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Mixed Blessings

Mixed Blessings

Amazon.com had good news for readers and bad news for authors last week, concerning the book reviews posted on their site.

Since so many people buy their books on Amazon, getting a good review there is highly desirable. It’s hit-or-miss, however, as to whether any readers will actually post reviews.

What’s an author to do?

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The Wheat And The Chaff

The Wheat And The Chaff

Today there is a proliferation of more books being published than ever—which is both good and bad.

~ It’s good for readers because they have more books than ever to choose among.

~ It’s good for authors because they have more opportunity than ever to get their books published.

~ But it’s bad for readers because some of what’s out there are bad books—either badly written or poorly edited, or both—and how is a reader to know which books are worth buying?

~ And it’s bad for writers because with so many books out there, competition is fierce and sales of individual books are generally down.

What brought about this state of affairs?

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Do You Take Advantage Of Your Library?

Do You Take Advantage Of Your Library?

I gave a speech at one of the local libraries this past Saturday afternoon. Only a small group of people showed up. “We get so little participation in our adult programs,” the library director bemoaned as we conversed before the program started. “They come to borrow books and other materials, but they don’t take advantage of our programs.”

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And Now For Something Completely Different

And Now For Something Completely Different

If the title of this week’s blogpost sounds familiar, I swiped it from Monty Python, who used it often on TV back in the day. But it fits, because today instead of talking about writing I want to talk about a different creative pursuit—cooking—although it’s one I’ve written many books about. I’ve written something like seven cookbooks and two books about cooking that aren’t actual recipe books. Most of these have been published by Roundtable and are available on GreatReads.buzz.

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The Evocative Power Of Words

The Evocative Power Of Words

Words, whether presented in fiction or nonfiction, can evoke sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and felt sensations. Sometimes these are sensations that are familiar, or that once were. But sometimes digging in your memory won’t do it for you, if it’s a sensation you’ve never experienced, such as a sight you’ve never seen, never even seen the likes of, not even in pictures. If it’s completely foreign to your experience, only your imagination will serve to create for you the sensation the writer is describing. But sometimes the writer’s description does indeed bring a sensation floating back to you from however far away.

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Fire! Fire!

Fire! Fire!

I did a book-reading in a school last week. Due to a mix-up on the school’s part, although I was supposed to read to grades K through 4 in an assembly, I wound up reading to two kindergarten classes crammed together in one room and then to two first grades similarly sardined together in another classroom.

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A Busy Yet Quiet Week

A Busy Yet Quiet Week

Some weeks it feels like there’s nothing to blog about—and yet blog I must. My weekly blogpost is due every Wednesday, no matter what. A writer’s life is like that. Whether you have something to say or not, you’ve got to write—not only because of your commitments, but because for a writer, writing is as necessary as eating and sleeping and breathing.

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Your Ancestors Are Waiting

Your Ancestors Are Waiting

This week I have a suggestion for EVERYONE to write—whether you’re a writer or not, whether you have writing aspirations or talent or not…no matter who you are.

You see, recently my granddaughter asked me a question about the family, and that led to a recitation of some facts about some of her ancestors, and THAT led to a request: “Draw a family tree for me.”

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Looking For The Next Big Thing

Looking For The Next Big Thing

What will be the next big thing in books? That’s what every author wants to know. Every author wants to be in the forefront. Every author wants to have a best seller. Every author wants to have his/her book zoom to the top of the charts. And many authors try to do that by jumping on the current bandwagon. If Harry Potter or 50 Shades of Grey or Rich Dad, Poor Dad is the hot book of the year, many authors try to write in a similar vein in order to cash in on the popularity of the genre or field or category.

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