Mar 222007

What a great thing, I have limited fondness for spelling bees but love the idea that kids are getting together and reciting poetry.

The Sacramento Bee has a great piece about Poetry Out Loud this morning, here’s the Link.

And here’s the website, Poetry Out Loud.

My favorite poem I know by heart? It’s a short one, Politics, by William Butler Yeats. Close to the end of his life he decided that it should appear last in his collected poems.

What a finish.

  •  March 22, 2007
  •  Posted by at 9:50 am
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  •   Random Postings
Mar 202007

Wiley editor Chris Webb has launched a new blog. One of his first posts is Crowdhacking: 10 Simple Ways Authors Can Help Increase Sales. Check it out. This should be required reading for anyone who’s about to publish a book, whether they self-publish or go with a big publisher.

In a word, to succeed at Amazon you need to help people find your book. So it’s good to create lists and “so you’d like to” guides, and it’s also a good idea to actively solicit reviewers. Your first reviewers needn’t be limited to your mom and cousin, most of Amazon’s top reviewers do this as an active hobby. Track someone down who reviews similar books and send them a copy.

Also, although he’s buried down in the comments, if you’d like to find a great primer on how to promote your book online, using not only Amazon but also through your own blog and on social networks like MySpace and YouTube, check out Steve Weber’s book, Plug Your Book: Online Book Marketing for Authors, Book Publicity through Social Networking. You can get a great sense of what’s in Steve’s book from his Amazon page.

There’s a lot that you can do to help your book even if you feel like your book is treated like only one of hundreds from your publisher (it is) and often overlooked by your PR department (unless you’re Michael Crichton it probably is).

  •  March 20, 2007
  •  Posted by at 9:04 am
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  •   Author Tips
Mar 132007

Take the poll at GalleyCat — Linked.

I’ve visited mine in the last month. I consider late fees “donations” and I’m a regular customer. Libraries are great for the book business because readers can painlessly discover new genres or authors. Here are a few of the writers whose books I’ve first borrowed from the library, only to buy many of their books: Bernard Cornwell, Robert Jordan, Barry Eisler, Daniel Silva, and John LeCarre.

  •  March 13, 2007
  •  Posted by at 10:56 pm
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  •   Random Postings
Mar 082007

Dan Gookin has posted a fun (and free!) pdf that should be useful to any blogger unfamiliar with basic html.

Dan says “It was a fun project. Despite there being only a handful of truly useful or fun HTML text formatting commands, the thing ended up being 26 pages long. But it’s 26 fun pages. I even got a chance to recycle some artwork from my old and never completed Web Publishing book (from 2002). So I hope folks enjoy it and can get a lot from it.”

Check it out and spread the word — The Blogger’s Guide to HTML

  •  March 8, 2007
  •  Posted by at 11:51 am
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  •   Blogs for Writers
Mar 022007

From NCurses to Asterisk to Rootkits, it’s been a techie couple of months. I like it!

Congratulations to Ric Vieler on the publication of Professional Rootkits (Wrox Press).

Congratulations to Stephen Olejniczak and Brady Kirby on the publication of Asterisk for Dummies, (Wiley).

Congratulations to Ted Coombs and Roderico Deleon on the publication of the Google Power Tools Bible, (Wiley).

Thanks for working with me!

  •  March 2, 2007
  •  Posted by at 1:43 pm
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  •   Client News
Feb 232007

Congratulations to Dan Gookin on the publication of his Programmer’s Guide to NCurses, just released by Wiley.

Congratulations to Sue Jenkins on the publication of her second book, Web Design: The L Line, The Express Line to Learning, from Wiley’s for Dummies imprint.

Congratulations to Inman columnist Alison Rogers on completing her first book, Diary of a Real Estate Rookie: My Year of Flipping, Selling, and Rebuilding — and What I Learned (The Hard Way), to be published this summer by Kaplan Publishing.

Congratulations to John Paul Mueller on delivering his two newest books: Mastering Windows Vista: Ultimate, Business and Enterprise (with Mark Minasi), to be published by Sybex in April; and Windows Administration at the Command Line, also due in April from Sybex.

Congratulations to Lee Varis, whose bestselling book Skin: The Complete Guide to Digitally Lighting, Photographing, and Retouching Faces and Bodies was excerpted in Macworld magazine this month, Stop Seeing Red.

Thanks for working with me!

  •  February 23, 2007
  •  Posted by at 10:51 am
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  •   Client News
Feb 222007

Here’s a very cool number site via Tim O’Reilly at the O’Reilly Radar, What’s Special About This Number?

This site is great for number geeks. It’s great for the number impaired too. Just following this I found myself lost in the Fibonacci Sequence.

Along those lines, I want to rep more math and popular science. If you have a proposal in either arena I’d love to see it.

And here are more great links from Wiley publisher Joe Wikert, who links to Michael Hyatt’s recent posts on publishing relationship management.

Joe’s post is here.

He’ll send you to Michael’s distinct posts on the qualities that make for an ideal publisher, author or agent. Quoting Joe, “If you’re an author in search of a good agent or publisher, use the (high profit, low maintenance) characteristics checklists Michael provides for each. Don’t forget to read the author checklist too… The whole series of posts ought to be required reading for any publishing newbie (and not-so-newbie).”

I agree. Here’s my own high profit, low maintenance mantra — If you want to succeed in this business (and make friends and influence people) you need to be a great partner, do great work, be dependable, be easy to work with, learn to resolve conflicts peaceably, and communicate!

  •  February 22, 2007
  •  Posted by at 10:42 am
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  •   Random Postings
Feb 202007

Not my genre and not my thing, so hey, maybe it will be successful, but for now I just think it’s weird. Harlequin and NASCAR ink up for NASCAR themed romances. At GalleyCat, Linked.

This sounds like a genre ripe for fan fiction if there ever was one.

Whoa, I Googled it and I can tell you there really is such a thing! For NASCAR fan fiction check out TrackBunnies.

  •  February 20, 2007
  •  Posted by at 9:40 am
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  •   Publishing
Jan 302007

We’ve inked! Fresh Books is now “Fresh Books, Inc.” and in a few weeks your checks will come from our new corporate account.

Congratulations to Dan Gookin. His Windows Vista training DVD, Windows Vista Made Easy is shipping today, perfectly timed to the release of Windows Vista.

Congratulations to Cliff Truesdell, also known as a singer and guitarist for the Black Furies, on delivering his Mac Audio Tools, to be published by Sybex later this Spring.

Continuing a music theme, congratulations to Holly Day and Michael Pilhofer on delivering their manuscript and CD for Music Theory for Dummies, coming soon from Wiley.

And kudos and a big shout out to Cameron McPherson Smith. Cameron is preparing to leave on his solo trip to the North Pole this Friday, February 2. Yeah, you read that right. You can find updates on his page, Footsteps on the Arctic Ocean. Good luck, Cameron, we’ll be thinking about you.

  •  January 30, 2007
  •  Posted by at 11:49 am
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  •   Client News
Jan 292007

I just sent out a rejection regarding a really neat idea that wasn’t right for me. And I received a nice form letter in response, to whit:

I apologize for this automatic reply to your email.

To control spam, I now allow incoming messages only from senders I have approved beforehand.

If you would like to be added to my list of approved senders, please fill out the short request form (see link below). Once I approve you, I will receive your original message in my inbox. You do not need to resend your message. I apologize for this one-time inconvenience.

No, that’s okay, really, but thanks for the query!

Seriously, do you really want potential agents and publishers to jump through hoops to contact you?

  •  January 29, 2007
  •  Posted by at 1:43 pm
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  •   Author Tips