever worth it.”

From CCC:
“It’s her site, she can do as she wishes, just as you are able to write about anything you want to. This enters into the forbidden realm of writers who snap at reviewers for not liking what they wrote. She didn’t give you a bad review on her site, which she could have. She simply declined to review at all. It could have gone a LOT worse for you.”

From DDD:
“Sally, I totally get where you’re coming from, having experienced this kind of reaction (my books include gay characters who are treated as normal people). I’m living vicariously through your email because I’ve wished I could say something like that to reviewers who’ve one-started me because of it. smile emoticon But I’m inclined to agree that it’s better to steer clear of these rhetorical boondoggles. I’d just let this go and get on with writing. Your audience is out there, but it’s not this lady or her blog followers.”

From EEE:
“It’s her site. She is entitled to her opinion and the way she manages her site. We have our rules here, but IMHO, even shit and damn are not family friendly. She was polite. I’m sorry that you were not.”

From FFF:
“I have to say also, the reviewer could have gone ahead with her review, as she’d promised you one. She could have been completely open and honest about her opinion, and put it on her public site.
“Instead, when she saw it was something that she didn’t believe she could endorse, she privately messaged you, letting you know that she’d have to back out.
“This was gracious of her to do.
“So to be treated badly was not something that I feel she deserved.”

From GGG:
“PG-13 does not constitute ‘family-friendly’ in my mind. I have a 9, 7 and 4 year old, and I don’t even let them watch most PG movies.”

From HHH:
“Unfortunately, I have to agree with what many others here have commented. In addition, I have to point out that you ASSUMED her problem with your book was the fact that there are gay characters. She simply wrote that she came ‘to a part’ that conflicted with her site. The thing that may have bothered her could’ve been profanity, or whatever else is in your book. It can be dangerous to reprimand someone for their stance – especially since she could always turn around and decide to write a poor review, or even one-star your book.

“On a personal note, I write both Christian AND secular stories (things that would give Junot Diaz a run for his money in the department of shock value). So I can honestly say that even the words you listed are not ‘family friendly,’ meaning appropriate for all ages. As far as homosexuality is concerned, I have a #LiveAndLetLive philosophy on life. That means that I do not judge someone else for their lifestyle choice. However, that doesn’t mean I want my six year old reading about it. Again, it’s a subject not necessarily appropriate for all ages.”

From Me:
to HHH: “She came right out and stated what her concerns were. I didn’t assume what she objected to at all. I assumed her reasons, because she did not state them. Also, I did not expect any 6-year-olds to read this book; it’s way too complicated and sophisticated. PG-13 is the rating i always state. Thanks for your comments, though.”

From JJJ:
“Wow. And she was so polite…”

From Me:
“Since when are expressions of bias, prejudice and discrimination ‘polite’??? If her objections were obviously about my having Jewish or Black characters, would you be defending her ‘family-friendly’ smokescreen???”

From JJJ:
“She made her reasons for choosing not to include your work on her site clear to you in a very polite manner. Tolerance works both ways.”

From Me:
“To JJJ and others here: I appreciate all your comments, but for some of you, I am disappointed. SOME don’t seem to know the difference between being ‘impolite’ and being against someone else’s being discriminatory, Number 1.

“Number 2, it is not the job of those who are not being tolerated to return such intolerance with tolerance. I was not ‘impolite’ to her: I was direct and I expressed my thoughts and feelings. I did not call her names, I did not insult her.

“Remember: she VOLUNTEERED to read my books and had already sent me an email prior to this saying how much she was enjoying the first one. Then, she came to a part she didn’t ‘tolerate,’ which she and her groups, of which some of you are obviously members, seem to think it’s just fine to insult and demean. That is plain wrong. She doesn’t have to like it. She could have just said “It’s not for me” and DNF or not even written me. But, she chose to ‘explain.’

“Those who are not heterosexual or cis-gender do not deserve to be treated as if we are threats, are wrong to be ‘this way,’ or by our very existence, are ‘problems’ for ‘families.’ We ARE in families!

“I will defend to my dying day the right of all who are discriminated against to object strenuously to such discrimination, wherever it appears, however ‘nicely’ it is phrased.

“Maybe some of you are too young or didn’t have these experiences, but I grew up in Missouri under Jim Crow laws. I grew up with signs on stores and country clubs that said : ‘No Dogs, No Jews, No Niggers Allowed.’ Should I have greeted those racists with ‘tolerance’????? I am a Jewish, female bisexual. Our country is in the exact same place now with LGBT rights and biases as it was then with Jews and Blacks.

“Remember when women weren’t treated as ‘humans,’ weren’t allowed to vote, sit with men, drive, own property? Would you all be so ‘tolerant’ if she had said her ‘family-friendly’ group doesn’t want to read books with autonomous female characters, that all women be subservient to their families’ males to be considered ‘family-friendly’? Whoever doesn’t see the connections, here, I’m sad for all of you.”

From JJJ:
“Comments about the relative politeness of exchanges of views are not an automatic acceptance of intolerance or prejudice. In fact they are no comment at all about the relative merits of the content of the exchange – just the manner in which comments have been delivered.”

From Me:
“Thanks for all of your ideas, comments, and responses, here. Group. I am sorry that some of you still believe that strongly worded disagreement is ‘impolite,’ but we’re going to have to agree to disagree, there. Best to you all.”

hate-crimes-305
from: http://www.calgary.ca

Okay, Followers/Readers and Other Peeps: Weigh in! What do you believe/do?

Please leave comments on this blog! Thanks! Best to you all!

1) Should we authors all just “be polite” when confronted with reviewers’ prejudices?

2) Should we authors “be silent” when potential or actual reviewers express their biases and refuse to “serve” us at the “review” lunch counter because our books or characters don’t meet with their “approval” (don’t have a right to exist)?

3) Is it incumbent upon us all not to allow any reviewer to give or imply that their personal, political, religious or other biases as/are sufficient “reasons” for refusing to review a book? Or, do you recommend letting that go unchallenged?

4) Does simply having LGBT characters make a book “unfriendly” to “families” and/or inappropriate for youth?

What is it like to host a live talk show? My guest post on Inger Kenobi’s site!

What is it like to host a live talk show?.

ALSO: watch Inger’s and my Episode 20 on CHANGES: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPbfKicwk4dFdeVSAY1tfhtjaEY_clmfq and look: OPENINGS 8/26 and beyond! Welcome new authors of any age, genre, publication method!
Watch conversations with my previous CHANGES guests any time!

Learn more about and get yourself on or recommend someone to be scheduled as a guest for CHANGES conversations between authors:  https://sallyember.com/changes-videocasts-by-sally-ember-ed-d/

OPENINGS on *CHANGES* conversations between authors: 7/8 and beyond!

OPENINGS on CHANGES conversations between authors 7/8/15 and beyond!

CHANGES Theme Image_3

CHANGES is a unique Google+ Hangout On Air (HOA) simulcast on YouTube most Wednesdays, LIVE, 10 – 11 AM Eastern time, USA, with host Sally Ember, Ed.D., in spontaneous dialogue with an author from any fiction type or genre and also from nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting, playwriting, and blogging.

The show is NOT an “author interview,” although some of those elements do occur during the show (promoting/talking about one’s writing, books, origins, plot, characters, ideas).

CHANGES YouTube Image_3 best

#Authors, especially those in sci-fi/speculative fiction and who blog, learn more about and get yourself on CHANGES, and #Readers, recommend an #author to be scheduled as a guest: http://goo.gl/1dbkZV

Watch conversations with my previous CHANGES 30+ guests any time: http://goo.gl/eX0D8T

CHANGES Trailer Image_3

*CHANGES*conversations between authors updates

TODAY in a few hours, Raymond Bolton and I will chat on CHANGESconversations between authors.

