Author Solutions, iuniverse, Publishing, self publishing, writing

Every author has to overcome obstacles to get published, but maybe none as challenging as what Kent Bell faces everyday.

When Kent Bell came into this world on Valentine’s Day in 1965, he was born without arms or legs and was not expected to live till the next day. But like most everything in his life, Kent defied the odds and is now, forty-nine years old.  His most recent accomplishment is becoming a published author.

In his book, Look Ma, No Hands, No Legs Either, he narrates his life story, beginning with being born without arms or legs. Through his  inspiring work, Bell tells what it’s like living and thriving with a disability. From his birth, to moving regularly with his military family, to attending school and college, to accomplishing more in life than an average person, he shares the ups and downs of almost fifty years.

As a first-time published author, he details various exploits and accomplishments. A sports enthusiast, Bell became a scorekeeper for many activities, from Little League to the pros, including being the first disabled person to be an official scorekeeper in the 2004 USA Olympic basketball event. His memoir shows how despite facing insurmountable obstacles to the most simple of activities, he has accomplished amazing things.Look Mom No Hands

In addition to achieving things many people only dream about, Kent has been an advocate to change the laws for people with disabilities.  Through Look Ma, No Hands, No Legs Either,  Bell inspires the reader through his unrelenting display of courage, passion, strength, endurance, integrity, and most of all, a positive attitude.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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self publishing

What are some the next big things we will see for self-published authors?

This past weekend I was a panelist at the Writer’s Digest conference in a session that focused on new developments in indie or self-publishing. Panelists included Dan Dillon from Lulu and Amanda Barbara from Pubslush, which is a crowd funding platform for authors. Moderator was Phil Sexton from Writer’s Digest.

Jimmy Brass

Jimmy Brass is a graphic novel that was self-published through AuthorHouse in partnership with Golden Apple Comics

As usual, there was some lively dialogue and great questions from the audience and I always find the Writer’s Digest conference to be one of the best in the country. Being on the panel prompted me to think about what might be  some of the next big things we will see in Indie or self-publishing.

Self-published graphic novels will grow substantially

This past spring, we announced a partnership with Golden Apple comics to launch self publishing packages specifically tailored for graphic novel creators. About the same time, Amazon also announced a move into that space. Both are signs that graphic novel creators are going to be the next big group of content creators to take advantage of indie publishing.

Gorging Out cover

Gorging Out is a self-published novel that was recently optioned for film right.

Hollywood will produce a movie based on a self-published novel.

50 Shades of Grey will be in theaters shortly and while it started as a self-published novel, its meteoric success came once a traditional publisher, Random House, picked it up. I believe it won’t be long before you will see a film on the big screen that is developed from a self-published book. In fact, recently we announced another book that was optioned by Hollywood. Link to the release is here.  Stay tuned.

Subscriptions will not be as big a deal as the current bluster would lead you to believe.

If you pay attention to publishing news, subscription services are getting quite a bit of coverage. However, it is interesting to me that none of the news is around how many readers have signed up for the services. I think that is because consuming a book is a very different experience than consuming a song or a television show or movie. Pandora and Netflix do not require a significant commitment of time and much of what you get from their subscription services is disposable. A book is different. In the time it takes you to read a book, you could listen to one hundred songs or watch multiple movies. You can justify the value of a subscription because of the volume. I don’t think people will see the same value with books because they cannot consume them at the same rate.

I could be wrong and time will tell, but it will be interesting to watch.

Subscription services may lead to the resurgence of the serial.

While I don’t think book subscription services will get the traction of music and video services, I do think the format may fuel a resurgence of people writing serials and introducing a new chapter or what I call a micro-book each month. It has happened yet to any measure, but I think it will and may be one of the ancillary benefits of the new subscription services.

What do you think? Do you see any other big developments that I have missed? Use the comment section to let me know.

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Author Solutions, authors, Balboa Press, book selling, Indie book publishing, iuniverse, Publishing, self publishing, writing

Holding your book for the first time. Hear what it is like from these authors.

In conjunction with the release of its 225,000th title, Author Solutions has released a video titled, Special Delivery: Holding Your Book for the First Time.”. This unique compilation captures a range of authors speaking about what it was like to see a copy of their print book for the first time.

Two of the authors, Donna Schwenk and J. L Witterick were eventually picked up by traditional publishers, Hay House andG.P. Putnam’s Sons respectively, one of the world’s leading trade imprints of Penguin.

If you are still working on your manuscript, I think this video will motivate you to write to the finish.

