Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Literature and the Law

The law is a subject that provides plenty of inspiration for fiction writers. This article lists 10 literary lawyers we wish were real.

I'll quote from it. To wit:

Readers love their characters, and few are as diverse a group as the written lawyer. As some of the most diverse characters in the fictional tradition, the barrister can be a source of good or evil. And who doesn’t love a newcomer with a fresh edge? Major and minor, funny and classic, lawyers occupy a unique space in the charactered universe that requires loose definition to be called an archetype. From legal intrigue to a stalwart moral compass, it’s no wonder that we found 10 literary lawyers that we wish were real.

And guess who number one is?

That's a mighty tough act to follow. ;)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Still Alive and Kicking

I started this blog with the intention of posting book reviews with the occasional article in between, since I'm not able to post reviews fast enough to do them all the time.

Needless to say, I've become increasingly busy due to my workload, including preparations for the upcoming book launch for my next novel RIPTIDE. In fact, the Riptide Launch Party is already underway on Facebook, if you'd care to join in. All that plus the fact that I've become so gimpy retarded stupid overwhelmed that it's ridiculous.

So ... I've switched the focus of this blog a bit. I still write the occasional review, of course, as time and gimpiness allows. However, I've also become an ardent supporter of independent booksellers.

And, no, this isn't out of misguided pity. Healthy competition is a good thing, isn't it?

But you won't have that if there's only one book retailer/publisher, will you?

Which is why I was intrigued to read about a possible way to hit a huge online retailer/publisher where it hurts.

So ... I promise to just keep going, if you guys do, okay? :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sh*t Book Reviewers Say

Ah, book review cliches. Can't live with them, can't live without them. Or something.

I'll admit, I've probably succumbed to temptation and used words like "edgy," "gripping," "provocative," "compelling" and even "haunting" in my reviews.

However, I've never used the word "unputdownable," okay? Just sayin', in case you didn't already read about it here. :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Clinton Book Shop's Awesome Website

As you know, if you read this blog regularly, I've been doing a series of posts in support of indie booksellers. This was the last one I posted.

I realize it's been a while since the last post, but if you click on this link, you'll get some idea how busy this slightly gimpy author/blogger has been lately. So please bear with me, okay? :)

I wanted to tell you about an indie bookstore called Clinton Book Shop, which as you can see if you click on the link has the most awesome website.

It also has a slogan: "We know books. Books are all we do." That's more than I can say for some retailers.

Oh, look! It also has a quotation, right at the top.

“What I say is, a town isn't a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it's got a bookstore it knows it's not fooling a soul.” ― Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Not only that, but the site lists all the cool events going. So, it offers way more than just books. It's a community resource and arts promoter.

And the site even gives you some background about the store. To wit:

Visit Clinton, NJ and take a step back for a minute and try to remember what it was like to be served with pride, with the knowledge that you matter. That is what a visit to the Clinton Book Shop is like. We are and have been INDEPENDENTLY owned and operated , serving the town of Clinton, New Jersey for nearly 40-years. The proprietor of the Clinton Book Shop, Harvey Finkel, has been a resident of Hunterdon County for more than 40-years. Harvey's investment is just one of the many elements that have helped make the Clinton Book Shop a local institution.

And they even include a couple of really cool pictures of Clinton, NJ.


Almost makes you feel like you're there, doesn't it?

However, if you can't actually go there, you can connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

I would be most remiss if I didn't mention that the site has a link to IndieBound. Book retailers are able to work together, get along and try to make a living. Apparently.

And here's a cool book trailer I found on IndieBound's site.

Clearly, Clinton Book Shop is an indie bookstore that has its sh*t act totally together. :D

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Riptide Launch Party with Book Giveaways

Just so you know, this is to announce that the book launch for the third Sam McRae mystery is coming very soon. I'll be announcing the launch date and posting information about promotional book giveaways that will be made as part of the big launch at the Riptide Launch Party group on Facebook.

