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

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!

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.

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

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, Fourth Installment

What I got from The Schrödinger Sessions II: Physics for Science-Fiction Writers, Fourth 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 fourth 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 IX, Professor Shelby Kimmel, Ph.D.
Quantum Algorithms (QA)

A. computers collapse into black holes if continuous storage exponentially occurs (Lloyd, Nature, 2016)

B. algorithm = a set of instructions on how to behave

C. can create quantum cryptography, but we haven’t, yet

D. thermal rate constant = the rate of chemical reactions (measured by the amount of heat emitted)

E. writing algorithms is like engineering waves’ sizes and location on a beach: even though it’s all visible, it’s very complicated (many variables and factors influence waves’ locations at any given moment)

F. superposition and destructive or constructive interference led to the need to create QA

G. running each QA many times is needed to validate each one

H. functions

ʄ(x) = 2x squared – 3

I. quantum query complexity refers to the number of times needed to use a classical computer to ask about the variables in the functions, above

J. even parity refers to an even # of some certain outputs

K. initializing means starting back at zero, or cooling back down to the lowest temperature of the object/particle

Session X: all present

A. discussed the phenomenon of physicists’ personifying their objects/particles in speaking about their behaviors (see Day 2, Session 2, N)

B. anthropomorphic language leads to phrases like “breaking isolation” for taking a measurement/observing, and “preferences” for natural propensities, using “like”

Session XI, Professor Gretchen Campbell, Ph.D.

A. Isotopes are lighter and have less density and mass than regular elements because they have fewer neutrons

B. Ground state is the ground energy of the element (when it’s supercooled)

C. lighter atoms have larger wavelengths which makes them behave more quantumly (superposition-like)

D. superfluids conduct heat 500 x better than metals (e.g., copper, the best one) and flow without resistance

E. viscosity (thickness) of a liquid goes away when an element is supercooled

F. this supercooling occurs at 2.17K (Kelvin) which is called the transition temperature

G. temperature travels in waves

H. some of the 4 He (Helium isotope) does not become a superfluid and stays ordinary, which creates temperature gradients (differences within the fluid) and waves

I. “any state should be identical if we precisely exchange two particles” (there is no “handedness” of bosons or any two particles)

J. bosons are identical

K. bosons bunch together

L. anti-symmetrical particles (which do have “handedness,” e.g., right, left, top, bottom “spin”) are called fermions (anti-identical)

M. fermions “avoid” and “repel” one another because they “can’t be in the same place at the same time” unless they are supercooled

N. neutrons (when individual, single) are fermions because they are “energy barriers”

O. 4 He is a boson

P. 3 He (another Helium isotope) is a fermion

Q. odd numbers of bosons become fermions while even numbers of fermions become bosons

R. particles that comprise atoms (protons, neutrons, electrons) are all fermions in their behavior (e.g., repelling each other) unless they are supercooled, then they become bosons in their behavior (clustering, e.g.)

S. photons are bosons (they bunch)

T. Bose-Einstein Condensates (BECs) are superfluids and are bosons and have integer spin

U. fermions are odd and have 1/2-integer spins

V. sometimes fermions pair up and behave like bosons (why? when?)

W. superfluids “can’t leave the lab” (can’t stay supercooled “out in the world”), so they are not much “use,” yet

X. “dilution refrigerator” is the mixture of 4 He and 3 He and does the supercooling action


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, Third Installment

What I got from The Schrödinger Sessions II: Physics for Science-Fiction Writers, Third 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 third 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 VI, Professor Ian B. Spielman, Ph.D.

A. gauge field

B. Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) is an extreme (cold/ultra cold) quantum matter

C. because of size of /mass of/temperature of objects, we can’t see uncertainty/superpositions

D. ion trap

E. harmonic trap potential energy

F. superconducting circuit
meander lines
degrees of freedom

G. probability amplitude and distribution are the measurements of wavefunction (psi, ψ)

H. Phase and amplitude
affect velocity and position

I. Solid, liquid, gas, plasma = phases of matter
plasma = partially ionized gas
the BEC is another phase of matter

J. “frustrate the particles’ ability to get close together” means to prevent the liquid and solid states from occurring, always maintaining substances as gases (keep their density low)

K. 10-12 is one picometer = pm

L. three-, four- or five-body collisions cause/allow atoms to form closeness and become liquids and solids (again)

M. ultra-quantum atoms lose their individual identity and can’t be distinguished individually any longer

N. events on temperature scale go from room temperature to 102 = 300ₒ Kelvin (K = Kelvin)

FORMULA: BEC = 1 nanoK (nK)

O. extreme heat is the same as extreme cold, behaviorally (atomically) and lead to indistinguishability among atoms (see letter M, above)

P. neutronium is a superfluid and is under the surface of neutron stars

Q. each BEC can only be kept intact for about 1 minute, then it falls apart

R. entanglement is not a property of a quantum wavefunction unless we know where and when the substance/particle is

S. rubidium has 37 electrons and 37 protons, is deepest red (the name means that) due to laser cooling it becomes a BEC in its isotope form, which represents the # of neutrons
85Rb and 87Rb are most used

T. xamon (sp?) zamon (sp?) : slower neutrons gets them supercooled and creates the BEC form

U. shadow imaging measures the cooling and velocity

V. Stern-Gerlach effect is used every day

W. evaporative cooling is the supercooling method most used (accomplished via lasers)

Session VII Professor Peter S. Shawhan, Ph.D.

Joint Space-Science Institute and UMD Physics Department, works with LIGO–Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory– (Livingston, LA, and Baton Rouge, LA, and Richland, WA [ Hanford] are the centers) detecting gravitational waves 7 total sites planned worldwide for future

A. multi-messenger astronomy works with 10-21 -size objects

B. GR = General theory of Relativity in formulae and references

C. spacetime is curved by mass or energy which creates gravity

D. wave solutions travel at the speed of light (c) but variations in the spacetime metric show us the effective distance between points in space

E. tesseract (Madeline L’Engle’s word, Wrinkle in Time scifi series, 1960s) probably came from the incipient understanding of the stretching and shrinking, alternately, that occurs in spacetime

F. wormholes didn’t get to hear about these!

G. gravitational waves travel through a Dune (Frank Hebert’s scifi creation) sandworm-like, connected rings, undulating

H. neutron stars and black holes orbit tightly near each other in pairs, often

I. dimensionless strain
a single number may suffice to describe the strain, and therefore the strain rate: a long and uniform rubberband is gradually stretched by pulling at the ends so we can see that the strain can be defined as the ratio between the amount of stretching and the original length of the band

FORMULA: h = ∆L/L

that “h” is NOT Planck’s constant

J. binary pulsars can be 2 neutron stars or 1 neutron star and one black hole or 2 black holes in close orbit to each other and Earth. The orbit “decays” over time and then the stars get closer and closer to each other, creating a black hole when they collapse into each other

K. gravitational waves carry away energy and angular momentum

L. “decay” of the orbit is “inspiral

M. when 2 orbiting neutron stars get too close to each other a black hole is formed in about 300 million years

N. constructive interference which generates bright output
vs.
destructive interference which generates dark output

O. high frequency vibrations make it so that suspended objects don’t shake

P. interferometers are at LIGO centers

Q. quantum noise comes from photons in laser beams at LIGO centers

R. DOF = Degrees Of Freedom

S. squeezed light happens in a vacuum because a vacuum has fluctuating EMFs (ElectroMagnetic Fields)

T. squeezed light has 2 quadratures: length and intensity; both can be measured

U. positrons and electrons are anti-particles but positrons only exist “momentarily”

V. metallicity of a star is the # of elements above Helium in the periodic table that are metals in its composition

W. “spacetime is very stiff”

X. Gravitational waves (GW) that were recently detected arrived from 1.3 billion years ago!

Y. nonzero spin

Z. black holes emit gravitational waves as they stabilize or if something “falls” into one

A’. heavier-than-iron elements come from supernovas and binary black holes (neutron star mergers)

B’. slowing down a GW could allow travel between waves (!!)

C’. cosmic inflation allows objects to exceed lightspeed

D’. event horizon is the inside of a black hole from which nothing “escapes” that we know of (yet)

E’. effects of GW on human-like bodies are unknown at this time. We adjust to resonant frequencies lower than our own as long as they are ≤ 3/10% (.003). More than that could shatter humans’ bones.

