Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Books as Decoration

Looking for another use for books besides reading them? On their website, the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel offered a number of ways to display and decorate with books. As they noted, flea markets and garage sales are repositories of old books and encyclopedia sets that can be used to decorate.

Books as wallpaper -- Invest in a large number of leather-bound books in the same shade to create a wall of color. Note: Movie set decorators do this all the time. They often rent books from used bookstores like Strand in New York City.

A spot of color -- Have a monotone room? Pick out a few books in a striking color to add dimension. Several retail stores like Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters sell books but also use them to highlight color schemes for the clothing they sell (and to set a certain ambiance).

Books as furniture -- Use a book or a stack of books to create end tables, coffee tables, and pedestals. When I began self-publishing 25 years ago, I used cases of books to support a bed. Also see the book bar in the photo above.

Leni Leth, owner of Book Decor, a California company that specializes in refurbishing and selling leather-bound books, suggests forgetting the shelves, and instead using books as risers for candles and lamps, on coffee tables, and even in bathrooms.

Augment with books -- Try hanging books over the rungs of a ladder or lining the edges of a room with books.

Books as art -- When books were more rare, they were displayed face out. Take some favorite books and display them on bookstands. Many people use coffee-table books as decorative items on -- of all things -- coffee tables (actually, that's why full-color beautiful books are often called coffee-table books.

Note: The Associated Press (http://www.indystar.com/apps/ pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080614/LIVING02/806140307/1007/ LIVING) also has a great article on using books as decor.

Finally, here's a great bookshelf blog (all about bookshelves!):http://theblogonthebookshelf.blogspot.com.

This post republished with permission from: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2008/06/books-as-decoration.html

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Advice to Would-Be Book Authors by John Kremer

Question from reader: What advice do you have for aspiring authors who are not yet motivated enough or knowledgeable enough to get started?

John's Answer: First, people who are not yet motivated enough to get started are not really authors. People who are not yet knowledgeable enough are also not really authors. At least not professional authors.

Now, given that, authors who want to write a book but do not yet know how to go about it and don't quite know how to get started -- the desire is enough. If you have a passion for your topic and for your book, you can write a book. Start simply.

1. Begin by reading a lot of books on the subject you want to write about. Get educated. Discover what others have written so you can make your book better, different, or more targeted.

If you are writing a novel, then read good novels in your genre (romance, mysteries, fantasy, etc.). Read some of the classics as well as some more recent fiction. Get to know the history and current style of the genre you want to write.

Similarly, if you are working on a nonfiction book, read bestselling or highly recommended books on your specific topic. Again, read some classics as well as some more recent books.

2. Sit down and start writing. Write one to four pages a day. Don't worry about how good it is. Just get started writing.

3. Outline your book. Once you've gotten a week or two worth of writing collected, begin to outline how you want to write your book. If nonfiction, outline the chapters or step-by-step description you want to focus on. If fiction, develop and outline your plot, setting, and major characters.

4. Start at the beginning. Once you have an idea of the whole shape of your book (chapter by chapter outline or a plot), now begin writing your book. Start at the beginning of the book (for nonfiction, you can write the introduction later; start with the nuts and bolts content for your book). Write something every day. Set aside some time to write.

5. Research as you write. If you find as you write your book that you need to do some more research, do that now. Then go back to writing.

6. Get feedback from someone you trust, someone who will not criticize but who can give you honest feedback about your writing style as well as the content of your book.

7. Don't give up. If you write four pages a day, you'll have a book in less than six months. If you write five pages a week, you'll have a book within a year.

8. Create content, no matter the format. If you can't write a book despite all this advice, then create a tape, do a video, write a blog, create a new website, interview others. Get your content and inspiration out somehow. You can always write a book later.

Reposted with permission: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2010/06/advice-to-would-be-book-authors.html

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Viral Videos: Piggybacking on a YouTube Viral Video by John Kremer

Whether you agree with the man who shot his daughter's portable computer, you can't deny the viral impact of the video he made showing him do it - over 23,000,000 views in less than a week.

You can watch the video here (Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen):

Now, that's an incredible number of views for a video that runs over 8 minutes. Unheard of. He obviously struck a chord with a lot of people.

But here is the lesson I want to teach you today: You can piggyback off of a viral video. Note the views of the following videos that are showcased on the YouTube page for the above viral video:

Viral Video Piggybacks  

828,000 views, 34,247 views, 319,794 views, 154,701 views (before the video was removed by the user), 148,747 views, 214,298 views - all within a week.

Notice the titles of the videos: Re: Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen. If you want to piggyback off a viral video, give your video a similar name. 

If you have written a book on parenting or have a website devoted to parenting issues (or computers, or guns, or teens), why haven't you created a response video to this video? You could easily reach hundreds of thousands of people in as little as a week - with a simple, heartfelt video made in response.

You don't have to agree with the man. In fact, you might get more views if you disagree with him. 