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Author Solutions, Indie book publishing, iuniverse, self publishing, writing

iUniverse self-published book leads FDA to change law

Not every book has to be a bestseller to be successful. Take the self-published book Deadly Powder on Medical Gloves; A Wake-Up Call to the Food and Drug Administration. It is not a title you will likely see appear on the New York Time bestseller list, but this book has helped change a long-standing law in our land and eliminate a potential health risk to many.

The book, written by  Richard F. Edlich MD. PHD (with Julie A. GarrisDeadly Powderon BS and Heather N. Smith), and self published through iUniverse, draws attention to an important health care matter. In the words of the authors:

 “When medical/surgical gloves were devised, the manufacturer had to provide a powder on the glove surface that enhanced the donning the glove before use.  During the last decade, a wide variety of glove coating surfaces have been developed to eliminate the need of the deadly powder on glove surfaces.  Scientific studies have documented that the deadly powder on gloves increases wound infection, causes adhesions that can compress the bowels, and spreads tumor cells throughout the cavity.  Our book was written to convince all health care professionals to use only powder free gloves. 

After publishing, the authors sent multiple copies of the book to the FDA, along with a petition to have them ban the corn starch powder from all medical and surgical gloves.  On July 3, 2013, they received the following attachment by email from the FDA confirming they were going to ban the powder from all gloves sometime during the next 18 months. 

Extract of the FDA Ruling

 “Title: ●Proposal to Ban Powdered Natural Rubber Latex and Powdered Synthetic Latex Surgeon’s and Patient Examination Gloves 

Abstract: FDA has determined that a subset of surgeon and patient exam gloves that are powdered and that represent a modest share of the market present a substantial risk of illness that cannot be corrected by a change in labeling. These gloves are Powdered Natural Rubber Latex Surgeon’s Gloves, Powdered Synthetic Latex Surgeon’s Gloves, Powdered Natural Rubber Latex Patient Examination Gloves, and Absorbable Powder for Lubricating a Surgeon’s Glove.

“Consequently, FDA is proposing to ban these devices”.

One of the great things about self publishing is it allows voices who otherwise might not be heard to have a platform. That means there is opportunity to impact people in ways that otherwise would not be possible.  This book is a great example of what can happen when you pursue the goal of publishing.  Congratulations Dr. Erlich for showing us what is possible if you believe in your work.

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Author Solutions, authors, iuniverse, Publishing, self publishing, writing

A interview with author Leda Sanford about her book Pure Moxie.

Pure MoxieOne of the great joys of my job is having the opportunity to speak to a wide variety of authors. Their experiences and stories are always inspiring to me. At the San Francisco Writers Conference, I had the opportunity to meet Leda Sanford. Leda, was a very successful executive who broke the glass ceiling and wrote a book to chronicle her experiences. I had the opportunity to ask her some questions about her book. My questions and her answers are below.

  • What inspired you to write your book?

I was inspired by a desire to share with other  women my story of re-invention and success at a time when women were just beginning to examine the adequacy  of their roles as wives and homemakers.  In 1998 when I moved from Manhattan to California   I was constantly asked by women to tell them the story of my life…about ” how I did it” ..and how at 59 I had the courage to leave everything behind and move to California.  This always led to the other question of how did I have the courage to break up my marriage at age 33, and with two children age 5 and 11, get a job in a field I was not educated for  ( magazine business) and within 5 brief years break the glass ceiling in 1975 and become the first female publisher and president of a major American publishing company, and American Home magazine.

How I did it and what were the steps that I took along the way?

What was the “secret” of my survival and success and the continuing response to the age barrier as well as the gender discrimination ?

My  answer at a dinner party when asked this question now is : BUY MY BOOK!

Even though I was “famous” in my field and have many articles to prove it including my Wikipedia listing…  there is the validation that comes from being “an author”…,

  • What do you hope readers will gain from reading the book?

 I hope that readers will draw from my book the courage to explore the dimensions pf their unique destiny while not negating their designated roles and wives ,  mothers and caregivers because there is no better preparation for aging than the power that comes from being a multidimensional person . I hope that the readers will see the importance of having courage rooted in determination and a willingness to accept the possibility of failure without being crushed by it. 

  • You have had extensive experience in publishing. How do you think that helped you in your writing and publishing process?

My many years of writing for magazines and directing and developing the writers ,  editors and art directors who reported to me cultivated  in me the ability to “communicate” through writing, editing and the ability to be brief. Get to the point …Grab the reader..

  •  What tips would you give to aspiring writers who are thinking about publishing?

Read the new York Times especially the Sunday Book Review section.

Avoid critique groups of amateur writers. You can’t learn from these people.

 Submit your writing to the scrutiny of accomplished professionals that you have to pay.

Would you go to a free “doctor.?”