Session VIII, Professor Chris Monroe, Ph.D.
Quantum Communication

A. Moore’s Law from the 1940s information theory says that the density of computer chips grows exponentially when bits are 0s and 1s

B. now there are about 10 billion transistors, which is almost the peak of what can be stored

C. transistors are getting smaller, but they are capped at about the year 2020 for what can be shrunk

D. “granularity of matter” “you can’t shrink things indefinitely without running into atoms.”

E. build circuits out of atoms to get “smaller” spaces for storing information, which creates “quantum computers”

F. “quantum information science” is of the 21st century

G. NAND gates use Boolean logic and have to do with input and output, what is flipped and what is not (Not + And = NAND) so that A or B or both are “negated” between input and output

H. Quantum Mechanics (QM) rules: there are two
1. Quantum objects are waves AND can be in superposition
qubit = quantum bit
} = in a quantum state (symbol)

FORMULA: │ψ} = a│0} + b│1}

2. to keep rule #1, “Don't look!” meaning, don't “observe” or “measure” anything

I. each orbit is a bit, and one electron has 2 orbits, 0 and 1

J. Hamiltonion = H = energy function

K. the observer “breaks isolation” vs. not introducing molecules at all into the experience of a particle or an object in a quantum state

L .multiverse theory allows both QM rules to co-exist

M. “observing” = interacting with the environment (changing the object’s experience)

N. in physicists’ talk:
mathematical or natural preferences = “like”
“knows” = “makes a decision”
“sees” = “knows”
“personality” = “expressing a preference”
“we didn’t care about or don’t know” sweeps anything “under the rug” when physicists use probabilities to deal with anything

O. quantum parallel processing allows for exponential storage options

P. measurement gives random and useless results, sometimes

Q. waves of existence can create “beats” via simple interferences

R. everything vanishes except 1 or 2 answers = quantum algorithms

S. if we tap other universe to store information, then we won’t run out of space in ours for quantum data (qubits) because qubits accumulate data at exponential rates (do we lease, rent or buy space? Steal it?)

T. 10,000 times something occurs in laboratory experiments = “knowing” to a 1% (99%) probability

U. 1/2-way flip a qubit application = the square root of a NOT gate

V. quantum 1st flips, 2nd flips = XOR gate the first is dependent on the second

W. superposition happens from the XOR gate and goes into entanglement

X. teleportation is quantum communication using entanglement

FORMULA: │0}+│0}+│1}+│1}
red blue red blue

Y. Fred Alan Wolf, Taking the Quantum Leap

Z. teleportation destroys the original and creates a replica in a new location

A’. a human has 10 to the 27th atoms


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, Second Installment

What I got from The Schrödinger Sessions II: Physics for Science-Fiction Writers, Second 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 second 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 III, Chad Orzel, Ph.D.

A. What is “waving”?
pilot wave: the guiding particle of a group of particles

B. wave-particle duality
[BOOK: Leonard Susskind & Art Friedman, Quantum Mechanics]

C. superposition: prior to measurement/observation of any kind, objects (particles or whatever) can be in multiple states/locations simultaneously (the famous dead/alive cat in the box)

D. for probability, square the wavefunction to add waves in the double-slit experiment

E. Heinsenberg’s Uncertainty Principle: we can’t know both where we are and how fast we’re moving simultaneously

FORMULA: [‑ ħ2/2m∆2+V]ψ = iħ∂/∂t*ψ

the part before the = sign is the energy of the particle
the trident ψ is psi, which represents the wavefunction, the fundamental object in QM (Quantum Mechanics)
the italicized “i” is the square root of -1, an imaginary number
the part after the second ħ represents change over time
* shows multiplication happens between these two portions
/ shows a fraction (division) line

F. epistemic statements are about our knowledge of a system that necessarily are actual

G. ontological statements are about real physical objects changing over time, and many use the humorous ψ-ontologists, “psi-ontologists,” or “ontic” thinking as that description

H. duality occurs when we attempt to get something to “behave” as both a particle and a wave simultaneously

I. there is a 100% probability that a particle is in a particuar position at any given time until it is observed/measured

J. wavepacket add two waves together (differing wavelengths) and beats are created. Square these, like the square of a sine wave, to get the complex conjugate, or curve formula

K. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

FORMULA: ∆x*∆p ≥ ħ/2

x is the position
p is the momentum (both of these can never be zero)
is delta, or change
ħ is always h/2π (because all physicists are inherently lazy and don’t want to write the same thing multiple times if they can use a shortcut)

L. physicists like to use closed systems, educated guesses and thought experiments rather than actually accept paradoxes and the unknown

Session IV Professor Steve Rolston, Ph.D.

A. Welcher Weg = “which way,” in German
if, in principle, I know which way the particle went, there is no interference

encoded via spin within atoms

B. quantum eraser changing the observation or measurement “afterwards”

C. wavefunction collapse all probabilities disappear upon being measured/observed, because the object (wave/particle) now has a known/fixed position

D. polarization light has both vertical and horizontal oscillation, so polarizing eliminates one or the other. This allows for 3-D glasses, sunglasses and other glare-reduction lenses to work by blocking one set, or vector, of waves with a lens

E. Decoherence theory: collapse occurs through interaction with a larger system (an observer, the environment, the “measurement”)

F. measuring device is anything that interacts with the outside world for that object

G. there is “no need to introduce consciousness” to have an observer

H. “entanglement is continuously destroyed”

I. quantum Bayesian(sp?) (Qubism)

J. The “many worlds” perspective / theory originated with Hugh Evert in 1957, but it was Dr. Bryce Seligman DeWitt, Ph.D., who said: “Everything is always everywhere,” and Richard Bach, among others, who said “Everything that can happen is happening now.”

K. measurement just generates correlations (entanglement)

L. In The Spanners Series (my sci-fi/romance series) timulters allow parallel worlds’ objects/people to communicate with one another

M. “the wavefunction is a mathematical description of humans’ knowledge of nature, not of a physical entity.”

N. theories are not “laws” and most cannot become “laws”

Session V Professor Alan McDowell, Ph.D.

A. measurement is quantification

B. feedback leads to an altered strategy based on the results of measurement

C. radiometry is an “absolute” source

D. blackbody: a kiln/oven with a uniform temperature and 1 opening generates temperature then leads to radiance

E. physicists need to get out more; they are hard up for entertainment (they like to play with rotating polarized lenses)

F. 0 and 1 box game, with three columns and three rows of possible positions, in which the columns must add up to “even” numbers and the rows must add up to “odd” numbers, doesn’t work: the final box can never be filled in correctly

G. low efficiency yields small subsets, not large enough to be a scientific sample

H. random number generators are important for many functions


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

Why I #write utopian, #Buddhist-infused, #multiverse #scifi/rom #novels & why you should #read & share them.

Reposted from 10/30/13 and 2/5/15

Writers are often exhorted to write the books we want to read that seem not to exist, yet. I am following that advice with The Spanners Series, especially Volume I, This Changes Everything, which is now PERMAFREE, and also with subsequent volumes (Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, released 6/9/14; look for Volumes III and IV in 2015).

I am an avid reader and have probably read hundreds of thousands of books in my 56 years of reading independently and quickly, sometimes devouring ten books a week. If I say books like mine—a series like The Spanners—don’t yet exist, I’m probably correct.

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All buy links, reviews, interviews, readings and more: http://www.sallyember.com/Spanners Look right; scroll down.

Why am I writing #science-fiction/#romance, #Buddhist-infused, #multiverse/#multiple timelines #utopian #novels besides the reason already given? And, why should you read them? Because we live in a deteriorating, or degenerating Age, according to #Tibetan Buddhists (and probably many others I’m not bothering to research right now).

When I first hear this claim, I disbelieve it. Aren’t most things “improving” for humanity? Modern medicine, technology, transportation, knowledge of all types: in the 20th and 21st centuries, we are experiencing incontrovertible advances, mind-blowing progress, right? Plus, that POV is just such a downer!

Why would the Buddha’s followers propose and then Buddhist teachers and scholars maintain such a doom-and-gloom perspective on life? It’s not enough that Buddha focused his teachings on suffering and impermanence? Most Buddhists must be depressed: that’s what I thought.

