Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tips to Successful Short Story Contest Entries

Tips to Successful Short Story Contest Entries 
by Irene Watson

Recently, I was asked to assist in judging a short story contest. The contest was general-no specific theme or topic required. Authors simply had to submit a piece of fiction that did not exceed 2,500 words. I was not a final judge, but a "weeder," one who helped "weed out" the good from the bad and decide which twenty stories would go to the finalist round.
I was initially excited about helping to judge the contest. However, with a few exceptions, I was quickly bored and disappointed by the entries. While our Reader Views Literary Awards occasionally receive poorly written books, most authors who write a full-length book have basic writing skills. Short story contests, however, attract a wider range of writers from high school students to polished and published authors. Many of the entrants are hoping to win to further or jumpstart their writing careers so beginning writers are more typically entrants.
Here are a few tips for authors to make their short stories stand out and be noticed by contest judges. Surprisingly, while quality writing is essential, many of the short stories I judged made the cut because the other entrants simply showed lack of common sense and an inability to follow instructions.
Pay the Contest Fee
Most contests have a fee to enter. These fees might be as little as $5.00 or as much as several hundred dollars. In any case, if you're going to enter you have to pay the fee. In the contest where I assisted, we had several entrants who did not pay the fee. We still took the time to read the stories, and then we contacted those whom we thought were deserving of going to the final round to ask them to submit the fee. However, we only had a few who didn't pay so it was not a big issue. Many contests receive hundreds of entries and no one wants to waste time chasing down people to pay a fee or holding up the process while waiting for a check to come in the mail. I daresay with most contests, if no entry fee accompanies the story, the story immediately goes into the reject pile.
Follow Submission Instructions
Contests, in order to be fair, must judge the contestants anonymously. As a result, most stories are submitted with a cover sheet with the author's name on it, but the story itself should only have a header with the story title and not the author's name. The cover sheets are for administrative purposes and removed from the stories to prevent judges from favoring contestants they know. Failure to follow this simple manuscript submission process can also result in rejection simply because it gives the author an unfair advantage over the other contestants if the judges know the author.
Abide by the Word Limit
The contest I helped to judge had a 2,500 word limit. Word limits are imposed by contests for practical reasons. Usually the story ends up being published, and if in paper publication, only so much space is available. Furthermore, it is easier to organize the contest if the judges expect to receive 100 stories of the same length than 100 that range from 100 words to novel length. Even judges only have so much time in a day, and it takes a long time to read all those stories. Most contests will ask the entrant to put the word length on the cover page. If you wrote your story with Microsoft Word, then go under the Tools menu to check the Word Count. Don't go over by even one word. Play by the rules.
That said, I was surprised not only by the number of stories that obviously were over the word count but the ones way below it. Many of the entries were less than 1,000 words. They simply did not have the plot and character development of the longer stories so they could not compete against the others. Try to stay relatively close to the word limit, within a few hundred words at least.
Know the Publication
If you've never entered this contest before and never read any of the past winning stories or any of the publication where the winning story will be published, you have less chance of winning. You don't have to subscribe to the publication, but most publications will have a website where you can read past issues or the contest itself will have a website where you can read past winning stories. Reading the previous winners will give you some idea of what kind of story is likely to win.
Look at the writing styles of the last several winning stories. If they are not flowery but your story is, you probably aren't going to succeed. Same with foul language-if the publication is geared toward conservative readers, strings of swear words and steamy sex scenes are unlikely to please the readers so the judges will be less likely to consider your story.
Know the Genre
Has a Dungeons and Dragons type fantasy story ever won the contest? If not, but that's what you write, chances are you aren't going to win. That said, if your story is really good, it's not impossible, but if realism seems to be the trend for past winners, you may want to submit a more realistic story. If realism isn't your style, find another contest that is for fantasy stories.
I can't tell you how many stories we received with talking animals, fairies, and vampires, and they were all cheesy and bad rip-offs of fantasy and horror films. Since this particular contest has always given the prize to realistic stories, fantasy and horror stood little chance, but there are plenty of contests that are looking for this kind of work and where you're more likely to find the readers you want to jumpstart your writing career. I'm not implying that realistic stories are better than fantasy-they are simply different types of writing with different audiences.
Follow Basic Grammar and Punctuation Rules
Talk about horror stories. We received stories that were three pages long but all one paragraph. And then there were the stories where there were no separate paragraphs or even quotation marks to show who was speaking. And I couldn't even have counted the typos in some of them. These kinds of errors and failure to know basic mechanics of grammar and punctuation were the biggest reason why stories were rejected for the final round of the contest.
Learn If You Lose
The problem (and benefit) with entering short story contests is that only one person wins. If you don't win, read the story that did win. Perhaps your story is better but this other story just happened to be what the judges were looking for or what they prefer to read. In the case of the contest I helped to judge, the winning story was not in my opinion the best story, but it was the one the majority of the judges liked.
Whether or not the winning story is better than yours, read it, analyze it, learn from it. Maybe you're a better writer stylistically but your content was not as good, or vice-versa. Most contests don't offer feedback to contestants, but if you really want to know, it doesn't hurt to ask where you ranked in the judging.
Keep entering contests. A story that doesn't win one contest might win another and you can always keep rewriting and resubmitting the story until you do win. Writing short stories is an effective way to become a better writer, and a couple of wins under your belt will help to make publishers take notice when you submit that novel.
Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.

