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Archive for September 18th, 2011

Appreciation
It has been just three weeks writing this blog and entering a poem a day from an unpublished book. It has been exciting and appreciated to see responses from friends and new friends. FreshPress itself picked several blogs to feature. Early success puts pressure on the writer to keep building an audience. Thanks.

Who Knew?
The White House received a bust of activist Susan B. Anthony during the Nixon Administration. Barbara Franklin, in a c-SPAN interview, told how several women’s groups went together to commission and donate a copy.

Before Mrs. Pat Nixon could schedule the time to accept the gift, the bust remained in Ms. Franklin’s office closet. It was not clear how long the bust remained there.

A mystery developed when the bust would slip out in the ‘dead of night’ to appear in the office of a staffer who had been insensitive to women’s concerns. It finally was presented to Mrs. Nixon. During the Nixon term, the bust was placed at the entrance to the East Wing.

Where is Susan B. Anthony’s bust now? Is she still wandering into offices in the night? Or is she back in the closet? Who would know? (more…)

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A free talk on self-publishing
A disappointing lecture may still offer a positive learning experience. The day may have been lovely. The audience was made of new people. You could have expected too much. The lecturer repeated often “You get what you pay for.” How does that ring true when his prices were offered to undercut the competition?

He opened the power point presentation by saying he did not know anything about the specialized subject the group was interested in publishing. His skills were based on interviewing and writing the story from his recorded notes. He could provide other technical pre-publication services with research provided by the client. Assurance was given that he could provide a professionally edited document using a backup copy editor. (There were two mistakes on the power point slides.)

In the Q and A period, his prices did not include the printing costs! There seemed no margin for recovering expenses or profits. The time involved to get orders finished would be based on “how busy I am.”

Who knew?
So what can you learn from this story? Know what is available. Be cautious before you invest your time and money. Seek out other options and compare them. Decide what your needs are. Figure out what you are willing and able to pay. This may not be the time to publish – work out a time plan. Save money toward your goal. Be clear that the expert you hire is knowledgeable and staffed enough to give you the best product. You need a guarantee that work will be completed in a specified time and to your satisfaction. “There is no perfect book” is not a comforting statement.

Some credit should be given to the lecturer. He is making a business and will sharpen up his presentation. The samples of his books were attractive. He will find enough people who can use the services he offers. He can be a good source for networking with other professional services.

Think about it. Self-publishing has been very good for a lot of people. Realistic goals, those baby-steps, can take you in the right direction. (more…)

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