September 2011 Volume 1 - Issue 8
Kisses from a Distance
is now on Kindle & Nook
After overcoming a steep learning curve, I'm happy to report that Kisses is on Amazon's Kindle and B&N's Nook bookshelves.
Converting to an eBook format is a very labor intensive task, one I would not have accomplished without the help of Suzanne Fyhrie Parrot at the web site Unruly Publishing Guides. If any of you have a hankering to create an eBook, I recommend you visit Suzanne at: Unruly Publishing.
On the plus side of all that effort is an expanded cross-border market. I've sold many books overseas, to Canada and South Africa for example, and the postage is often greater than the book's price.
Another eBook advantage, once you master the formatting problems, is the ability to add photographs and illustrations that would be prohibitively expensive in a print version. To that end, I added many photos to the updated Kindle version of Kisses that will greatly enhance the reading experience.
To order an eBook, click either link:
Kisses Kindle @ Amazon
Kisses Nook @ B&N
Book of the Month
Athough this book, How Does It
Feel To Be A Problem, was released in 2008, it remains very timely given the news headlines of the past month.
A major expose has reported the existence of several Muslim hate groups funded by ultra-rightwing neocons. It was also revealed that the NYC PD has engaged in spying on select demographic groups for the last ten years. Millions are being spent on these activities, aimed at feeding the fear factor that is prevalent in American society today.
Professor Moustafa Bayoumi's extremely well-written book should be required reading in high schools and colleges across America. After all, it's only through education that the problems of hatred of "the other" will be overcome.
And it's a thoroughly enjoyable read.
The stories in this work are based on actual persons, places, and experiences. In many cases the names have been changed to protect both the innocent and the guilty, living and dead.
Anyone whose origins are rooted in small town America will likely recognize, or be reminded of, characters resembling those written about in this book. My hometown of Carthage, New York, tucked away in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, embraces no unique or remarkable attributes that would distinguish it from thousands of such hamlets all across America.
Raff may be reached at:
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of Aspiring Writers
One thing about Americans you have to admire is their ingenuity. Not only do they have an innate inventiveness, but they stand ready to exploit new technologies whenever they appear. A whole parade of people, it seems, pop up with ideas on how to take advantage of the the most current invention. Every new gadget or profession breeds a host of new businesses to augment or support it, whether it's apps for your phone or a case for your tablet computer.
Although most of these practioners are honset, not all such adjunct services are on the up and up. Just recently in the Orlando area, a group was apprehended that purported to write government grant applications for businesses eager to cash in on the stimulus gravy train. Many small companies signed up, paying $500 for the privilege, but never saw any return. In fact no grants were ever written although over $3 million was collected.
The writing profession is not immune from such chicanery. I have come to believe there are more people making money from would be authors than there are authors making money from would be writing. Because of rapid changes in the industry and the difficulty of attracting notice in a very crowded field, many aspiring authors have resorted to self-publishing. A whole industry has grown up around this concept including coaching, editing, literary agencies, printing, and marketing. There are even ghost writers for hire if you are not up to the task of writing your own book. And each of these services has sub-divisions within sub-divisions. As an example, printing/publishing can be divided into POD (inexpensive xerography), normal offset printing and eBook publication. A number of self-publishers and "literary" agencies disguise themselves as "legitimate," i.e. mainstream organizations.
Another scam that has gained popularity is writing contests where authors submit their books to compete in one or more literary categories. The cost for submission ranges upwards from $40 to $100 or more (plus copies of the book). The number of categories is astounding, making the chances of winning seem better than usual for the author. The contest sponsors don't reveal how many submissions were received in each category, so in some cases there may be only one book entered (or perhaps more than one winner). These people don't engage in full disclosure because that would blow their cover. And what do you get for winning? A token prize at best... and the privilege of saying that you are an award-winning author.
So what can an author do? If you are tempted to enter a contest, hire an agent, contract with a publisher, etc., Google the organization or person. If it is a scam, it's quite probable that someone has reported it to one of the many web sites that track this sort of thing. Run a search on "writer scams" or "writers beware" and you will find people that do a pretty good job of tracking the charlatans in the industry.
Better safe than sorry.
To Order Books
f you would like to purchase an autographed copy of either Raff's award-winning first book, Kisses from a Distance
, or his recently published Dam Foolishness,
go to the below web site for detailed information.
Kisses from a Distance - $15 (PPd)
- $20 (PPd)
Raff's Books, 9813 Lake Georgia Dr., Orlando, FL 32817