Photo credit: 
Philip Bosma at Dutch Wikipedia

Monday, September 29, 2014

Collaborate With Your Soul

Do you feel disconnected from your soul? Do you question your spirituality? Are you physically drained and tired trying to be who others want you to be? Do you sometimes feel like YOU and others times you feel like someone else or empty or even lost? If you answered yes to any of these, this book can help you! Collaborate With Your Soul will help you develop love and compassion for yourself, find inner freedom, come to know and trust your true self – your soul, regain your power, and discover your inner guidance. This book offers you wonderful insight along with action steps to uncover your strengths and weaknesses while enhancing your intuition and connection to your Soul. When we move through life in collaboration with our soul we can see our path more clearly and travel along it with more strength and stamina. Find YOU, find your Soul, reconnect with spirit and transform your life!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Secret Wealth Mantra

  • How to easily attract almost anything you wan’t with almost no effort
  • How to just listen to an mp3 with headphones once a day and watch as your dream life manifest in front of your eyes
  • How new scientific brainwave technology easily gets you into the Zone where law of attraction works on auto-pilot
  • How an Indian Yogi who has meditated all his life can help you with his secret mantra with absolutely no effort on your part
  • How modern mind technology and an ancient secret mantra combined becomes the most powerful law of attraction tool on the planet
  • And so many more benefits so I’m surprised that I even give this Success-System away for almost nothing

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Big Wide Calm : A Novel

A young woman’s journey to find herself and create the perfect album 

Paige is a rock star. The world just doesn’t know it yet. With a name like Paige Plant, how could she be anything but the future frontwoman of the next Led Zeppelin? She’s got the charisma, the drive, and, of course, the mega-musical skills. All she needs is to make her debut album, one that will change the world, inspire revolutions—and make her galactically famous along the way. 

When John Bustin, a rich, reclusive, former semi-famous singer/songwriter offers to record Paige’s album for free, it feels like destiny, like the next step on her way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, like some strange attractor is pulling her in. Guitar in hand, Paige sets off to John’s recording compound, ready to unfold her future. 

But the ever-elusive John, with his mysterious history, and Paige, a big dreamer but na├»ve about her footing in life, clash as much as they coalesce. Before they can change the world through Paige’s music, the improbable duo must learn to work together, and in the process, discover their authenticity. 

One part coming-of-age story and retrospective, one part rock and roll epic, The Big Wide Calm focuses a lens on human nature and the complexities of love through the eyes of young and old on the journey of creating the perfect album. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sexually Charged Money

Want to attract more money into your life in a beautiful, sexy and exciting way? We share four different ways for you to do just that in this challenge. You can sexually charge your money and get it to work for you by sharing beautiful lovemaking with your sweetheart. It will attract more money to you and work more powerfully for you. Others will wonder how you do it. Money and opportunities will continually begin showing up for you and your lover.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Joy Potential: Where You'd Least Expect It