During the launch week, I'm asking buyers to purchase the book from Amazon, of course. This will help raise the book's sales rank. As you can see, I will make a charitable donation, depending upon the Amazon rank the book reaches by the end of the launch week. I will also be doing a random drawing to give away free ebooks by various authors, based upon whether RIPTIDE hits the Top 100 on Amazon.com or Amazon UK.

RIPTIDE will also be available for purchase for Nook and other devices, of course.

Right now, I'm giving away free copies of my New York Times ebook bestselling novel IDENTITY CRISIS on Smashwords. Just click on the link, purchase a copy and enter the coupon code RC52J before you check out. This promotion is good until Feb. 24.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

When Blogs Collide, Interesting Things Happen

I was going through emailed headlines looking for interesting news and information to blog about here, when I came upon this article.

If you click the link, you'll notice it's an article about Panera Bread. So what does this have to do with books?

This pertains to doing business. Book publishing and selling are both businesses.

And I've been supporting indie booksellers on this blog, as well as suggesting that a certain giant online publisher/retailer should play nicely with others in order to get ahead.

This suggestion has been dismissed by some as bad business/ridiculous/crazy/ungrateful/whatever.

However, if you read the article about Panera Bread, you'll see the following (and I quote):

Today's corporate leaders no longer want to simply write a check or donate their products when it comes to CSR. Instead they are looking more and more to leverage their company's specific resources and skill set in the non profit sector to effect measurable, positive change in our communities. If executed correctly, these programs can demonstrate an unprecedented amount of leadership, compassion and forethought on behalf of the sponsor.

One such program that has enjoyed an enormous amount of success in this field is Panera Bread's Panera Cares program spearheaded by the company's CEO Ron Shaich. Spurred by the notion that our corporations have a greater responsibility to society than mere donations, Ron set out to challenge the basic model his restaurants had followed. He sought to create Panera Cares store locations dedicated to alleviating the "food insecurity" that plagues many of our communities. His new model: A community café without prices, that feeds its patrons on a pay what you can basis leaving the success or faluire [sic]of the venture entirely in the public's hands.

In a press release issued coinciding with the launch of the first location Ron's vision is outlined:

"Panera Cares is a new kind of cafe – one that exemplifies an entirely different way of giving back. It is a community cafe of shared responsibility. One of the goals of this charitable program is to ensure that everyone who needs a meal gets one. People are encouraged to take what they need and donate their fair share. There are no prices or cash registers, only suggested donation levels and donation bins. The vision for the Panera Cares cafe was to use Panera's unique restaurant skills to address real societal needs and make a direct impact in communities. Thus, the [Panera] Foundation developed these community cafes to make a difference by addressing the food insecurity issues that affect millions of Americans."

Pretty nutty, huh? Well, keep reading.

Ask any business man and he will tell you this model is ludicrous; total and utter commercial suicide. But where others saw certain failure, Ron Shaich saw an opportunity to prove the basic altruism of our society. In his keynote at SB'11, beaming with pride, Ron was thrilled to announce that one year after the first Panera Cares cafe opened in Clayton, MO, that about 20% of customers leave more money than the suggested donation with no pressure, and 20% pay less with the remaining 60% paying the suggested amount. With the overwhelming success of the program comes a pledge from Ron to continue to open Panera Cares locations at the rate of one per quarter, hopefully making a large dent in food insecurity wherever they are.

A revolution is taking place as our largest corporations begin to recognize a shift in public demand away from traditional, bottom line business practices, to model which instead seeks to enrich our communities. As we reset our expectations going forward, the ability of brand leaders to design and deliver a "better brand" –one which respects and delights all stakeholders in this, and future generations – will be fundamental to organizational and economic success.

