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Saturday, August 28, 2010
Bookmark our blog or Follow us to stay in touch with us and book news at Now Rise Books. Thanks!
The Civil Rights movement forced America, and the world, to look at social and political oppression of Black people.
Beck's rally is really a movement to restore White American honor, self-esteem. That is only good if White America is going to transform from the status quo posture of supremacy and privilege to embrace social equality. Some whites did that four or five decades ago, but as the vitriol of the Tea Party members have demostrated, a remnant breeding that entrenched bigotry of the past still remains.
I wrote about this in an earlier blog on Baldwin's The Fire Next Time. Speaking about White people, Baldwin wrote in a letter to his nephew on the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation:
They are, in effect, still trapped in a history which they do not understand; and until they understand it, they cannot be released from it. They have had to believe for many years, and for innumerable reasons, that black men are inferior to white men. Many of them, indeed, know better, but, as you will discover, people find it very difficult to act on what they know.
Whether Beck intends it or not, his rally is a good opportunity to challenge, invite, engage White Americans to act on their transformation, to right the wrongs not only of the past but the prolonged institutionalized racism still undermining the American progress that Beck wants to see emerge.
Beck is talking about adopting "American exceptionalism," but Americans are not exceptional, God is. God did not ordain Americans as good, He calls all of us to proclaim that He is glorious.
If White America does not fundamentally change, then to proclaim that Americans have a divine ordination but to continue to act out of human instincts of greed, power, bigotry, and selfishness is our fate, will continue to be what the world understands as the American way.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I admit -- I have not acquired a Kindle, or other such reader, and have not downloaded an e-book yet, none that I've read, anyway.
In addition to reading e-books, I want to know more about how some of you are faring in publishing e-books.
Today, a Wall Street Journal article announces that marketing guru Seth Godin is leaving his trade book publisher and will produce his next work as an e-book directly to fans on his blog, about 400,000 plus fans.
Have any of you who have published traditional books found it more profitable to publish an e-book? Have you found significant increases in "royalties"? More direct communication and feedback with your readers?
Monday, August 23, 2010
Check it at remicalbingham.blogspot.com
Here's an excerpt from "What we should be teaching our children...":
I routinely hear folks who have come one or two generations before me talk about how they were made to memorize poems and speeches during their formative years. At one time, this was a routine part of the educational system. What happened to this tool? Surely, we can make the argument that memorization and repetition help bolster critical thinking skills, so how and why has 'progressive education' all but abandoned this technique? Being an educator, I have a strange suspicion that, because there is no room for oral presentations when administering standardized exams, this learning tool has been deemed unnecessary and a waste of properly used classroom time. But what a shame that is. Imagine what children might learn, retain and grown to love (or at least remember fondly...) if we taught them to pour over words until they stuck. The toddler in the video above gives us a small glimpse of the opportunities we're missing.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Writers' Institute: Marketing Ideas from "Book That Author" Interview with Media Expert Jackie Lapin
Whether a light bulb just lit up your brain revealing a hot new idea for a book, or whether you just uploaded your completed manuscript files to your printer's website, you will almost certainly hear useful information about marketing your book in this interview that Book That Author recently conducted with veteran media expert Jackie Lapin.
It's 30 minutes of non-stop ideas, insight and anecdotes that can help writers, or others with a product to sell, so bookmark this page, set aside some time, get your notepad and a pen, and get started using this information to outline your marketing plan.
Follow Now Rise Books blog as I add more resources to help you get the most from your publishing experience through this latest addition to my blog, the Writers' Institute.
And let me know how your publishing journey works out... .
Friday, August 13, 2010
New York Times
By JULIE BOSMAN
Published: August 11, 2010
It makes perfect sense that Pete Hamill, 75 years old, chronicler of vintage New York City and newspaper tabloids and boozy Greenwich Village literary haunts, prefers print books to electronic.
Pete Hamill’s book about immigration will skip print and come out only as an e-book.
Far more surprising is this: His next book will skip print altogether and be published only as an e-book.
“They Are Us,” a book about immigration in the United States, is tentatively scheduled for release in the fall by Little, Brown & Company, its first straight-to-e-book venture.
And yet Mr. Hamill, on the verge of becoming a digital publishing pioneer, admitted that he has never read an e-book.
“It’s all personal taste,” he said in an interview. “For me reading a book is what I like doing, curled up in a corner in a comfortable chair. But I don’t have any moral superiority. I don’t care, as long as people are reading.”
There are not many New York writers who have lived more exclusively, and more prominently, in print. Mr. Hamill has been a columnist for The Village Voice; a reporter for The New York Post, The Daily News and New York Newsday; an intrepid foreign correspondent covering Vietnam, Northern Ireland and Lebanon; and the editor of The News and The Post.