In a state of chaos, anything is possible. We have an opportunity to shake up our lives, to create more happiness. Our time here is limited. Where do you put your attention? What do you create and experience - fear or joy? At a crossroads in life not knowing which direction to go, I find myself taking a temporary graveyard job to help with expenses. During the course of this one week assignment I discover negative patterns and cycles ingrained since birth. It becomes clear how these mistaken beliefs create fear and roadblocks in my life. It's time for a change! A new perspective is created as John the Supervisor and Leonora, Quality Control, guide me through the unknown, overcoming fear, to a place where I see new paths and opportunities. "Moving from a place of questioning one's self worth, to a place where I do something that significantly improves a stranger's life is a massive shift!" I am led down a path where my hobby, Internet-based radio, becomes a major source of Joy Potential.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Peaceful Piggy Meditation

Sometimes life seems like it's all about hurrying--so many places to go! And sometimes it's hard when things don't go your way--it can make a piggy angry and sad. So how do young piggies find a peaceful place in a frustrating world? They meditate!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top 10 Writing Tips To Help You Write More

Article by Angela Booth
Here in no particular order, are the ten best writing tips I've discovered in 25 years
of writing. They may work for you, too. Try them.
=> Tip One: Pay attention to images
Your right brain thinks in images, and when you write, you translate images from
your right brain into words. Usually this process happens so quickly that you're
unaware of it. If you can make this process conscious, you can goose up your own
creativity. Stephen King calls this process "writing with the third eye --- the eye of
imagination and memory."
To get the hang of this, try Jean Houston's process, adapted from her book, *The
Possible Human*. (URL above.)
=> Tip Two: Making mud/ laying track
Your first draft of any piece of work is "mud" --- raw material. Julia Cameron refers
to your first draft as "laying track", another term I like.
If the first draft's awful, great! It's meant to be. It's only raw material. However, if
you don’t create the first draft, or you wait until you have a really great idea that's
worth a first draft, you won’t write anything. Write. Make mud.
=> Tip Three: Just write --- think on the page, or on the screen, NOT in your head
Thinking too much while you write is treacherous, because you can spend two hours
"writing" and end up with half a page of work. Write-think. That is, think on the
page, not in your head.
=> Tip Four: Grow your writing with lists
Listing is a form of brainstorming. It grows your writing, and it's fun.
Listing is an excellent technique to use when you get stuck in your writing, and it
doesn’t matter what kind of writing you're doing, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction.
Listing also helps you in the revision process, to add texture to your work.
Here's an excellent FREE software program to help you to produce lists, and to save
=> Tip Five: Use your magical thesaurus
Your most useful listing tool is ---- a thesaurus. Keep one on your desk to kickstart
your brain.
Your thesaurus and dictionary are perfect kickstarters. They're also vital tools
whenever you're revising.
=> Tip Six: Make writing the FIRST thing you do each day
If you write at least page, by hand, as soon as you get up, you'll find that writing
comes more easily to you for the rest of the day. You're also more focused and
relaxed for the rest of the day.
=> Tip Seven: Set WIG goals --- the best goals are always unrealistic
Writer Martha Beck calls unrealistic goals WIGs: Wildly Improbable Goals. In the
September 2002 issue of Oprah magazine she says: "… learning to invite and accept
your own WIG can awaken you to a kind of ubiquitous, benevolent magic, a river of
enchantment that perpetually flows to your destiny."
A WIG is exciting. Just thinking about a WIG will get your heart pounding. Working
toward your WIG (writing a book, writing a screenplay, getting signed on as a
contributor at a mass-market magazine) takes hard work. Lots of hard work.
And at the end of that hard work, as Beck points out, you achieve your goal, but
there's a twist. You never achieve it exactly as you envisioned it – you achieve
something even better, something you could never have imagined.
I'm a great believer in writing ABOUT your goals. This is because when you write,
you're using both sides of your brain, and are accessing your unconscious mind as
well. You live in your left brain, which you regard as "you", but you have a silent
partner, your right brain, which is also you, and which communicates via images
and feelings.
=> Tip Eight: Separate writing and editing
Writing comes first, then editing. If you try to combine the two, you will block.
Writing should come as easily to you as chatting to a friend. If it doesn’t, you're
trying to edit in your head before you get the words on paper, or on the computer
screen. If you're not aware of the danger of combining writing and editing, you'll
make writing hard for yourself, when it should be easy. If you don’t have trouble
talking, how can you have trouble writing?
=> Tip Nine: It's good to struggle with your writing
In his book The Breakout Principle, Dr Herbert Benson (who also wrote The
Relaxation Response) describes a struggle/ release process that leads to a new level
of awareness. When you struggle, and then completely give up the struggle --- just
give up --- there's a chance that you can achieve a peak experience which leads you
to a new level of functioning.
How does this work in your writing? Let's say that you're writing a novel. This work
is hard for you. However, you keep at it faithfully, working on your novel each day.
You struggle with it for weeks. Then you give up. Although you keep writing, you
say to yourself: "I don’t care any more what garbage I write. I'm just going to do it.
I'm just going to write."
This release leads to writing magic. Suddenly you're inspired, and you finish the
book in a rush. Although you will still occasionally struggle with your writing
(because struggle is a part of life), you've broken through to a new level of
functioning in your work.
This new level would not, and could not, have happened without the struggle.
=> Tip Ten: Good writing = truthful writing
Writing truthfully can feel like undressing in public, so many beginning writers worry
about sharing their writing.
Be compassionate. Firstly, to yourself. Write. Write for yourself. All writing takes
When you finally show your writing to others, you discover the amazing truth that
_no one cares_. In her book "Writing To Save Your Life", Michele Weldon advises:
"Get over yourself". No one is judging what you write. So write.
Stuck in your writing career? Get a coach! Angela Booth coaches writers in copywriting (writing for business), nonfiction, and fiction. A veteran writer, published by major publishers worldwide, Angela is also an experienced writing teacher, who knows how to inspire and motivate. You CAN make a success of your writing career. Free daily info for writers at her blog: http://copywriter.typepad.com/ Start your writing coaching today by contacting Angela at her site http://angelabooth.com/ Angela offers personal one-on-one e-courses and mentoring for all forms of writing. Ask for a low-cost initial phone or email consultation.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/118535