ALSO: unexpected opening for an #author guest for next Wed., 5/13, but must inquire about it by TOMORROW, Thursday, 5/7.  http://goo.gl/WL9NFp or http://goo.gl/Sgecwl 

CHANGES Trailer Image_3

https://sallyember.com/changes-videocasts-by-sally-ember-ed-d/  for more information.

IndieReCon2 = April 15-17, 2015, ONLINE and FREE! #IndieReCon #IRC15

ALLi_IRC2015-RGB_websitetabsolid

The online IndieReCon2 conference is “a 3-day global event to promote quality and craft in #indie #publishing…scheduled for April 15-17, 2015, with online seminars, workshops, discussions and master classes culminating in a reader-centered, Indie #Author Fringe Fest live!”

Our posts, talks and online seminars cover all stages of the publishing process:

—Author Education: How to Write and Publish Well
—Author Empowerment: Finding Your Best Pathways to Publication
—Reaching Readers: Understanding and Serving Your Readers

“10 Reasons to Attend IndieReCon2” HERE:
ONE: “IndieReCon2 is FREE to attend.”
TWO: “IndieReCon2 is a conference for authors by authors.”

Click link below for the other 8 reasons:
http://www.selfpublishingadvice.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/10ReasonsToAttendIndieReCon2.pdf

REGISTER HERE:
http://indierecon.org/register/

SPEAKERS LIST HERE:
Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, and Orna Ross, founder of the Alliance of Independent Authors (sponsor of this event), and many others!
http://www.selfpublishingadvice.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/All-you-need-for-IndieReCon-2015.pdf

…and more info, plus photos and bios of speakers HERE:
http://indierecon.org/speakers/

EVENTS LIST HERE:
http://indierecon.org/events/

PRIZES/COMPETITIONS LIST HERE:
http://indierecon.org/competitions/

Learn more about the ALLi and its Ethical Code HERE:
http://allianceindependentauthors.org

ALLiEthicalAuthor_Final-Outlines-300x173

Part II: Letter to my Earlier Self about #Book #Reviews and #Reviewers

Part II: Letter to my Earlier Self about #Book #Reviews and #Reviewers

This is Letter Two of Four of my “open letter to my earlier self” series that first appeared on The Book Cove, http://www.thebookcove.com/2014/12/author-sally-ember-edd-open-letter-to.html, late November – December, 2014.
Letter One appeared on my site, http://www.sallyember.com/blog, on 3/26/15.
Letters Three and Four post on April 11 and 18, 2015.

bookreviews_logo

I published my first ebook in December, 2013, and my second in June, 2014. My third just published last month, March, 2015. What I wish I had known before my first ebook went into pre-sales in November, 2013, about book reviews and reviewers could probably fill a book all by itself. I will try to make my life lessons more pithy, here.

Dear Sally,

You undoubtedly feel all excited about your first science-fiction/romance ebook’s publication, as you should. You are eager to read the first reviews, wondering how readers will respond, right?

Part of your preparation has been to read reviews and write reviews yourself on Goodreads. You have mostly been reading books you get from the library from rather well-known authors and writing reviews of those.

Alternatively, you have been reading a few works-in-progress by new and indie authors on http://www.Authonomy.com and http://www.Wattpad.com and leaving comments. Some authors have been commenting on your excerpts, also.

Several authors and bloggers are volunteering to review your first ebook and you are searching sites for other possible reviewers. You have been lucky: several have agreed, so you are able to put some of their choice reviewers’ comments into the final epub version’s front matter of your first Volume of The Spanners Series, This Changes Everything, prior to its actual release!

5 stars and lower

image from http://mandydegeit.wordpress.com

You are feeling great! Many of the reviewers are quite positive, giving the book 5 and 4 stars. Even the 3-star reviews have positive comments amidst the critiques and offer valuable points of view. You are psyched!

Then, the DNF (Did Not Finish) “reviews” start to appear, with 1- or 2-star ratings even though they didn’t read even half (and in some cases, even one-quarter) of your 323-pg book. Now come the lessons.

DNF quote

image from http://authorceo.com

  • Reviews and Reviewers Lesson No. 1: Do not expect all reviewers actually to read your book or to behave like professional reviewers.

    What? How do non-readers get to call themselves “reviewers”?

    People who only watch a few minutes of a movie or TV show or walk out at intermission for a live performance aren’t entitled to submit a full review much less a rating. Why are these readers doing this? What gives them any right to even comment, much less evaluate your book with so little experience of it? Reviewers are supposed to READ the book, first, aren’t they?

    HA HA HA HA HA! You wish!

    It’s all right. Calm down. Blog about DNFs and move on. Enjoy their snarky comments(some of the are quite witty and even funny), post them right along with the other reviewers’ insightful remarks. What do you care? It’s not as if their DNF opinions matter: they did not read your book! Ignore.

    NO DNF logo

    image from http://frodosco.com

  • Reviews and Reviewers Lesson No. 2: Not all readers will comment; not all downloads lead to readers.

    Do not expect all readers to leave comments or reviews.

    No comment bubble

    image from http://oscarmini.com

  • Reviews and Reviewers Lesson No. 3: Reviewers are all volunteers (or mostly) and often do not have the ability to meet stated deadlines.

    Do not expect all reviewers who say they will review your book to do it in a timely fashion or at all. Waiting for reviews? May as well be waiting for Godot. “There is nothing to be done.”

    Waiting for Godot

    image from http://blogs.mprnews.org

  • Reviews and Reviewers Lesson No. 4: Reviewers will not always respond to requests.

    Do not be surprised when requests for reviews are ignored even when you follow all the reviewers’ guidelines and fill out their forms, even when your book falls within their genre specifications and meets their criteria perfectly, not even when they claim they will respond to all requests.

  • Reviews and Reviewers Lesson No. 5: Be open to a “swap” or don’t join the clubs.

    When you say that you are not a “review swap” kind of author, explaining that, on the rare occasion you do accept another author’s book to read and review (because you’re very busy writing), that:
    a) you cannot promise to provide their book with a 4- or 5-Star ranking,
    b) you do not know what you will think of their book prior to reading it, and
    c) you can’t promise a “positive” review,
    do not be surprised when some reviewers/authors refuse to review your book at all (and some are quite snarky about it).

    The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) developed a Code of Ethics(#ethicalauthor) http://www.selfpublishingadvice.org/ethical-author-campaign/ in November, 2014, that included these statements in the Reviewing and Rating books section, which I like (except for the missing apostrophe on the final use of reader):
    “I do not review or rate my own or another author’s books in any way that misleads or deceives the reader. I am transparent about my relationships with other authors when reviewing their books.

    “I am transparent about any reciprocal reviewing arrangements, and avoid any practices that result in the reader being deceived.”

    Then, they also included this part in Reacting to reviews, which I thoroughly agree with:

    “I do not react to any book review by harassing the reviewer, getting a third party to harass the reviewer, or making any form of intrusive contact with the reviewer. If I’ve been the subject of a personal attack in a review, I respond in a way that is consistent with professional behaviour.”

    Read the entire Ethical Author Code and decide if you, as an author, want to adhere to it, or you as a reader want authors to adhere to it. If you do, download the badge, below, and spread the word! http://www.selfpublishingadvice.org/alli-campaigns/ethical-author/

    ALLiEthicalAuthor_Final-Outlines-300x173

  • Reviews and Reviewers Lesson No. 6: Most reviews and authors’ groups do not accept “negative” reviews.

