Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Why Are There Still So Many People Who Don’t Have Books to Read?


Many organizations and individuals work very hard to get books to those who have none… worldreader

One individual is linked-to in the left side-bar—his organization is called GoneReadingyou can buy really cool gifts for readers; yet, they give “100% of after-tax profits to fund reading-related charities…”.

I have an interview with the founder of GoneReading.

Another organization I’ve written about is WorldReader (here are the posts I’ve done about them…).

Here’s just a bit of explanation of what WorldReader does:

Literacy is transformative

It increases earning potential, decreases inequality, improves health outcomes and breaks the cycle of poverty. Books are necessary for the development of literacy skills yet millions of people still have limited access to books.

We’re changing this.

WorldReader does its work by supplying folks with e-readers stocked with books appropriate for their age and culture

Plus, today on TechCrunch, there was an article involving WorldReader called, Amazon Launches the Kindle Reading Fund to Expand Digital Reading Around the World.

Do read the full article to find out how broadly Amazon‘s initiative reaches; but, here’s an excerpt about their affiliation with WorldReader:

“The company says its new collaboration with Worldreader will see Amazon donating thousands of Kindle e-readers to developing nations. The two have worked together previously, however. For example, Amazon recently supported Worldreader’s LEAP 2.0 library partnership in Kenya, which reaches around 500,000 people by bringing digital reading to 61 libraries in the country.”

It’s been said there are one billion people on our planet with no access to books

If you want to be inspired to do something about this, watch these two videos

This one was done in association with Kindle:

 

This one is from WorldReader, directly:


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Writing a slow-burn book? Three surprising ways to measure progress


Here’s another re-blog with Roz Morris…

Hey! You writers—pay attention :-)

Nail Your Novel

600px-Arbol_de_PiedraSome novels take their time, especially those of a literary hue. We might need to quarry vast amounts of possibilities and storyways, find the book’s particular character, discover what a stubborn idea wants to be. (Here’s a post about it – What takes literary writers so long.)

With all that exploring and uncertainty, it can feel like we’re getting nowhere. Then something will suddenly reveal that we actually have more substance than we suspected. It’s happened to me a few times recently with Ever Rest, so I thought I’d share them here.

1 Conduct a research interview

A few months ago I needed input on the story, so I chatted up an expert and told him the story, from start to finish, checking every development and assumption. As I’d hoped, this clarified vital questions and generated ideas, but I also realised it marked a milestone. This was the…

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Oh, My! How Can I Use #SocialMedia and Not Go Bonkers?


I’ve covered Social Media on this blog quite a bit—mostly because of my trials and travails in attempting to figure out if it helps me as an author…

Here are 20 articles on Social Media (if you click that link before I write another post about social media, this post will be at the top of the list).

Here are over 50 posts with “social media” somewhere in the text

And, two specific posts:

Selling Your Soul With Social Media

Is #SocialMedia Really Good for #BookPromotion?

Still, since social media is nearly constantly changing and since many authors swear by its use, I turned to one of the smartest folks I know, who specializes in helping authors promote themselves—Jane Friedman.

She has a recent guest article, by Kirsten Oliphant, called, How to Be Active on Social Media without Losing Your Mind.

Here come a few excerpts ( those with a burning desire to know should read the full article :-)

“The biggest issue I hear from people struggling with online marketing is TIME. Many writers struggle to balance social media and writing or creative work. Since we don’t have the option to go back before the age of Twitter, we are left with a few options.”

She follows with a few ideas on the options “Hire it out” and “Gripe and procrastinate”; then, she dives deeply into “Master and manage” with these bullet points:

1. Choose Your Platforms

2. Set Up Systems and a Workflow

3. Automating Effectively

4. Scheduling Effectively

5. Engaging Effectively

Here are her “Final Thoughts”:

“An effective workflow will include automation, scheduling, and interacting in real time without exhausting all your time or energy. Start with one or two platforms and set up your systems…Whatever you do, don’t wait until you’ve completed a manuscript to start considering your platform.”

She promises, with her advice, that you can “make the most of your time by working smarter, not longer.”

And, if you want more of her advice, check out her Seriously Simple Social Media Strategy…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Grammar-ease: When to Use ‘Nor’ or ‘Neither’


Today’s re-blog is a gentle grammar lesson :-)

Live to Write - Write to Live

This post is inspired from a recent reader’s comment: when do you use ‘nor’ or ‘neither’ in a sentence?

In using neither/nor construction, it’s important to keep the sentence parallel. An example:

  • Incorrect: She will cook neither her apple pie nor do her laundry. [The part that follows “neither” is a noun (“her apple pie”), and the part that follows “nor” is a verb phrase (“do her laundry”) — so they aren’t parallel.]
  • Correct: She will neither cook her apple pie nor do her laundry. [Both parts are now verb phrases.]

Neither (1)Also, it’s important to watch for verb agreement when there is a mix of singular and plural. For instance, Neither the teens nor the teacher was excited about the fire drill. (singular was for ‘teacher’) Switched around, this is also correct: Neither the teacher nor the students were excited about the fire drill. (plural were for ‘students’)

If the second…

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Writers, Let Your Freak Flag Fly


Today’s re-blog explores what “bravery” might mean for a writer…

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

N. West Moss N. West Moss

By N. West Moss

Writing requires bravery. I’ve heard this a thousand times, but what does it mean? When I was getting my MFA a few years ago, some classmates interpreted it to mean they should write about taboo subjects, like masturbation (sorry) and heroin addiction, that the brave part of writing was confessing one’s deepest shames and most private moments. As off-limits as the subjects might have been, I found the scenes of stuff like this oddly bloodless and uninteresting. To equate bravery with solipsism is a mistake that a lot of beginning writers make, myself included.

I think the courage that is required for being a writer is the courage to figure out who you are, and to pursue THAT without shame. It is our obsessions that make us unique – our obsessions with words and sounds, with themes, with people, with what we have…

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