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Healthy Choices - The Secrets To Eating A Truly Healthy Diet

Discover The Healthy Eating Secrets You Can Use To Lose Weight & Feel Better Than You Have In Years ... Without Starving Yourself Or Giving Up Your Favorite Foods!

Here is just some of what you will learn on the pages of this amazing guide:

  • How to evaluate your current diet - answer these seven questions and you'll know exactly how you are currently doing as well as what you need to change to begin eating healthier!
  • What exactly a healthy diet is and how to eliminate your fast food cravings and ensure you'll continue to eat healthy from here on out; you'll be amazed at how easy it is to make healthy food choices when you follow these simple tips!
  • One of the biggest keys to developing a healthy diet and sticking to it; you may be very surprised at what you read here!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature + Psyche

Written for people in search of their true selves––in particular those on the verge of adulthood and those at a major crossroads such as divorce or career change–– Soulcraft provides a means of personal growth and self-empowerment. Exercises and insightful stories explain how to discover one’s unique gift, or "soul purpose," to be shared with others. Drawing on ancient traditions, this vision quest serves as a modern rite of initiation.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Notes from the Universe by Mike Dooley

What if the Universe were to send you frequent reminders of the absolute power you have over your life? Author Mike Dooley, an interpreter for the Universe, has done exactly that in Notes from the Universe -- a collection of empowering, invaluable truths that can be read front to back or opened at random. This first book in the Notes from the Universetrilogy teaches its readers to live a life far richer than they had previously thought imaginable.

A question, from your friend the Universe:

Just how much time do you spend thinking big?

I mean, really, really BIG?

Good, very good!

Because that's exactly how much of

"It" you're going to get!