 So ... who's the crazy one?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Wayang Or Puppet Wall Decor

Wayang is indonesian traditional art, have unique characteristics perfect for decorate your room wall. Wayang is one of Indonesian traditional arts that go international and spread to various countries. even in Indonesia Wayang in use for a name of a well known group bands. In dutch Wayang used for the education of children to learn the background and philosophy in order to build the character of children.

Wayang Wall Decor, Puppet Art Decor
Wayang or Java's Puppet known since prehistoric times of about 1500 years before Christ. Java's Puppet is the Indonesian traditional art developed primarily in Java and Bali. UNESCO has Recognized puppet show on November 7, 2003, as a work of amazing cultural stories in narrative and beautiful heritage and valuable (Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity). When the Hindu religion in Indonesia it art show to be an effective medium to spread the Hindu religion, where puppet shows using the story of Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The next puppet arts thrive in the spread of Islam, Muslim humanists Sunan Kalijaga (one of nine guardian) admired by all adherents of Islam in Indonesia.
Java's Puppet is Suitable Art Decor for Kid Bedroom Wall or Living Room
Wayang Wall Decor, Puppet Art Decor

puppets are very unique and perfect for the bedroom wall decoration or your living room, this is very very interesting, funny and elegant. in addition, Java's Puppet story also unique art to see and can give us a lesson. in Indonesia, a large market for interior design began a new trend to use puppets as an accent wall decor for home owners to express an interest in art and history. It is decorating ideas perfect for those who appreciate the beauty of the beautiful culture.

puppet decorations such as stickers and drawings are also ideal for temporary use. in Indonesia and the Netherlands, this accessory is often used at birthdays, weddings and party. They are the perfect accessory for a classic motif or concept inspired to make this event even more exciting for the guests and all those present. puppet art wall decor accessories are also very good for teen bedroom decoration or nursery. kids will love this design because it can make them remembered the story that appears in the story of the puppet and their idol.
Home accents and wall decor puppet is fully customizable and can be perfectly placed anywhere around the house. you can choose a wayang golek, wayang kulit, Ramayana and Mahabharata, or other types of puppets fit your taste for further decorating ideas you can find on the Internet or you can seek advice from expert interior design. Have fun!

Can You Say Achilles Heel? (Updated)

So, Amazon thinks it's on top of the world, because it's trying to own the Internet.

Then, reports came out that Amazon was looking to open brick-and-mortar stores. Now, why the bloody hell would Amazon want to do this?

Are they completely nuts? No, of course not.

Amazon is all about the bottom line.

Now, if you read this article, you'll see why it makes sense for Amazon to open its own stores.

Leave us not forget that Barnes & Noble has told Amazon to stuff it.

And so did Books-A-Million.

The fact of the matter is print books aren't dead by a long shot. Authors know that. That's why having a deal with a publisher is still cool.

But it doesn't mean much if you can't get your books into stores.

Sure, you can make money off ebooks, but you can't achieve great notoriety, if that's what you want as an author. Those opportunities still lie with the Big Six publishers, thanks to Amazon's shortsighted greed and avarice inability to simply play nice with other retailers. So ... what is Amazon really offering authors and readers? How much does it care about literacy versus simply lining its own pockets?

PS: Compare this article with this letter from the owner of R.J. Julia Independent Booksellers. Which one do you think is more concerned about books and readers?

PPS: This is how nice retailers spin their message, Amazon. Word to the wise, okay?

PPPS: Happy 200th birthday to Charles Dickens.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention Indigo Books. Plus Amazon's pissed off the American Booksellers Association. Nice going!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Couple of Fun Links

This is just a quick post as described in the headline.

First, this reader's review of DUNE. It's been ages since I've read the book, but the description intrigued me, and the reviewer made some very interesting analogies.

Second, this site called Bookshelf Porn. Don't worry. It's completely SFW.

This weekend, I'll be away at an indie filmmaking seminar. See you next week.

Sorry about the right side of the video getting cut off, but I'm too much of a techno-idiot to fix it. :)

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