    Some even have agreements up front that they will not post or give any books lower than a 3-Stars ranking. They consider a 3 (out of 5) to be a “terrible” rating.

    When you are involved with some authors’ groups which require “review swaps” as part of “belonging” to their “club” (which I heartily recommend AGAINST joining for precisely that reason and more besides) and you read the book you have chosen or been assigned and discover that it is a book you have to give a 2-star rating to (and that is being generous, in your opinion), do not be surprised when the club leaders seem supportive but it turns out that they are not.

    Be prepared for the author to tell you that s/he is “too thin-skinned” to talk to you about your responses prior to your posting the review. You do wonder, however, how anyone can publish books, put their writing out in public, expect all their readers to react positively every time and make no emotional preparations for the eventuality of rejection or negative feedback from readers.

    Take it in stride when the leaders refuse to post your review even though it meets all their stated criteria, you warned them in advance that it was not “positive,” and they emailed you that “an honest opinion was all they wanted or expected from their members.” Do not take their lack of integrity personally, even when they cast aspersions on your character and hint that you are “being unfair” and “unkind.” Do not take the bait, even when they keep asking you questions that imply how heartless you are to rate that book so low, such as, “Don’t you know how hard this author worked on that book?”

    We wish everyone realized that rational, negative reviews can be helpful, as blogger Jody Hedlund points out in this great meme:

    Negative reviews can be helpful

    image from http://jodyhedlund.blogspot.com

  • Reviews and Reviewers Lesson No. 7: Even the readers who chose to review your book may not like your genre or understand your book, yet will blame you for their lack of enjoyment and comprehension.

    Why, you wonder, would a reader who already knows she doesn’t like science-fiction choose to read, much less claim to want to review, a science-fiction book? There are ALIENS on the cover. There is no mistaking the genre of this book! What is the deal?

    The components of Buddhism and Judaism figure prominently in your books and you make that clear in blurbs and your bio. So, why would a born-again Christian, a devout Muslim or Catholic or any other religious-leaning person who has problems accepting Buddhism or Judaism in fictional characters and plots (or in real life, actually) choose YOUR books to review? What were they imagining would happen?

    You put information right in the first chapters of your books regarding its format (all in the present tense on purpose, for example, and presentations of multiple timelines), yet some reviewers will criticize your writing for these exact components, commenting that you “needed a better editor” since you “obviously don’t know how to use verb tenses,” or complain that “there were too many versions of the same story.”

We authors can’t please everyone, nor should we even try. Write your best book, Sally. Appreciate ALL reviews, even the DNFs. Keep going. By the time you get to Volume III or IV, this “newbie indie author” phase will seem as if it happened in another lifetime.

Meanwhile, support other indie authors. Write and leave reviews, rankings, comments and LIKES.

Support indie authors 2

image from http://alifeboundbybooks.blogspot.com

WRITING AND PROMOTING A SERIES: Series authors, Nicholas C. Rossis and Charles Yallowitz

WRITING AND PROMOTING A SERIES:

by series authors, Nicholas C. Rossis, Pearseus series, and

Charles Yallowitz, Legends of Windemere series

Guest bloggers and former guests on CHANGES conversations between authors
(Episodes 7 and 9), http://www.sallyember.com

PEARSUS VIGIL NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

PEARSEUS: VIGIL NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

This joint post was made possible by the invitation of Sally Ember, who has been gracious enough to allow us to speak on her blog. She has done this knowing that Mr. Rossis and Mr. Yallowitz have a history of crazy antics. Indeed, some of these antics occurred on Sally’s very own LIVE video show *CHANGES* conversations between authors, which you can find online. Thank you to Sally Ember and we hope everyone enjoys this post on writing a series.

Check out Nicholas’s newest release, Pearseus: Vigil, by clicking on the above cover art and
prepare for a March/April debut of Charles’s next book, Legends of Windemere: Sleeper of the Wildwood Fugue.

Charles: First, I would like to say that I’m happy to be working with Nicholas again and on a post this time. Our back and forth on our blogs is a lot of fun and he has a very sharp, creative mind that keeps me on my toes. This carries over into his writing, which impressively spans several genres.

Nicholas: Same goes for me. I’m very impressed by Charles, both as an author and as a person. Plus, it’s great to have someone who gets my weird sense of humor!

What is the hardest part about promoting a series?
Charles: It’s really easy at the beginning because you can play around with teasers and you only have one book out. Then you get the second and try to find ways to promote without revealing everything in the first book. Around the third book, if you go higher than a trilogy, you get caught between avoiding big revelations in the earlier books and spoilers for the next one. It’s a really hectic balancing act because you don’t want to say too much. Yet, you have to say enough to keep people interested and lead to them to the rest of the series.

I’ve found that you have to make sacrifices in this, for example, revealing a minor spoiler to promote the next book while keeping the big stuff secret. A teaser helps, too, because it isn’t so much a spoiler, but a hint that something is going to happen or a foreshadowed event is coming to pass. Oddly enough, I found that Twitter is the less nerve-wracking social media site to promote a series on because the 140-character limit means you can’t say much and it’s hard to tiptoe around spoilers like that; you have to stick to catchy blurbs or small quotes from the book.

CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Nicholas: I agree with Charles that Twitter is a great promotional medium for a series, as my marketing relies on a short quote and a link.

One of the best things about having a series is that you can have a different book on sale each month and it will help the others’ sales as well. However, unlike Charles, I have also made a book bundle available. This contains all the books published so far in Pearseus. Obviously, when this is on sale, no one buys the rest of the books. However, it does attract a lot of attention as it offers great value for money. So, it’s all a bit of a balancing act.

How difficult is it to maintain continuity in a series and what tricks do you use to accomplish this?
Charles: I once switched one of my main character’s eye colors and a minor recurring character lost his hair. So some of the details can be messed up if one isn’t careful. Perhaps the biggest challenge to story continuity is that you can forget some foreshadowing or you do something that alters a previously established rule. Middle books can also have events that change the finale because what you plan in your head might not always be what comes out on paper. It really is a game of memory and concentration or like putting together a 5,000-piece puzzle with no picture to guide you.

There are two tricks that I use. One is that I keep notes on a lot of things that I believe I will forget. For example, I had some minor characters who step into the spotlight in a later book and I never gave them much description in their first appearances. There was just enough that they stood out and I had to make sure I had those identifiers written down. The other trick is never to be afraid to look back at your earlier books to confirm information. If you have even an inkling that you’re off on a fact, then jump back to the book where you know the information has already been written. This helps with plot lines, character descriptions, world-building and anything else that carries over from book to book.

Nicholas: LOL—I love the idea of “a 5,000-piece puzzle with no picture to guide you.” Indeed, it can feel that way at times.

I have a .doc file that includes all sorts of minor details, from names to subplots. Also, when I write, I always have my older books open as well. That way, I’m instantly able to jump back and forth and check things out. For example, a lot of the action takes place in a place called the “Chamber of Justice.” Every now and again, I’ll catch myself typing “Chambers of Justice” (plural) instead, so I have to remember it’s actually singular. I have no idea why some days it feels self-evident it’s singular and others that it’s plural, but that’s just how it is.

Pearseus Bundle on Amazon

Pearseus Bundle on Amazon

Do you have any suggestions for readers who wish to get into reading a long series?
Charles: I’m a fan of starting from the beginning, but I know many who start at the most recent book. If you do this, then I highly suggest that you read the earlier books at some point for more context and to see events that don’t get mentioned again. Also, one must be patient with a series because the story is stretched out and every book will have an opening. Also, not everything gets cleared up at the end of the earlier books. That understanding helps a reader accept that questions will remain. The only other tip I have is that you have to trust that the author knows what he or she is doing. I see a lot of readers try to demand that certain events happen in a story, but those desires might not fall in line with what the author has planned.