What a coincidence.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Let Your Life Speak by Parker J. Palmer

With wisdom, compassion, and gentle humor, Parker J. Palmer invites us to listen to the inner teacher and follow its leadings toward a sense of meaning and purpose. Telling stories from his own life and the lives of others who have made a difference, he shares insights gained from darkness and depression as well as fulfillment and joy, illuminating a pathway toward vocation for all who seek the true calling of their lives.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Secrets of The Talking Jaguar: Memoirs from the living heart of a mayan village by Martin Prechtel

Twenty-five years ago, a young musician and painter named Martin Prechtel wandered through the brilliant landscapes of Mexico and Guatemala. Arriving at Santiago Atitlan, a Tzutujil Mayan village on the breathtaking shores of Lake Atitlan, Prechtel met Nicolas Chiviliu Tacaxoy--perhaps the most famous shaman in Tzutujil history--who believed Prechtel was the new student he had asked the gods to provide. For the next thirteen years, Prechtel studied the ancient Tzutujil culture and became a village chief and a famous shaman in his own right. In Secrets of the Talking JaguarPrechtel brings to vivid life the sights, sounds, scents, and colors of Santiago Atitlan: its magical personalities, its beauty, its material poverty and spiritual richness, its eight-hundred-year-old rituals juxtaposed with quintessential small-town gossip. The story of his education is a tale filled with enchantment, danger, passion, and hope.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How to Write a Book - 5 Top Tips from author Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell, one of the UK's most successful authors, has written 10 bestselling books over the past decade.

Youtube Credit: Century Books

Monday, September 15, 2014

Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith

In EASTERN BODY, WESTERN MIND, chakra authority Anodea Judith brought a fresh approach to the yoga-based Eastern chakra system, adapting it to the Western framework of Jungian psychology, somatic therapy, childhood developmental theory, and metaphysics. This groundbreaking work in transpersonal psychology has been revised and redesigned for a more accessible presentation. Arranged schematically, the book uses the inherent structure of the chakra system as a map upon which to chart our Western understanding of individual development. Each chapter focuses on a single chakra, starting with a description of its characteristics, then exploring its particular childhood developmental patterns, traumas and abuses, and how to heal and maintain balance. Illuminated with personal anecdotes and case studies, EASTERN BODY, WESTERN MIND seamlessly merges the East and West, science and philosophy, and psychology and spirituality into a compelling interpretation of the chakra system and its relevance for Westerners today.

  • Revised edition of the groundbreaking New Age book that seamlessly integrates Western psychology and the Eastern chakra system, including a new introduction from the author.
  • Applies the chakra system to important modern social realities and issues such as addiction, codependence, family dynamics, sexuality, and personal empowerment.
  • Previous edition has sold more than 55,000 copies.
  • Sunday, September 14, 2014

    The Bee Mama's Guide to Attracting + Caring for Mason Bees

    What is a mason bee? What benefits are there to keeping them? What risks and challenges? Can you keep them in the city? Find out the answers to these and many other questions about attracting and caring for mason bees in this informative booklet written by the Bee Mama herself, Maude Stephany.

    Saturday, September 13, 2014

    Star Catchers: Stories for You to Read to Your Child To Encourage Calm, Confidence + Creativity

    Meditation can benefit children enormously, from easing their anxieties to teaching them quietness. This anthology, a follow-up to the extremely successful Night Lights, features 20 illustrated narrative meditations that kids will enjoy—each with a set of positive affirmations for the child to dwell on. It’s designed for parents to read aloud to children between the ages of 4 and 8, and the stories draw youngsters into adventures that fire their imaginations, focus their minds, boost their self-confidence, and build trust in the world around them. All the tales sensitively tackle common challenges facing small children, including coping with disappointment, making good decisions, dealing with fears, handling peer pressure, and banishing boredom. Most important, every meditation is both enjoyable as a fantasy and effective as a life tool.

    Friday, September 12, 2014

    Infinite Quest: Develop Your Psychic Intuition to Take Charge of Your Life

    Best-selling author John Edward has captivated audiences worldwide with his unique and powerful psychic skills. Now, in his long-awaited new book, he shows people how they too can tap into their psychic selves.
    Infinite Quest will help readers to develop their intuition and renew their own latent powers, so they can confidently take chances and make choices. By following certain guidelines and intuition-building exercises, we can learn to get in touch with our Spirit Guides and identify the psychic energy around us on deeper levels. Edward also discusses how technology can work with our “sixth sense,” and explains how to use divination tools. Like his new eponymous website, Infinite Quest is truly a “portal to all things metaphysical.”