In between all the newspapering, Mr. Hamill has written 8 nonfiction books (“They Are Us” will be his ninth) and 10 novels. (The 11th, “Tabloid City,” will come out in the spring.) There were also two books of short stories, photography books for which he supplied the text and three books he edited for Library of America.
For years he has been gathering material for a book on immigration but was unsure when it would come together, or what it would look like. “I had a passion to do something about the immigration mess, for complicated reasons,” said Mr. Hamill, who has lived in Mexico and is the son of immigrants from Ireland. “It drives me nuts, and I want to write about it.”
As the immigration debate heated up this year, so did Mr. Hamill’s desire to get his thoughts down in a book. He is just finishing the reporting (a recent morning was spent covering a pro-immigration protest on the Brooklyn Bridge) and beginning to write so he can meet his Sept. 16 deadline. The book will be on the short side, about 40,000 or 50,000 words — not that length matters as much in digital form.
The idea for an e-book was first floated by Michael Pietsch, the publisher of Little, Brown, part of the Hachette Book Group, who read the proposal for a book about immigration that Mr. Hamill had sent him. Mr. Pietsch was keen to try publishing a book only in electronic form.
“It just occurred to me — we’re talking constantly about e-books and what we can do to publish lively books in that way,” Mr. Pietsch said. “And it hit me, this is a book we can take straight to e-book. It just felt like an e-book.”
One of the reasons was the timing. Mr. Hamill wanted to write a book that dealt largely with the politics of immigration, and with the midterm elections coming up in November, it hardly made sense to abide by a traditional, slower publishing schedule. Putting the book out in digital form saved at least six to eight weeks for typesetting, printing and distribution, not to mention the cost of paper. With any luck, the book could be out before the midterms, so that it could influence the debate, not follow it.
Mr. Pietsch threw the idea out to Mr. Hamill. “He said, ‘Let me come in and see an e-book,’ ” Mr. Pietsch said, chuckling. “God love him, Pete said yes before he even saw a device.”
When Mr. Hamill arrived at Little, Brown, Mr. Pietsch spread out an assortment of electronics — iPad, iPhone, Kindle and Sony Reader, all of which he carries with him every day — for Mr. Hamill to inspect.
Since then, Mr. Hamill said, he has been asking around for recommendations so that he can actually own an e-reader. He is leaning toward an iPad.
“They’re all strange objects,” he said. “But I have friends who swear by them. I have a friend who’s 86 and swears by them.”
Navigating the logistics of an e-book tour might be more complicated.
“Some things have occurred to me,” Mr. Hamill said. “Will there be a book signing?”
Monday, August 9, 2010
Date: Sun, Jul 18, 2010
Subject: Liberation Bookstore (see attached PDF for Inventory)
I am writing to you in regards to my Aunt Una Mulzac, owner of the historic Liberation Bookstore in Harlem for over 35 years.)
For most of her life she dedicated herself to improving the condition of the African American people through education and as an activist championing civil rights causes. Her work has been recognized and praised by many in the community and has been interviewed on many occasions. It was her father’s legacy, Hugh Mulzac, himself an important historical figure that inspired her to work endlessly to advance the cause that became her life‘s work.
At 85 years old she was no longer able to look after herself or her business. I am now working with her legal guardian to find a buyer for her stock of books - a catalog of nearly 10,000 political & historical titles - some that have been out of print for many years. The collection is perfect for a cultural or educational institution. This collection is on offer as a whole and open to any party with a vested interest in maintaining their educational value. While many libraries are working with limited budgets, perhaps a philanthropic alumni association would be able to purchase the collection on behalf of their alma mater.
Anything interest or helpful suggestions would be most appreciated. Please respond as soon as possible since time is of the essence. I would be happy to forward the inventory list to you.
[Minor edits were made to this post on Monday, February 28, 2011.]
Friday, August 6, 2010
Taunts, threats, and name-calling that President Obama has been subjected to from Tea Party members and their conservative media leaders are evidence of more than frustration with the nation’s deficit, else the men and women of the overwhelmingly white Tea Party would have taken to the streets under the former president as vehemently as they do today.
As much as he may want to, President Obama cannot temper these vitriolic eruptions by sitting down with Glenn Beck ("This guy, I believe, is racist") or Joe Wilson (“You lie!”) to have a beer and smooth things over. The situation is really beyond that cordial scene of armchair diplomacy.