Nicholas: This is a typical “patience is a virtue” situation. Writing a series is a serious responsibility. Reading a series is an investment of both time and money, so we have to make sure that each and every book not only meets the readers’ expectations, but exceeds them. We owe them as much. That is why I’m grateful to all my readers, but those who have invested in Pearseus hold a special place in my heart.

There are several things we can do to make it easier on the reader, of course. For example, all my Pearseus books have a map with the cities and places that have been revealed so far, plus any new ones. Also, I have a character list at the beginning (and in “X-ray,” if reading on a Kindle), with a two-sentence description of who that person is. Another good idea is to offer a quick reminder each time a minor character first appears. For example, you can say something along the lines of:

“Parad walked into the room. He spotted Angel, his daughter, and smiled.”
This helps people who may have forgotten who Angel is.

Yet another trick I use is to give names to as few people as possible. For example, a minor character may be safely referred to by their property or occupation. Readers don’t need to know the name of every healer that tends a hero’s wounds or every blacksmith that sharpens his weapons.

Finally, the best thing to do is to make sure each book can stand on its own. That means no cliffhangers and no obscure references—at least not without a reminder.

Sadly, this is not always possible. Mad Water, the third book in the series, ends on a cliffhanger because the subplots raised there are not resolved for another 400 pages. So I could either have an 800-page-long book or two 400-page ones, the first of which ends on a cliffhanger.

Obviously, I chose the latter, which brings me back to readers’ patience. 🙂


CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Charles Yallowitz‘s Information

charles_author_photo_bw
Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cyallowitz
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/CharlesYallowitz
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA/
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com
Jason Pedersen, Legends of Windemere‘s Cover Artist: http://www.jasonpedersen.com/

Nicholas Rossis‘ Information

Nicholas Rossis
Blog:http://nicholasrossis.me/ .
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Nicholas-C.-Rossis/e/B00FXXIBZA/
Goodreads: Pearseus: Schism can be read for free on Goodreads.
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Nicholas_Rossis
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+NicholasRossis
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NicholasCRossis

Sally Ember, Ed.D., is the author of the sci-fi/romance/utopian ebooks in The Spanners Series. Volume I, This Changes Everything, is permafree. Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, is usually $3.99. Look for Volumes III and IV in 2015.
All reviews, info, excerpts, links: http://www.sallyember.com/Spanners

Pros and Cons of #Writers’ Critique Groups

Pros and Cons of #Writers’ Critique Groups
Reposting from one year ago, since it’s all still true and useful and I have new Followers/Readers

Everyone know the biggest drawback to #self-publishing is the isolation. Yes, every #author who doesn’t collaborate in their #writing writes alone. However, prior to the explosion in self-publishing, most books and ebooks that came to readers went through several other sets of eyes and had several editing and revision drafts done by others that helped polish and tighten the writing prior to publication.

artsy-writer-working
image from vidyasury.com

Today more than ever before, pieces of writing from short stories, blogs and articles to full-length books, both nonfiction and fiction, are getting all the way to a reader with no other editor than the writer. This is not a great situation for most readers or writers.

Because many writers seek professional companionship and critiques as well as audiences for drafts and new ideas, writers’ groups have sprung up for many centuries, both formal and informal. These groups usually meet regularly. Size can vary from a pair to a large group of a dozen or more.

The activities in the group can include public readings and/or sharing of written material with participants’ immediate oral comments, pages returned with mark-ups and discussions of the shared pieces. Locations can vary and many are not available free, so some groups charge a fee or require members to pay dues to cover costs and perhaps invite a speaker/presenter to conduct a workshop or give a talk on occasion.

writers_group 1
image from http://www.audreypress.com

Writers’ groups often appoint or hire a facilitator to guide and contribute to the critique. In better-run groups, this leader also keeps time and makes sure the comments are constructive and fair.

However, some groups are not well-run. The ground rules are not clear. Time is not equally distributed because it isn’t tracked well. Comments are not always fair and constructive. The facilitator dominates the discussion. Discussions veer away from the writing into personal stories and tangents introduced by participants. Suggestions are made that are not conducive to the writer’s intent, restrictions, topic, genre or format.

The diverse types of knowledge and experience among participants and in a leader of a writers’ group can be rich sources of varied perspectives OR generate too many irrelevant and unhelpful comments.

Pros and Cons of #Writers’ Critique Groups

CONS: An unskilled or distracted facilitator
— allows too many destructive comments to occur and this encourages more of the same
— allows the exposed author to experience immediate hurt feelings or bewilderment
— allows the writers to leave the critique session discouraged and confused by conflicting advice and too many off-topic remarks
— offers too many comments and dominates the discussion, shutting down, arguing with or interrupting other participants.

Writers in poorly-run groups can be led astray, which can causes them to depart from writing in their own voices and to lose sight of their personal or professional writing purposes. Many writers get discouraged or even “blocked” by attending poorly run writers’ groups.

BEWARE! Better to be isolated than to attend a group that operates negatively.

critique
image from thewildwriters.com

PROS: An skilled or focused facilitator
— leads a well-run group peopled by dedicated, experienced writers as well as “newbies” who each feels comfortable sharing and contributing
— trains and supports members to utilize the time effectively for receiving and offering constructive critiques, with newbies learning from old-timers the most effective methods for delivering and receiving criticism
— can foster an atmosphere of professional support that provides many gems of advice and new points of view for each member, even ones who don’t share in every meeting.

These productive sessions are wonderful catalysts for the writers who share drafts and any who attend. Authors in well-run writers’ groups return from each meeting with new vigor for editing, revising and creating new content.

Tips for Writers’ Groups:
1) Productive critique sessions are NOT riddled with “we loved it,” “it’s great,” and “keep going” with little or nothing else.
Critics must provide reasons for their opinions, especially when they’re positive, so that writers learn what we do well and can replicate our successes.
Critics must also defend their opinions that tell a writer to make changes by offering suggestions for revision or reasons for the ways the writing doesn’t “work” for the reader/listener.

2) Without the prompting of a skilled, focused leader, opinions may be offered with insufficient or no reasons given. Offering positive or negative opinions without rationales is not useful to a writer and should not be allowed.

3) Focus, clear ground rules (e.g., the requirement to give reasons for opinions, taking turns, sharing time equally) and giving both emotional and cognitive responses to a piece of writing are all parts of a productive writers’ group.

4) If YOUR writers’ group is not productive and positive enough, make an effort to change it or leave it. Start your own or join a different group.

5) Networking has never been easier. http://www.Meetup.com is a source of in-person writers’ groups. You can also check your local library’s, college’s, county’s/parish’s, state’s/province’s and country’s organizational listings for professional writers’ groups in your geographic area or genre. Check Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, and many writers’ associations and genre-centered groups online and around the world for possible writers’ groups, critique opportunities and other networking options. Some groups are now meeting online and virtually via SKYPE, iCHAT, Google Hangouts, etc.

CA writers club logo

If you are a writer seeking a group, I hope you find or start a great one!

Best of luck in your writing.

“Grade Inflation”—the Widespread Awards and Exalting of Effort—are Ruining Writing and Writers

I am hereby and for an undetermined length of time giving low credence to most book reviews, awards, contests and other honors conferred upon books/authors.

Why? I know some of the awardees’ writing. Many are undeserving of any accolades.

“Grade Inflation”—the widespread awards and the exalting of effort—are ruining writing and writers.

inflated A
image from http://www.wrkcapital.com

Why does anyone reward mediocrity and worse? How many “open mikes” have you attended in which EVERYONE, no matter how badly they perform or how horribly they read aloud or recite poetry, gets wild applause or even a standing ovation? Does the audience believe that everyone deserves the same response regardless of the quality of their presentation?