I could understand why Tibetans, having been living under horrible oppression, genocide and cultural destruction under Chinese rule for decades, would be so pessimistic. But, we’re in the good ole’ USA: things are great here, right?

Not so much. I won’t go into the facts we all know now (even more than ever, thanks to Snodwen and Manning) about how screwed up the USA has been and still is, nor how terrible the economy is here and everywhere. I won’t provide the list. We all know too well the horrors of our modern life. Modern tragedies, however, are actually not even relevant to this discussion.

The “degenerating” part of our Age has little to do with actual external conditions. Our deterioration involves humans’ not being able to learn #dharma, not being able to find qualified and worthy Buddhist teachers, not being able to practice meditation well or at all. The Buddha’s teachings and Buddhists practitioners are what are degenerating, in what is called “The Third Age” or “The Latter Day of the Law.”

You can look this up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Ages_of_Buddhism

My point is, dystopian futures abound. Most sci-fi writers, even those that include romance in their stories, write of increasingly worsening conditions on and around this planet and across the Universe. They pile on the violence, showing increasing discord, more political and social unrest, deaths and destructions even worse than we have now. We already have too much awfulness for me to want to read about even worse futures.

Enough, already: I believe we need some hope, ideas of how else things could go, whether or not I always believe they will take these turns. Since I can’t find this optimism in the daily news or libraries’ and bookstores’ fiction, I decide to create it. I need this in my personal life, for the USA, for the continent, the water, air and land: I am imagining routes for improvement for the planet and the entire universe.

When I #meditate, especially during a #retreat phase in which I was #contemplating lives of beings in the “God Realm,” it occured to me repeatedly that we live in opulence amid squalor, all over the planet. Beauty smack dab in the middle of ugliness, every day. #Yin and #yang. We do have to “take the good with the bad,” but do we have to emphasize the “bad”?

I do not.

In my novels, even when things are “bad,” there is more good than bad. Buddha teaches often that we have to discern between “good” and “bad” even as we know these are illusory. Many teachings expound on how there is NO “good” or “bad,” no “birth” and no “death,” no “coming” and no “going.”

While you puzzle over that, I’m going to continue my utopian illusions in The Spanners Series. In my current and future multiverses, beings, including humans, will have love, better conditions and dharma: they/we have it all!

Furthermore, I’m going to HOPE—even though we are instructed to meditate partly in order to relinquish all hope and all fear—that YOU read my books and enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing them.

Please let me know! Write your comments here on this and other posts, on excerpts from my novel, and whatever else occurs to you. Let’s converse!

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

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

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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

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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

Best of luck in your writing.

#Writing as Excavation of the Soul

Repost from 12/2/13

For me, #writing fiction and poetry always involves digging up artifacts and dirt. My own and others’ buried treasures, junk, secrets and lies are uncovered, examined, deemed worthy “as is” or refurbished, cleaned up and presented within the text.

Writing #ClaraBranon, as her and about her, is the most autobiographical fiction I’ve ever written. I decided to gift Clara with most of my own “stories” and history, to see what would happen when a version of me is involved in the circumstances and relationships Clara encounters. It’s a roller-coaster for me, delving into my own life to pull up people, events, emotions, reactions, wishes, fears, griefs and successes and foist them onto Clara.

Usually, she does a lot better than I do or I already have with these events and has a much higher “success” rate with her conversations and intimacies than I can claim. In many ways, I feel envious of her. I also do not want her life, especially the public part. But, I do sometimes wish I had her personal strength and courage.

Oh, wait; I do. I must. I also have her creativity, the fire that burns within her, since I gave it to her. Of course I do.

Then, why is it so much easier to see this in Clara than in myself? I believe I make a character in my own image and deliberately make her better than I am only to discover that she can’t be better than I am because I made her. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the whole “God-made-humans-in-‘His’-own’-image” story has similar issues, yes?

As a fiction and poetry creator, as a #Buddhist well aware of the illusory nature of all phenomena, as a fabricator and dreamer, I am well aware of the fantasies I make into a semblance of reality with each paragraph or stanza I put into words. I paint pictures of scenes, drawing upon deep emotional bonds and reactions in order to do it, but we all know none of this is “real.” Right? Except for the parts that are true, that is.

The exhilarating, terrifying ride of writing one’s own stories in whatever forms is that others are going to read them and get to know things about me and my inner world I would never tell them, otherwise. My best defense, then, is to mix these true tales with pure fiction.

Sometimes serving up this admixture seems to be a cop-out move on my part, as I feel a taunting voice within me saying: “Na, na: you can’t know me! You don’t know what parts of this are ‘mine’ and which are completely made up. So there! Try and figure it out. I’ll never tell!”

This is the gauntlet every writer throws down to one’s readers: “Catch me, if you can!”

I do leave breadcrumbs for your journey, especially on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sallyember and here in my blog posts. Happy treasure hunting, readers!

Please let me know what you find and what labels you decide to put on each trinket. We can compare later. Start with Volume I, This Changes Everything (NOW FREE) and ask: “Who is #EpifanioDang?” Move on to “Are there really #aliens coming or already here from the #ManyWorldsCollective?”
http://www.sallyember.com for buy links, reviews, interviews and more. Look right; scroll down.

Continue with a chapter-by-chapter analysis of world history, politics, biology, religions, the arts and meditation and keep going: The Spanners Series has so much to offer you, including Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, which released 6/9/14, and Volumes III and IV coming out in 2015!

Enjoy! Write Reviews! Share!

Is all disagreement “negativity”? When did that happen? I DISAGREE!

THIS POST IS DEDICATED TO MY MIDDLE SISTER, W. ELLEN E. FLEISCHMANN, A MISSOURI STATE CHAMPION DEBATER, WHOSE BIRTHDAY IS TODAY!

Is all disagreement “negativity”? When did that happen? I DISAGREE, and I am not being “negative,” unless we’re in a debate, in which case my “side” is “con” (as opposed to “pro”).

This issue has arisen in various ways over the last two years or so, since I became a indie author, blogger and online participant. However, in my latest foray into online “conversations,” I engaged in an exchange that has been very disappointing.

An online acquaintance who moderates one of the Facebook groups I belong to has a public website that includes a blog where she often posts reviews. I’ve been following her site and occasionally reading her posts. Otherwise, we don’t know each other.

A bit of background: I don’t usually comment on hers or anyone’s reviews unless one is particularly well-written or I happen to vehemently agree or disagree with it, which was the case, here. This is a public site and she allows for comments.

This reviewer (who shall remain nameless) posted rave comments for the 50 Shades trilogy, including her wish to speak with E.L.James (making it seem as if she had an “author crush” on E.L. James, which I have no issue with at all). It was her calling the main relationship portrayed in 50 Shades “the greatest modern love story” of her time (this reviewer is about 20 years younger than I am, by my estimate; perhaps younger), that compelled me to respond.

I thought carefully about what I felt and thought and how I wanted to convey these bits, edited and revised my comments a few times before I posted them for approval. Then, I went on to my day’s other business.

Unfortunately, I received the following message (see below for our email chain) later that day.
Her decision not to “approve” or post my comment on her site and her intense, personal reaction surprised and appalled me, as you will see by my email response to her.

I’m not trying to start any kind of conflict or flame war. I really want to know what you all think. (See below.) Here are my main questions to you, my blog readers:

—-Are we supposed to withhold responding when we have ANY disagreement between us and any members of our online “community”?
—-Is ALL disagreement “negativity”?
—-Do we have to speak in “soft tones,” “soft-pedaling” anything that might possibly be critical, because so many writers/bloggers seem unable to tolerate being criticized?
—-Are we supposed to keep our sites (and purportedly, our lives) free of all conflictual conversations by not approving critical comments?
—-Do those of us who have criticisms to levy have to refrain or risk being called “trolls,” or banned/kicked out of review groups, comments sections, social network platform groups, etc.?
—-Do only “yes” people and “supporters” feel (and get) welcomed online?

not every critic is a hater

I can’t recreate my exact comment, but here is the gist:

Your post made me feel sad and I feel sorry for you. What world do you live in, that these two-dimensional characters and their dysfunctional sex and interactions constitute any kind of “love story,” much less “the greatest one”? James’ depiction of her disempowered, ignorant female lead character is insulting to women everywhere. The “billionaire” male lead is selfish, clueless about healthy relationships and awful to his “girlfriend.” The “plot,” thin as it is, is implausible. Some of the “play” depicted in the sex scenes is not credible or even possible (people have tried to recreate it with laughable and/or injurious results).