    Thursday, September 11, 2014

    Adventures In Manifesting

    Embrace your entrepreneurial spirit and tune into the essence of success with Adventures in Manifesting: Conscious Business. Whether you’re at the start-up level, wish to escape the nine-to-five grind, or looking for a dose of inspiration to create a life you love, then this book will help strengthen your mission and will remind you of all the elements required to create a conscious abundant life and sustainable enterprise that makes a difference in the world.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014

    KaleidESCAPE by MK Feese

    M K Feese’ alter ego is Minglement ~ Meaning an eclectic mix; a jumble of many genres, many voices. Observation and empathy shape her varied stories and poems. She was a founding member of L.V. Writers' Ink, a writing support group in Lucerne Valley, California. Her first published novel was "Famished Heart", and she has one published anthology - "Gravity Sucks!". Her short stories, poems and photos have been published in Mississippi Crow magazine and on the Internet and she has numerous ghost written articles published. Writing, photography, and art fill the nooks and crannies between home and family. 

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014

    Making Sense of Self-Publishing Terminology

    Article by: Irene Watson
    Most authors dream of being published by a traditional publisher-one who pays to print the author's book and then pays the author royalties. However, after months or years of mailing out manuscripts to publishers and literary agents, and piles of rejection letters later-if even lucky enough to get a response-many authors ultimately turn to self-publishing.
    When self-publishing is first considered, the author finds that homework is required to understand the self-publishing industry. Various blogs and Internet forums about self-publishing will offer advice or commentary about staying away from POD publishers or subsidy publishers, or about the stigmas or pitfalls of self-publishing. These terms are used widely and interchangeably and can be confusing to new authors. Here are a few basic definitions to help authors understand just what these terms mean and a breakdown of what is really required to self-publish a book.
    Traditional Publishing: As stated above, a traditional publisher will handle all the publishing and printing costs of the book. Authors will receive royalties for their book's sales. Throughout the twentieth century, traditional publishing was viewed as the ideal situation for authors because traditional publishers have been viewed as the gatekeepers or judges of whether a book is worthy of publication. Also, traditional publishers would market the books and authors had no risk involved in the publishing costs.
    Changes in the marketplace, however, have made it more difficult for traditional publishers to compete, and by extension, it is more difficult for authors to be selected for publication. While traditional publishing still provides a certain sense of legitimacy, self-publishing is a more viable option for most authors, and in many cases, it can also be more lucrative.
    Self-Publishing: Self-publishing means, in a general way, that the author publishes the book himself, and he absorbs the cost of publishing the book. The advantage is that the author receives all the profit, but the disadvantage is that self-publishing has a stigma, largely because many authors have self-published poor quality books that could not compete with traditionally published books for a number of reasons from cheap paper and low quality printing to multiple typos.
    Self-publishing itself has its degrees of what many consider legitimate self-publishing. A true self-published book, in many people's opinions, is a book where the author oversaw the entire production from layout to printing and where the author owns the ISBN number, printing the book under his or his own publishing company's name. While "vanity," "subsidy," and "POD" are terms often used in relation to self-publishing, they are more like half-sisters of self-publishing because another publisher besides the author is involved even though the author fronts the costs.
    It should be noted, that traditional publishing has only been the dominant form of publishing in the twentieth century, and it is becoming increasingly less dominant in the twenty-first century. In the nineteenth century, most traditional publishers were smaller, some simply being linked to bookstores. Many authors, such as Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, and Ralph Waldo Emerson self-published their books.
    Vanity Press: A vanity press is a publisher whom the author pays to publish his book. In the late twentieth century, horror stories were often told about authors who lost their life-savings by paying a vanity press $50,000 or some other outlandish amount to publish a book, only to have the book sell only a few copies. Deciding to self-publish by paying a vanity press was a serious risk because of the cost of publishing and a primary reason why most authors sought traditional publishers. Furthermore, the name suggests that the author was vain-believing his work was deserving of publication-even when the traditional publishers rejected his book. The term is rarely used any longer, largely because other terms have come into usage that better reflect the changes in publishing technology, which have resulted in self-publishing costs decreasing significantly.