 My best teacher taught me that “Writing is Rewriting.”

Watch C-SPan Book TV on Sat. & Sunday  channel 109

  • What has been the most satisfying thing about publishing a book?

For me he most satisfying thing about publishing a book is the feeling of immortality.

Even though I was “famous” in my field and have many articles to prove it including my Wikipedia listing…  there is the validation that comes from being “an author”…,someone who dedicated  time and energy to sharing their soul with other people . And there is the ego gratification that I enjoy when giving my book to someone or when people come to hear me speak about it..

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Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, Ebooks, Indie book publishing, iuniverse, Publishing, self publishing, writing

iUniverse Publishing IPPY award winners make for great summer reads

Recently, the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards were named and the results were impressive. The number of entries this year was  the most ever, with more than 5,000 books in  a wide variety of genres entered for consideration. Perhaps no surprise, the largest category this year again was Memoir.  What was also interesting was IPPY medals were awarded to  entrants from 44 U.S. states plus D.C., 7 Canadian provinces, and 10 countries overseas. Indie publishing is truly a global phenomenon now, which is really exciting to see.

Once again iUniverse titles were recognized for their excellence in a wide variety of categories.  So if you are looking for new and upcoming authors to add to your reading list this summer, these books are a great place to start.

Juvenile Fiction: Dancing on the Inside, by Glen C. Strathy

Multicultural Fiction Adult: The Hometown, by Leena Ceraveeni

Suspense/Thriller :Murder Under the Microscope, by Jane Bennett Munro

U.S. History: Black Warriors: The Buffalo Soldiers of World War II, by Ivan J. Houston

Religion: Consider the Ravens: On Contemporary Hermit Life, by Paul A. Fredette and Karen Karper Fredette

Regional Fiction: Sojourner of Warren’s Camp, by Joseph Dorris

Juvenile Fiction E-Book: Shanghaied, by David Paul Collins

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Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, book selling, Ebooks, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, iuniverse, self publishing, writing

iUniverse Author Lisa Drucker talks about her new book, Arise, O Phoenix and how you can get a free copy

A few weeks ago Author Solutions announced the release of it’s 100,000 e-book, which just happen to be an iUniverse title, Arise, O Phoenix, written by Lisa Drucker. In this book inspired by the events of 9/11, Lisa weaves a love story into the fabric of  the aftermath of our nation’s most tragic event in recent history. To celebrate the publication of the book as the milestone e-book for Author Solutions, iUniverse is giving  readers a free download of the book through the iUniverse bookstore. Simply use  the promo code ARISEPHNX when going through the checkout process in the bookstore to obtain one of 1,000 copies  being given away.

I recently had the opportunity to ask Lisa a few questions about her book, what inspired her to write and the joy she finds from being an author.  I trust her words words will be motivating to you and you will take a moment to download a free copy of the book.

Lisa, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Author Lisa Drucker shares about her new book.

I’m a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and editor working in publishing since 1997. I was an editor for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series from 1997–2005.

Writing is my calling and my passion. My previous books are The Princess-in-Training Manual (under the pseudonym Jacqueline de Soignée) and ASVAB Flash Cards.

I’m a native New Yorker currently residing in South Florida. I have a BA in classics from Vassar College and an MA in communications and media studies from The New School.

What inspired you to write this book?

Hearing all the phone calls people made from the Twin Towers and Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. I wanted to pay tribute to the heroes and victims, but I also wanted to explore the relationship between love and tragedy. I wanted to approach love from a different angle than what we heard in those phone messages. The victims we heard called the people closest to them, the people who were present in and integral to their everyday lives. But I wondered, “What would have happened if two people deeply in love had ended their relationship years before, and then the events of 9/11 made them realize what a mistake it had been? What if some kind of twist of fate engendered by the tragedy brought them together again?”

What is the book about?

A twist of fate following 9/11 brings a pair of long-lost lovers together again, showing us the indomitable power of love and the triumph of the human spirit, both of which, like the phoenix, rise from the ashes of 9/11 to remind us of what truly matters in life.

What do you hope readers get from the book?

That tragedy, as heartbreaking as it is, offers us hope and the opportunity to live with deeper meaning and purpose. Beyond that, it reminds us that nothing matters more than love. The most important thing we each can do every day is not take the gift of that day—or the gift of those we love—for granted.

What is most enjoyable for you as a published author?

The greatest joy for me as an author is when readers tell me, “I loved the book! I couldn’t put it down, and I didn’t want it to end.”

I’m a writer because expressing myself in words is my calling and my passion. I’m a published author because I choose to share my words with my readers. I hope reading my books brings them as much joy as writing brings me.

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