Additional response videos and their number of views: 26,821 views, 29,113 views, 174,500 views, 34,247 views, 112,415 views, 145,949 views, 16,852 views, 195,686 views (Korean), 38,570 views, 104,715 views, 8,792 views, 59,332 views, 409,784 views, 49,978 views, etc. Again, all of these views were accumulated in less than a week.

What are you waiting for?

As the man in the original video said, "Get off your behind and do something." (That's a paraphrase).

This post was provided by John Kremer of www.bookmarket.com

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Another hit in the spellbinding Bill Reyner Mystery Adventure series

Image by Gilderic Photography
The Mermaid by Wentworth M. Johnson is yet another hit in the spellbinding Bill Reyner Mystery Adventure series that has captivated readers since they were first introduced to the cast of characters in Fiend’s Gold.  In this eighth installment, Bill takes a new, rich wife, Deloris, who comes with more than a few strings attached.

Bill not only has a beautiful new wife, he is richer by several millions, several buildings, and a network of employees, and then, “of course there was this mystery that turned out to be so mysterious we only knew its name.”  The mystery of the Sirena platino is not only one that confounds Reyner and his team, but it also becomes quickly evident that the treasure and the danger are very real.  Early into his investigation of the mystery, an ominous stranger threatens Deloris’ life, warning Bill, “Just keep your nose out of my business and all will be well.”

What ensues is a story of betrayal, treason and murder, taking readers on an exciting adventure that will keep them on the edges of their seats as Johnson’s story unfolds.  As Bill searches for the Sirena platino, a dead body threatens Bill’s search for treasure and the expedition becomes a “nightmare.” Johnson’s unbeatable formula makes it clear why readers just can’t get enough of the Bill Reyner Mystery Adventure series, whether he is hunting down the Sirena platino, investigating a murder that has remained unsolved for twenty years or investigating a cult-like church whose female members keep disappearing.

It matters not whether readers of the latest installment are reading the series for the very first time or they have already read the first seven books, The Mermaid is certain to captivate them from beginning to end.  This addictive series will undoubtedly keep readers up late at night—as Bill and company are thrown unexpected twists in their already compelling adventures.   

Available at Amazon.com, BN.com, and almost everywhere books are sold.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Debut Novel Establishes Wunderkind

Derek Edgington’s debut novel, The Seven (Volume 1) may be written by a 17 year old; however, it is fully developed in plot, character, and themes, establishing himself as a wunderkind.  Readers will be kept on the edges of their seats, furiously turning pages as the story from this precocious author unfolds.

The story centers on Caleb Holden, a teenager who has been on the run and bouncing around the foster care system for some time.  After a violent encounter in Chicago leaves him uncertain of his parents’ fate, with only an amulet to tie him to his roots, Caleb has a hard time staying focused.  In a new school, Caleb finds himself almost immediately in detention, joined by a new friend, Jason, who goes by Jas.  Amusing himself with a quarter, Caleb discovers a startling power after willing it not to fall to the floor.

Witnessing the incident, Jas’ suspicion that there is something special about Caleb is confirmed.  Jas informs him that “there is a kernel of truth to every myth” and tells him of the legend of seven mechanisms of control, “chosen men and women alike, who all retain monumental power” and who will bring to the world Light, Darkness, Death, Destruction, Chaos, Peace, and Healing.  True to legend, his amulet closely resembles his personality, offering sarcastic responses to his queries.  

The amulet tells him that his new friend is a “Skin Walker” and Jas reveals his own power, turning himself, comically, into a bunny before Caleb’s eyes.  Caleb’s life gets even more complicated as he fully discovers his powers, is adopted by Jas’ supernatural family, and discovers that his crush, Em, is anything but average.

Edgington’s novel is one that can be enjoyed by both teenage and adult fans of contemporary fantasy. While Edgington’s novel is categorized as young adult, his ability to render a complex plot and create compelling characters exhibits maturity as an author that is far beyond his years and will appeal to readers of all ages.  Readers will inevitably be left anxious for the next release from this promising new author, the second installment in The Seven series, Leviathan.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Why Transparency with Numbers is Important

Could transparency with numbers actually benefit companies?   Would public accounting certifications build positive relationships?  Although many companies believe in compartmentalization, Karen Berman, PhD. and Joe Knight give strong arguments to support their belief that transparency offers a host of benefits to companies.

In the comic book adaptation of Financial Intelligence: A Manager’s Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean, SmarterComics brings the key concepts of the Harvard Business School Press bestseller to a new audience with its accessible and unique format.

In the comic, Tom, a mechanic, has been asked to take a more active role in the company.  Although he feels overwhelmed, Berman and Knight come to his rescue, walking him through the basic concepts of finance.

Although Tom just wants to do what he loves, Berman and Knight explain why it is important for him to understand more about the business side of his workplace; “Greater financial intelligence helps people feel more involved.  They understand what they are a part of, what the organization is trying to achieve, and how they affect results.  Trust increases, turnover decreases, and financial results improve.”