I reviewed and disliked all three books, giving many considered reasons. Please go read my reviews. I also consider E.L. James’ writing among the worst to receive public acclaim, so as an editor, author and reader, I challenge your evaluation of the writing of these novels. Your opinions caused me to feel discouraged.

Here are the first email I got from this reviewer, below, and our exchange below that.

Subject: Blog Comment

“I was really on the fence with whether or not to approve your comment, Sally, or to respond to it. Because realistically the best way to deal with negativity is to not feed into it. So in this case, I’m going to respond privately.

“In answer to your question: ‘What world do you live in?’ I live in a democratic world where everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and since it is my blog, I am free to express it. You chose to read my blog, just as you obviously chose to read Fifty Shades of Grey. And like all readers in the world, we all have different viewpoints on how we interpret a book. You have no right to judge my opinion, just as I have no right to judge yours.

“However, the fact that you chose to try and publicly insult me on my blog, saying that you feel sorry for me for my opinion, that you feel saddened by it, is extremely hurtful.

“I have supported your posts on [the Facebook group I moderate] since its inception, and I am disgusted that you would even try to publicly insult me, as I have never done anything but provide you with support. I did not approve your comment.”

comment not approved

I’m reading this, stunned. Really? These two lines, in the same paragraph, written without irony?
“I live in a democratic world where everyone is entitled to their own opinion…” followed by
“You have no right to judge my opinion, just as I have no right to judge yours.”

If we have a “democratic” right to our opinions, isn’t judgment a form of opinion? Why does she think we “have no right” to judge anyone else’s opinions? That is so absurd I don’t even know where to start with a response.

And, a deletion of my comment follows this “explanation”? I’m sputtering and laughing, both.

What IS a review, if it’s not exactly that: one reader and possibly another writer JUDGING another’s opinions and writing?

What is the function of comments on reviews, if not to JUDGE that review (like it, dislike it, agree/disagree)?

I considered, took some deep breaths, decided it was worth my time to respond. Maybe she could learn something… Maybe not.

I wrote, revised a few times, then responded:

Subject: Re: Blog Comment

“Dear XXX,

“It is your blog, your review and your opinions: all true. But, if the only comments you ‘approve’ on your site are those that agree with you, make you feel good and support your opinions unequivocally, you will stagnate.

“Your choice.

“I did not set out to be nor do you have to take my comments as ‘hurtful.’ I was expressing my dismay, my personal (as a female and feminist who is a lot older than you) and my professional (as a writer who has been writing a lot longer than you) sorrow at your conclusions and approval of those books. I read them all, too. I reviewed them all, too.

“If you want to go and comment on my reviews, please do. Say whatever you want, as a reviewer, a writer and a reader: that is your right. I encourage you to do so.

“Your previous support of my posts is appreciated, but your using that as if you ‘paid’ for my approval forever by doing so is insulting to me. Stop approving, stop supporting, if you think you ‘deserve’ some special and DISHONEST responses from me for doing so.

“If you want to close off conversations between us because you disagree and get hurt feelings when I don’t like what you write or post, I can’t stop you, but please; don’t make it as if I did anything wrong. You have a public blog. Comments are public. I did not ‘publicly insult you.’ I responded to your public post, in public, where comments belong.

“Sheesh.

“Sally”

She wrote back:

Re: Re: Blog Comment

“I will not respond to your negativity, Sally.

“We obviously do live in two different worlds. I’m happy to stay in mine.”


I did not and will not respond directly to her. I gave up on her: not apparently willing to be learning; not worth my time.

Instead, I am writing this post and asking for YOUR opinions.

Maybe I could have phrased my comment more “gently,” in some misguided attempt to protect her, but I would NEVER consider doing that for a man or someone my own age. Wouldn’t I be subjecting her to gender and age bias if I were to withhold, “dumb down” or soft-pedal my considered and professional opinions just because she’s a woman and/or someone younger than I am? She presents herself as a professional in public so I treated her as one.

Why doesn’t she expect some responses that don’t please her and have a better way to manage her own feelings about them? Why can’t she handle disagreement and criticism with more grace, or, even better, engage in a conversation with me about her points of disagreement, defend her opinion, argue her points, instead of playing the “hurt” and “insulted” cards? Why is all right for her to judge my comments but not all right for me to judge her review?

Are we “fellow authors” and reviewers/bloggers really obligated—no; supposed to—send all comments in which we disagree with a blogger to them privately, first? Why?

I vehemently disagree with these ever-expanding hiding-from-public-view practices. I am certain that hiding disagreements results in the disappearance of complex, nuanced dialogue and provides the public with pablum, instead. Then, the only thing readers get is a distorted picture of author engagement, in which we all hold hands and sing “Kum Ba Ya” all the time. When we post only glowing reviews, readers are misled and we breach the public trust.

When some label comments they don’t like as “negativity” and relegate disagreement to the private realm, we are all then left with sanitized, white-washed, dishonest and hypocritical non-dialogue in all public spaces: what is the point of engagement, then? Just keep patting everyone on the back, regardless of value, worth, logic, perceptions?

Not all disagreement is “negativity.” Not all conflicts between us should position one person as “good” and the other as a “troll.” Yes, there are “trolls.” I am not one of them, and this person should realize that. I am not hurt, just pointing out the obvious.

If she really can’t tell the difference between my expressing my honest opinions, while I am respecting but not liking hers; if she can’t see that I am not liking that she came to the conclusions she did or made the choices she did, but I am taking the time to tell her that as one professional to another, then I am led to give up on her.

Authors and bloggers, in my view, do not “earn” uncritical support (or maybe you think you do and you want it, but I do NOT) just by joining a group or getting to know each other online. If you are my professional “friend” or colleague, PLEASE tell me the truth. I don’t want applause; I want critiques and engagement that matter.

Just so you know: I do not go around looking for people to disagree with. I am busy. Most of my posted comments are supportive and positive, and I don’t post a lot of those, either.

HOWEVER, when something disturbs and moves me enough to write to someone about it, that writer should be grateful: I read his/her piece, respected the author enough to consider their opinions or positions, and responded from a thoughtful place.

When I am writing to the reviewer or blogger in order to provide my emotional as well as logical responses, that is further proof that I believe in this author or blogger enough to take MY precious time to craft and post a response.

If this blogger and any others do not understand that all thoughtful comments, however contradictory or critical, are a gift, their censorship is going to make honest dialogue even more rare.

Some writers apparently don’t have the courage to stand by their own public proclamations and engage publicly with people who do not agree with them. I term this behavior “unprofessional” and deem them unworthy of my time and opinions in the future.

BTW: I went to her FB group to see if she (the moderator) had kicked me out, and so far, not. However, she posted and pinned this query, right after our email exchange:

“Since this group is becoming more and more of a spam magnet, and not so much about [the group’s stated topic] anymore, I’m thinking it’s time to put it to rest?

“If anyone cares to keep it open, please respond with a comment, and I’ll see what reception I receive.

“I’m thinking about opening another one using a different name and with a slightly different purpose. Thoughts?”

Shutting down this group and using a different name to start another one?

Coincidence? I doubt it.

PLEASE post your comments here, on my main blog, to this any any other post:
http://www.sallyember.com/blog.
ALL comments that are not SPAM are ALWAYS approved.

comment approved baby
image from http://www.phoenixheart.net

Keep writing, keep commenting, keep reading, keep approving.

Best to you all.

“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.

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

“10 Underestimated Blogs Worth a Writer’s Attention” from Where Writers Win

“10 Underestimated Blogs Worth a Writer’s Attention” from Where Writers Win

and, add http://www.sallyember.com/bloghttp://go.shr.lc/1wdm3Wa via @WhereWritersWin

“10 Underestimated Blogs Worth a Writer’s Attention” from Where Writers Win

“10 Underestimated Blogs Worth a Writer’s Attention” from Where Writers Win

and, add http://www.sallyember.com/bloghttp://go.shr.lc/1wdm3Wa via @WhereWritersWin

“Actualists” vs. “Realists”: The Evolution of Modern #Fiction thanks to #Quantum #Physics

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have not read the book, FICTION IN THE QUANTUM UNIVERSE, being reviewed in the blog post I am quoting, written by Marti. I probably won’t.

quantum-fiction cover

But, I’m fascinated by the topic, which relates directly to my own writing and choices in The Spanners Series ebooks and appreciate her review and snippets enormously.

logoAuthorsDen

I’m sharing some of Marti’s review, linking to her blog (below) and commenting here on mine.