I do not.

How does it help any author/artist grow when no one is honest with them about the areas they need to improve and all they hear are overly exuberant praises? Neither are we helping authors or keeping faith with readers when so many provide undeserved 5-star “reviews” for shoddy writing. We are helping our writers and performers when we honestly and with specificity critique their work.

We are not doing our children any favors to give everyone who participates a “winner” ribbon, unless everyone understands that showing up and participation are what get awarded. However, I contend that, for professionals, the industry should not be labeling greatness on effort alone.

Grading on effort makes greatness lose all significance and confuses us all. When everyone “wins,” no one does. For evaluations and competitions to matter, the creation being evaluated of any top-ranking writer or other artist must be excellent by objective standards to have earned that award.

When all are given “A”s, or 5 Stars, or First Place, the rankings become meaningless. Participants can’t begin to discern their actual place among their peers or the value of their work in the world when reviewers and judges do not provide accurate, meaningful, thoughtful critiques and feedback, in the form of awards to the deserving.

participation trophy
image from http://cutemonster.com

At the end of a sports event, such as a foot race or team game, the winners and losers are indisputable. Those that swim are racing each other and the clock, which are immutably obvious regarding who swam the fastest for that race and for all recorded events of that type.

Art assessments should not merely be based on the creator’s intention or your affection for the creator.

Exceptions: if the artist is a child or disabled in some way, then that participation alone is sufficient to earn an award. Obstacles that participant has already overcome just to be involved in that competition or performance do deserve to be honored. THOSE types of contests, in which “everyone wins,” I wholeheartedly honor, e.g., the Special Olympics.

BTW: I strongly believe in and promote cooperative games, the postponement of competition, and an “everybody wins” concept for most activities for children and youth. I wish more youth sports and other harshly competitive games would be permanently removed from options so that everyone could play, learn and grow without that pressure.

This post is not to remove those cooperative and noncompetitive games or friendly, networking-type of awards passed around for fun and support. We all need encouragement.

However, when the competition is on a supposedly “level playing field” (more or less: let’s not get into gender, socio-economic class, age, racial and ethnic biases that unfairly prejudice judging and preclude fairness; that’s another subject), I strenuously object to fairly set competitors’ receiving awards, praises, great reviews or any other merit when the subject of the assessment is insufficiently unscrutinized.

I know some awards are merely a matter of “taste” or “current trends,” and that what anyone “likes” is always subjective.

Fine. Let those competitions be labeled clearly as having someone’s personal preferences, not accepted standards of excellence, as the main criteria for winning.

I’m talking about competitions that adults, professionals, and mostly, writers enter that supposedly have criteria that winners have to meet or exceed, in which the “best” is supposed to be honored the most. I wish that all of these competitions would be judged by obvious and agreed-upon standards of excellence and not determine winners based on effort, affection or popularity, or worse, payment of entry fees.

Also, I’m not talking about what people “like.” I’m asking for awards based on what is excellent, as objectively measured as possible.

Maybe it’s easier to talk about what is NOT excellent. I believe these components, below, are not purely subjective measures and therefore can be evaluated fairly and “blindly.”

FYI: For professional writers, grammar matters. Spelling counts. Syntax is significant. Context is not everything.

grammar shit
image from http://the-modern-housewife.blogspot.com

Here are my “what not to award” components for all types of fiction, whatever length.

[NOTE: I do not believe these need any explanations, but comment here or wherever you see this or email me if you are not sure what I mean, below.]

  • Poorly plotted stories
  • Superficially drawn or insufficiently motivated characters
  • Illogical, incomplete or inconsistent world-building
  • Triteness in storyline, characterization or setting
  • Not credible settings and/or situations
  • Poorly edited, insufficiently copyedited, badly spelled and/or incorrectly written sentences, paragraphs, entire works
  • Repetitious language, situations, characters and plots across one or more works by the same author
  • Sexism, racism, ageism, classism, ethnocentrism and other oppressive biases as expressed through one’s characters and plots/situations

The next time I hear a writer “won” an award, I hope s/he deserved it. I really do.

In case you need a reminder of what quality is and how deserving some authors are…

Ursula--Le-Guin-and-Neil--010
Ursula K. Le Guin and Neil Gaiman at the National Book Awards, 2014, in New York.
image from http://www.theguardian.com Photograph: Robin Marchant/Getty

P.S. I find Gaiman unreadable (personal preference) and adore Le Guin, but I recognize the similar greatness in their writing.

10 Criteria for Joining #Online #Groups/#Communities for #Writers

10 Criteria for Joining #Online #Groups/#Communities for #Writers

What is the value of social networks in easing the loneliness of the solo writer? How do online groups/communities provide opportunities for sharing ideas? How do today’s writers, especially for those newly published or about to seek options in publication, benefit from building communities of virtual friends?

There are now thousands of online groups/communities a writer can join. Some are only available via membership in existing social media sites, such as Goodreads, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+. Others are stand-alone groups that have their own websites and memberships but may also host a page on any of the other social media sites to attract and inform potential members and continue to post info to members regularly.

Then, there are the groups, chat rooms or fora one can join, lurk on and/or contribute to on Yahoo, KindleBoards, Smashwords, Bublish, Authonomy, Jukepop Serial, Wattpad, and probably hundreds more, Add to that specific professional sites’ groups, such as Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, etc., plus international groups and marketing sites and it makes one’s head spin.

If you are a blogger as well as a fiction writer, if you are a new and/or indie pub author or just one of millions who has no outside PR firm hired to market your books, you NEED groups/communities to get your “brand” known, find readers, attract followers and fans, get “pingbacks,” improve your ALEXA rating, your KLOUT or SNAP scores, get a Google Page Ranking for your website….

Don’t you?

How does a busy writer wade through all these opportunities to decide where to plant one’s online presence “flag” and still have time to write? The discerning writer who actually wants to protect your time and keep writing while marketing effectively can use these 10 criteria to choose your online memberships.

10 Criteria for Joining #Online #Groups/#Communities for #Writers

Join-us-banner

image from: http://www.tabularasa.com.au

DECIDE whether or not to:

1. PAY or stick with FREE memberships?
Some groups are free; some start out free or have a free level but change into/have paid memberships that provide additional services or opportunities to those who pay. If you have an unlimited budget or find yourself drawn to one or more of these groups and can afford it, go ahead and become a paid (upper-level) member. Some of these groups’ upper levels really do offer services to authors that are useful; some just say they do but when you read carefully, the “services” are not much more than occasional tweets.

Beware of those that over-promise, do not deliver, or are vague about what paid membership avails members of before paying. Research them: search for the group’s hashtag or tweet handle and then privately message someone [not the leader] about specific ways that being a paid member benefits him/her.

So far, the most I have paid to “belong” to any group or purchase any “marketing” service was $15 and it wasn’t worthwhile. If you do join a group and pay your fees or dues, make sure you’re getting what you pay for and only renew if it’s worth it: no automatic renewals!

pay dues

2. Participate in “review swaps”?
As a newbie desperate for reviews for seemingly invisible books, I found these groups to be so tempting. They seemed so supportive. They offer REVIEWS, sometimes in great quantity, sometimes with rankings and votes as well. But, free or not, these review “exchanges” come with several “prices,” and I personally decided the prices were too high.

For one, I am not comfortable providing pre-arranged and necessarily positive reviews (usually these swaps require/request a review rating of 4 or higher) for books I haven’t yet read in order to get the same for my own books (which the “reviewers” may or may not fully read). I “got into trouble” for daring to critique the books I read for being under-edited, overwritten, poorly constructed, badly plotted, shallow, etc.