    Subsidy Press: A vanity press and subsidy press may be interchangeable terms. The difference is that the term subsidy is more commonly used now because it has less stigma. The author still pays the press to publish his book, but in the twenty-first century, the cost of publishing a book has dropped significantly due to digital or POD printing.
    POD (Print-On-Demand): The self-publishing world frequently refers to POD publishers or companies, and it uses the term to mean "self-publishing companies" but POD actually means "print-on-demand." Due to new printing technology-digital printing-it is faster and more cost-effective to print a book. Until recently, books were laid out with moveable type and the process was laborious, time-consuming, and expensive, and consequently, only large print runs were made because it would have been ridiculous to spend the hours or days required to prepare the moveable type to print only one book. Modern computers in the digital age, however, now allow for "print-on-demand" which basically means if someone wants one book, it can be printed almost instantaneously. The result is that printing is faster and cheaper. Many of the smaller traditional publishers use POD.
    POD Publishers or Companies: Most references to POD Publishers, besides meaning that these companies use Print-On-Demand or digital printing technology, mean that these are larger self-publishing companies that an author can pay to handle all aspects of book production. These companies are relatively cost-effective. Packages to publish a book can run under $1,000, which includes all aspects of design and layout and usually a small number of printed copies such as 10-50. The author then purchases copies of his books from the POD company, and the more copies he orders, the less he pays. The difference is that these POD companies still mark up the cost of printing the books to make a profit. They make their money selling books to authors, not in selling the author's books to the public. They still often function somewhat like traditional publishers, however, because they will sell copies directly to bookstores or book distributors, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or Ingram's; these book sales result in royalty checks to the author. POD companies will also provide their own ISBN numbers and publish the book under their name rather than the author's own publishing company's name. Such companies, as stated above, are like half-sisters to both traditional publishing and self-publishing because they mix a little of both worlds.
    Co-Publishing Companies: Because of the high costs of publishing, some smaller traditional publishers offer co-publishing. As usual, the traditional publisher will handle all the publishing and printing costs of the book and authors will receive royalties for their book's sales. However, the author is asked to purchase, for e.g., 500 copies of the book.
    True Self-Publishing: Finally, for those splitting hairs about true self-publishing, the author who truly self-publishes will individually contract with (hopefully) an editor, someone to do layout, interior and cover design, and a separate printer. In this case, the author publishes the book with his own publishing company name he has created for himself, and he separately pays each individual entity-printer, cover design person, interior designer, editor. The author also purchases his own ISBN number and therefore has the book registered as being published by his own company. While this form of self-publishing is a bit more work, and it will probably cost an author more money upfront than using a POD company, the author will be able to print a larger number of books for less per unit (individual book), and the author will also be able to have more control over the ultimate look of the book rather than relying on a POD company, which may use more of a basic template approach to how the book looks.
    Which to Choose?
    Ultimately, each author must choose which type of self-publishing is best for him or her. To go the easy route, a POD Company might be good to get your feet wet, and then as you become more knowledgeable, you can experiment with true self-publishing by overseeing all aspects of the publication. A POD Company may be ideal for a small print run such as 100 copies for a book you don't plan to sell or don't think will sell well, such as publishing Grandpa's memoirs or a family genealogy that only a small group of people will want, or a book for a specific company or organization. For a novel or non-fiction book with a wider audience, a true self-publishing process might be a better choice. Authors simply must weigh the advantages of both types of self-publishing to determine which is best for his or her special book.
    Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.

    Monday, September 8, 2014

    Get Your Life on Track! Without Jumping Off the Train

    Have you been searching for a deeper meaning and purpose in your life? Do you get the sense that you have an inner wisdom that might be available as a guiding force for you, and yet struggle with how to connect with that intuitive core? How do you discern which inner voices to listen to?

    For over twenty years, Moira Hutchison has helped many address these questions and more. Using a soft, loving, humorous and down-to-earth approach, she helps you create a new way of life by tapping into your own intuition and learn to rely upon it as your main guiding force. The key lies in shedding the light of our awareness upon each and every aspect of ourselves, the good, the bad and the ugly so to speak!

    Get Your Life on Track is a pivotal blueprint to personal growth, fulfillment and increased consciousness – you will return to the steps and wisdom contained herein over and over as you traverse your own life journey.