Of course, I encourage anyone interested to read the full review AND read Susan Strehle’s book. Some day, I will.

FICTION IN THE QUANTUM UNIVERSE by Susan Strehle

Reviewed by Marti on What has Been Read Cannot Be Unread book blog

9/15/14

Marti characterizes this as an “interesting but academic book” which is hard to argue with, for sure. Her summary of Strehle’s premise is: “a new fiction has developed from the influence of modern physics.”

I LOVE this idea! As a new-ish speculative fiction writer (This Changes Everything, Volume I, and This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Volume II, published as ebooks, so far) who would definitely fit into this category, I’m glad to have these choices honored and recognized as parts of a trend.

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks

final cover print

Strehle calls this new fiction actualism, which I like as a term. However, I don’t like her positioning realism as its opposite, since Buddhists and quantum physicists all realize that NOTHING is “REAL” in the sense of the word as we currently know it.

Marti writes that Strehle claims we actualists are writing the way we do “in order to reflect more accurately what we now understand as real.”

This I do agree with. For example, I am choosing to write my novels in the present tense (which aggravates and confounds many readers and reviewers; too bad) to emphasize the simultaneity of time and the “nowness” of everything. I also write about the existence of multiple timelines and some people’s abilities to know facts, events, circumstances, etc., across these timelines in the multiverse. How would I and and other sci-fi writers be doing this without the influences of quantum physics?

I adore these quotes from Marti’s review, some of which are double quoted, since they’re from the book:

[Strehle] says that in the new physical or quantum universe, reality is discontinuous, energetic, relative, statistical, subjectively seen, and uncertainly known — all terms taken from new physics, and that rather than choosing between art and actuality, contemporary novelists pursue both in fiction.

“Contemporary fiction departs from realism without losing interest in reality. Reality is no longer realistic; it has more energy and mystery, rendering the observer’s position more uncertain and more involved.”

Actualist fiction is characterized by incompletions, indeterminacy, and “open” endings unsatisfying to the readerly wish for fulfilled promises and completed patterns. Gravity’s Rainbow [by Thomas Pynchon], for example, ends not with a period but with a dash. Strehle argues that such innovations in narrative reflect on twentieth-century history, politics, science, and discourse.

Read Marti’s full review by following the link, here, and read Strehle’s book by following her links to it or getting it from your local library. Enjoy!

http://whathasbeenread.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/fiction-in-the-quantum-universe-by-susan-strehle/

“Actualists” vs. “Realists”: The Evolution of Modern #Fiction thanks to #Quantum #Physics

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have not read the book, FICTION IN THE QUANTUM UNIVERSE, being reviewed in the blog post I am quoting, written by Marti. I probably won’t.

quantum-fiction cover

But, I’m fascinated by the topic, which relates directly to my own writing and choices in The Spanners Series ebooks and appreciate her review and snippets enormously.

logoAuthorsDen

I’m sharing some of Marti’s review, linking to her blog (below) and commenting here on mine.

Of course, I encourage anyone interested to read the full review AND read Susan Strehle’s book. Some day, I will.

FICTION IN THE QUANTUM UNIVERSE by Susan Strehle

Reviewed by Marti on What has Been Read Cannot Be Unread book blog

9/15/14

Marti characterizes this as an “interesting but academic book” which is hard to argue with, for sure. Her summary of Strehle’s premise is: “a new fiction has developed from the influence of modern physics.”

I LOVE this idea! As a new-ish speculative fiction writer (This Changes Everything, Volume I, and This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Volume II, published as ebooks, so far) who would definitely fit into this category, I’m glad to have these choices honored and recognized as parts of a trend.

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks

final cover print

Strehle calls this new fiction actualism, which I like as a term. However, I don’t like her positioning realism as its opposite, since Buddhists and quantum physicists all realize that NOTHING is “REAL” in the sense of the word as we currently know it.

Marti writes that Strehle claims we actualists are writing the way we do “in order to reflect more accurately what we now understand as real.”

This I do agree with. For example, I am choosing to write my novels in the present tense (which aggravates and confounds many readers and reviewers; too bad) to emphasize the simultaneity of time and the “nowness” of everything. I also write about the existence of multiple timelines and some people’s abilities to know facts, events, circumstances, etc., across these timelines in the multiverse. How would I and and other sci-fi writers be doing this without the influences of quantum physics?

I adore these quotes from Marti’s review, some of which are double quoted, since they’re from the book:

[Strehle] says that in the new physical or quantum universe, reality is discontinuous, energetic, relative, statistical, subjectively seen, and uncertainly known — all terms taken from new physics, and that rather than choosing between art and actuality, contemporary novelists pursue both in fiction.

“Contemporary fiction departs from realism without losing interest in reality. Reality is no longer realistic; it has more energy and mystery, rendering the observer’s position more uncertain and more involved.”

Actualist fiction is characterized by incompletions, indeterminacy, and “open” endings unsatisfying to the readerly wish for fulfilled promises and completed patterns. Gravity’s Rainbow [by Thomas Pynchon], for example, ends not with a period but with a dash. Strehle argues that such innovations in narrative reflect on twentieth-century history, politics, science, and discourse.

Read Marti’s full review by following the link, here, and read Strehle’s book by following her links to it or getting it from your local library. Enjoy!

http://whathasbeenread.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/fiction-in-the-quantum-universe-by-susan-strehle/

My Blogaversary and 1st year of Book Marketing: Report Card

First of all, thanks for financial and technical support to my niece, Sarah Miranda, my sister, Ellen Fleischmann, and my son, Merlyn Ember. Thanks, also, to WordPress.com techhies and Q & A and fora participants.

Second, but equally important, I am grateful to all of my readers, responders, rebloggers, guest bloggers and/or followers for your interest, suggestions, support and interactions. My site would be dead air without you!

On my one-year Anniversary of my Blog, what many call a “Blogaversary,” I am summarizing and analyzing my accomplishments and progress, to date. Let me know what you think!

My Blog Stats

I ended my first full year of blogging with 243 Followers. 208 followers are on WordPress; 35 are on Tumblr.
THANKS, all!

I started with a site that was new and unknown so it wasn’t even rated by ALEXA. I had zero “backlinks.”
Today (8/9/14), I have 128 Backlinks. My ALEXA international rating is 419,061 out of over 4 millions sites.
For the USA, sallyember.com is rated 68,034 out of over 2 million sites.

If you want to check your site’s rankings on ALEXA, get the free extension to your toolbar and check about once every few days by going to your main page/splash page, then clicking on that icon on your toolbar.

I aspire to have a Google Page Ranking: yet to be earned.

followed-blog-200-1x

Total Number of Visitors/Views: 8326

I figured out early on how to cross-post each of my blog entries to my personal/author’s pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (although I mysteriously have to “refresh” this connection periodically, according to prompts from WordPress).

Later, I added Goodreads, Amazon, Shelfari, BookLikes, and Google+ as well as my Spanners Series page on Facebook as automatic recipient posting sites.

About twice a month, I utilize one of the images in each of my original content entries and put those posts on my Pinterest “My Blog Posts” board, which then automatically cross-posts to Twitter and Facebook, again.

Mostly due to these cross-posting, my Followers on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn and Goodreads have all increased dramatically. When I started my Blog, I was brand-new to Pinterest, Author Central, and my series’ pages, and mostly inactive on LinkedIn and Goodreads; and had only 7 Twitter Followers. Here are the Blogaversary comparison stats.

FOLLOWERS/LIKES/CIRCLES TALLIES, August 10, 2013 – August 10, 2014
(all links are on the right sidebar of my website)
Twitter 7 to 3441
Pinterest 0 to 208
LinkedIn 200 to 500+ (LI maxes out the count at 500)
Facebook personal 232 to 1438
Facebook Series page 0 to 937
Google+ personal 0 to 1301
Google+ Series page 0 to 29 (not much action, here; can’t get blog to cross-post)
Goodreads author page 110 to 1113
Amazon Author Central page 0 to 142

PAGE/POST VIEWS

My highest-ever number of views in one day was 197, spread around several posts and pages.