Second, and much more chilling: if you join these groups and participate, you run the risk of having any or all of your reviews summarily removed from Amazon for not being inauthentic (some rightly so).

Third, some social media sites (Goodreads, for one) monitors members’ activities and sends messages to those members it believes are abusing the site, such as by “buying” or “trading” votes on Listopia, for example, or providing “fake” 5-star reviews to numerous members’ books. If you even get accused and especially when caught, you will discover that most sites’ TOS say they can suspend your account permanently and remove your books’ reviews, rankings, votes, etc., often with no warning and no recourse.

banned from Amazon

Although I joined some of these groups initially, I found out all of this later. Then, I removed myself within a few months of joining. I never paid to join.

If you are comfortable with the risks and conditions, go right ahead and participate.

3. Participate in Blog Hops and other “required” activities?
Some of these are great and worth doing. Others, not so much.

Look around, visit a few, comment, see what happens. THEN, decide.

4. Join a “Tweet” team or use group hashtags when posting?
This is highly recommended by some, disregarded by many. When someone posts nothing on Twitter but lists of others’ handles and the group’s hashtag, NO ONE CARES. Don’t do that.

But, if your group actually retweets, comments, replies, shares, ENGAGES with each others’ tweets or posts, that is worthwhile and those groups are worth joining.

5. Become a regular responder/poster or stay in the “shadows” (read/lurk but don’t comment, “LIKE,” +1 or post)?
I highly recommend lurking/reading many days’ or months’ worth of posts for some “Boards,” Communities or Groups before posting yourself. Get the “culture” of the group: the tone, the topics, the length, the repartee, the purposes. See if these resonate with you and your “brand” or style. If yes, go right ahead and join in the conversation. If not, move on.
Do not join a group to argue, criticize, lambast or attack.

Remember: the internet is “forever”: if you get into a “flame war,” readers/fans and publishers (and employers) can find it years later. Perhaps use a pseudonym for controversial posts.

Zooey Deschanel quote about trolls

6. Become a “help offered,” “help requested” or both type of participant?
You can become a resource to others on many sites (Quora, Ask an Expert, Reddit, etc.) or request help yourself.

Respect, assistance and expertise are admired. Whining, complaining, false information or bragging: not.

7. Join as yourself, your brand/books/website, your pseudonym?
EVERYTHING you post becomes part of your brand unless you use pseudonyms. The intentional and judicious use of pseudonyms is recommended, particularly if you write in vastly different genres (children’s books and erotica) or want to comment on controversial topics but not affect your brand.

If you become a “content curator,” offering information, help, creative/fun posts, and these are consistent (or at least not contradictory) with your brand, go for it! Join groups and comment/post frequently as yourself. Get to know/be known by the members, become a fan /follower of theirs.

I belong to several groups whose members and I are becoming virtual friends. We support each other’s efforts.

encouragers-wanted

image from: http://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com

These are the groups worth joining and continuing to be active in and are valuable even when you have little time. If you comment here with one of yours, I’ll share some of mine!

Dump the rest.

8. Join any genre-specific or topic-specific groups?
If you are a “genre” writer, then, YES: join one or more of these groups.

I belong to sci-fi, romance, paranormal, ebooks, indie pub, fantasy, “clean” indie, female-oriented, YA, speculative fiction, blogger, author, writer, marketing, science, tech, G+ HOA help and many other groups that I interact with, enjoy and learn from weekly.

Be sure to read and follow each group’s posting guidelines carefully to avoid getting disliked, kicked out or otherwise censored.

9. Offer any giveaways, have contests, provide guest spots yourself?
If you have print books or swag, go right ahead and offer it/them. I highly recommend that you think of what you have to offer and start offering (e.g., free PDFs of writing tips, samples of your writing, free passes, discount coupons) whenever you can.

I have a blog (http://www.sallyember.com/blog) and an almost-weekly Google+ Hangout On Air (CHANGES HOA), so I can and do offer guest blog opportunities and guest starring spots. If you’d like to propose a guest blog topic and date and/or be on CHANGES, get in touch with me here: sallyember@yahoo.com

I am also a series ebooks novelist, so I offer the first book in The Spanners Series, This Changes Everything, as “permafree,” which is highly recommended for newbies to do, once we have subsequent books for sale.

When you are doing many other types of writing and interacting regularly with several online groups/communities, you can occasionally plug your own books! Like, NOW!

logoAuthorsDen

10. Enter any contests or pay for reviews or marketing?

When a group’s entire purpose is to further its own ends and fill its coffers with entry fees, service charges, etc., these make me suspicious. But, I am naturally cynical.

I decided early on not to pay to enter any writing contests, not to pay for reviews, not to pay for “members’ services” and mostly not to pay for marketing. These are my decisions and not everyone agrees with them.

Some individuals offer a combination of free and for sale services/marketing, so you can decide which you want to participate in/join. I have met several great people and had excellent experiences in some groups in this way: I participated in their free activities and then did not continue when the next steps required payment since I couldn’t afford or did not need those services at that point. I do give these “helpers” regular “shout-outs” and thank them publicly for all they do/have done, actions which I hope make up for my lack of financial support to them.

The professionals left me alone when I asked them to do so. The ones who wouldn’t stop emailing and kept on when I asked them to stop or when I told them I wasn’t buying got relegated to spam and ignored.

You have to decide for yourself. However, if you are considering paying for any of these, please research the contest, reviewers, PR person, etc., thoroughly.

Writing Community

It’s bad enough not to win or not to get what you paid for; it’s worse when you’ve paid a lot. BEWARE!

If/when you find groups worth joining, please comment about them here.

Best of luck to you all!

15 reasons I could only give a 2-Star #Review for The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide, 2015

I received an Advance Review Copy (ARC) of The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide and promised to write and post an honest review here on my own blog and on at lesat one other ebook site (see links, below) in exchange.

Self-publishing Ultimate cover

According to the co-editors, this Guide “is the first and largest collection of curated and verified resources for independent authors who plan to publish their own books. Produced by a team with long experience in both traditional and independent publishing, the over 850 resources are listed in an easy-to-use format that includes live links, phone numbers, email addresses and brief descriptive copy. The Guide makes vendors and other resources easy to find by separating them into 33 distinct categories within the 3 main tasks the self-publisher must deal with. How to Prepare, Publish, and Promote their books.”

15 reasons I could only give a 2-Star #Review for

The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide

PERSONAL NOTE: This Guide already received some excellent endorsements from “heavy-hitters” in the Indie-Publishing industry, several of whom happen to be my unofficial mentors: Mark Coker of Smashwords, Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn, and Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound, to name a few.

I’m daring to add to and not to agree with these experts’ opinions, here. If I were you, I’d also go read theirs! And, please: I’m trying to be constructive, so I give a lot of recommendations and make many pleas. It’s not just a pan.

I wanted to like this book. I wanted to give it 5 stars. I cannot.

The best thing I can say about this is that the editors promise that they want it to be improved and added to quarterly or annually.

I am NOT trying to be snarky or mean. I genuinely went in with high hopes and expectations, given all the hype and positive endorsements this Guide has had. These hopes were dashed in the first few chapters and it did not get better as I went along.

I hope they will take my critique and others’ feedback to make the Guide better, not just longer.

