So what did you read in 2019 that you particularly enjoyed? Or maybe even less reecently–in the past 2 or 3 years?
Whether it was fiction or nonfiction, I’m looking for book reviews written by fellow readers (and writers!) that I can post on my blog. Whether you loved or hated or were even indifferent to a book, let me know!
Books allow me to transcend my own experience of the world. In reading, I can assume the skin of people, places, times, and events that I’ll never otherwise inhabit. They make me feel more part of the world and more human.
How has reading shaped you? Blogger/teacher/parent Pernille Ripp why she believes children should be exposed to all kinds of books…
I get asked for a lot of book recommendations, I think it comes with the territory when you share the love of books. And while I love pairing books with potential readers, I have also noticed a pattern that causes me to pause, that should cause all of us to pause.
I get asked for a lot of books featuring male lead characters for male readers.
When I ask why the need for a male lead, I am often told that “they” just don’t think a boy will read a “girl book.” That a boy will not like a book about feelings. That a boy only wants books that have action. That have other boys in it. That feature characters that look just like them or at the very least think like them.
Sure Frank Gehry’s amazing architecture at the Guggenheim Museum helped put a failing Bilbao, Spain back on the map. Front, back, in, and out the Guggenheim Museum, Spain, turns perceptions upside down and inside out (tap or click each photo for more info)…
The river that runs beside Guggenheim Museum Bilbao features innovative structures, lights, and steam.
A shot of me from an upstairs window, admiring Jeff Koons’ “Tulips.”
I’m waving hi to you from the feet of Maman (Ama) by Louise Bourgeois.
However, art and art-worthy architecture abound everywhere in Bilbao.
Along the way to the museum, we stopped to see Azkuna Zentroa. Built in 1909, it now houses a building within a building balanced on unusual columns.
Akzuna Zentroa, Bilbao, Spain.
Look up at Akzuna Zentroa to see the bottom of a swimming pool.
The kids’ room at Akzuna Zentroa’s library.
Many amazing columns hold up the inside of Akzuna Zentroa.
Does the threat of a book being banned ensure that it’s among the finest books written? Check out the fantastic examples cited by the smart folks in this 29-second video (and pat yourself on the back if you smile when “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee is discussed — *see end of this post for why)…
Hello again!! Yes, I’m actually posting twice in a week- you’re not seeing things! Oh you thought you’d seen the last of me for this month? Well sorry to disappoint 😉 I wanted to do a great “here’s what I’ve been reading this summer guys!” post- but let’s be real, I’ve not actually been doing much reading. Instead, I thought I’d give you an idea of what I’ve been reading/to give myself an idea of what I *should* be reading.
Labels on food packets– ermmm yeah this is one of the things I’m actually reading at the moment- to be fair, it’s helping me practice another language, so it’s not cos I’ve become a food nut and I’m not totally weird (okay I am a little weird but you knew that already 😉 )
Road signs– same reason as above- it’s practice! (also directions probably count here, but…
When it comes to publishing, deciding which route to take can be a challenge.
For the traditional route, once an author writes a book, they sign on with an agent or publishing house. The author shares a hefty percentage of the sales, in exchange for the agent doing everything involved in getting attention and sales.
A self-publisher keeps all the money — but does everything, including possible hiring of an editor and book designer, buying advertising, etc.
Turning down a book contract was a painful decision. My book emphasizes listening to your internal voice. My voice told me I wouldn’t be happy signing a contract that didn’t feel mutual. The morning after making this decision the idea for my next book came to me. I then knew self-publishing was the right path.
Two things were clear. 1) I would create a publishing imprint to house this and future books. 2) I would be intimately part of the process.
Creating a publishing imprint meant establishing an LLC. Its mission is broad enough to cover other professional activities, like public speaking, so that my writing will be an essential part of my professional life.
There are reputable companies, like Girl Friday Productions, that help authors from concept to final production. I believe they quoted me $16,000. I chose not to go with this sort of company because I had a manuscript that already was far along and, also, it means not taking the lead in creating my team. Establishing my team meant spending hours finding a top quality editor, cover designer, and interior designer.
I was fortunate enough to find a developmental editor who is the vice president of a publishing company. She had me reduce my manuscript by 30%. She told me that while I don’t like telling people what to do (I am a psychologist) – as a writer I needed to be more directive. After a major edit, I hired another editor to polish the final manuscript.
For book design, I chose Reedsy, an online company that has wonderful professionals for hire. Inexpensive cover designs cost around $500. For an experienced, artistic designer it is closer to $1000. My cover designer was so good that I persuaded him to do my interior design which cost about $2000.
I learned the hard way that what makes for a beautiful physical book creates complications for the ebook. (Suggestion: Make a copy of the interior before getting fancy!) Creating the ebook to look like the physical copy proved difficult. I had no way to assess the actual skill level of designers. The first person misrepresented their experience, and I paid $450 for something I couldn’t use. The next person charged $500 and what I wanted took more time than estimated–so we negotiated a higher price.
My experience creating the audiobook with Brickshop Audio in Brooklyn was a pleasure. The audiobook, with production help, costs $250 per finished hour. My 55,000-word book (on ACX) cost $1650.
I recommend my path to authors who enjoy creating a business and who have the time and desire to address countless creative details. It means a lot more work upfront, but having finished products closer to your vision. I am excited to take what I have learned to new ventures!
Dear readers, share your experiences below with self-publishing vs. traditional publishing…
Engage and share the joy: click buttons and comment. *** Note: WordPress insists ‘likers’ sign in. ‘Commenters,’ fortunately, need not. My email: ContactdaAL@gmail.com