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Month: February 2021

Book Reviews

Where Can I Get More Book Reviews?

We have all heard that reviews are a crucial part of marketing your book. The reviews you’ve gotten from your neighbor or best friend, don’t really hold much weight with a reader. They want to see a review from a reputable source or recognized reviewer. One that you can put on the back cover of your book. How do you get those professional reviews? You pay for them!

1932 Ford Coupe before restoration

The Joys of Shaping Sheet Metal

I have always been a hands-on person. From building model airplanes as a kid to working on my own cars, it has been a lifelong obsession. My formal training as an aircraft mechanic taught me how to work metal precisely. There can be no substitute for quality when working on airplanes.

The Resurrection of Humor

A good joke, as I’ve said many times, requires a butt—a person, place, or thing around which the punch line revolves. A stereotype on which everyone can agree. “An Irishman, a Greek, and an American walk into a bar.” You can bet that one of them will come out badly in the end.

Call Me Harry

Maybe it was luck, or perhaps, Providence, the good Lord’s hand pushing me in the direction of the book section.

There I was, minding my own business, trying to stay out of the way in Target, while my wife shopped. We needed shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash—the usual stuff—for our trip east to visit my mother who was in her nineties and recovering from a fall.

As for the book section, let’s just say Target is no Barnes & Noble, Powell’s in Oregon or the Strand Bookstore in NYC—it is much, much smaller, almost an afterthought by comparison. As I stood with my back turned at the end of an aisle—laundry detergent to my left, chips and salsa to my right—I backed up to let a young mother with a stroller pass by.

Slue Foot PCIP Publisher's Cataloging-in-Publication

What’s a PCIP Data Block?

Have you looked at the copyright page of books lately? That’s the page on the back (verso) of the title page. There’s usually a lot of information in small type on it that you might consider useless or redundant. Trust me, it’s all necessary for a variety of reasons.

They Picked Me

Lots of people are coming to Hope’s house to see the cute puppies who are to be rescued. I didn’t know I needed to be rescued. Besides me, there are five other puppies all cuddling and playing in the penned in area. Hope and Gina, the pet adoption agency ladies, want to find us all good homes.

Bats flying out of a champagne bottle

Horrors – There’s Humor in There!

I take full blame. In the throes of uncontrollable laughter, my friend hiccupped, “My mascara must be down to my knees!” It was. All because I’d told a funny story. The problem? We were at a funeral—a solemn, unsettling place where death tickles us under the chin and reminds us our turn is coming. Eye makeup often flows here—from tears. But from jokes? Consider this: when the horrifying becomes too intense, humor offers a release.

Four Character Drivers Aquisitiveness, rivalry, vanity, love of power

Let Your Characters Do What Characters Need to Do

So your leading character, Valerie, insults her best friend, Leah, leading to her husband getting angry and shooting Valerie’s champion poodle. What? Why did he do that?
Our characters do what they are expected to do (that sometimes works) and they also do what’s not expected (that also works sometimes). Readers expect our characters to behave like real people: unpredictable, crazed, and impulsive. Or predictable, sane, and calculating. Or all of the above.

Old Manual Printing Press

Indie Publishing vs. Self-Publishing

What’s the difference?

Should you use an Indie publisher instead of self-publishing?

It’s a matter of choice—and budget.

If you feel comfortable with the technology, and are willing to spend some time learning, go for it yourself. If things get scary in the process, you can always turn to an Indie publisher for help.

The Bank Robbery

Leaving the Ambassador’s suite, Alex admired the gorgeous sixteenth-century paintings hanging on the corridor’s marble walls. Ceilings were eighteen feet high, covered with more beautiful frescoes. All this priceless art was inherited by the Embassy when buying the building after the Second World War. He glanced at everything but was deep in thought.
Taking the elevator to the ground floor, he walked down the hallway to his new office. Upon opening the door, he saw the familiar and smiling face of Nancy Williams, his secretary who had been stationed with him in Islamabad during the terrorist attacks.

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