Here are my 15 reasons for giving Guide only 2 stars:

  1. Why isn’t this an actual GUIDE? Why is the Guide almost entirely just a lot of somewhat organized lists?
    Instead of directing, informing, and assisting new indie authors with each selected aspect (and I do like the aspects, or chapters, they decided to include), there is a lot of information not given. This info is either missing, such as the reasons a writer would need to use a section or how to use the information provided, or withheld, such as the providing of a rating system or users’ experiences for each resource—annotations, as in YELP or Angie’s List—for each entry.
    If we wanted to acquire a list of resources, we could do that from many other places.
    The editors say these have been vetted, but where is the evidence of that? What did they assess? Why don’t they include their assessments, or a summary of why each listing is “better” than those not included, and for what, exactly?
    I was very disappointed in the editors’ lack of interaction with each listing provided. They seem to have merely collected a lot of self-written descriptions or blurbs about each entry (meaning, written by each resource provider, not the editors or users) and put the selected listings in alphabetical order.
    Since they say they vetted each entry and rejected some, why aren’t we reading more about WHY they included each entry?
    If I had paid for this “GUIDE,” I’d want a refund.

  2. This book was poorly written and edited. However, the authors’ long, impressive bios (see below) list extensive experiences in editing and proofreading. They also exhort the need for both in this Guide .
    However, even though I wasn’t looking for or expecting to find mistakes, find them I did. There were numerous mistakes in grammar, punctuation and syntax as well as inexcusably sloppy and poor writing in almost every one of their brief intros/summaries for each section/chapter. Finding so many problems was surprising and very disappointing.

  3. The editors mention more than once a warning to readers to “read the fine print” if they choose to enter into contracts, but nowhere do they provide any tips or hints about exactly what to watch out for, what to avoid, what to accept. Why?
    Their advice is so vague as to be trite and useless; without specifics, they’re not helping anyone. Why not a chapter on “Don’ts” or “Beware of…”?
    [It’s as if they started to write a guide and then, halfway through, made it a listing service instead. It makes me wonder if there was some money exchanging hands, ensuring certain listings and keeping out others.
    Is that just my inner cynic talking? There is no evidence of resource providers’ purchasing their listings….]

  4. Why did they not include a chapter on authors’ support networking? There are so many indie authors’ forums, Kindle Boards, authors’ groups, etc.
    If they take my advice and add that chapter, I hope they make notations as to which resources/ groups/ providers are fee-based and which are free, and what the fee ranges are, if applicable, and what the fees avail members of, specifically.
    Fee information is crucial but missing from every chapter.
    Also, I hope they weed out the “review swap” groups, since these violate Amazon’s Terms of Service, and I hope they would EXPLAIN the TOS violation consequences (removal of reviews, for example) in their new chapter.

  5. Why is there a chapter on websites for authors? What makes a website for authors particularly unique vs. a website for bloggers, e.g., or vs. any other small business? This claim of distinction is never explained, yet there is a chapter devoted to a list of people they are supporting who supposedly create websites “for authors.”
    I’m scratching my head over this. If the editors explained their rationale, I might be on board. However, again, no explanations are given.

  6. There is a chapter devoted to Book Reviews with no mention of the extremely important and controversial issue of paid vs. free reviews, and no annotations as to which of those listed charges authors for providing reviews nor how much they charge.
    These omissions are significant oversights. Must correct in future revisions, please.

  7. There are several chapters that are devoted to formatting one’s book—ebooks vs. print vs. Print On Demand vs. “Short Run” [sic]—with no explanation as to the differences among these formats or which to do first and the reasons.
    Also, what about the issue of whether or not even to have a print version: why? when? at what cost? Many of us do not have any print versions: what are the consequences of going ebook-only for each genre?
    Furthermore, when introducing each type of formatting, there is no explanation about the reasons/ bases for ebooks’ formatting issues or the assistance offered, via Smashwords vs. Amazon, for example, or about difficulties of passing through Smashwords‘ “meatgrinder” successfully and what that success generates in benefits; no mention is made of that nor that Digital2Digital does not use such gate-keeping, for example.
    If this is truly going to serve as a guide, MORE ANNOTATIONS and information are needed.

  8. What is a Short Run [sic]? I have never heard of it (since I have no print books, yet) and it was not sufficiently explained (nor hyphenated?). Why include it if not also to explain more completely what it is?

  9. Several key “players” were omitted, which I know can be corrected, but since some of them provided endorsements or reviews, I’m baffled by their absences. Many of those missing are very prominent in the blogosphere, Google+ or Twitter but not so much on Facebook. What about those who shine on Pinterest, Instagram, or Tsu?
    Maybe these editors not as active on the other social media platforms? The Book Marketing Tools and its free ebooks listing tool, e.g., were not included.
    In order to be an actual GUIDE and not just a list, part of this chapter should include annotations giving pros and cons of authors’ activity on each platform and who the leaders are on each.

  10. Social media platforms are the not the only places authors need to “go” or be “seen.” Start with: Blog Talk Radio shows that feature authors and books, like Indie Books with Will Wilson, The Backporch Writer with Kori Miller, and so many more; Google+ LIVE and taped Hangouts on Air, such as my show, CHANGES, which then go to Youtube; D’vorah Lansky’s and others’ teleseminars and webinars devoted to books, book marketing and authors; The Authors Show, A Book and a Chat and many others on their own “channels”; podcasts and other shows, such as The Author Hangout, with Shawn Manaher and R.J. Adams, via iTunes and other sources, and so many more.
    Please request and create a chapter with annotated listings of opportunities of this type and how to access them.

  11. There was no mention of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited and the controversies/problems indie authors face regarding this, nor was a distinction made between Kindle Select and Kindle Direct.
    These are exactly the types of explanations missing from this book that need to be put in, please.

  12. Why was there such a small number of “Social Media Consultants” included? I could come up with more than that, yet I am not one myself nor have I used one.
    The editors need to do better outreach, here, and a LOT of annotating, since many who call themselves “experts” are NOT; I know vetting is something these editors say they have been doing, so let’s see the results.

  13. There needs to be more info about money. For example, if the chapter on contests and awards is going to be useful as more then an incomplete list, each entry needs to be annotated to include info on entry fees and deadlines as well as more about the actual value of winning or placing in each.
    These contests can take a lot of time: show us what’s required, specifically, to enter, please, and what we might gain from winning.
    Great to include a chapter on acquiring funding, too, but that also seemed a bit “light.” There are many more opportunities out there, but at least there were several clearinghouses, like C. Hope Clark’s Funds for Writers, listed.
    Such lacks make this book more of a jumping-off point than a guide, though.

  14. I also don’t understand why those who provide services in more than one area (as delineated by these editors) are not dually or triply listed, as often ought to be the case. Readers/users will find resources only in the chapters they go to skim and may not read other chapters at all.
    For example, Judith Briles is listed for her private site, but Author U is not listed at all, anywhere I could find.
    I know it would make the Guide longer, but there must be a way to show readers that a listing appears elsewhere in the book, or could appear elsewhere (and in what chapters) but editors decided to list each resource only once for space reasons, right?

  15. I do not think Book Promoters are the same as book PR people, but perhaps I’m alone in this. In any case, I think having the word “Promoters” missing from the chapter headings is confusing.

If/when most or all of these omissions, errors and improvements are managed, I’d love to see that version. Or, maybe they should change the title from “Ultimate Resource Guide” to “Resource Compendium” or “Resource Listings.” They’d have fewer changes to make if they did that.

I wouldn’t think that would be as useful, though, as my revised version could be. I hope SOMEONE makes that version!

Meanwhile, although I believe The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide may be worthwhile as a starting point, it is far from being the “Ultimate Resource Guide” at this point.

Any newbie to self-publishing would have to pick up many other and better guides to make this one useful.