That was made clear this week when the latest incident of racial unrest blew up, ironically, at a beer distribution company in Manchester, Connecticut. On Tuesday, August 2, 34 year-old truck driver Omar Thornton called 9-1-1 to explain why he had shot numerous employees that morning at the Hartford beer and wine distribution company where he had just resigned after being exposed for stealing.
In the 9-1-1 call, released by the CT state police yesterday, August 5, Thornton said the Hartford beer distributor was a racist company and that people had treated him badly since the time he began to work there.
Company and union officials said only that there was no record of complaint regarding racial harassment, a far cry from saying no harassment took place. Statements by some of the family members of those killed have indicated that racial allegations Thornton and his family made were disappointing.
That unattended tensions in the workplace resulted in a loss of eight lives is tragic; the trauma to those injured by gunshots and scared by violence in their workplace is also serious and regrettable. Our nation too is injured by this latest blow to an open wound of racial divide, festering from four centuries of anger, resentments, demeaning behavior, mistreatment and denial.
Omar Thornton was injured by the racial harassment he said that he suffered at the Hartford beer distributor company before taking his deadly actions this week. Yet, the particular racial trouble Omar contended with in his workplace, until he reached a breaking point, are the chronic racial problems of this nation, writ large.
If these problems will be resolved, it will not be because there is no documentation of them, nor because someone takes care of business with violence. No, racial reconciliation will cost those of us who remain after these violent episodes, not our lives but something people are sometimes willing to die for, and that is our pride.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
U.S. Postal Service reports $3.5-billion loss, sees more red ink in future
The agency predicts a cash shortfall for 2011 after net losses in 14 of the last 16 fiscal quarters.
August 5, 2010|9:47 a.m.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service reported a quarterly net loss of $3.5 billion Thursday and said it will likely have a cash shortfall going into 2011.
The agency, which delivers nearly half the world's mail, has reported net losses in 14 of the last 16 fiscal quarters.
Revenue in the third quarter, which ended June 30, fell $294 million from a year ago, while expenses were $789 million higher at $19.5 billion, due largely to higher workers' compensation costs and retiree health benefits.
Cash flow seems on track to handle 2010 operations, Corbett said, but it is uncertain whether sufficient liquidity will be in place for 2011 after the agency must make a $5.5 billion payment on Sept. 30 to prefund retiree health benefits.
"It is clear that a liquidity problem is looming and must be addressed through fundamental changes requiring legislation and changes to contracts," Corbett said.
A U.S. law mandates these annual payments through 2016 to prefund benefits, a requirement not placed on any other government agency. The Postal Service is pushing for legislation that would restructure this payment schedule.
Congress lowered the amount the Postal Service was obligated to pay to prefund benefits in 2009, but there has been no indication that will happen again this year.
The likely cash shortfall is made worse by the continuing downward spiral in mail volume, as more Americans communicate by email and electronically pay their bills.
Some 40.9 billion pieces of mail were delivered in the third quarter that ended June 30, falling 1.7 percent from the same period a year ago.
While the global recession sparked unprecedented drops in mail volume, the increased popularity of email and competition from FedEx Corp, United Parcel Service Inc and other delivery services have long cut into the agency's mail volume.
Postmaster General John Potter said the Postal Service is expected to achieve around $3 billion in cost reductions in 2010 through cuts in work hours to match declining volumes and other initiatives, but more is needed to secure the agency's fiscal stability.
"It also will require that the Postal Service gain flexibility within the law to move toward five-day delivery, to adjust our network as needed, to develop new products the market demands, and to work with our unions to meet the challenges ahead," he said.
Copyright © 2010, Los Angeles Times
Sunday, August 1, 2010
In the first essay titled, “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the 100th Anniversary of Emancipation," Baldwin was attempting to explain what his nephew and other Black male youths were up against--to forewarn them about the nearly all encompassing stranglehold that racism had already laid upon their futures before they were even born. His analysis dissects the enduring racial tension among Blacks and Whites in America up to the period of the Fifties.
What Baldwin wrote about White folks in the passage quoted above, and the one more fully quoted below, describes the behavior that many White folks exhibit today, more than 40 years after The Fire Next Time was published.
Baldwin’s description fits to a tee the contemporary boisterous and emotional cohort of whites, especially those of the conservative faction, those who have co-opted the conservative group, loosely associating themselves under a federation of so-called tea party patriotism. Many of them do know better, but find it "difficult to act on what they know."
What they therefore react to is what they see, and that is an African man elected to the highest office in the land and living in the White House.
Baldwin's words 40 years ago are prescriptive today:
Baldwin was correct in his analysis about the destabilizing impact that Black advancement wreaks within the White community. His instinct to spell it out for young people was genuine and life preserving. We would do well to write our own letter, or to share James Baldwin's letter, with our young people today.