Month-by-month Views/Visitors:
Aug, 2013 = 114 (first day was August 10)
Sept. 200
Oct. 307
Nov. 528
Dec. 535
Jan., 2014 = 999
Feb. 1,144
Mar. 740
Apr. 580
(concussion/accident 4/6/14; offline a lot April – June)
May 830
June 872
Jul. 1,161
Aug.(to date) 326

Highest single-day Views = 197

Average Views/Day
for 2013 (5 months): 13
for 2014 (7 months): 30

Blog Posts
200 of my 357 posts (about 40 are reblogs) had 10 or fewer views. These include ALL of the Serialized Excerpts of my sci-fi series, Volumes I and II, most of the reports of these books’ reviews, and many others that I thought were more popular than that.

Freshly Pressed

One of my posts was featured on “Freshly Pressed,” the elite selection gleaned from among all daily blog posts, highlighted for that day in WordPress’ Blog Reader!

Views by Country
Views by visitors from 111 countries
Highest = USA, with 5,909
2nd = UK, with 484
3rd = Canada, with 354
4th = Australia, with 155
5th = Germany, with 128
6th = India, with 125
The rest are 60 or fewer; many are just 1 or 2, so far.

Highest page views were for my site’s main pages:
–ABOUT (my blog’s splash page), with 2,001
–the Home page’s Archives, with 1,703
The Spanners Series page, with 492

For individual posts, the highest number of views were for:
#Buddhism and #Science: the Facts, the Yogis, the Practices , with 232
My #Literary #Meh List 2014: 15 Plots, Devices, Characters I’m BORED with, with 205
Why My First Experience with Using #Pre-Orders Will Help Get My NEXT #Ebook Higher on #Best-Seller Lists, with 185
15 Points about the #Effects of #Concussions on #Meditators’ #Brains, with 160
Pros and Cons of #Writers’ Critique Groups, with 112
When #Spiritual #Teachers Respond with #Countertransference, with 110

Total number of comments (and half or more are my replies): 202

Setting aside the two posts with the most comments that were part of Blog Hops, the next-most commented-upon post was
15 Points about the #Effects of #Concussions on #Meditators’ #Brains, with 12

BLOGGING and BOOK MARKETING ASSESSMENTS

I learned a lot about how to assess my book marketing efforts from many people. I excerpt from PROMOTING MY BOOK , by Lee Gale Gruen, with my commentaries as to my progress/use of these ideas and link to Lee and her sites at the end of this section.
(I first saw this article posted in “Funds for Writers,” compiled weekly by the wonderful Hope Clark: http://www.chopeclark.com Thanks, Hope!)

I am therefore scoring myself on Book Marketing for my first two self-published ebooks according to Lee’s great list, below, of marketing tips and ideas. Let’s see what I learned!

Lee recommends these activities, below, and I agree:

  • 1. Read websites and books such as APE by Guy Kawasaki and Michael Kremer’s books. I also join and watch many free webinars, teleseminars, and Google+ Hangouts On Air regularly for more tips.
  • 2. Join writer’s organizations. Learn from your peers. I joined several here in California with great successes. I will be looking for writers’ groups/clubs in St. Louis in September. Any recommendations?
  • 3. Network at writers’ groups, conferences, online forums, etc. I’ve only been to one conference, so far, but may go to more. How are they worthwhile?
  • 4. Check writers’ websites, materials, author talk/book signings. Learn from their examples. I need to more of this but I do follow quite a few writers’ blogs and learn from their posts.

Lee also talks about “creating” one’s own marketing “tools,” and I get an A+, here! I’ve done them all and I hadn’t even seen this list prior to doing them!

  • 1. Have a website to refer interested people. I have that via my blog, http://www.sallyember.com
  • 2. Purchase your website name (domain) immediately. Thanks to my niece, Sarah Miranda, I did this right off! sallyember.com is MINE!
  • 3. Print flyers with your book cover, synopsis, photo, and bio to hand out at events. I have done this and gotten some new readers from it by handing them out at my writers’ groups.
  • 4. Get business cards. I got free ones from KLOUT, at first, then ordered almost-free ones from Vistaprint.com.
  • 5. Compose a cover letter to email to prospects. I have done this for, in my case, book reviewers.
  • 6. Post a video of yourself discussing your book on http://www.YouTube.com. I did this by accident: the Q & A for my Book Launch talk didn’t work, so there is a 2-hour monologue of me on my youtube channel. Also, 2 more vids of me reading chapters from each of my ebooks and book trailers are on that channel. Starting August 6, almost-weekly episodes from CHANGES, my Google+ HOA, are also there.
  • 7. Add an electronic signature to your emails with links to your website and video. I had done this, but then my son said a signature with many links after it is viewed as “spam” and “shouting” at email recipients, so I removed them. What do you think?

Lee’s advice for how to “Promote Yourself” caused me to realize how much I still have to accomplish here. The BOLD ones are TO BE DONE.

  • 1. Sell yourself as well as your book. Develop a useful message other than just “buy my book.” I mostly do this by curating interesting content and creating it on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. I also repost on some sites like Suvudu, StumpleUpon, Reddit, etc. I’ve also joined and interact with folks in a lot of Groups on Goodreads, Facebook, LinkedIn and Communities on Google+
  • 2. Give author talk/book signings.
  • 3. Volunteer to speak at book clubs, speakers’ bureaus, panels, etc. I have volunteered to some book clubs, but no invitations have arrived, yet.
  • 4. Mention your book in conversations using your “elevator speech:” a one-minute synopsis of your book with a hook to grab the listener. I don’t do this as often as I should, but I do it.
  • 5. Ask readers to post a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If I could find my readers, I would do this more! I wish readers could “opt in” to “author can find me” lists.
  • 6. Submit articles. I’ve been published in my local newspaper and my retirement newsletter. I want to do this.
  • 7. Join HARO (http://www.helpareporter.com) to submit yourself as an interview subject for writers and journalists. I’ve had 6 interviews and will be in an upcoming book. I’ve started my own Google+ Hangout On Air, submitted responses as an Expert on Quora and Ask an Expert, and am considering joining this org, next.
  • 8. Write a blog of interest to your target audience. http://www.sallyember.com is mine. Is it of interest?
  • 9. Look online for similar blogs. Submit guest blogs. Links to my guest posts are on my site. Look to the right and scroll down.

    guest-blogging-image

  • 10. Build an email address list. Email a notice of each appearance, blog, etc. I’ve been slowly building this list, but many commenters or followers don’t provide and I can’t find their email addresses, only Twitter handles or website URLs. How do I get email addresses without paying to get them via a service?
  • 11. Host a book giveaway on http://www.Goodreads.com. Goodreads still doesn’t allow ebook giveaways. SNOBS.
  • 12. Network or search online for professional reviewers. I submitted my book to http://www.midwestbookreview.com for small press publishers. I only do this when there is no fee. I refuse to pay for book reviews.

BIO: Lee Gale Gruen is an actress, author, speaker, and blogger. Her book website is: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com. Her blog, “Reinventing Myself in My Senior Years” is at: http://LeeGaleGruen.Wordpress.com

My Overall Grade/Score for Year One in Blogging and Book Marketing

Well, I give myself an A+ for effort
I earned about a B- for effectiveness, I think (but it’s difficult to make comparisons since I don’t have others’ stats nor know their efforts).

If I’m going by the numbers of books sold (Volume II of The Spanners Series, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, just went on sale June 9) or sold and downloaded since Volume I of The Spanners Series, This Changes Everything, went permafree on April 1 and went on sale December 19, 2013, the dates don’t jibe and the numbers won’t be impressive (to me, anyway). We all have Hugh Howey to thank for that, right?

Plus, even though I can get rankings or paid sales stats from some sites, I can’t get sales or free download numbers from all sites. So, the numbers below are not all-inclusive; they’re just what I can get. Here are the stats for book sales and downloads:

12/19/13 – 3/31/14 Sales and 4/1/14 –> Free downloads for
Volume I of The Spanners Series, This Changes Everything
66 books sold
2296 free downloads
(about 40 for reviewers)

6/9/14 –> Sales for
Volume II of The Spanners Series, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever
4 sales
4 free downloads
(all for reviewers)

I look forward to becoming more “visible” via this and other parts of my “author platform” in my second year blogging and being a fiction author.