On their book’s website, in the FAQs, they state: “We plan to update the ebook edition of The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide monthly after the launch, eventually moving to a quarterly update. The print edition will be updated once each year, so we’ll have a new edition reflecting all the changes at the end of 2015.”

Proof? they post this excellent exhortation/invitation on the “CONTACT” page:

The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide is a living document.

Although we have tried to gather the most valuable resources for indie authors, it’s inevitable that some have been missed, and new products and services are constantly being introduced. We want your help to make it even better. If you know of a person, company, product, or service of value to independent authors that’s not included in this guide, please let us know. You can send submissions to be included in the next edition of The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide by the contact form below. Thank you.

Essential Qualification Guidelines for those who wish to be listed in The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide.

Extensive, professional experience in serving the self-publishing community.
A current, informative, interactive website.
Complete contact information; location (city, state/province, country), phone number, email address, and contact person if applicable.
Outstanding reputation; positive client/customer testimonials and/or reviews.
The final decision on all listings is at the editors’ discretion.

Note: Personal connection or recommendation of resource/business, is meant for anyone who is recommending someone else’s business. Say you are an author and use an editor not listed in the book. You can put that into the submission as your connection (I am an author who uses these services) and recommendation (what you think of the services you receive). It would not apply to someone who is asking for their own company to be included.


For more information: http://www.spresourceguide.com/

Ebook Purchase and Review Links:
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QSKUS2Q/
B&N (Nook): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-self-publisherr-joel-friedlander/1120927172?ean=2940150138957
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-self-publisher-s-ultimate-resource-guide
Apple (iBooks): https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/self-publishers-ultimate-resource/id950440919?mt=11

The Authors/Editors:

Joel Friedlander
“…is an award-winning book designer and blogger who has been launching the careers of self-publishers since 1994 from his book design and consulting practice at Marin Bookworks in San Rafael, California. Joel is a self-published author and the blogger behind http://TheBookDesigner.com, a popular and award-winning blog on book design, book marketing, and the future of the book. Joel is also the founder of The Self-Publishing Roadmap, a training course for authors, and http://TheBookMakers.com and http://BookDesignTemplates.com, where he provides tools and services for authors who publish their own books. He speaks often at publishing industry events and is a past president of the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association.”

Joel-2014-headshot-300x

Betty Kelly Sargent
“…is the founder of BookWorks, and the founder of The Educated Author, and writes a monthly column on self-publishing for Publishers Weekly. She is a member of the Independent Editors Group (EIG) and has spent more than 30 years in the traditional publishing business, most recently as editor-in-chief of William Morrow, where at one point she had three books on the New York Times best-seller list at once. She has also been executive editor at HarperCollins, executive editor at Delacorte Press, Fiction and Books editor at Cosmopolitan magazine, and book reviewer for CNN. She is the author of seven traditionally published books and one self-published book. She moderates panels and workshops in New York City and Los Angeles and is passionate about helping indie authors learn to navigate the ever-changing landscape of self-publishing.”

Betty-photo-1

Copyright © 2015 Marin Bookworks, All rights reserved.

CONTACT:
The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide Editors,
Joel Friedlander and Betty Kelly Sargent
Marin Bookworks
369-B THIRD STREET #572
SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901
editor@spresourceguide.com

#Crowdfunding with #Patreon: Sally Ember’s Campaign Needs Your Support!

#Crowdfunding with #Patreon: Sally Ember’s Campaign Needs Your Support!

If you are in the “giving” mood this month, as many are, or any time after December, 2014, please consider becoming a Patreon member (free) and supporter of creative people? You could help us to achieve particular goals, complete projects, and acquire enough general financial support to keep being creative.

WIN_20141113_151113
Sally Ember, Ed.D.

What’s unique about Patreon‘s site and its campaigns is that donors and creative petitioners have the chance to interact via messages and also by the recipient’s offer of “rewards” as “thank-you” gifts, services, or products.

Sally (I) put on this campaign’s “rewards” page several options based on amounts of donations (first starts with a donation as low as $4.00), which include free ebooks, editing/proofreading services of increasing size for increasing donations, and other rewards in the future.

THE PITCH VIDEO:
http://youtu.be/f8nYsfjm_aU?list=UUqnZuobf0YTCiP6silDDL2w

Please visit, watch the pitch video, share, and consider becoming a Patreon patron.

Help fund a book cover, sound equipment upgrade and conversion of videos to podcasts, conversion of ebooks to print books and becoming available as Print-On-Demand (POD) books and/or provide any size donation to go towards the general financial support of a working #writer, CHANGES Google+ Hangout On Air (#HOA) talk show host and blogger who supports other #indie #authors.

Thanks, Happy Holidays, happy creating and happy reading!

THE PATREON PAGE:

http://www.patreon.com/sallyember

#Crowdfunding with #Patreon: Sally Ember’s Campaign Needs Your Support!

#Crowdfunding with #Patreon: Sally Ember’s Campaign Needs Your Support!

If you are in the “giving” mood this month, as many are, or any time after December, 2014, please consider becoming a Patreon member (free) and supporter of creative people? You could help us to achieve particular goals, complete projects, and acquire enough general financial support to keep being creative.

WIN_20141113_151113
Sally Ember, Ed.D.

What’s unique about Patreon‘s site and its campaigns is that donors and creative petitioners have the chance to interact via messages and also by the recipient’s offer of “rewards” as “thank-you” gifts, services, or products.

Sally (I) put on this campaign’s “rewards” page several options based on amounts of donations (first starts with a donation as low as $4.00), which include free ebooks, editing/proofreading services of increasing size for increasing donations, and other rewards in the future.

THE PITCH VIDEO:
http://youtu.be/f8nYsfjm_aU?list=UUqnZuobf0YTCiP6silDDL2w

Please visit, watch the pitch video, share, and consider becoming a Patreon patron.

Help fund a book cover, sound equipment upgrade and conversion of videos to podcasts, conversion of ebooks to print books and becoming available as Print-On-Demand (POD) books and/or provide any size donation to go towards the general financial support of a working #writer, CHANGES Google+ Hangout On Air (#HOA) talk show host and blogger who supports other #indie #authors.

Thanks, Happy Holidays, happy creating and happy reading!

THE PATREON PAGE:

http://www.patreon.com/sallyember

Goodreads’ Genre-Specific Review Group’s Fall 2014 Blog Hop Tour: “COMFORT”

Do you like to read and/or write: mysteries, fantasy, science-fiction, romance, children’s, young adult (YA) or any combination of these? Genre is what we call those types of stories and novels, and if you say “YES!” then this Blog Tour is for YOU! Visit, read, comment, LIKE, share, reblog!

My “COMFORT” post appears in a week, on Sept. 27, so visit these sites, below, and then please come back!

Goodreads’ Genre-Specific Review Group’s Fall 2014 Blog Hop Tour: “COMFORT” is this year’s theme.

GSRG-blog-hop-Sept

TOUR DATES and SITES

September 21http://www.elizabethlos.com AS OF 9/25: NOT POSTED
http://thebaffledkingcomposing.wordpress.com AS OF 9/25: NOT POSTED
http://www.melindabrasher.com/ AS OF 9/25: NOT POSTED

September 22http://kchrisbacherauthor.weebly.com AS OF 9/25: NOT POSTED
http://sue-blake.com/ AS OF 9/25: NOT POSTED

September 23http://www.elainepcantrell.blogspot.com AS OF 9/25: NOT POSTED

September 24https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/387792.Marilyn_Peake/blog
http://www.marilynpeake.com

September 25http://rjcrayton.com/blog

September 26http://www.susandayauthor.com

September 27http://www.sallyember.com/blog
http://michelle-abbott.weebly.com/