When a company’s financial intelligence is higher, it can offer valuable goods and services to its customers well into the future, provide opportunities for employees, and show a healthy return for investors.  Also, healthy businesses help our economy to grow, keep our communities strong, and improve our overall standard of living.

For anyone who is trying to sharpen their financial intelligence, the SmarterComics’ adaptation of Financial Intelligence is the ideal learning tool, appealing to a broad audience and simplifying its message so that everyone can understand the lessons that might otherwise elude them.


SmarterComics is dedicated to creating educational comics that “make you smarter.”  By turning books into comics, readers enjoy lessons that range from self-help to getting rich.  Some reader favorites have included their unique takes on SunTzu’s The Art of War, Miyamoto Mushasi’s The Book of Five Rings, and Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince.

Karen Berman, PhD. and Joe Knight

Berman and Knight are the authors of the Harvard Business School Press bestseller, Financial Intelligence: A Manager’s Guide to What the Numbers Really Mean.  Berman is the founder of Business Literacy Institute, which she co-owns with Knight, the CFO at Setpoint Companies.  For anyone who wants to know more, they provide financial training: Joe Knight (818) 591-5955/ Fax (818) 591-5959, jknight@business-literacy.com, www.business-literacy.com.

Dave Wachter

After graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Wachter began his career as the artist and co-creator of the independent comic series, Scar Tissue.  Since then, his work has been featured in a wide area of media, including: Fiendish Fables, PKD Media Present, Genius J’s Almanack, Hope: New Orleans, Mystery Solved!, and Robert Bloch’s That Hellbound Train.  His epic webcomic, The Guns of Shadow Valley, was nominated for the Best Digital Comic award in the 2010 Eisner Awards.

“Financial Intelligence from SmarterComics” will be published on June 4, 2012 as paperback, Kindle Edition, iPhone and iPad App. Upon request, book reviewers can get a PDF version of this full-color illustrated version (just drop an email to media(at)smartercomics.com).

For more information, preview and video trailer, please visit:


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The First Lady of Emerging Technologies Available for Interviews

Dr. Satwant Kaur

Dr. Satwant Kaur, touted the “First Lady of Emerging Technologies” on her radio show, “Computers2Know,” has a passion for sharing her vast knowledge of technology with the world.  Dr. Kaur has shared a wealth of information in her book published by Intel, Embedded Systems to Intelligent Environments, keynote speeches, and in her writing for Intel Press and imageSource.  Kaur is now sharing her knowledge of and love for technology on the interview circuit.

Some topics on which she would make the ideal interviewee include:
  • Five Ways Embedded Chips are Going to Affect the Average American
  • Five Everyday Household Items that Will Be Changed by Embedded Chips
  • Five Ways Embedded Chips Are Shaping the Future
Dr. Kaur has answers to some of the big questions:
  • What is the paradigm shift in health care intelligence?
  • What is the need for Cloud Paradigm?
  • What is the future of mobile communication for radio technologies and mobile broadband?
Dr. Kaur’s passion for technology comes from her sincere concern for people, which gives her a unique perspective and a genuine approach that comes across to readers, viewers, and listeners.  Her personality was recently showcased in the interview “First Lady of Emerging Technologies” in imageSource magazine on 9 January 2012 (http://www.imagesourcemag.com/ism-article/first-lady-emerging-technologies).  

Dr. Kaur can discuss any topic related to technology, with the remarkable ability to address both a technologically savvy audience and the ability to explain how cutting edge technologies will profoundly affect the lives of average Americans.

Dr. Satwant Kaur

Dr. Satwant Kaur has a resume that includes such positions as CTO of the Emerging Technologies Group at TIBCO Software, Director of Development at Symantec, Chief Technology Architect of Quest Software, platform strategist in the Intel Architecture Group at Intel and, most recently, a Masters Solution Architect for HP .  

In her distinguished career, she has garnered many awards and nominations, among them:  the 2009 Technology Innovation Award from Executive-VP, Intel, “Distinguished Technologist” by HP Technical Career Pipeline Review Board, and nominations for the 2011 Most Influential Women in Technology award from Fast Company, and the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Indian Institute of Technology.

Her weekly radio show, “Computers2Know,” dedicated to emerging technologies producers, has an audience of thousands that tune in each week.  She has had front page features for her technology writings for such magazines as Mobile Development and Design, Government Security News, and Fierce Wireless.  She has appeared on a wide variety of radio shows as an expert in her field, including: “Peggy Smedley Show,” “Hall of Fame “ on Amnon’s Radio Show,” “Felice Gerwitz Radio Show,” “Craig Peterson Media Show,” and Michael Ray Dresser’s “Dresser After Dark.”

If you would like to interview Dr. Kaur, contact me: thepublishingguru (at) gmail.com
Who links to my website?