Please comment and share your experiences! Best to you all!

*CHANGES* Episode 1 on Youtube Google+ HOA with Sally Ember and Shay West

Did you miss it? We had a blast! Catch the recorded version of my LIVE conversation on CHANGES with Dr. Shay West here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrjdj0S8AQo

or here: http://youtu.be/lrjdj0S8AQo

Shay West photo

Dr. Shay West http://shay-west.com

We talked about writing, biology, teaching, optimism, gratitude, epigenetics, horror, real-life medical horrors and community support as motivations for writing, writers’ groups, Google + Hangouts on Air, and more!

Next week, August 13, CHANGES welcomes Connie Dunn. 7 – 8 AM Pacific USA Time.

Tune in and get involved with your comments and questions, LIVE, or watch CHANGES Episodes later on YouTube.

If you are an author, philosopher, creative sort who likes free-wheeling conversations and wants to be on CHANGES, watch a show or two, then contact the host, Sally Ember: sallyember@yahoo.com and request a slot in October or beyond.

CHANGES occurs on most Wednesdays, but not all. Watch this space for schedule!

Are YOU ready for the CHANGES?

*CHANGES* Episode 1 on Youtube Google+ HOA with Sally Ember and Shay West

Did you miss it? We had a blast! Catch the recorded version of my LIVE conversation on CHANGES with Dr. Shay West here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrjdj0S8AQo

or here: http://youtu.be/lrjdj0S8AQo

Shay West photo

Dr. Shay West http://shay-west.com

We talked about writing, biology, teaching, optimism, gratitude, epigenetics, horror, real-life medical horrors and community support as motivations for writing, writers’ groups, Google + Hangouts on Air, and more!

Next week, August 13, CHANGES welcomes Connie Dunn. 7 – 8 AM Pacific USA Time.

Tune in and get involved with your comments and questions, LIVE, or watch CHANGES Episodes later on YouTube.

If you are an author, philosopher, creative sort who likes free-wheeling conversations and wants to be on CHANGES, watch a show or two, then contact the host, Sally Ember: sallyember@yahoo.com and request a slot in October or beyond.

CHANGES occurs on most Wednesdays, but not all. Watch this space for schedule!

Are YOU ready for the CHANGES?

Thanks, Anne Allen: Tips on Best Ways to Utilize #Writing Critique Groups

#Writers: great info and tips, here, for what kinds of critique/writing groups there are, what to do with the advice you get and the people in them.

I like the names she gives each type of group and I especially appreciate her tips for making the best of even the worst advice or participants! Thanks, Anne!

Full post link is below. It’s well worth your time.
http://annerallen.blogspot.com/2014/08/why-you-should-ignore-most-of-advice.html

critique

Sally Ember’s CHANGES Google + HOA (Hangouts On Air) Start August 6

Sally Ember’s G+ HOAs 60-minute shows, CHANGES

G+ HOA with G+ logo

from ncedchat.blogspot.com

are going to be on Wednesdays, 9 AM CST (Central Time, USA), about three times/month. Premier show: August 6.

Next shows: August 13, 27, Sept. 10, 17, 24.

CHANGES‘ topics will vary a lot, including insights, humor, information, reviews, tips, personal/professional stories, and more. Sally and special guests will provide whatever we believe is useful and interesting to authors, writers, thinkers, readers, social marketing newbies and others.

I will also be learning how to and then posting these as podcasts as well as on YouTube so the CHANGES HOAs can be accessed as archived videos/audios any time.

If you’d like to be a guest or suggest a topic or guest for CHANGES, please contact Sally: sallyember@yahoo.com

google-youtube

from http://www.webinarsonair.com

Guests must have access to Google+ Hangout On Air/You Tube video tech (webcam, appropriate camera and audio quality, bandwidth) and be comfortable with being on camera and on the air before being on this show.

Suggestion: if you’re a newbie to HOAs or a bit camera-shy but want to get involved and be a guest on Sally Ember’s or anyone else’s, first get acquainted with all the great help available for free “out there.”

Check out some of Sally’s mentors and ongoing inspirations:

Meloney Hall‘s “Lights, Camera, HOA” http://bigupticksocial.com/overcome-live-camera-shyness-introducing-lights-camera-hoa/ Here is a link to the episode that features me, Sally Ember, and Michael Daniels’ and others’ great info, with many laughs! You can then get to the new episodes from that channel. Every Monday, 1 PM PST. https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/ciouo2m50c6vrror6eeei9105hc

Denise Wakeman‘s “Adventures in Visibility” http://denisewakeman.com/hoa

Ryan Hanley‘s “Content Warfare” http://www.ryanhanley.com/

Shawn Manaher‘s “Author Hangout” http://bookmarketingtools.com/blog/category/hangout/

Mia Voss‘ HOAs http://themiaconnect.com/

Ron Bincer‘s youtube tutorials http://www.thehangouthelper.com/

Martin Shervington‘s YoutTube tutorials and PDFs, http://www.martinshervington.com/

Rebekah Radice‘s tips and posts http://rebekahradice.com/

Mike Daniels‘ “User2User-Live!” G+ group https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/101944073205735325459

Rayne Dowell has her own site and info on it, such as this:
“Your YouTube Channel & HOA Practice Sessions”

If you’d like to practice HOA’s to improve your Hosting skills these are a few things to keep in mind.

You can host an HOA from your personal profile or your Page, each one can have its own YouTube Channel.

There are 3 basic types of HOA’s:
1. SHOAE (Scheduled Hangout On Air) – created from the Hangout option under the Google+ menu
2. Event – created from the Event option under the Google+ menu and can be created in a community
3. Public Event/Private HOA – created from the Event option under the Google+ menu

There is another option, a CCHOA (this is a community centred HOA, which is created by a page and is more advanced (+Heather Kraafter +Michael Daniels and +Andrew Hatchett are the experts on this if you’d like more info)

► In each case, after you’ve hosted any one of these types of HOA’s, your YouTube channel will hold the end product (video).
► If you are planning on using your personal profile or page in the future to host your own HOA shows, you may decide to mark your practice sessions as ‘private’, giving only a circle access to them.
► You cannot assign access to a g+ community on the YouTube side, only a circle.
► For example, I’ve been practising the Public Event/Private HOA-type of HOA, I’m not able to enter the url and add this video to this post, because the video is marked ‘private’ and shared with a circle (those people in the circle will be able to watch the video, those not will see a black screen).
► If you add or remove a name from your g+ circle, YouTube will then give or remove access to that video based on your circle.

This is what I’ve learned so far about HOA’s and YT. If I’ve come to any conclusions you haven’t, please do let me know – questions are welcome!

Here is a link to Rayne’s youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNh4hA1l5mW_DoM2qtDlVKQ

There are many others who generously and spectacularly teach us/show us how to use G+ HOAs. I honor them all!

If you are a newbie to the entire world of Google+, there are many who can help you learn about it. Here is one link to a great guide: http://www.scottbuehler.com/social-media/beginners-guide-google-plus/

Remember: the only constant is CHANGE!

impermanace Buddha changes

from meditationstreet.com

Are YOU ready for CHANGES? What will you do with CHANGES?

Sally Ember’s CHANGES Google + HOA (Hangouts On Air) Start August 6

Sally Ember’s G+ HOAs 60-minute shows, CHANGES

G+ HOA with G+ logo

from ncedchat.blogspot.com

are going to be on Wednesdays, 9 AM CST (Central Time, USA), about three times/month. Premier show: August 6.

Next shows: August 13, 27, Sept. 10, 17, 24.

CHANGES‘ topics will vary a lot, including insights, humor, information, reviews, tips, personal/professional stories, and more. Sally and special guests will provide whatever we believe is useful and interesting to authors, writers, thinkers, readers, social marketing newbies and others.

I will also be learning how to and then posting these as podcasts as well as on YouTube so the CHANGES HOAs can be accessed as archived videos/audios any time.