    Sunday, September 7, 2014

    Read Together, A Great Way To Share

    You might think that reading is an individual act.  I am here to tell you that there is a passion when you set down close to each other and read.  It is an intimate act that allows you not only to connect with the book you are reading but to your partner as well.  You both get to escape into the book you are reading yet you are grounded in being close to each other.  Reading is a wonderful time to share together and I believe it as one of the most romantic things you can do.  So open and book and open your mind and share it with the love of your life.  

    Saturday, September 6, 2014

    Rapid Prosperity

    It doesn't matter how long or how hard you continue to work... or how much knowledge and experience you continue to gain...  

    And, it doesn't even matter how much money you continue to "invest in yourself"...
    Without this vital missing piece, all your hard work could go to waste... all your education and experience could still keep you stuck... and all of your hard-earned money could be lost!

    How do I know this to be true without a doubt in my mind?
    Because it all happened to me... for almost 20 years.  And, I've been where you are... or where you soon could end up...

    I have woken up in the middle of many nights... regretting my mistakes from the past... and fearing what fresh, new hell tomorrow could bring...

    I have also spent almost 20 years of my life studying, researching, investing in, and takingmassive action on just about every success, wealth, and abundance related product I could get my hands on.
    And all of them left me disappointed... including the popular ones about "law of attraction" visualization and visioneering, persuasion, motivation, hypnosis, NLP, psychic influence, and the list goes on...

    Don't get me wrong, I learned a lot from many of those products... and I even saw some great results from some of them.  But, they were all missing something. And, most of the results I got from them didn't last.

    So, I was forced back into that vicious cycle of searching, studying, and spending even more of my time and hard-earned money.

    And, after every frustrated experience, more and more questions would keep popping up in my head... more gaps and holes kept appearing in all the teachings and strategies... and more years of my life kept passing by...

    But, do you know what the worst part about all of this has been?

    It's watching all those people who are clearly less smarter than you, much less talented than you, extremely lazy...and often, just plain stupid and downright obnoxious. And yet,somehow, money, wealth, and success continue to be thrown at them... without much "work" or even any real value being produced by them!
    Something was horribly wrong

    And, all the while, the biggest and most powerful secret of them all - the missing piece that would make all of those other pieces finally make sense, and open up the floodgates of abundance - was right under my nose.

    Friday, September 5, 2014

    Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

    The book that started the Quiet Revolution
    At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society. 

    In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

    Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

    29 Questions for the Ordinary Life: Revealing the Profound Amidst the Ordinary

    29 Questions for the Ordinary Life: Revealing the Profound Amidst the Ordinary invites readers to know that the questions they ask in life will change everything. These thought-provoking questions are answered through engaging and humorous stories that expose one of life’s most critical lessons: what you get in life is a direct result of the questions you put forth. If fear is holding you back from the life you truly see, then this book will empower you to release the limitations keeping you from your personal greatness. 

    With humor and wisdom, the author explores the reasons we are afraid to ask questions. 
    • Why is it so hard to forgive? 
    • What would I do today if I were brave? 
    • How do you fill an empty spirit? 

    Through these twenty-nine seemingly simple questions, you will be invited to embrace an extraordinary life. 

    The beginning of wisdom is found in doubting; by doubting we come to question and by seeking we may come to know the truth. - Pierre Abelard 

    Book Except: 

    What would I do today if I were brave? 
    This is one of my most favorite questions thus far in life. Simply asking the question stirs my imagination of possibilities of what could be done in my life if I were brave. I believe it needs to be asked on a daily basis as you plant your bare feet on the ground before you get into your comfortable slippers. 

    American author James Robinson says, "Greatness, in the last analysis, is largely bravery - courage in escaping from old ideas and old standards and respectable ways of doing things." It is that type of greatness that this question evokes. It is looking at shaking up our lives from the mundane to the possibilities of growth and greatness. 
    So I asked this question to a group of my friends and colleagues and these are their answers: 


    Sought after for his humor and wisdom, international speaker and counselor Norman Bouchard inspires people to closely examine their assumptions and transform their perceptions. In doing so, they will be open to a new awareness of who they are and what they are meant to be.