If you’d like to be a guest or suggest a topic or guest for CHANGES, please contact Sally: sallyember@yahoo.com

google-youtube

from http://www.webinarsonair.com

Guests must have access to Google+ Hangout On Air/You Tube video tech (webcam, appropriate camera and audio quality, bandwidth) and be comfortable with being on camera and on the air before being on this show.

Suggestion: if you’re a newbie to HOAs or a bit camera-shy but want to get involved and be a guest on Sally Ember’s or anyone else’s, first get acquainted with all the great help available for free “out there.”

Check out some of Sally’s mentors and ongoing inspirations:

Meloney Hall‘s “Lights, Camera, HOA” http://bigupticksocial.com/overcome-live-camera-shyness-introducing-lights-camera-hoa/ Here is a link to the episode that features me, Sally Ember, and Michael Daniels’ and others’ great info, with many laughs! You can then get to the new episodes from that channel. Every Monday, 1 PM PST. https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/ciouo2m50c6vrror6eeei9105hc

Denise Wakeman‘s “Adventures in Visibility” http://denisewakeman.com/hoa

Ryan Hanley‘s “Content Warfare” http://www.ryanhanley.com/

Shawn Manaher‘s “Author Hangout” http://bookmarketingtools.com/blog/category/hangout/

Mia Voss‘ HOAs http://themiaconnect.com/

Ron Bincer‘s youtube tutorials http://www.thehangouthelper.com/

Martin Shervington‘s YoutTube tutorials and PDFs, http://www.martinshervington.com/

Rebekah Radice‘s tips and posts http://rebekahradice.com/

Mike Daniels‘ “User2User-Live!” G+ group https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/101944073205735325459

Rayne Dowell has her own site and info on it, such as this:
“Your YouTube Channel & HOA Practice Sessions”

If you’d like to practice HOA’s to improve your Hosting skills these are a few things to keep in mind.

You can host an HOA from your personal profile or your Page, each one can have its own YouTube Channel.

There are 3 basic types of HOA’s:
1. SHOAE (Scheduled Hangout On Air) – created from the Hangout option under the Google+ menu
2. Event – created from the Event option under the Google+ menu and can be created in a community
3. Public Event/Private HOA – created from the Event option under the Google+ menu

There is another option, a CCHOA (this is a community centred HOA, which is created by a page and is more advanced (+Heather Kraafter +Michael Daniels and +Andrew Hatchett are the experts on this if you’d like more info)

► In each case, after you’ve hosted any one of these types of HOA’s, your YouTube channel will hold the end product (video).
► If you are planning on using your personal profile or page in the future to host your own HOA shows, you may decide to mark your practice sessions as ‘private’, giving only a circle access to them.
► You cannot assign access to a g+ community on the YouTube side, only a circle.
► For example, I’ve been practising the Public Event/Private HOA-type of HOA, I’m not able to enter the url and add this video to this post, because the video is marked ‘private’ and shared with a circle (those people in the circle will be able to watch the video, those not will see a black screen).
► If you add or remove a name from your g+ circle, YouTube will then give or remove access to that video based on your circle.

This is what I’ve learned so far about HOA’s and YT. If I’ve come to any conclusions you haven’t, please do let me know – questions are welcome!

Here is a link to Rayne’s youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNh4hA1l5mW_DoM2qtDlVKQ

There are many others who generously and spectacularly teach us/show us how to use G+ HOAs. I honor them all!

If you are a newbie to the entire world of Google+, there are many who can help you learn about it. Here is one link to a great guide: http://www.scottbuehler.com/social-media/beginners-guide-google-plus/

Remember: the only constant is CHANGE!

impermanace Buddha changes

from meditationstreet.com

Are YOU ready for CHANGES? What will you do with CHANGES?

A DNF (Did Not Finish) Experience Does NOT Qualify for a “Review”

As a writer and as a reader, I am a genre outsider. I don’t write or read squarely within any genre except Speculative Fiction, but that is so large as to be considered a literary category and not one genre (see previous post, https://sallyember.com/2014/07/10/guest-post-the-politics-of-speculative-science-fiction/, for what belongs within Spec Fic).

Furthermore, I don’t usually like what is published in most of the #SpecFic subgenres. I don’t even like their plots or characters. Same goes for #Romance. I often have to label books Did Not Finish (DNF), although I reserve even that designation for books I read a great deal of before abandoning.

DidNotFinish_purple_Banner

image from http://www.prettyinfiction.com by Jesse Burgoyne

Here are the reasons that I often Did Not Finish (DNF) a book. Books on my DNF list feature:

  • zombies and other horror characters/plots, especially “damsel in distress”;
  • dystopian, apocalyptic downers;
  • space wars, medieval wars, any other wars;
  • combat/violence masquerading as plot points;
  • instant, superficial romance (humans with humans or humans with aliens, shapeshifters, vampires or whatever);
  • gratuitous sex or violence (meaning, does not advance the character development or plot, and appears every so many pages, anyway);
  • military characters, past/future or pretend;
  • “instant” solutions, usually involving a main character’s finding a lover, to serious grief or other problems;
  • sexist, racist, misogynistic, heterosexist/homophobic, classist, ageist and other oppressive depictions of characters, even if they’re “realistic” for the characters or eras
  • clichès, trite plot twists, 2-D characters, and /or other types of bad writing
  • too many typos, grammar or other mistakes that reveal the absence of or very poor editing
  • nothing interesting, so I’M BORED.

As you might imagine, this list includes most speculative fiction and romance books.

You now understand the main reason I almost never do “review swaps.” I so strongly dislike other people’s books/stories, even when they’re relatively well-written, that I can’t even read past the first few pages for most of them. I have tried to read and review them, especially when they are well-written or the author is someone I wish to support for other reasons, but I just can’t appreciate what I don’t like.

Unlike other reviewers who find themselves unable to finish a book because they don’t like it, I don’t post a “review” of an unfinished book unless it’s written by a well-established author whom many others are praising. In those cases, I post my dissenting viewpoint just to round out the PR for that book, knowing my minority, low opinion won’t crush or crash them.

Otherwise, I don’t post my many DNFs with ratings and I do not post “reviews.” I strongly wish other DNF readers would adopt my policy.

It is completely unfair for anyone to give a “professional” opinion (which is what a review purports to be) of a piece of literature the reviewer hasn’t completed. I’ve had some “reviewers” read a few dozen pages of my 300+-page books and then have the audacity to post a ZERO or one-star “review.” What is the justification for that? When they label a sarcastic or dissatisfied DNF response after having read only a few pages a “review,” that infuriates me.

I don’t mind that some readers DNF my books. I understand that some don’t like them. I also encourage readers to comment on any books they want, all they want. As a frequently dissatisfied reader, myself, I empathize with DNF experiences. Sometimes, I explain.

I object strenuously, however, when these DNF readers label their preliminary reactions and comments a “review.” Even more heinous is that some have the gall to rate their DNF books.

In what other profession or situation does a “professional” who has had only a brief experience with the piece become entitled to the right to judge it? Can an Olympic judge watch just a few seconds of the gymnast’s floor exercise routine, then rate it? Do we allow a jury to hear only one witness or just a few words of testimony and give a verdict? When do we ever allow a teacher to give a semester’s grade after briefly meeting the child or giving just one quiz?

DeadLast

image from mackenzian.com

Yes: not all readers finish books or even read most of a book. I am a reader who has a list of titles pages long I have done that with because they did not hold my interest. However, for fairness and professionalism, I strongly request that readers and especially reviewers who DNF not to rate or review those books. Please.

It is fair and helpful, meanwhile, for professional reviewers and avid readers to maintain a DNF list and even to share it. Better would be that we explain a little about our DNF reasons, but that is not expected or required (we’re busy!).

dnf-recap

image from mylifeinbookss.wordpress.com

I hereby proclaim: these are fake reviews, due to the readers’ DNF status. DO NOT READ DNF “reviews.” DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT THEY WRITE. DO NOT SUPPORT “REVIEWERS” who postDNF “reviews.”

One bonus: Within a DNF‘s comments are sometimes witty lines. Those I am pleased to re-post, just for fun.

Meanwhile, back in authors’ support land: please don’t ask me to do a review swap. I mostly do not do reviews, anyway. I do not consider myself a “professional” reviewer. I am just an avid reader and an author.

When I do choose to read a book and finish it, I will post a review. I promise.

Mostly, these days, #Iamwriting my books and blog posts.

Best to you all.